Short Story: The Fight For Survival (The Nigerian Story)

Afam was wounded by the obvious pain in the eyes of his children. He cursed the day their mother decided to attend that church service. It was to be her last service, at least in the human flesh, as the Boko Haram mayhem claimed her fledgling body. Afam could see the trauma in his four kids. Their tears freely flowed. Their hearts panted in anguish and their bodies had the frame of mourners. He couldn't stand the tormenting sight any more. He left the sitting room to the verenda, hoping that the soothing breeze of the night will ease his plethora of sorrows. Afam helped his body into a chair. He tilted his head in a way that exudes frustation. He gazed at the stars with an angry smile, that made the stars quiver. Then, his thoughts ran the show. 'My country has really been unfair to me', he muttered. He remembered how he gruesomely lost his parent to one of the many Jos crises. He recollected how he was cruelly dismissed from the civil service for refusing to engage in a corrupt deal. Now, his wife was the latest casuality and misery that his country has bestowed upon him. He wanted to cry, but his tears were tired of flowing. They wanted a rest. Afam slept at the veranda that night, and it was the mosquitoes who had the last laugh that night. The next day was new year's day. Afam's household was still shroudded in their agony. Mirth had never been his forté, for life's strokes had taught him enough. It was a dark new year's day as PHCN held their power. Afam simply turned on his transistor radio, the only inheritance that his father had bequeathed to him. No sooner has he successfully tuned to his favourite radio station, that he heard the breaking news. 'FG HAS REMOVED SUBSIDY ON PETROL'. He first thought it was his ears that played pranks on him. But, as he listened again, he knew it was true. 'No', he said with a tone that had anger written all over it. 'I won't accept this', he mumbled as if the battle was a personal one. The next day, Afam was in the forefront of the peaceful protest in his hometown. His voice was broken out of constant shoutings and chantings, yet, it was still the loudest in the crowd. And then, the worst happened. Fire was opened on him by security operatives. As he laid in the pool of his blood, he gazed to the stars again. 'At least, now I will rest. If Mouhamed Bouazizi can do it for Tunisia, why can't I do it for Nigeria', were his last words. His eyes began to gloriously shut themselves, his hands dropped with a swiftness that could only mean one thing, Afam was dead!

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