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THE GROUND IS SOAKED WITH BLOOD

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I walked along the streets, the whole place looked empty –deserted. I don’t know where everyone had gone. But since the wake of killings, the air carries the sound of wailings –the smell of blood.

Where did they all go? Where are the truck pushers, the masons, the street hawkers, the bankers, the artists, that young beautiful girl, that illiterate old woman, the young boy skidding old tyre? The community has become a ghost of itself. Yet, we are not fighting a war.

Before now, the town used to be a commotion: people pour out onto the streets; people heading in various directions. Then it happened, madness struck. Rumors of killings going on. Some believed, others didn’t. How could that be, there is no war, there is no tribal clashes; who are those steering up this dust?

What had seemed like some fake news gradually began to gain ground. In no distant time the electronic media began to disseminate it, the print began to publish it, woe mongers began to spread it. Like a wild fire, the news went viral. Then it became a reality. What was considered fake, became true. Our own citizens are killed –in their own country.

‘Don’t talk’, ‘don’t tell’, we hear. You are more guilty if you talk and tell, than if they kill. It is no longer alarming to see dead bodies piling the ground in their numbers. It now seemed a way of life –everyday someone gets killed, another human being. What once was a decent street is now a dumping site for human bodies. They kill at day, they kill at night.

As I walk this streets, the cloud gathers; it is thick and dark, but the rain just wouldn’t come. Even nature, it seems, have exhausted her tears for us. Even the animals wonder what the hell these humans are up to. The lower animals protect their kind, yet humans destroy their own.

We hear: those killers are invaders; no, they are rustlers; no, they are farmers; no, they are the locals; no, they want your lands; no, you are on their lands. We begin to bargain, to negotiate; the contention we think may be land –vast lands, abundant lands.

Our people are killed not by natural disasters; not by wild animals; not by diseases; not by accidents; not even by invaders from space. They are killed by blood thirsty beasts in human clothing who are let on rampage. We cry, we wail, the world hears our voice, the sky witness our tears. We seem helpless. How many more must fall before they know this has reached its crescendo.

Savage fighters, guerilla warfarers, lunatics are on the loose with knives in their hands and Ak 47 seeking whom they may snuff life out of, giving all manner of excuses. We have even created camps for our people in a land not at war. This is sad. It is painful. The young men dream of home again; the women wonder when they will have the peace of their warm beds.

Yet, noise of wailing we hear from afar, the sounds of agony trails the dying; yet, it seems like music in the ears of their assailants. Just one more killing by these deviants in the open streets, and we see that their minds have become sick. They are thirsty for blood, the loss of a soul gives them joy. We don’t know who we are fighting; we don’t know who we should be avoiding.

This madness has reached its indecent high; this insensitivity has gone way far. Our people say –ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!

Gloria Okezie-Okafor

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