31 January 2009

Schindler's List, Nigeria - close, but not exactly

The riots in Jos, Plateaus State, Nigeria in November 2008 was a national tragedy. Widely reported around the world, the death toll according to the media varied between 300 and 700. The killing rampage started after a Local Government election that was believed to have been rigged. However it soon became sectarian, pitching Christians and Muslims against each other in a needless ethno-religious conflict.

Several innocent people were hacked to death including the widely reported case of a young man who was on national service in the city.

A lot of people went missing including the heavily pregnant sister of a friend. Mary Bayil, 44 was a Sunday School Teacher married to a Civil Servant. Her house had been burnt and in the ensuing melee, she was parted from her husband and her three children who had taken refuge in an army barrack.

Hoping that she would be found after things had settled down, the search for her proved abortive. Each time we phoned our friend, the answer was the same; she was nowhere to be found. In mid-January, we heard the good news that she had been found and that she had safely delivered a baby girl.

What made the story particularly interesting were the circumstances surrounding her safety. Like many other people, Mary had tried to escape from her house after it had been set on fire by the mostly Muslim mob. Given her state, she could not run as fast as others and became a sitting target for the mob.

Some Muslim ladies who were watching what was happening from their house and aware of what was about to happen quickly came out to her rescue and brought her inside their own home. Noticing that they had been seen by some of the mob, they dressed her up in the Muslim garb and moved her to another village. She had the baby in a hospital in the village and became seriously ill, drifting in and out of consciousness for weeks until she was found last week.

The Muslim women who saved her had their own Schindler moment and they delivered. They saved two lives and brought a wonderfully good twist to what was otherwise a tragic part of Nigeria’s history. Incredible! PostcardfromLagos

6 comments:

Charles Ibi... said...

The inherent "good" in man at play. May human beings reach that point of realisation that "love" is not supposed to be a self-centered virtue. We are all found wanting no matter how little. My church -vs- your church mentality, my political ideology -vs- your political credo. Why can't we substitute the "-vs-" with "-and-". The ability to deliver when we face the challenge or the call will only be tested at the time of need! God bless the kind and wise at heart, Amen.

Yinka Odu said...

Yinka Odu said
How, Blessing of the Gentiles - It comes in different ways. What an awesome God we serve who opens new path when one gets to the dead end of a situ, like the Israelites, the red sea, and pharoah behind. The most important of the fruits of the spirit - LOVE changed the story of that family. Could there be the love of Christ in Nigeria, then we will experience paradise on earth.....

Afrobabe said...

I know for certain that there are good people out there...I have muslims and christians in my family and both sides lost a lot of people in the plateu fight...yet they came together to mourn....

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

this is a wonderful story. Kindness knows no religion or creed.

Babawilly said...

I have just stumbled on your blog and i find your positive attitude refreshing. Keep it up

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this educative postcard. More power to your elbows. ELIZABETH IYABODE AROJO