hagher's home © I am Benue 2019

Who Burnt Hagher’s Home On The Eve Of Botched Presidential Elections

Remembrance, Stories 18/02/2019 by Iyorwuese Hagher

Nancy Ngiahiin my wife and I were distraught, that our home of thirty-eight years, was gutted by fire on the 15th of February 2019. Losing our home where our family-life was lived; with the thrills of joys of elevation and the downsides when it became a place to cry and be comforted, was almost like death! But no! It was merely the loss of material property. It is no more. Just like that, and within thirty minutes all that was combustible was reduced to cinder and ashes. To build takes enormous patience, focus, determination and grit. An ah, yes, love and time. Destruction is always swift, furious and brutal!

I don’t replace real people with political identities. People are persons and cherished as persons always. Parties are merely alphabets that keep changing in our political firmament.

The anguish and pain of our lost home cannot be compared to the trauma and horror of the aftermath. When friends and sympathizers began to accuse one another. This must stop? It is easy to destroy the fabric that binds us in these times with unfounded allegations. And I wish to use this medium to request us to back off from the inquisitorial blame games and rhetoric.

My wife and I wish to state as follows:

  1. That contrary to what is on Facebook, the APC, did not burn our home, neither collectively nor individually nor by proxy. The leader of the APC in Benue State, and the North, Senator George Akume is my friend. We have historical and political memory stretching back decades that cannot be erased at a whim. And in my political ecology, I don’t replace real people with political identities. People are persons and cherished as persons always. Parties are merely alphabets that keep changing in our political firmament.
  2. I also absolve NEPA or whatever power holding baptismal name they are dignified with now. There was no power; several days in our home prior to the incidence. There was no security man on duty and there was nobody to put out the fire, when it started from a bedroom mattress, probably from a flame thrown in through the window from the back of the house! Not, only, do I absolve NEPA, I also absolve all other political parties and politicians, and clans and religious bodies in and around my home. Anybody could have done it. But deep inside me, I know that this unfortunate burning of my home must be accepted as an incident in the past, to be assimilated and filed away in sensory memory.
  3. I wish to appreciate the Benue people for peaceful pre-election conduct. I have no enemies who could have done such an evil thing. I am dedicated to peace so let nobody because of the burning my home stoke suspicion and fear. No life was lost! Only material properties and priceless memorabilia have been lost. I cannot shed tears for mere material properties when we have so many citizens as refugees in their country. These Internally Displaced, have lost everything. They deserve our tears, sympathy and love. Truth is; my vigilance and full consciousness have been surrendered to the Almighty, my protector.
  4. We should value life, friendship, honesty, loyalty, integrity and love. When we lose these priceless intangibles; we then, have reason to worry and cry, for that is when we measure less than real men and women.

Thank You.

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