Boko Haram has destroyed peaceful Borno State. When I tell people Borno state was one of the most beautiful states in Nigeria, they never always believed me.
Because now it’s been taken over and destroyed by some group of undesirable elements called Boko Haram.
Borno state is one state many people hardly hear about before the emergence of Boko haram insurgents.
It is home to so many people including expatriates. And people from different ethnic groups in Nigeria!
What many Nigerians don’t know is that before the emergence of Boko Haram, Borno state had suffered a terror group called ‘Maitesina.’
They were a dreaded group made up of mainly young boys between 15 and 25 years of age or even less. They killed and maimed people.
I recall one time my father had to rush down to our school to pick my siblings and I home. I was too young to understand why there was pandemonium in the school premises.
The ‘Maitesina’ group were operating somewhere in town. They were purportedly killing people and decapitating some Christians too.
After a while (I can’t remember how long they terrorized people!) the group was contained and nothing was heard from them again.
I am sometimes tempted to conclude that Boko Haram is the rebirth of Maitesina! Only these present ones are more deadly!
I was born in Borno state and even though my parents relocated to Lagos state when I was very young, I still have vivid memories about it.
Those ‘Maitesina’ group was mainly why my father had to relocate. He abandoned his businesses and contacts till today!
One very remarkable thing about that state is that the indigents were very pleasant people. And never for once attacked us with tribal remarks!
I went to University of Maiduguri primary school (UNIMAID) and there I had the opportunity to study with children of high profile Nigerians.
If there was any state in Nigeria where food and basic social amenities was in abundance, it was Borno state.
There was constant electricity. There were good roads and security round the clock. Armed robbery was unheard of.
When I traveled to Ghana for the first time, it immediately reminded me of Borno state because it looked peaceful and quiet.
I recall going to the market with my mom one day and while we were shopping, she inadvertently dropped her purse on the floor!
Neither I nor my mom knew what had happened until we went into a shop to buy an item. And when it was time to pay, voila! The purse went missing.
My mom panicked and I just stood there staring at her not knowing what to do. She dashed across the street to ask people if they found any purse.
While she was asking, (and because the people were such a kind people, they joined in on the search) someone emerged with my mom’s purse!
He found it lying ‘humbly’ on the side of the road. And he had been going round the market searching for the owner.
Till today, I have never seen such a magnanimous act; it was like a movie scene acted on the market streets of ‘Sabon tasha.’
This is just an illustration of how good the people were. And how the people were eventually overtaken by blood-sucking demons!
Borno state was the only place in Nigeria where you slept with your doors wide open till day break; ask anybody who knows if you doubt me.
Since we left, I have never had the chance to go back there again. I want to go back and look around and see what is left of my beautiful Borno state.