Electronic Freedom

Electronic Freedom

She lost love at first sight, but married him nonetheless. On Facebook, she had fallen in love, with a profile picture of him holding a Nigerian flag in one hand and the other hand across his chest. And then she sent him a message, something about how his profile picture seemed like a symbol of hope, of a new dawn. She didn’t think he’d reply, given the myriad of comments that accompanied his updates, 150,000 on the average. But he replied. His reply ended with, “I’m coming to Ife for a function. Could we meet?” Half-excited, half-nervous, she replied, “Yes.”

And it was the same word she used when he asked her, in his hotel room, only meeting her in person for the first time, to marry him. She didn’t gasp, although she felt like gasping. She didn’t say ‘no,’ or ‘wait,’ or show surprise. She said yes. And she did not want to think that his face was older than how it looked on Facebook, or that at his age, 47, he was yet unmarried.

So when he became President, surprisingly, given the odds against him – he was from Southern Nigeria, and was from a new party – she became, of course, the First Lady.

She did not change her relationship status on Facebook. She left it the way it was, “In Progress.” By now, he was too involved with governance to update his status on Facebook, and so did not see how unchanged her relationship status was. Or that her status was usually a word.

Or that when he hit her for the first time, after she disagreed with his decision to appoint a man as Minister for Women Affairs, she updated her status to read “Hit.” Perhaps, because he did not see this, he hit her more, anytime she sounded or acted dissident. Dissidence to him meant more than one thing, as indefinable to her as to him.

Because her dissidence was indefinable, and because she was silent to his decisions as he was vociferous about them, she obliged when he asked her to wrap her hands around a pillar so that he could flog her. She had questioned his decision again. This time it was regarding the amount allocated for renovating their house. So he lashed her a dozen times, and for the second dozen, he stripped her blouse, and lashed her bare back.

And so, on the day he lashed her bare back, her status was “Bare.” It was September 30, 2010. Two hours later, her status became “Tomorrow.”

When tomorrow came, while he slept, at 1.00am, she took a rope, made it into a noose, and circled it around his head. Then she pulled it until it got to the pillar which she had held hours before. She circled the pillar with the rope, and kept circling, and circling.

Later, when the President was unavailable for his Independence Day broadcast, she updated her status, “Free.”

23 thoughts on “Electronic Freedom” by Emmanuel-Iduma (@Emmanuel-Iduma)

  1. Profile photo of Lade
    Lade (@Lade-A): Scribe - 16703 pts

    WOW! This is amazing. Simply written yet so powerful.
    I could feel the MC’s emotions all through. And yes, i can totally relate this to Nigeria.

  2. Profile photo of estrella
    estrella (@estrella): Scribe - 18102 pts

    This is simply riveting! You managed to capture Nigeria’s love-hate affair with her leaders in such a profound yet short piece! You get my vote dude!

  3. Profile photo of Seun-Odukoya
    Seun-Odukoya (@Seun-Odukoya): Head Wordsmith - 110834 pts



    You wanna know the best part??? The most memorable part(s) of this…?!?!?!??

  4. Profile photo of Mazi Nwonwu
    Mazi Nwonwu (@Fredrick-chiagozie-Nwonwu): Scribe - 19057 pts

    My own story aside, Dude! I will be voting for you. This rocks.

  5. Profile photo of RemiRoy
    RemiRoy (@RemiRoy): Scribe - 12486 pts

    Wow! truly amazing, well done!

  6. Profile photo of yetitweets
    yetitweets (@yetunde): Junior Writer - 2162 pts

    wow!!!!! captivating! I love it! Well done!

  7. Profile photo of Jefsaraurmax
    Jefsaraurmax (@jefsaraurmax): Scribe - 16079 pts

    Emmanuel,this is a very powerful story and it can be read on different levels.Thumbs up!

  8. Profile photo of inspire
    inspire (@inspire): Beginner - 654 pts

    Wow. Fantastic. Well written and very symbolic. Makes you think.

  9. Profile photo of abby
    abby (@abby): Junior Writer - 3807 pts

    Yes, very riveting tale; simple yet succinct.
    Well done!

  10. Profile photo of Uche Okonkwo
    Uche Okonkwo (@Uche): Writer - 9654 pts

    Very nice. I like!

  11. Profile photo of Seun-Odukoya
    Seun-Odukoya (@Seun-Odukoya): Head Wordsmith - 110834 pts

    AND YOU WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Profile photo of Scopeman
    Scopeman (@scopeman60): Head Wordsmith - 67753 pts

    Congratulations man, you really did deserve this. Well done!

  13. Profile photo of Mercy Ilevbare
    Mercy Ilevbare (@efearue): Junior Writer - 3437 pts

    Now I know why you won..Congratulations again..

  14. Profile photo of Fabian
    Fabian (@fabage): Newbie - 245 pts

    The best part for me is the title. Befitting and thoughtful. Nice one

  15. Profile photo of Kiah
    Kiah (@kiah): Head Wordsmith - 54801 pts

    Ohmigosh! Amazing tale! You do deserve to win!

  16. Profile photo of Adekunmi Ayinde
    Adekunmi Ayinde (@tmomo): Junior Writer - 1014 pts

    Emmanuel, I never knew you were this good, good story

  17. Profile photo of Joseph Omotayo
    Joseph Omotayo (@strongself): Scribe - 17736 pts

    This story is off the roof!!!! I love it. You tried well not to muddle tenses up. And you did that exactly good. Well done man.

  18. Profile photo of Lade
    Lade (@Lade-A): Scribe - 16703 pts

    Congratulations! I’m very happy you won. This story is ‘A+’ in creativity.

  19. Profile photo of Dr. Tansi Nigeria
    Dr. Tansi Nigeria (@internetpope): Newbie - 302 pts

    Congrats Guy! I wanted to be the first to congratulate you but couldn’t. Men! I loved your write up, Sincerely.

    Congrats once again. You are the guy to beat.

    Happy Independence!

  20. Profile photo of
    ibkinx (@): Newbie - 0 pts

    if you did not win i wonder who would have
    this is a very beautiful story with a cool title too.

  21. I have a confession to make: THIS IS THE STORY THAT LED ME TO NAIJASTORIES. And I’ll always remember the day I first read it in the newspaper. What imagination! What inspiration! What an analogy to a disillusioned but hopeful nation! (Abi I go call am country? Ha ha!) WELLest done, dear Emmanuel! This sure deserves more prizes, especially from the Facebook team. *winks*

  22. Profile photo of colotrends
    colotrends (@colotrends): Junior Writer - 1206 pts

    beautiful escape from hackneyed regulars, very creative and innovative as well. She reminds me of “A Poison Tree” by William Blake. Bottled in all her fury, sunned it and watered it and it grew by the day and then, she strikes!

  23. Profile photo of Gboyega Otolorin
    Gboyega Otolorin (@guywriterer): Head Wordsmith - 59121 pts

    I like d concept of this. But what do u mean when u say her dissidence was indefinable?

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