Tiv Ethnic group from Benue State.
The last time Terver spoke with Mama, she said she was working hard for their survival. Why then are the police asking him to come to Makurdi station? He wondered.
That Night of early 2010 when terrorists attacked their house at Bama ended life’s smooth sail. As demonic chants grew louder, they implored on papa to run with them, but he refused. “What use is a man alive without properties?” he said.
They hadn’t gone far when their house burst into flames. Their one room village house in Gboko isn’t as cosy as that one, but that’s all they had. “Let me stop school and help raise money,” Terver begged mama. “So that you’ll become helpless in life like myself?” she protested.
Terver blamed papa for their woes, for choosing to invest in someone’s land, abandoning their village. And the government, what did they do for mama Dooshima? They raised her hopes with a programme, ‘Women Empowerment’, only to end up giving her a bag of rice and salt. She sold some and used the money she got to begin hawking fruits. Mama often hawked till late into the night.
Arriving at the station as demanded, two policemen sat over the counter, one sleeping and the other punching his phone.
“Good day sir,” Terver greeted
“Ehe? Na wetin?” he responded.
“Someone told me to come and see my mother.”
“Oh! Na you be that ashawo pikin?” he handed Terver a pen, and a book, “Write your name and wetin carry you come,” he said and left.
His words still shocked Terver, “Mama? A prostitute?” His hands shook as he wrote. When mama came out, one cheek was swollen and bruises bathed her body. They had beaten her up. And what was her crime? Working hard for our survival?