Next, we heard heavy footsteps running towards the direction of our rooms [staff quarters]. Trust what followed. Doors were locked. Bolted. Light went off. Silence.
A few minutes later, we were snapped back to reality by voices of the strangers.
Apparently, one of my colleagues successfully provided shelter for some of the people who had come running towards our rooms. They begged for shelter and she obliged.
The strangers were night travellers. They had heard rumours of arm robbery attack some miles away, which prompted them [and some other drivers/travellers] to run out of their vehicles for safety. One of the closest spot was the fenceless secondary school where we were serving [NYSC].
That was not the first time we have had strangers driving into the school at night seeking for refuge from the terrors of armed men on the highway. There were also cases of strangers dropping in at odd hours looking for ways to lure students out of the school compound... until a group of senior students shout the stranger out of the compound.
Don't get me wrong, Nassarawa-eggon is a relatively peaceful community.
It is possible for armed men to drop into a secondary school in northeast Nigeria and whisk kids away into sambisa forest. Most schools -- especially government-funded boarding schools-- lack a lot of things, including adequate security.
The case of over 200 girls that were kidnapped a year ago, for me, has brought to light many issues that is wrong with Nigeria and how our government leaders run the system.
Let us not loose sight of those important things.
A year ago:
"Is this #BringBackOurGirls campaign real? Are you sure those girls were really kidnapped?"
Those were some on the questions in the minds of many people a year ago, when the news of the Chibok kidnapping was first announced. Someone actually confronted me with similar questions... which I had no answers to then.
There were those who passionately protested for the girls to be rescued. Amidst opposition, their attitude said: we are here to brazen it all out.
Those who traveled to the community reported what they saw.
Then there was this:
Pictures. More pictures. Some were real, some had elements of photo-shop. It almost became a distraction. In public forums, after an event, participants were mobilised to take a group picture holding up the famous #BringBackOurGirls postcard.
But this, like the hashtag boom on twitter cannot be faulted. At least, it was relevant enough to soon draw global attention. The shame of a nation became a global discourse. How can over 200 girls be kidnapped from a school without any declaration of a state of emergency?