Should I waste this Banza? is a chiiling narrative of an encounter with soldiers on Operation Golden Dawn today in the heart of Enugu City.
The soldiers on special duty in the South East mean business. Possibly, avoid army or DSS checkpoints in the South East, especially at night. A young, lanky soldier, apparently below 25, almost killed me about 8.37pm at Park Avenue, GRA, Enugu.
My offence was that I drove up to their barricade at the DSS State Headquarters, along Park Avenue. Immediately I saw soldiers standing, civil men and women kneeling on the tarmac, likely earlier victims, I stopped and contemplated my further moves.
He ran up to me and started raining abuses. I was surprised. I calmly asked him whether I should turn back. That now angered him. I quickly switched to silence, which now enraged him the more.
“You no dey talk, banza?” he shouted.
Gun corked, as he called another soldier, likely superior and demanded, ‘make I waste this banza.’
The superior came, looked me over and scolded me for trying to use the road.
“Idiot, turn and find another road,” he cursed.
As I made to reverse, the younger chap ran up again, and tried to yank open my door. He couldn’t contain his rage when he discovered that the doors were locked.
“Come down, idiot,” he yelled.
He peered into my car and snorted, ‘idiot, go. Because you dey drive jeep na him go make you come here this time.’
I said I was sorry. Perhaps, it escaped me that I had almost successfully managed them with silence.
“If you talk that sorry again, I go just waste you here and nothing go happen,” he said with every severity he could mister.
I reverted to my silence strategy.
Soon, he noticed that other vehicles behind me were quickly reversing and heading back. He chased one yellow bus with so much force and fury that I concluded he must be on some substance. Anyway, that presented me with an opportunity to slide into my car and slip away.
I have no doubt that what fires him is likely more of hate than duty, because I was completely compliant to his orders and unreasonable reasonings, so there was no reason for his rage.
I spoke to SOMEBODY shortly afterwards and he said: “…please, in the coming days, find a way to keep clear of those boys.
“Their briefing is an indoctrination of hatred by those who believe that the Igbo played a major role in profiling the Fulani and the relentless protestations leading to herder discomfiture so far.
“Don’t even rule out vengeance. So, keep clear of them for now…”
Another SOMEBODY said, “let us all work hard to outlive this junta.”
Should I waste this Banza?