Monday, March 23, 2009

Oluwatoyin Chrstiana OLUWASESIN.

It was in Gombe state, Nigeria, 2 years ago, she was doing her job…. when she met her death.

'Toyin was a teacher at the Government day secondary school, Gandu.

On March 21 morning, she resumed for work as usual, it was during the examinations period, she was invigilating a class, we learn t she distributed the question papers and announced the commencement of the paper.

A few minutes into the session she observed that Fatsuma a female student was copying answers from a book concealed in a newspaper. Confiscating the newspapers and its hidden contents she dumped the lot on the teacher’s desk and some slips of paper containing Arabic writings floated to the floor. They were later confirmed to be pages of the Hadith and Koran, as soon as 'Toyin did this, the female student stood up began to scream Allahu Ahkbar! Allahu Ahkbar! The cheating female ran out of the classroom as the others joined her in the chant. The whole school was thrown into confusion.

When' Toyin saw that the female student had raised a false alarm, she decided to report the incident to the school principal Mallam Sadiq Mohammed.

Her husband said she also called him and told him about the chaos in the school. He in turn alerted a friend in the Gombe metropolis and the family friend promptly turned up in the school premises with uniformed police men but was rebuffed by the principal who said everything was under control.

As soon as the policemen retired, the Muslim students mobilized a huge crowd and demanded that 'Toyin be released to them by the principal, when threatened that his office would be burnt the Principal came out with 'Toyin in tow to face the mob. The Principal was helpless when the students seized her.

We learnt she was tied up, striped naked , beaten up and then a boy slit her throat with a knife, while this was going on, some other students went to burn her car, they brought the spare tire of her car, put it around her and set her ablaze.

After this, they also tried to kill her 10 month old baby, but thank God for a brave woman that agreed to sneak the baby out under her cloth.

It was also more saddening to hear that she had tendered her resignation and the 21st of March (the day she was brutally murdered) was to be her last day at the school. Her husband had secured a job appointment at the Federal Medical Centre in Abeokuta of Ogun State. Her husband was to pick her from Gandu in the last week of March.

I came across a ministry that are involved in seeing that justice is done concerning the deceased and her family, they have been fighting, praying, meeting and going lengths.... The details of her gruesome murder is here

I remember 'Toyin…….,we served (our 1 year National youth Service Corps program me, NYSC) together, we were in the Nigerian Christian Coppers Fellowship (NCCF) together.

'Aunty' we fondly called her, (she was the Assistant Secretary General of the NCCF, Lagos branch). I remember her agility… she was always up and doing and was very firm.

I remember the last time I was opportune to see her, she was gaily dressed (on her way from a function), we were at an alumni meeting, she was explaining she was now at Gombe state, (her husband had been transferred to work there). We all were discussing ideas of jobs she could do there, business opportunities in Gombe state etc......I didn’t know that was the last time we would see on this side of eternity.

Her death really troubled me and every time I remember how she was wasted I shudder.

I am not sure if the real perpetrators have been brought to book, or if her family has been given an official apology or if her children would see evidences that our nation was genuinely concerned and is sorry for the unfortunate incident that happened to their mother.

I am not sure if anything as been done to sanitize the society and children especially of the value of human lives and how it can never be right or justifiable to take another person's life in the name of religion.

I pray her death will not be 'for nothing', I pray her children will grow up and live in;

- A country where a lot of value is placed on a human being's life.
- A country were the barbaric and senseless killings of people in the name of religion would cease.
- A country where people respect the rule of law and where the law prevails

- A country that has laws that protect the right of an individual to life.

- A country where they could freely choose to live anywhere, walk anywhere freely and freely make friends without fear of being prejudiced, segregated, ostracised or even mobbed

I spoke with her husband not too long ago, (they are holding up fine he said), the family launched a foundation in her memory. Her children are doing very well.

We take consolation in the fact we believe Oluwatoyin has gone to better place, where she is watching, smiling, resting and waiting.

Oluwatoyin, we believe you lived for a cause, Good bye till we meet again at the side of our Lord Jesus!


NB: A lot was written and said about her death like here, and here

Monday, March 16, 2009

You will Laugh!

I got an email this morning and I thought to share it, I found it uplifting particularly because I woke up today feeling very,very, very blue.
The devil tried to depress me, reminding me of 'the stories of my life'; rubbing in my failures, the things that I still do not have in my life, that I have been good for nothing,..... I was running out of time etc. I woke up with these thoughts on my mind about 3:30am, I lost sleep afterward, and was sad till day break.

Thank God for prayers, I was able to 'encourage myself in the Lord' like David.
I am sure you have those question your ability, your enthusiasm and your faith.
I don't believe in avoiding the facts, but I believe in standing on God's side, with the winning team , I believe in agreeing with God, that " I will laugh at last, and that in some months, days or years, I would look back and laugh again!
Your experiences are just the distance between your story and your glory.
Read this, I believe it would bless somebody:

Dear Friend,In Genesis 18:13-14 we read: 'The Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say "Will I really have a child, now that I am old?" Is anything too hard for the Lord?"

Then in Genesis 21:2 we read 'Sarah became pregant and bore a son and said "God has brought me laughter" But between the first and the last laugh Sarah went through a wrenching time of disappointment and heartache. The 'love of her life,' Abraham, betrayed her to save himself. Abimelech, a heathen king, took her to his harem and would slept with her had God not stepped in to rescue her.

Yes like Sarah, between the first laugh and the last you'll do a lot of growing. You 'll celebrate your good times and pray for grace to survive your bad ones. Some days you'll feel like I can't go a step further, yet through it all you'll learn to trust God more than you ever dreamed possible.

Here's an important thought: when you share your story with others don't just tell them how you started or where you are today, tell them what God brought you through. Why? For those are the things they are struggling with too! King Abimelech's tent was in Gerea, which means the halting place.

There will be times when you'll feel as if your life has come to a complete halt; like you're getting nowhere. Maybe that's where you are today like me.
If it is, please know this God will be faithful to you! Not only will He bring you through, but like Sarah, you'll laugh again as you watch Him fulfill His promises in your life!
We must survive, You must survive as long as you faithfully trust in God, He will make you to laugh again. I pray that He will give you strength to overcome your wrenching time of disappointment and heartache.
Be strong in the Lord!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

2 truths, 1 lie meme ANSWERED!!!

This is long over due, I was tagged on the 2 truths-1 lie meme, I posted mine here

I must tender my unreserved apologies for not updating my blog in a long time, what were my reasons?........nothing really, I have worked on some things I wanted to post, but just did not get to posting them, I guess I lost my flow, but I have been enjoying reading all your beautiful posts.

Well, no one got the answers to the meme right..I was planning to give those who had the correct answers surprise gifts that would make even the GNG green with envy...LOL!

So here are my answers:

1) I was bugged in the school magazine when I was in the Universtiy is a truth!

It was my 4th year in the university......a friend brought my attention to the school magazine where i was bugged; it had my first name, a variant of my surname, my department, my year of study and where I live. It was something silly about me with 2 boyfriends, "getting all I wanted from them", and I should be satisfied and stop pretending etc......interestingly, I do not remember all now, but back then in school and for some years after I could recite the whole article for you by heart.

I need to emphasize here that I was a very quiet, bashful and scared student, my routine in school was classes-church fellowship-hostel-friends-classes. I didn't have much of a social life (I enjoyed spending time with my friends though)
So I was the last 'kind' of person you would expect those 'kind' of guys that wrote the magazine would know, talk less of bug, that bug really affected me, it came as a rude shock.
I still remember always feeling like the ground should open up and swallow me whenever I saw a copy of the magazine with students. I remember walking in to the campus and thinking everyone now knew me, everyone was pointing at my direction and that everyone was talking and gossiping about me.

I also heard some people in my school fellowship were saying all sorts about me, …..things like 'dont mind that sister, that is how some of them pretend" talks. I heard of how my topic was always top of agenda in hostel gists....and poor me, I didn't even have an idea of what the bug was about, I didn't even know what they were talking about.
I learnt some of my class mates decided to take it up, went as far as going to the SUG ( student union government) building to challenge those that wrote that article and others did a lot of other things.
Looking back now, I guess it was one of those things that toughened me up, I also knew the devotion of friends, their faith in me and the fact that some people believed in me unreservedly.

NB: I was told one of the editors of the magazine had some issues with a friend of mine and decided to use me to get to him( that friend's name was also mentioned in the bug too), whatever it was , I still wonder why it was me they choose to bug in the school magazine!

2) I have read the whole of my bible at least once before, I mean from Genesis to the LIE!

I guessed everybody would think this as the truth; I am ashamed to say that I have not been able to read my whole bible from genesis all the way to revelation. True, I have read a lot of the bible, taught bible classes, but I have never been able to finish reading the whole bible no matter how hard I tried. I also attempted the millennium craze of Cover2Cover, I never got around to finishing it.

I am humbled that a lot of people believe I've actually read my all through my bible.
I really hope to read my bible from genesis to revelations soon, and this time, not just as a religious act or to prove a point, but a study dedicated to knowing the thoughts of my father and my God.

3)I have fallen out of a very fast moving car on a major highway before is of course a truth!

I was still in primary school, in Lagos, I remember it was a Sunday, we were going back home from church, my father was driving, my mum seated beside him, I was sitting behind ( where we all know as "owner’s corner") , next thing I knew I was out of the car, flat on the floor on the high way! our car speeding ahead, I could see an oncoming vehicle behind me (I think it was a “Molue’ I don't remember very well).

My father stopped the car as soon as he could they raced to get me, but thank God I was not ground, smoothed or filed by the oncoming vehicle, and grateful I sustained only minor injuries iodine and cotton wool could solve.

I would be back soon.