DOZ Issue 29 March 2018 - Page 7

The Agony of the Woman Oppressed Eturuvie Erebor I was locked up in the cell, awaiting a chance to call my family. I was a woman oppressed and in agony. I had been wronged and I wanted justice! But soon I had to put aside my plight as another woman was violently thrown inside the already crowded cell. As she entered she began to wail. The aggressive barbaric women closed in on her ready to tear her to pieces. “Why are you here?!” They demanded in tones that revealed they could not wait to pounce on her and start beating her. As I watch quietly from a corner, I prayed silently that they would not beat her. I could not bear to watch it. I wasn’t sure what satisfaction they derived from it, but it was inhumane and animalistic as far as I was concerned. The poor thing was still crying so she could not reply audibly at first and then the lady who was the president of the cell shouted at her to speak up. Now, she was really frightened and wiped her eyes. “I am not a criminal.” She began. I did not doubt it. I was not a criminal but here I was, my only offense being that I was poor. I felt sure that was her only offense too. “So why are you here?!” They demanded to know. “I went to my shop and when I returned, my two sons, were not at home. The neighbours informed me that while I was away, my sons had gone to the house next door belonging to a wealthy chief to pluck mangoes from his tree. The chief asked that they be detained, and he called the police to come and take them away to the police station. I was told they were brought here to Ekpan police station and I immediately rushed here. When I arrived, I saw them behind the desk. I told the policeman on duty that I was their mother, and he said they had been waiting for me and he opened the cell and threw me in.” “How old are your children?” The president of the cell asked. “Six and seven years old.” The woman replied and burst into tears. The president of the cell must have sympathised with her because no one touched her, rather they entered a debate on the evil chief who ordered the arrest of little children and the equally evil police who had obviously had taken a bribe to arrest the children and throw their mother in the cell. As I sat in silence and watched and listened, it occurred to me for the first time that my being in the cell was not about me. God had allowed me to be detained so I could experience first-hand the plight of the poor voiceless woman in Nigeria which is perhaps like those experienced by women in most developing nations of the world. The objective of The Nengi Project is to be a voice to women who are oppressed not just in Africa but in every part of the world by exposing the act and the perpetrator(s). DOZ Magazine March 2018 7 «