by K. Giwa
I’ve been meaning to put this down for a while, but I thought that my case might be termed ‘lucky’ since some people died and some have been rendered handicapped because of the elections…
My name is Lola and am a serving corps member in Lagos, where fortunately there was little or no record of violence. However, we have our own stories too.
My ordeal started on the Friday before the cancelled NASS elections. We had been told to converge at our collation centre. I got there, and to my utmost shock it was a school with nothing to sleep on but the bare floor. We were left to the mercy of mosquitoes with no form of security whatsoever. I was perplexed. I lived in Ikoyi and my collation centre was in Ikeja (my PPA is in Ikeja). There was no way I could go home, and didn’t see myself sleeping under such terrible conditions. Some people were already making alternative plans on where to sleep and others were making themselves comfortable. I started going through my phone book to see if I knew someone who lived close to my collation centre.
After what seemed like forever, Voila! I saw Femi’s name and remembered he stays in Ikeja. Without thinking, though I hadn’t spoken to him in a long time, I dialled his number and explained the mess I was in. I didn’t forget to mention that I had a friend with me. He said he would get back to me in five minutes and hung up. True to his word he called back in five minutes and said we could come over. Elated, we got a cab and made our way to his house. On our arrival, he gave orders to the cook to make us a meal, we cleaned up and got ready for bed.
I must have slept for a while when suddenly I felt someone fondling my breasts. ‘This is not possible,’ I thought to myself, but it didn’t stop. I woke up with a fright and to my surprise, Femi was beside me and then I heard my friend Bisi scream. I realised someone was with her too. I struggled, but he was very powerful. He forced himself on me and didn’t let go till he was done.
By the time Femi and his accomplice stood up and left the room I was crying and so was Bisi. We didn’t say a word to each other but I was in as much agony as I imagined she was. I must have cried myself to sleep because Bisi woke me up and said it was 6:00am and we had to leave. I didn’t see Femi or his friend, but the driver was already waiting to take us to our collation centre. The drive was short and silent. As soon as the car stopped in front of our collation centre, the driver gave me an envelope. We got out of our car, and he drove away.
I couldn’t look at Bisi and I was filled with guilt. It was all my fault. I shouldn’t have taken her there. Why did he do that? As if she read my mind, she said “Lola it’s not your fault, we will be fine”. I burst into tears, sad for both of us.
As if nothing had happened Bisi asked me playfully, “so what’s in the envelope?”
Opening it, I saw a note. “I’m sorry”, it said. There was also 200,000 naira. All I could think of was the fact that he has ‘paid’. I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing.
*All the names in the above story have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.