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I remember fondly my mai ruwa. His name is Garba. Ever beaming with smiles. Garba, simple, unassuming with cherry mannerism. When we first moved into the estate, I went looking for a mairuwa down the street when our underground water pump suddenly stopped working. I saw many of them jostling for my attention. I was all alone in the six-bedroom house and I had to be very careful whom I invited into the house.

I ignored those who looked roguish or ruffian.  I chose Garba, something about him favored him. He seemed Relaxed, happy and cheerful. From then he became my regular mairuwa such that each time I walked down to where the mairuwas congregate, they knew I was looking for Garba. I sometimes had to wait for Garba to finish his supplies elsewhere. Maybe I was not the only one who saw the sunny side of Garba. If Garba had to travel home to see his wives, he had two wives and told me he was planning to have a third one, he found me a cool headed one to replace him for the period he would be away from Abuja.

Garba supplied water, cleaned and washed cars. I had so much conviction of the good in him that I gave him more and more freedom in the house. Garba came in and went as he pleased with deference. He filled water plastics in the kitchen, the six bathrooms including our bedroom and he never stole anything.

If I wanted to clean out the extra rooms for visitors, I called Garba. He gladly did the cleaning and I paid him.

Garba once saved me from burning my food. Garba switched off the gas Cooker! I was surprised he could. That day, I was outside attending to some Government Officials who took more time than I expected. I was racing back to switch off the gas, but Garba halted my haste by telling me he had already done that. In disbelief, I followed Garba to the kitchen to see he truly had switched off the gas. When I asked him how he knew where to turn off the gas, grinning he told me he used his sense to locate the exact switch.

You see Garba is from Katsina, which makes him Fulani.

I could leave Garba in my house while attending to someone at the gate.

I was not afraid that Garba would poison my food.

I was not afraid to be in the house all alone with Garba filling the water barrels.

I was never afraid to leave Garba in the inner wing of the house filling water barrels or cleaning the wing.

When we moved from our Estate to another, Garba came to assist in the movement of luggage from the house to the vehicle. He did not pilfer anything. I gave him most of my jerry cans, things I did not need and what he requested.

Each time I went back to the Estate afterwards, the first person I asked for was Garba to give him money and ask after his family. On more than one occasion, Garba had trailed my car unawares to where I parked just to say hello.

Garba is Fulani. If I have to judge him, I would say he would never hurt a fly.

That is why I do not understand all these killings. Those killing people are certainly not people like Garba. If there is reprisal attacks, people like Garba could get killed for transgressions they know nothing about.

I am dismayed that lives are no more sacred or sacrosanct. People are slaughtered with so much sadism.

Villages sacked inviolably. People massacred like chickens. So much misdemeanors and wrong doings unchecked going on. Lord have mercy!


Why are some people so thirsty for blood? Infringing, violating and transgressing anyhow!

May God console the families of those who have lost their loved ones in all these butcheries.

May peace reign again in Nigeria.

If it is because of our individual sins and the transgression of our Nation, may God forgive our trespasses?

May the love of God dwell richly in our Hearts, may his fear rule our hearts.

May we have the uncomplicatedness of Garba and love one another again as one Nation.




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