“WHERE IS OUR BENUE” WRITTEN BY LINUS AJENE, IN MEMORY OF THE DEPARTED SOULS OF THE MIDDLE BELT

“WHERE IS OUR BENUE” WRITTEN BY LINUS AJENE, IN MEMORY OF THE DEPARTED SOULS OF THE MIDDLE BELT REGION

LINUS WAS ALSO A FINALIST OF THE TONY TOKUNBO FERNANDEZ INTERNATIONAL ONLINE POETRY COMPETITION 2018

 

WHERE IS OUR BENUE

For some days (if not weeks) or months or rather years now, I have got my torchlight looking for our BENUE – the BENUE of many years ago where goats and lions traded in the same market and they could make peaceful transactions including trade by barter and the atmosphere would still maintain her tranquil breeze that makes everyone smiles affectionately; but I have not seen that ancient, glorious BENUE. So, where is our BENUE.

Where is our BENUE? The BENUE where I only read about killings from books and I once told SAM, my friend that, “this must be a make-belief story; how can a man kill a fellow man” when I read the story of killings from books and newspaper, and SAM would say in his natural pragmatic way, “TOM, I believe it happens”. I only got to agree with SAM when I got to Borno State, but now killings have become the daily news headline in BENUE. I ask, where is our BENUE?

I can no longer sleep. When I close my eyes, I hear the voice of children and women wailing all over the street of Okpoga, seeking justice, crying about their lives made short and their dreams got shattered. The street of Okpoga is covered with plenty ghosts from Logo, Guma, Agatu, Gwer West, Gwer East, Omusu and other places of the killing. They are crying from Okpoga to Otukpo and to Gboko, seeking where to tender their case. They are homeless ghosts scattered around with tears flooding the streets and mixing with the pool of blood in River Benue. This is not our BENUE. Tell me, if you have mouth to talk, where our BENUE is?

Our River Benue is no longer the place of tourism and fishing. No water there anymore-it is now River of blood, the blood of the innocents. Our lakes and spring waters have rather become pools of fresh blood, no more water and no single food in our basket anymore; the basket is full of the heads of men, women and children. Smoke everywhere; but can the smoke take the cry of the innocent souls to Heaven?
I am still waiting for your answer, where is our BENUE?

Who had stolen our BENUE? Who had bedeviled our BENUE? Who had bewitched our BENUE?

Where is our BENUE.

———
Abah, Linus Ajene was born in Ogo Oluwa L.G.A. of Oyo State and brought up in Idiri Okpoga in Okpokwu L.G.A. of Benue State where he has his biological root. He is a 400L student of Benue State University studying English/Education with the ambition of become an African Literature scholar as he progresses in life with time. He was the first runner-up of the 2017 Albert Jungers Poetry Prize and was also shortlisted for the 2018 Tony Tokunbo Fernandez International Poetry Competition. He is the current President of Writers League, Benue State University chapter. He write poems and prose-fictions.

 

linus

About Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Romania, Malta and Nigeria and has visited over 22 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over five years in a row He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World
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