Those days prior to the death of Gen. Sani Abacha were dark days in Nigeria.
I like many other teenagers back then knew the days were dark but were hardly affected.
Whatever I knew about those days was droplet of conversations I picked from my mother, family, neighbors and on the streets.
The troubles of the nation were of little or no concerns for the head of teenage me.
I remember the moment his death was announced, the jubilation in the streets, and the excited conversation between neighbors.
Mum was in town that week and back in the days she worked in Iseyin, Oyo State.
When she told me not to go to school as she was not sure of the reactions of the military to the news, I raised an eye but still obliged her.
She saved me from one hell of torture.
For those who went to school that day, till date I still wonder what manner of devil possessed them.
The school’s administrative office had announced that the Commander in Chief of the Armed forces and Head of State had passed the night before.
Why he bothered with the announcement of news we had all danced about in our various homes, I wonder.
While he made the announcement, the students laughed.
The ex ruler of the nation even though was known as the devil’s incarnate himself had just died.
The students stood right in front of a uniformed man and laughed when he announced that his boss had passed.
What an insult!
An insult to the AO, an insult to the military and most definitely an insult to the school which also happens to be a military school.
For this act of disrespect, the students must suffer.
And suffer they did.
Let’s just say that day a lot of them still remember and would never forget.
Because how do you forget being made to kneel down on stones under the scorching sun.
Crawling with the kneels right to your classrooms.
Or the numbness of the hands from the strokes of canes received.