You know something , If you have stayed in Lagos for most of your life like me It really makes you far removed from a lot of things happening in other parts of the country.
We live in a time where we see how Boko haram and the infamous gun toting herdsmen have run riot in Northern Nigeria. But can we really relate? I don’t think I really could until this happened to someone I know.
In terms of overcoming real life nightmares , Ikenna’s story has to be top of the pile. I really relate with it because I knew him before the attack.We were students of the same school, so I knew how he looked , I knew his character. I liked the way Ikenna always had a reassuring smile to give.
Hearing this story shook me to my core. I mean a man had faced the barrel of the Boko Haram gun and lived to tell the tale!
I really have been at a loss as to where to start from to tell this important story but I guess it’s best to start from the beginning.
This story is being told from Ikenna’s eyes and point of view. All words in quotes are his. It is told from the time Ikenna started his job at Diamond Bank Mubi , Adamawa to the time of the terrible church massacre and a few years after.
I was once a fresh faced good looking man in my twenties ready to take on and conquer the world. Things started to look up when I landed my first meaningful job in a Bank.
Finally I can start saving up to marry the love of my life! Thank God! I buckled my belt and started grinding away. No time! But you know what they say about doing good work right ? You’re rewarded with more work! After a few years I was transferred to my Bank’s branch in the Mubi , Adamawa as a Relationship Manager.
Things were really looking up.
To contextualize things a bit. Mubi is a town in Adamawa North Central District. It’s about 96KM away from Chibok. The girls hadn’t been abducted yet (I heard they were abducted a some time after my attack ).
But up till I was attacked we only heard of sporadic attacks and never in this area.
The Fateful morning:
We were at Church that Sunday morning , 14 of us. Attendance had dwindled in the parish because there were rumors Churches were becoming targets and people had started to stay away.
The day of the massacre is still vividly etched in my memory.
I don’t know if it was a premonition or my sixth sense but I had this inkling .
Something really felt off.
We are praying this moment in the next moment these terrorists ran into the church blasting AK-47 assault rifles and shouting “ALLAH HU AKBAR!“. As soon as I saw them I knew it was over. I quickly said what I thought will be my last prayer.
“Blood Of Jesus cover me“.
We all hit the floor.
Bullets hit me in the face and my whole jaw gave away. I could feel my tongue burning.
I touched it and there was blood everywhere.
While I was on the floor I had to play dead until they finished.This singular action saved my life.
I lay there till an ambulance came and we we were taken to the hospital in Central Mubi . Sadly I was the only survivor. All my friends in church died.
I was flown to London to have multiple reconstructive surgeries. I recall asking the Doctor to hand me a mirror after the first surgery.
“I looked like a very different person”.
There is a huge scar that on my chin and my lips have been damaged completely.
I still have my laugh but I’ll never be able to smile like I used to again . I’ll take that with both hands. You see I have the chance to live again , I remain a hopeful person and I haven’t given up on life. I have forgiven my attackers for my Soul’s sake.
The Love Of My Life:
My sweetheart and I got married! Ady has always loved me with and without my scars. I love her too!
One of the biggest questions in my head post surgery was If she would still love me. Silly me , silly question. She answered my deepest doubts with her unwavering love. I still feel like her handsome prince till today.
Thank you for Loving me Babe.
We live in Houston now and we have started a new phase in life.
We have a lovely son too! He is such a precious gift. He even came loaded with my smile!
I am Thankful for my life. I have family and people around me who are my support system.
In 2012 my life could easily have been wasted by the hands of Shekau’s killers.
But today I’m so grateful I have so much to live for.
Below is an excerpt of an interview Ikenna had at CNN . He spoke about his ordeal at the hands of Shekau’s Killers.