Where Then Shall We Run To?

by Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye

With so much money coming in from oil alone, does it not amount to outright sadism that the current government has not done anything to add the slightest bit of value to the lives of the people since it imposed itself on Nigerians through a massively rigged election six years ago? Instead, they unceasingly descend on the people with clearly punitive policies like incessant increases in fuel price. Through these insensitive and soulless policies, they compel the pauperized people to subsidize their insufferable inefficiency and unabated corruption.

Indeed, it is not yet too late to reverse this current decay and commence the process of fixing this country before we degenerate into an anarchic situation. Nigerians in the Diaspora who feel indifferent to what is happening at home, should pause awhile and ponder what it would be like to be welcomed home one day with this kind of ordeal. What of friends of Nigeria who daily rebuke us for not recognizing the “great achievements” being churned out by Gen Olusegun Obasanjo in Nigeria. Well, I think they should better to put in a word for their friend, the implacable Emperor in Abuja. At least, he has already accumulated so much for himself, his countless children and wives. Time has come for him to devote some of the billions of dollars realized from the sale of oil to fix the country. It is not too much to ask.

In Nigeria, industries are closing up due to unceasing power failure, high cost of gas due to countless price increases (in an oil producing country). There is repeated retrenchment of hardworking junior employees in the civil service, while the top officials whose salaries can pay all the junior workers put together, are left to go on stealing with utmost impunity. Obasanjo has countless ministers and aid, but many of them are assigned overlapping function, just to keep them there. Some just idle way there answering Special Advisers of Special Assistants, going home with fat salaries and incredibly huge estacodes from countless, frivolous travels.

Graduates are roaming the streets with no jobs. Schools are decaying due to lack of basic infrastructure. Libraries and laboratories are virtually empty. Teachers have been driven out of the country into better managed (though poorly endowed) nations because of this government’s anti-intellectual stance. There are no good roads to transport goods and services. The poverty and hunger in the land today are simply killing..

In the midst of all these, government has practically declared a war on the long-suffering citizens of Nigeria. It is trying to create a model city in Abuja with the blood of its poor citizens. Which is more important: human or physical development? If you beautify cities without developing the people, the cities will one day degenerate to the people’s level. Today, citizens who had secured approvals to build houses and shops before this government came in are wantonly rendered homeless by arrogant and soulless officials, and given no alternative places of abode. For instance, in the recent demolitions of buildings and business premises, which took place in Kubwa, Abuja, some people lost their homes, places of business, and even their Church where they could go to worship and get succour. Now, many of them are hiding with all their frustrations, shame and pain, in uncompleted buildings which would also be demolished soon. Poorly paid, and living in very harsh business climate, where can they source the funds to at least move their families to their villages, where they may not even have built any house? They have become refuges and destitute in their own country. The difference is that, in their case, no one cares.

Indeed, these are the terrible situations that breed the horrible men that has now turned round to become the nation’s nightmare.

Indeed, Prof Chinua Achebe is right: “This is an example of a country that has fallen down; it has collapsed. This house has fallen.”

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Anonymous January 21, 2006 - 1:19 pm

this is a good work

ib September 14, 2005 - 11:55 am

Excellent written.mr id or ben and jeremiah should lean to respect other opinin

prince kennedy Iyoha September 14, 2005 - 11:54 am

Hello Mr. Ben.

Its unfortunate that my rejoinder has made you react as to rain insult on my person.

In a country like Nigeria with over more than a hundred million people it is precias that we have different schools of thought.

Civilized people like you Mr. Ben and Jeremiah should lean to respect other opinions different from yours.

I have read through rejoinders in this community and many of the contributions have some kind of mistakes or another.

Meanwhile I am not English and do not asume to be perfect like the above mentioned persons.

Beside EnglishI can write Spanish Portuguese and France. I am of the opinion that both of you can do the same too.

I will not like to bring down my integrity by entering your games of words.

Warmest regards.

Anonymous September 14, 2005 - 8:12 am

Hello Mr. Ben.

Its unfortunate that my rejoinder has made you react as to rain insult on my person.

In a country like Nigeria with over more than a hundred million people it is precias that we have different schools of thought.

Civilized people like you Mr. Ben and Jeremiah should lean to respect other opinin different from yours.

I have read through rejoinders in this community and many of the contributions have some kind of mistakes.

Meanwhile I am not English and dont asume to be perfect like the above mentioned persons.

Beside English I can write Spanish Portuguese and France. I am of the opinin that both of you can do the same.

I will not like to bring down my integrity by entering your games of words.

Warmest regards.

Anonymous September 13, 2005 - 4:36 pm

I find the stories hard to believe cos they are painful experiences that can only be carried out by people totally heartless but I agree that the house has fallen. I would love to post this on my blog….

Ben September 13, 2005 - 9:42 am

To our brothers who have chastised this Prince Iyoha man because of his English and spelling you may wish to change your anger to sympathy. This man is obviously one of the many victims of our deplorable educational system. He may also be dyslexic since he often scrambles even the letters of his own name. Let us sympathize and not chastise.

Anonymous September 12, 2005 - 8:01 am

TO Iyoha or Cristobboy or both

I am not aware that anyone has asked you IN ANY MAIL HERE whether Iyoha and Cristobboy are one and the same. But you chose to tell us that you are by refuting what no one has accused you of. Any discerning person should have known that all this while. Your English and warped thoughts are all the same. You are part of Nigeria's problems. People like you should not appear in decent sites like this. Go back to the jungle where your likes are and stop polluting this site with your sickening presence and crude write-ups. Write your own article instead trying to use other people's write-ups to seek cheap relevance. You make me so sick to the pit of my stomach!

You are either a spoil-sport trying to distract attention from the issue at hand or an oughtright irresponsible fellow seeking for cheap atention.

cristboby September 10, 2005 - 4:27 pm

Reply to comment 31.

The answer to your question about the Identity of Cristboby and kennedy is NO. we are not the same person and do not live in the same place. infact i don't know the above mentioned person. However i was expressing my view about the article" Where Then Shall We Run To".

You are right that robbery of anykind is an inresponsible act and most be condemed by all. What i think you do not understand is that a hungry man is an angry person and could do anything to survive.

I have lived in the barracks all my life because my father was a policeman that spent most of his time fighting crime. therfore i know what i am saying when i say that crime in general and arm robbery in particular is a disgrace to any society.

I read about the menas of arm robbery in this day magazine in my own city Benin . Even the police headqueters in Benin was under saga by arm bundits.

What i am trying to say in my contribution is that the government of obj is not responsible for all the ills in our society and that many nigerians do encourage this acts by their selfish attitudes which i hope should stop to pave way for a civilized society.

jeremaih September 10, 2005 - 8:03 am

who is kenndy iyoha and cristboby are they one and the same person I belive that person should render and unsolicted apology to mr Ejikonye who has done a wonderful job exposing the perils and danger on how our society nigeria has turned to in recent time There is no where in the world crime or armed robbery is condoned or accepted it is against the norm of society and civilisation in spain and else where. mr iyoha should stop talking irresponsibly it is absurd to think of that.

Bobby September 9, 2005 - 7:20 pm

very touching article. The tune and language of kennedy iyoha is unacceptalbe i quite agree with ID kenndy should read properlycomprehend before writing any rejoinder it is appauling.

Anonymous September 8, 2005 - 5:08 am


Anonymous September 7, 2005 - 7:03 pm

Its sad that some people have suspended their belief to such an extent as to disbelieve this story and think it sensational.The sad truth is that this is really happening in our country everyday.He just mentioned a little of what happens on the road.One should also take a visit to our Universities and see the havoc cultism is wrecking there.

Mr.Ejinkonyeyou have a good job writing these down.I can only implore our fellow Nigerians to always pray for our dearly beloved nation for that is only where our help can come from.

Anonymous September 7, 2005 - 12:48 pm

what breaks my heart isn't the simple-yet-incomprehensible cruelty of these stories or the deplorable depth to which our beloved land has sunk or even the mindless apathy with which nigerians who live IN nigeria regard these stories (they are now thoroughly desensitized).

what breaks my heart is the possibility that in the event that things could be done to improve the socioeconomic conditions at home to make it such that people don't feel such a need to STEAL AND KILL just to feed their children garri 3 times a day… even if this is possible i fear that these vagabonds will continue their madness.

that's what truly breaks my heart. we have turned into a reprobate nation.

cristboby September 7, 2005 - 9:02 am


emeka September 7, 2005 - 1:14 am

one more reason Nigeria will long for my presence…….just gotta get my mum and siblings out of there fast…….

prince kennedy Iyoha September 6, 2005 - 8:55 am

Reply to article 23.

The menas of arm robbery is a universal affair. Nigerians most lean to be sincere to one another and the civil servants like the police and other office funcionals should desist from making life impossible for the comon nigerian that uses that services through bribe taking.

When anybody living in Europe or America needs any document from nigeria the person will be made to pay more than required for such documents.

The reality here is not what people think back home. many brothers here dont work and had to depand of charity for survival. back home there are no segrigations or discrimination because of the colour of your skin like we have here.

I can tell you more of this problems because i am a founder and president of an ONG called (CARE) here in Spain which means Comunidad Africana Residente en Espaa. (i.e) Africa Comunity Resident in Spain. we have programs with the help of the spanish governmentto help many Africans intergrate into the society.we offer spanish classessocio residence for those that don't have a place to stay free legal service for our people programs to help fight against zenofobia ricsm and mafias that brings our girls from nigeria to prostitute here in the streets of Europe we offer cursos to enablre this girls to lean some trade for easy intergration to the society and to help them establish when they eventually retune to nigeria also cultura programs to promote Africa culture here in spain.

About three mouths ago the spanish authority offerd an oppotunity for many immigrante that are indocumented to regulate their ilegal situation many could not provide the needed document necesary because of the price asked from their friends and family to help them get police report that they dont have criminal record in nigeria.

We need to stop our selfish attitudes and lean to give a helping hand to those in need many of this so called arm robbers are forced to their present situation by some selfish attitude of our people.

Finally all this inmorale way of life will stop if every nigerian can have bread on their table three times daily.

Anonymous September 5, 2005 - 3:53 pm

It may feel nice to stay in the comfort of far away europe and america and dismiss the hell nigerians see daily on our highways as untrue. Just call a relation in lagos and he will tell you what is stated in this article is even an understatement.

But if you want contiue to remain in your illusion just pray that the next time you are in nigeria and inside a bus that this reality does not confront you.but when it happens to you or your relations back home and you rush down here to inform us we will be nice enough to inform you that you are relating fiction to us. Better wake up nigeria has become too dangerous for slience.

Nga d

when it does and you tell us

Anonymous September 5, 2005 - 11:42 am

it's an excellent piece of narrationclealy showing the state of emergency that exist in our b-loved country. yet i'll like to say some of this problems our more individualistic that as aresult of the situation in nig.wats stop stop them from robbing withoutperforming these types of genocide. i think there is the need for the individual to look inword and see how much of a beast he/she has bcome. is it the the state or the home he or she comes from.yes we all know there is the need for the government to do somethingbut mthe question is is it economic hardship that will make u rape amd kill impunitythis house has collapsed but it can be rebuiltwe should not fool ourself that our problems are purely physicalthere is spiritual the spiritul also and it's not the government that will help us ssolve those

Anonymous September 5, 2005 - 10:39 am

How can someone who clamed to be a Nigerian run down its country this way.

Anonymous September 5, 2005 - 10:37 am

smart observation mr Obi

Anonymous September 5, 2005 - 10:36 am

I Think mr Obi has made an important point here.

the story is so sensational for anybody to beleive.

Obi O. September 4, 2005 - 4:52 am

Good article and good writer. However the minute details of the recitation of "facts" of the stories lead me to the conclusion that the writer embellished the accounts. In my profession we know that even eye-witnesses to such sordid violence as recounted here in the face of such trauma do not recall the events so vividly unless they have photographic memories.

cristboby September 2, 2005 - 11:45 am

who are you mr id.are you a pastore

BAMIDELE AKINBOHUN September 2, 2005 - 7:42 am

It is a pity that this the king of unsecured life we live here in nigeria.we only manage to survive by just a stroke of luck in our usual daily activities.i want to seize this medium to pray for gods care and mercy for those affected in this crude and unhealthy situationand i know that by gods grace nemesis would catch up with evil doers in this country in jesus nameamen.

Famous Amos September 1, 2005 - 5:53 pm

What a shame even with democracy our country is still rocking in bondage.This problem of robbery and coruption is from the top.There is no value for life in nigeria.I recommemd the government should allow his citizen to have guns so we can protect ourselves in any situation.Just imagin if those robbers knows we have guns they will rather rob the banks like it is in the develop world.Our lawmaker should make a law that allow the citizen of nigeria to own firearms (guns).Thanks…Amos.

ID September 1, 2005 - 12:45 pm


I cannot but be exasperated by the rambling incoherent and totally offensive comments of this fellow. He is a perfect example of how to abuse a distinguished forum like this and drag it down to his level where motor-park and gutter language hold sway. His English appears to be the worst I have read in recent times. He has no regard for any law of syntax. His English is as offensive as his warped and crude logic.

I want to call the attention of the Editors of this medium to elements like this Iyoha. I noticed that to just one article he has thrown up three rejoinders all totally outside the point of discourse. Does it mean that anyone with just an access to a computer is free to punch out any trash and post it to us here to read Is this site no longer being moderated I am not advocating censorship by a forum like this should at least be distinguished with a character.

If this fellow has an axe to grind with pastors he should go and look out for them in their churches and not come here to act as a spoil-sport and distraction as we ponder a very chilling report of the nation's progressive decay graphically related to us by the brilliant and conscientious journalist UGOCHUKWU EJINKEONYE. It is sickening that this Ijoha fellow was not touched one bit by such a gory incident that happened in his own country. Such light-minded fellows should have no place here. Who knows how he even sneaked into Europe and what he does there presently Who knows what he was doing in Nigeria before relocating to Europe assuming he is not lying about his place of abode because his subtle apologia for this horrible men of the night is becoming grossly suspicious It is clear that he is just out to make light of a very serious matter with far-reaching dire implications to the nation's health. First he was accusing Ugochukwu without any evidence of possessing too many flashy cars and posh houses. But yet the person he is falsely accusing is only a humble sincere journalist struggling each day like other Nigerians in the impossible country that Obasanjo rules to make a living. But assuming that that is even true what has it got to do with the robbery attack on the way to Abuja When has it become an offence to possess cars and houses through dint of hard work What is this fellow talking about

My advice to him is that the Pastors are not his problem. He should rather go to them to counsel and deliver him and reclaim him to respectability. Pity.

ID Kris

prince kennedy Iyoha September 1, 2005 - 4:35 am

Hello mr Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye.Reading through your essay about the inhuman behaviour against fellow nigerians by arm-robbers invoked in me great anger and since it will be diffficult to reach the robbers i had to pour my anger of the writer of the story.

It is not mistaking that preachers lives like kings while their followers wallow in poovaty.

Don't be suprise mr Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye. that someday one of the participant of this act of terror will go to one church to give his life to God and will revail his story of horror to his congrigation and in conclution he will say "thank God for he has saved me from the door of hell" and the pastor or Bishop will shout preise the Lord and all the congrigation will shout halleluya.

Later his revelations will be sold in the public market.for the benefit of the church.

tell me mr Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye.have you not listen to such tapesis such action really necessary it is like the preacher are more likly to honour a rich wicked man that acknowledge his wicked arts and pretend to have changed from his wicked ways but can be an avenue of income to the church.

Our pastors Bishops and church leader in Nigeria has to change their valours or face the anger of God at the end of their life.

I was so angree and sad with your story that i took you to be one of them. please accept my sinces apology.

prince jaydee August 31, 2005 - 8:11 pm

At this rate Nigeria would no longer exist in the next ten years…Sometimes i wonder if Nigeria would ever be the same again…There's so much quest for materialism greed and power. Corruption has eaten deep into our values…Do our leaders ever read these stories Because if they do they ought to swing into action and stop these atrocities…

Look at developed countries for instance….Human life is not taken for granted. These ladies that underwent this ordeal could as well have been your wife sister daughter mother niece aunt etc…

We only talk and talk but nobody does anything. The only way we can move forward is to go back to the drawing board: we need to change our values both individually and collectively….We shouldn't wait for an insensitive and slow-thinking President to get the ball rolling…We have to move ourselves: work hard pray hard and leave to rest to God.

prince jaydee August 31, 2005 - 7:39 pm

I truly weep for our dearly beloved country. What's Nigeria turning into Has God forsaken us I couldn't help but cry as i read this article….

Tunde August 31, 2005 - 5:36 pm

I couldn't believe the level demonic rustless behave of there robbers in Nigeria. It's one thing to steal and vanish with the goods but these men take the whole process to another level of ruthless raping and killing. They sound like ruthless blood thirsty killers. They have no fear and they feed off the fear and humiliation of others. Behavior like this is very dangerous the innocent in Nigeria let alone the Nigerian society ar large. The blood of the innocent blood shed will return upon these people eventually but how long can Nigeria stand up to this before something is actually done.

Anonymous August 31, 2005 - 4:50 pm

simple truth pays

cristboby August 31, 2005 - 4:21 pm


scruples2006@yahoo.com August 31, 2005 - 12:19 pm

Dear Mr.Kennedy Iyoha

Thanks for responding to my piece.

But I think that if you must respond to any piece you must at least direct your comments to what the writer actualy said in his piece and not what you think he probably said. Indeed it is not a time to voice the offence you habour in your heart for something totally outside the subject under consideration. Unless you do not take your time to read articles before rushing in with rejoinders.

Indeed no where in my article did I mention the Church I attend as to try to win people to it. I do not own any Church anywhere in the world. Again no where did I say in my article that girl in question is a member of the Church I attend. Indeed no where in the piece nor in any piece I had ever written have I said whether I am a preacher or not. I have always been identified with my profession which is journalism in all my pieces.

If you have any grouse against pastors in Nigeria or elsewhere you can do a separate essay to give vent to those grievances instead of hiding under a so-called rejoinder to my piece to do so and equally face whatever divine consequence that might come as result of such an outburst.

I wonder where you got the outlandish story about my several flashy cars. I am sure my colleagues in the media who are aware of my Spartan lifestyle would be thorugly disgusted with such outright fabrication.

I can't however speak for all the people that go with the title of "pastors". I can only vouch for the ones whose testimonies are convincing to me. But then that can be a topic for another day and so the attempt to force that subject into a totally different one is totally indecent to say the least.

As to whether the other victims who couldn't escape from the robbers/rapists were not also Christians that is now left to you to go and find out. I only spoke to the one who survived who was brought to my office and not the ones who couldn't escape! Now that you are more interested in those that couldn't escape go an find out the other side of the story and report that too. I have only reported the one I know.

I must say however that it is most unfortunate that after reading such an essay dwelling on an issue that has such far-reaching implications to the security and survival of our people in Nigeria that the only reaction you could volunteer is to pour out unprovoked attacks and abuses on pastors and preachers (as if it is their job to provide security to Nigerians) an angle that is totally otiose to the matter at hand.

For you the problem is not the abject neglect of Nigeria Maybe we should sing the praises of Nigerian leaders for running the country aground!

Well just pray you don't one day have a taste of the grim consequences of this gross mismanagement of Nigeria before you quit your self-serving stance on Nigeria's affairs.

I wish you well.

prince kennedy Iyoha August 31, 2005 - 5:57 am

With all respect mr Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye you have just exposed the attitude of the Nigeria prechers and their sensetional story to convert people into their church.

It is possible that arm robbers are becoming a menas to the Nigeria public and the nigeria government has to do much to reduce this public menas.

Along the story you made mention of the fact that God know how to protect its own in an ungovern situation. you have fail to realise that some of those dead in the last attack could be members of another church. most everyperson that do not attend your church members of secret cults. I am of the opinion that you are more of a politician than a precher.

I am of the opinion that you are one of the major problem in the nigeria comunity. you live like a prince with fleets of cars a big house and lots of people that saves you and your family.here in Europe we have preachers but don't live like the once we have in Nigeria. therefore something is rough with the prechers in Nigeria.

It will be good if you can dedicate part or all the money you get from the very poor people in our our society to social services you will be doing more Good to Nigeria rather than critisasing the president of your country.

I was a member of TREM before i left Nigeria and i know how the Bishop and his Family where living like Kings while more than half of its followers wallow in object poovaty. you are of the same class and carliba of person like him and all other church leaders who use sensational story like you have just told us to bring people to your church and not God.

According to the bible God is love and do not discriminat. therefore he would not have saved the girl that was member of your church and allow the other girls to be sacrificed by those arm-bobbers.

According to the bible a church leader or a man of God has an obligation to respect its leader. hope you have find that portion in the bible.

Finally the problem of nigeria can not be resolved in just 5 or 6 years of obj's government. we the citizens of Nigeria has more role to play in the socil-politica development of our country.instead of wasting time in critisazing we should try to help build a prosperous society.

Anonymous August 31, 2005 - 4:44 am

The writer wrote exactly what is on ground in this God forsaken country called Nigeria.

IJ August 30, 2005 - 9:11 pm

This story moved me to tears. It is only THE LORD ALMIGHTY who can save us.He will deliver us in due time

Anonymous August 30, 2005 - 12:14 pm

I read the story of the first robbery in the Papers the second one of the girl "sister" is new and extremely disturbing what has Nigeria turned into Why should the robbers be so callous and take their anger out on the poor masses They must be drugged and devlish its too inhuman.

Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima August 30, 2005 - 9:49 am

Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye

I read this pathetic report in tears. That such tragedies could be happening in our country Nigeria as if there is a civil war going on

The ritual murderers and armed robbers haved signed and sealed their fate. And they are suicidal. Every act of robbery to them is a suicide mission. And they don't fear God or Man. In fact they have chosen to destroy innocent lives. The corruption and wickedness in high places drove them to such acts of horrors.

I am tired of everything and we are all guilty. Because we have allowed our country to be ruined. From the petty traders selling fake products on the street to the President who won a massively rigged Presidential Election in 2003 and many innocent lives were lost in the bloody riots. Politicians murdered innocent people in ritual sacrifice because of their greed for public office. Our campus girls and other women date and mate with these evil men and they collect their shares of the ill-gotten blood money. Our fathers and mothers have become pimps encouraging their daughters to have affairs with rich men for the acquisition of financial largess and luxuries of vanity. Our pastors collect blood money in offerings and the native doctors ask for the private parts of innocent females and males for diabolical ritual sacrifices. Our journalists work for newspapers published by evil men who we know their evil deeds and we keep mute. We are all hypocrites liars prostitutes parasites and sycophants. And for the sake of financial favours from these politicians in power we refuse to call a spade a spade. We go to government offices and throng the corridors of power to beg for contracts from these satanic tyrants and their bloody oligarchy. We are all guilty and until we repent we shall continue to perish.

The bad blood will continue to spread until we make up our mind to reject these evil people in Nigeria.

When you people are ready for a change let me know.

Anonymous August 30, 2005 - 9:17 am

This is the kind of factual report that would have won the Pulitzer Prize in the US.

I read this article in tears.

Nothing was missing in the details of this stranger than fiction report of what happened in Nigeria as if it was during the civil war.


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