State: Edo State
City: Benin City

A gentle breeze rustled through the town, painting the night sky with a breathtaking hue. Beneath the tranquility, however, a sense of foreboding loomed. The clouds whispered a warning, their light rumbling a prelude to an impending storm. The town lay hushed, the only audible sounds the chirping of birds and the sighing of the wind.

A young boy, barely fifteen, hurried along, eager to seek refuge within the safety of his home. A growing unease gnawed at him as the rain threatened to pour down. His white pajamas clung to his skin, the fabric accentuating his slender frame. Startled by the sound of footsteps behind him, he froze, his heart racing with fear. Turning to look, he continued on his way, the handle of a blade slicing through his scalp. Blood trickled down, drenching his neck and shoulder, his eyes wide with shock and pain.

In a sudden frenzy, he abandoned the idea of seeking shelter in his own abode and dashed towards a different dwelling. This other boy, not older than fifteen, possessed a striking handsomeness, an air of dignity despite his apparent fearlessness. Determined to preserve his honor, he kept a keen ear on the approaching footsteps, his hand pressed firmly against his wounded head.

As he reached her, he gazed at her intently, uttering words that fell on deaf ears, the fear overshadowing his persistent shouts. An unyielding spirit propelled him forward, ignoring the danger that lay around them. A swift movement and a soft smile followed.

Sahel, a distinctive part of the Fulani community in the city, bore witness to an old settlement where the pastoralists roamed freely. Their huts dotted the landscape, surrounded by herds of cattle, sheep, and camels. The ominous night sent shivers down their spines, an unrelenting anxiety gripping every inhabitant, robbing them of peace and happiness.

In the dead of the night, at 2:30 on a Friday, the Fulani residents of Rugar were jolted awake by the deafening sounds of gunfire and explosions. The entire community mobilized, arming themselves with what meager weapons they could muster. Despite misconceptions, violence was not in the Fulani’s nature; they sought a life of peace and tranquility. Yet, on this night, terror had encroached upon their haven, leaving devastation and bloodshed in its wake.

In the midst of chaos, a man emerged from his dwelling, holding his pregnant wife’s hand tightly. Fearing for their lives, he attempted to soothe her while they made their way to safety. A sudden cry caught their attention, prompting the man to hush his wife and hand her a protective weapon. Their breaths were ragged, their minds racing, desperate to survive the onslaught.

At the riverbank, the woman went into labor, delivering a baby girl amid the turmoil. Tears streamed down her face as she cradled the infant, a symbol of hope amidst the chaos. Her actions drew the attention of the assailants, but she remained resolute, shielding her daughter with all her might, her determination unyielding in the face of adversity.

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