Travellers Diary By Ismail Abdulazeez Mantu

While traveling from Lagos to Katsina via (SD Express) luxurious bus, we stopped at Octupus filling station Oba ile outskirt of Akure town around 8:30pm for passengers to refresh themselves ahead of the long journey. After praying, I quickly search for a food vendor to settle the upset from my stomach. I was halfway through with the demolition of the well packaged delicious rice and beans, when something unsual caught my attention.

A Yoruba girl I suspect not to be above 12 years old screamed out loud in Yoruba language saying “Abi Oloriburuku niee nii”? Which literally translate into “Are you insane”?

I quickly raised my head from the plate of delicacy I was enjoying to see who the little girl was throwing such a derogatory statement at. It was a light in complexion Hausa man, obviously in his late 30s, selling fruits (banana, oranges and coconut) by the exit point of the filling stations. The little girl stood her ground and continue raining insults on this Hausa man while the man’s only reaction was laughing out loud in mockery of the girl. I was furious to the brim.

I curiously called the girl, reprimand her for using such a destructive and foul language on man old enough to be her father. I asked her why she did that. She kept mute for few seconds. As she open her mouth to say a word she broke down in tears. When I heard what he did to the girl I was bitterly pained and embarrassed. The man had grabbed such teenage girl by the breast. The most annoying of it all is when I heard the shameless man in Hausa language saying “Na Kama Nono naji Taushi” which literally translate to “I grab breast and I felt its softness” while the rest of his friends laughed in mockery of the girl. I pleaded with the girl to stop crying and ignore all their jests.

As we continue our journey towards the North, a lot of thoughts were running through my head. With the ongoing ethnic clashes in the South West, what would have been the situation if this kind of thing had escalate?

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