Nigeria: saved at the last minute

A young Nigerian speaks about a profound change in mentality: approaching the other, especially in conflict zones where it may entail a lot.

“My name is F., and I am from Jos, in Nigeria. In my city, from 2001 up to today, there is a political, ethnic, and religious crisis. Many thousands of lives and many properties have been lost, and today there is a profound division between Christians and Moslems, to the point of seeing each other as enemies and looking at each other with suspicion.

We live constantly in fear, without knowing what will be our lot in the next moment. One of my colleagues was involved in an incident, and we were asked to go and seek him. As he is a Moslem, nobody offered to go, precisely because we are in Jos, and Christians do not go to the Moslem zones, just as Moslems do not visit the Christian ones.

I offered to go to him, even if at first I was a bit hesitant, but a voice inside me continued to tell me to go. I succeeded- with a bit of insistence-in convincing a female friend to come with me. We arrived with great fear at the house of my colleague. When we entered, however, we were warmly greeted by him and his family. They were really happy to see us!

Sometime later, I was returning home from work, late in the evening, together with the same female friend, when all of a sudden, her car broke down, not far from a Moslem post. Both of us were without credit on our mobile phone to ask for help. In those parts, in the dark, there were some gangsters carrying out their affairs.

Our prayer at that moment was: “Lord, send us help as soon as possible!” We were so scared that we did not know whether it was better to remain in the car or jump out and stop the first car that passed by.

At a certain point we noticed someone approaching us, and we started shivering. I said my last prayer, because I felt we had reached the end.

When they were a few metres away, suddenly a car parked in front of us, and whom do I see? The colleague we had visited a few days previously….the head of the gangsters asked him whether we were one of them “Moslems”, to know whether to let us go, and he answered in the affirmative.

This is how we were saved…

He himself then put the car in a secure place and accompanied us home. Moreover, the following day, after having repaired the car, he brought it to my friend.”

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