in #poetrylast year

Daama is a small riverine community in Rivers State. One day, the people woke up to the news of a certain young man sharing shine-shine one thousand naira notes at the waterside. Virtually everyone who heard the news, both old and young, ran down to collect theirs.
No one knew how he came. The first boat for the day hadn't arrived, and no one recalled seeing him the previous day—this man who gave his name as Tato. Some parents, afraid he came from the water world, refused their kids from taking Tato's crisp notes even though they themselves took. When at nightfall he asked where he could sleep, Monima, who downed most of the weed and rum Tato ordered for the niggers, offered his hut. Tato and Monima would build an enduring friendship.
Tato had become popular beyond Daama for his kindness. He would bring the elderly food and clothes, buy sandals for the kids, engage in social work, et cetera. But he was soon hated.
He preached justice. One day, when the Honourable representing their constituency in the government visited, Tato with the help of some community youths refused him from leaving until he promised pipeborne water and a few latrines. When the chiefs received bribe from the company contracted to build a bridge that would link Daama to the Kalabari mainland, it was Tato who ordered for their drilling.
One evening, soldiers raided the community in search of Tato. It didn't take long for them to find him as they said they had an informant within his circle. Worse was when Monima, passing where Tato was flogged denied he knew him when he was identified as one of his men. "This Tato own don too much," he said.
Tato who used to be Daama's Robin Hood, gunned down as he attempted escaping from the soldiers that fateful evening, had no one to bury his corpse. No one.

This is the story of Jesus told in a different way, but more than the story, is the lesson that people will always be people.images.jpg


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