WE ARE HERE: THE ATTACK

WE ARE HERE: THE ATTACK

It was a very hot night, the night of March 17, one filled with flashes of light in the skies as if the rain gods were teasing men with the hope of rain while still punishing them with heat. I’d previously made an appointment with my friend, Sage, to have a sleepover at his place that night. We had intentions of talking late into the night about certain issues that were plaguing us – relationship, family and our health. A mutual friend of ours, Zara, was staying with Sage for the exams, but went for a night class. So we’d be having the house to ourselves.

I arrived at his house by a few minutes to 9pm. On getting there, I met Sage cooking. Because of the stifling temperature in the house made so by the heat hanging heavy in the evening, I decided to go buy some cold water from any shop along the road. I was talking with my mother on the phone as I stepped out of the house. There was a group of guys gathered and drinking outside the house, and I walked past them with nary a glance at them, preoccupied with my call.

Before I could get to the gate of the compound, the caretaker of the building, a young man who also runs the mini-bar where the guys were drinking, called out to me, telling me the guys were calling me. I turned around to find that one of the guys had already walked up close to me. He asked me where I was coming from and I signaled for him to wait as I was still on the call with my mother. Reacting to my gesture, he moved forward to grab at my phone. Startled, I weaved my body away from him before hurriedly informing my mom that I’d have to call her back.

On turning back to the guy, he tried to snatch the phone from my hand again and I pulled away from him. What was the matter with this dude! I thought, not noticing that his drinking buddies had surrounded me at this time.

The next thing I knew, someone’s hand struck my face in a slap. Blinking against the pain that avalanched over my face, I tried to move away from my assailant, and that was when I realized I was surrounded.

What was going on!

Before I could process what was happening, the fists began to fly at me. It had become a free-for-all slap-fest as these four guys repeatedly struck my face. As they assaulted me, one of them said I was “flying their colour” (I was wearing a pair of red knickers) and that I had to take it off. I was still trying to process what my reaction should be at this point, when one thought shoved through into my mind.

RUN!

I pushed forward, bursting through them, and ran back into the house as they’d totally blocked the gate. I fled for Sage’s room. Two of them were hot on my heels. I got to the room and began banging on the door. Before anyone could respond from the other side, my assailants pounced on me and pulled me outside again where they proceeded to beat me while shouting that I was gay. One of them tried to kick my feet off the ground so that I’d fall and make the beating easier for them. But I stayed on my feet, not falling, and they continued pummeling me.

At this point, I’d lost my footwear but I was still unrelenting, trying my best to ward off their blows while desperately seeking another chance to escape. The fates seemed to be kind to me as another slight opening showed itself and I took off again, bolting out of the compound this time towards a shortcut that led to another friend’s house. This guy not only knows and is accommodating of my sexuality but is also a cultist. His lodge mates are also people I’m cool with and some of them are good friends of mine.

I ran towards his house with these guys pursuing me. Along the road, however, I hit my foot against a huge stone and dropped to the ground. The four guys caught up to me before I could get up and dragged me by my ankles all the way back to the house we’d just left. When they let go of my legs, I tried to get up again but they kept beating me down. At some point, when I was on my stomach trying to get up, one of them stepped heavily on my left shoulder blade and part of that stomping hit my already-palpating heart. I have a heart condition and that blow took out the last bit of fight that was left in me.

Upon realizing that I’d lost my fight, they started making ludicrous statements about how I had come to see my “boy-girlfriend” and that by the time they were done with me, I’d never go close to another guy in my life. One of them took a bottle and hit me repeatedly on the side of my face with it. Fortunately, the bottle didn’t break but my face quickly bruised and swelled. The other people in the lodge kept to their rooms, with only a brave few coming out to their verandahs to tell the guys to stop beating me.

After they had tired of beating me, one of them began to talk to me, asking me how I was going to “bail” myself out of that situation. Another one took my phone and tried forcing me to unlock it.

At this point, Sage came outside. Apparently, he hadn’t heard any of the commotion (his room is quite far from the front yard where all this was happening). He’d been worried because it’d been over an hour since I left his room to get the cold water. When he saw me lying on the ground and surrounded, he approached. The caretaker, who was one of the two that dragged me away from his door during my first pursuit, just then announced to the others that he was the one I came to see. They quickly pounced on Sage and began to beat him. Still making their wild allegations about us being gay, they tried to force him to lie down on the ground like me. But Sage is a very stubborn individual and absolutely refused to obey. The beating became more vicious and it ended when one of them, Black (at this point, from snippets of their side talk, I’d begun to learn their names; Black was the one who’d been asking me how I’d bail myself from the situation) smashed a bottle on Sage’s head, hefted him up and dumped him on the ground.

By this time, the caretaker had quietly slunk away, leaving Sage and I to the mercy of Black and the other two, who called themselves Herod and Cross. Herod smashed Sage’s phone to its demise and handed me mine, demanding that I unlock it. As I did that, I very swiftly and surreptitiously deleted the porn I had on my phone. Then I handed the device back to Herod.

My mistake was in forgetting to delete my WhatsApp at the same time. It is after all where intrusive gay bashers always go to first.

Black came back to me and was still trying to get me to co-operate with them when I mentioned the name of a mutual friend of ours, Boos. (She’d mentioned his name to me a couple of times in the past and I knew they were friends). As soon as he heard her name, he mellowed and began to talk with me earnestly, saying he didn’t know I was acquainted with Boos. Then he tried to take my phone from Herod and return it to me, but both Herod and Cross refused, saying we had to secure our freedom with N10, 000. At some point, Cross even made a couple of ‘calls’ to a supposed SARS agent he kept calling Fryo as he spoke into his phone. (Yeah, right!) He told us that if we didn’t pay up, they’d hand us over to the police and we’d be thrown in jail (As if!). Sage and I maintained that we had no money, and finally, by a few minutes past 11 pm, they let us go with express instructions to bring the money by 10am the next morning or they’d continue from where they stopped.

Upon our return to the room, I set to boil some water for us to bathe with, while Sage went to the room of another gay friend of ours in that lodge, Rhean, to update him on what had happened. I’d told him to call Zara and ask him not to return to the house that night. This done, we washed up, taking turns to clean out the dirt in our injuries. After that, we took painkillers and tried to get some sleep.

As early as 5.30am, we left the house – Sage to go to school to try catch up some reading for the exam he had that day, and me to go see Boos to get her to prevail on Black to return my phone.

To the best of my knowledge, the worst had happened. I would soon find out how very wrong I was.

TO BE CONTINUED.

Written by Mitch

 

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43 Comments

  1. Lorde
    April 13, 07:11 Reply

    Oh my…… this is really horrible…. hope you plan on catching these guys

    • Mitch
      April 13, 17:31 Reply

      Lorde, the story is just starting. Brace yourself for the next installment

  2. Mandy
    April 13, 08:51 Reply

    How wicked can we get in this life, eh? Nawa o. The rate with which gay people have become a free-for-all assault in this country. It’s unnerving.

    • Mitch
      April 13, 17:37 Reply

      My dear, in a country where fools like Abati are put in power and the people refuse to unshackle their minds from ignorance, what more would you expect?

      • Lizzy
        April 13, 21:14 Reply

        Looool you are still pained obviously. Few lgbt people like yourself need to think beyond online, you are not the voice for all, just like una hero Bisi is not voice for all and tiers wouldn’t be either. Have seen many, as in many strategies that doesn’t make sense to me from lgbt group so as I no sabi much as it’s not my daily work and I don’t hide behind computer to pull anyone down, putting their entire time and life on the line daily ( not online or in the or across the abroad activist ooo) I mean those who dey here dey see reality, I oberseve even when it doesn’t make sense to me. We need to stop the hate amongst ourselves and if all we can do is hide behind fake name and identify to enhance hateful bahviour toward people who fight or challenge the ego of our “gay hero” we need to think again and again. It doesn’t stop the external hate or get the blackmail out of the way. I no be activist, I be banker and that is what I do best, I don’t know what decide decision sometime and most time, you don’t know too as you don’t work in this organizations. Save yourself the hate and drink water of love. Focus on the story, abati is not the one who violated in this story.

  3. Eli
    April 13, 09:04 Reply

    Is this what Nigeria has come to?!!!

    • Pink Panther
      April 13, 09:37 Reply

      Eli, I’m still reeling myself. So gay bashing has now progressed to unprovoked attacks where the gay individual is literally just passing by. SMH. I’ll keep saying this: Goodluck Jonathan will surely know the pain of every gay Nigerian that was affected this adversely by that barbaric law he passed.

      • Tiercel de Claron
        April 13, 14:28 Reply

        Where are their pictures and Facebook id’s,P?.
        You should have two,at least.
        Time open war is declared on such as these.

        • Tiercel de Claron
          April 13, 14:31 Reply

          Homophobic Nigerians,yes,but they ain’t all straight too.
          Put up their pics,a beg.

          And anyone who has any compromising material on any of them should kindly publish.

          It’s Empire Strikes Back period now.

      • Mitch
        April 13, 18:01 Reply

        Eli, welcome to Nigeria – the home of the untamed animals.

  4. Delle
    April 13, 09:11 Reply

    This is the situation of our country where dare-devils who know they have no rational backup for the violence they unleash on an unsuspecting victim resort to homosexual claims because society would always back them up. They had pounced on him because he didn’t greet their pathetic asses but that makes no sense (as regards the horrifying beating they gave) so the gay-accusation had to come in.

    Very convenient.

    How can a neighbor of mine be involved in a vicious attack against me in OUR lodge? Reading this, that familiar feeling of undiluted vexation I felt when Mitch relayed the incident to me the following day is back.

    It’s not over though.

    • Pink Panther
      April 13, 09:35 Reply

      And to think the caretaker of the lodge participated in this atrocity. Seriously. Homophobic Nigerians are such callous soulless individuals. Ptueh!

      • Delle
        April 13, 10:52 Reply

        You know, if he had only attacked Mitch, it would be excusable a lil but attacking a member of your lodge as well? Your next door neighbor who prior to the time of the attack had no issues whatsoever with you? Callousness just took on a whole new meaning.

        • Mitch
          April 13, 18:02 Reply

          That’s the part I still don’t get. Like how crazy is that bikonu?

  5. Khaleesi
    April 13, 09:22 Reply

    Omg! This sounds not like an institution of higher learning, but a wild untamed jungle where packs of rabid wild animals hunt down and prey on weaker defenceless species… This is so sad to read! I wonder which school this happened in; spineless, cowardly bullies!!

    • Mitch
      April 13, 18:04 Reply

      It’s a jungle out here, Khaleesi. A jungle full of the worst kinds of beasts. Thing is, they just don’t realize that violence is an innate force that can be used by even the most unlikely of creatures.

  6. ambivalentone
    April 13, 09:57 Reply

    I had to read this again to look for and understand what exactly provoked such beatings. And how the story quickly changed from ‘flying their color’ to ‘visiting their boy-girlfriend’…gosh!!!

    • Pink Panther
      April 13, 09:59 Reply

      And the thing is, until Mitch stepped out into their line of sight, I don’t even think they had any designs on attacking him. This was so purely unprovoked, it boggles my mind, the extent of their wickedness

    • Mitch
      April 13, 18:05 Reply

      Na excuse them been dey find. Leave the craze people

  7. cedar
    April 13, 12:29 Reply

    I can’t believe what my eyes are reading. Just like that, person chop beating, and is still going to placate his assailants with “bail”. Jesus!!! I can’t wait to get done with law school, na dis kain case dey sweet me. They would surely pay with their sorry asses, not kidding.

  8. Chuck
    April 13, 12:50 Reply

    What university campus was this? Do yiu have a police or army contact that can help punish the gang?

    • Pink Panther
      April 13, 13:11 Reply

      The story never finish. You just hold on. It continues to unfold.

  9. Eli
    April 13, 13:45 Reply

    How is Mitch doin, I’ve been unsettled since reading this account. Pls let us know…

    • Mitch
      April 13, 18:07 Reply

      Oh, I’m good.
      Sticks and stones can only break bones not spirits

  10. simba
    April 13, 14:17 Reply

    I have never been this angry in a while, someone’s kid, had exam and u beat him and smashed a bottle on his head. WTF, it is difficult for me to comprehend this. without provocation u just beat someone up. Pinky we need a gofund me account. we can fund other cultist to revenge for us. am serious, am willing to donate for this revenge.

    • Delle
      April 13, 15:59 Reply

      Oh Simba, the story is just beginning.

    • Mitch
      April 13, 18:08 Reply

      More cultists?
      Aka m adirokwa ya
      ???

  11. Tiercel de Claron
    April 13, 14:33 Reply

    To think these were gay Nigerians too, at least two of them.
    Still makes me mad.

    Pink panther,pictures please

    • Pink Panther
      April 13, 15:03 Reply

      I’ve buzzed Mitch. I’m waiting for response from him.

      • Mitch
        April 13, 18:10 Reply

        PP, check our original sidebar. You’ll find all you need.

        Unkul Tiercel, camdan jare. Eez nor fight ni ?

  12. Bryannn
    April 13, 18:40 Reply

    Honestly this is one of the most heart breaking piece I’ve ever read. Exactly the reason I so much hate straight guyz, especially the homophobic ones.
    Can you just imagine? I was reading to see if there was any point they caught uim in compromising position or actings,but all NO. What is this country turning into for God’s sakes? Goodluck Ebere Jonathan and all the members of the senate who passed that barbaric law will all beget a gay child.My hrt bleeds. Mitch so sorry dear, those scars must one day remind you how you battled for good.

  13. UC TheMisfit
    April 13, 21:45 Reply

    Until I got to the comments, I swear I thought this was fiction. When did ‘unprovoked’ attacks start happening?
    Its not as if all their other attacks have been provoked before sef, but this is a whole new level of crazy.

    I don’t know how to be angry anymore. I truly don’t.
    My sympathies, Mitch.

  14. Francis
    April 13, 22:37 Reply

    Speechless and wishing i was rich enough to hire peeps to kidnap and torture the shit out of these fools.

    Thank God you’re okay.

  15. Cleopatro
    April 14, 19:38 Reply

    this hurts! today it’s a gang attack, tomorrow it could be a murder case cos hate crimes like this would escalate if left unchecked. ughhh!!! . what to do.

  16. Zino
    April 15, 12:57 Reply

    I once went to this same school to host an event like two years ago and i was slapped sevrally in the middle of the road because i was wearing short. Not bum shorts o. Shorts!

    I Thank God i didn’t gain admission to this school when i applied.

    I can only imagine the pain you guys must have gone through.

    • ambivalentone
      April 15, 19:24 Reply

      Ayam nt understanding. U were slapped for having shorts on? What year was this?

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