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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How I became a cripple —Disabled teacher


Life lost its taste for Festus Njoku Abaka sometime in 1975 when he became disabled after a neighbour flogged him with a bunch of broom in anger. He said that on the fateful day, he was playing in the rain when he mistakenly soiled the rainwater a woman gathered.

Narrating his ordeal since the incident happened in Ikot Ekpene, NJ, as friends and acquaintances fondly call him, lamented that he has gone through hell in his efforts to ensure he’s back on his feet like other people. He revealed how he had taken bath in the high seas and even got buried to his waist for several hours to restore his legs without success.
He also delved into his love life, disclosing that he has probably had sex twice all his life, even as he came close to tears recounting how the refusal of the lady he loves so much to yield to his demand to have sex with her left him heartbroken.
“She would play with me as adults do but would not allow me get beyond that, not caring at all about my feelings,” NJ lamented.

Familiar face at stadium
I am so much in love with football and an ardent fan of Abia Warriors right from the time they played in the national league. I cannot remember missing any home match involving the club because I don’t want anybody to narrate to me what transpired during the encounter.
I have always been the person explaining to others how Warriors matches were played. Everybody knows me as the foundation of the club having followed the team for almost 15 years. My love for football means that I would have been a very good player but for my condition. I am supposed to be a footballer if I were not disabled.

Becoming disabled
It is a long story but in summary it was an act of human wickedness. I was not born disabled. I was born a normal human being but I became disabled at four years.
From what I have gathered, the woman responsible for this had quarrel with my parents when we lived in Ikot-Ekpene in Cross River State then. Before the incident, I lived with my grandmother in our village in Arochukwu, Abia State.
But when my father insisted on taking us to Ikot-Ekpene where according to him he secured an accommodation, we had no choice but to join him. Two weeks after arriving Ikot-Ekpene, I became disabled. Many people blamed my dad for taking me there.
I was born in 1971 and all I can remember was being among the children playing in the rain sometime in 1975 and a woman wiped me with a broom severally because according to her, I poured dirt into the water she fetched.
After the beating, I cried home, my mother used hot water to bath me. I woke up between 6.30 and 7.00 the following morning and could not stand up again. I felt like every bone in my legs had been removed. I fell from the bed trying to come down. From that moment, I could not walk.
My parents actually took up the incident with the woman, fought physically with her for wiping me with what was considered spiritual broom and putting me into this condition. I cannot remember all the incidents that followed because I was still a child then.


How I became a cripple —Disabled teacher

There was nowhere recommended to us that we did not go to seek solution to my problem. We had to leave Ikot-Ekpene in our search for the same solution. When medical solution failed, my parents became so worrisome that my paternal ground mother took me to a sea and great rivers to seek spiritual solution to my disability.
Many traditional healers made great fortune handling my problem. They would recommend several solutions from time to time involving a lot of money, ordering sometimes that we display some ritual items at road junctions or the bank of big rivers. There were a lot of sacrifices to ensure that I walked yet the solution could not come.
The most painful was that sometime they would bury me half way up to my waist to ensure I the legs got some strength yet I have remained this way. The therapy worked to an extent because I can move without crawling on my buttocks.
It dawned on me that I have joined the world of the physically challenged. I had to wake up to the realities and braced up for the challenges of disability. What I told myself was to ensure that the disability did not stop me from being what I want to be.
It would not have denied me the opportunity to study to any level I wanted but poverty contributed mainly to limiting my academics. I was however lucky to find out on time that God blessed me with abundant skill. In order to face the world, I learnt shoemaking and became one since the early 1980s.

Facing biases
I cannot remember any now because everybody loves me the way I am now. I made sure I maintained my amiable personality that attracts people to me. The only discomfort was my father abandoning us because he insisted that we either join his religious group- OO Obu- or leave his house in Ikot-Ekpene.
We left him behind in 1986 when he rejected us but luckily for me, the departure helped me to enroll in primary school the next year. His concern was not even the solution to my condition but the insistence that we join him in that church. He never cared what happened to me but as God will have it, he has started begging for reconciliation now that he is getting too old.
Studying with pains.
It was an experience I never want to remember because it was daunting, traumatic and challenging. I left the village after finishing my JSS3 when I got admission into the Mary Slessor technical school. I spent three good terms in the school without returning home for holiday.
This was because students who love me would return to school with large quantity of foodstuff that would last the whole term for me. As a senior student with enough money I made through sell of shoes, I always order two of my classmate girls to come and cook for me every day.

Finding a wife
I have not found a wife but I am still searching. I had a lady I wanted to marry but she messed up in 2013. She started another relationship with another man because I could not give her money to renew her expired rent. I had wanted to give her the money but I had a hunch that she will elope with the man with my money.
Her in-law had pleaded with me on phone to lend them N10,000 to complete the money for the rent. I actually gave them the money but when we had quarrel, I had to collect my money back.
She did not walk out of the relationship because of my condition because I was doing everything thing humanly possible to ensure that she feels happy as an applicant then.
Once I received my salary, I would head straight to the MARKET and bought every damn thing she needed including shoes, dress, foodstuff, name them, just to see her smiling.
On monthly bases, I spend not less than N7,000 on her outside feeding her even though she was living with her married elder sister. What brought us together was that we were close neighbours. She cooked for me.

Dumping him for not satisfying her sexually
I have never even had sex with her because she never allowed me to do so. She bluntly refused to give me sex despite how close we were to each other. She would only allow me to fondle her breasts and even sock them. She would touch my penis and in fact, she seemed to derive joy in coming every early morning to touch me when I was charged for action.
She would play with it and tell me that my penis is very strong and that I will kill her if she gave me sex. She will allow me to sock her breasts until I was tired but never allowed me have sex with her.
I enjoyed every minute of the nearly two-year relationship I had with her. She was there for me when I underwent a surgery on my legs. We were so close that she will always jealously accuse of involving in a relationship with other ladies coming close to me.
It was the time we broke up that I got another girl friend who gave me sex. But I blamed myself after the sex because I actually want that lady to be the only women I would have sex with. I love her so much. Even the lady I had sex with in March this year since I was born, I still look at it as casual one not a wife material like that other girl.
Throughout my life, I have had sex for just twice- March and June this year. I don’t like having sex because of sexual transmitted diseases everywhere now. I protected myself with condom, but they busted on the two occasions I had sex. I don’t know whether it was as a result of the heat from my penis that caused them to break.
His dream wife
I am waiting unto God to direct me on who becomes my wife. I want a wife to accept under this condition, a caring wife that can love in as a disabled person but if I have my way, I want to marry a working class lady so that the whole burden of the family will not be on only me.
I have no iota of doubt that God will bring my wife to me. I have seen other disabled person married to beautiful wives. As a teacher and shoemaker, I believe I will get the same working class lady as my wife. I teach craft in primary school.
Forgiven you ex-girlfriend and the woman who wiped you with broom
I don’t even know if the woman who wiped me with broom is still alive. As for the lady who broke my heart, I called her on phone one day to sympathise with her when our former neighbour told me she had accident sustaining serious head injury, but she yelled at me, harassed me and warned me to stop calling her.
I begged her on phone to accept me because I still love her, but she could not accept me back. She is a heartless and erratic lady. I endured many years of her rash life.
While the going was good, I had a big dream for her and even promised to get her job if she could exercise little patience but she could not. I would have easily gotten her a job because I have known many people through football. Now, I have switched off my mind from her because I know she will 
never come back to me again.

Taking his marriage petition to the church
I have a church I am attending now. There is something I am begging my pastor to intercede for me. I want divine intervention against fornication. I am still regretting the one I did in June this year because I have been having spiritual problems.
Each time I had sex I would have serious pains on my legs. My legs would feel as if I have thongs. I don’t what the lady has done with me and I have decided to stop it until I get married.
Member of tormenting stadium thugs
There was a time I was so stubborn that no referee would come to Umuahia and misbehave and I will not deal with him. In those days, I would enter the pitch and beat up referees. The way we plan it is that people would cause commotion to force the referees run for cover into the dressing room but unknown to them, I was laying ambush for them, grab them and pull them down.
I was such a terror that some people even suspect that I was the juju bearer for the club. I remember one day we played a match in Bayelsa, they accused me of being their juju man, threatening to deal with me spiritual for spiritual.
They ordered for their own juju person and made incantations almost throughout the game, but we won. They fought us very well. All those things are gone because I am now a matured man.

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