By Davies Etta
The most recurring description of the prototype Bahumono community as often rendered in myriads of peace advocacy meetings was a “PERVIOUS COMMUNITY “. Often than not, an elder stands remorsefully in such meetings to tell the story of how as youngsters, they could navigate freely and happily from Anong via Ediba, Usumutong, Ebom, Ebijakara, Bazohure, Igonigoni, Afafanyi and Abeugo, stopping at relevant communities, visiting their relatives, eating and drinking together. This story was considered a product of the “RELICS” of their memory. Consequently, this story stimulates the appetite of our youths, plunging them into a life stream fantasy of how pleasant it will feel, bringing back the quintessential Bahumono community.
Also, as a centripetal force in the Bahumono history is our rich and beautiful cultural heritage. The traditional wrestling, veritable dance groups alongside the male age-related societal groups. All these helped in adorning and embellishing the Bahumono people. Many a people have indeed dreamt of the people of Bahumono coexisting peacefully in the melodious and beautiful symphony of brotherhood and sisterhood. It hurts seeing that most of our cultural heritages have been lost and the surviving ones have lost their essence.
Image Credit: Joshua Project
The quest for Bahumono peace has come a long way. It has been presided upon by various leaderships ranging from political, traditional to religious leadership. Evidently, the time was out of season hence the yield was poor. Several years had gone by and we were still stirred by the reality of the time.
Just when the candle of hope was about to go off, when the believers and protagonist of peace advocacy thought there was no way out, when the under fifteens in the communities gave up hope of meeting their peers in neighboring communities, when the Bahumono language was at the brink of extinction in foreign climes, when the aged began to feel body reluctance and hear the pleasant calls of death, when we had lost scores of our youths and properties and when developmental stagnation had completely engulfed our land, a bleak light popped up at the end of the tunnel —— It was God’s time.
At a time when God will be most appreciated for the restoration of peace in the Bahumono land, he broke the ice and melted the hearts of the youths. Before now, the arrogant obstinacy and militancy exuded by the youths towards peace advocacy was second to none. Divinely, at God’s time, the same youths are now the disciples and vanguards of peace advocacy —- it can only be God’s doing. I applaud all the youths of Bahumono —— the prime drivers of the train, and the leaders in the background providing the fuel to drive the train.
With the triumphant restoration of peace in our land, I wish to sincerely admonish all and sundry, to put the past behind, have a good disposition in the train of peace and prepare for an eventful journey to progressive development and communal prosperity.
That prototype Bahumono community is here again and the perviousness shall never cease. The stories we were told have come alive. Never shall we fight war again. We will expunge the word ‘ REHON’ that means ‘WAR’ from the Bahumono language dictionary. Our cultural heritage shall be fully revived with total value. Our youths shall meet their peers in neighboring communities. Our language shall not go extinct in foreign land, progress, development and prosperity shall engulf our land, the aged and elderly shall die and rest In Peace knowing we are in peace, our youths shall not die in wars again and we shall indeed coexist peacefully in the melodious and beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
This was the Bahumono I dreamt of and this is the Bahumono we have now —- the rebirth of Bahumono nation.
Hon Dr. Davies Etta is a member of the Cross River State House of Assembly