It is funny how Agricultural Science students in LAUTECH travel from Ghana to Nigeria without boarding a plane or a bus, their 'leggedizbenz' must be hyper-super but we all know their secrets (don’t we?). I am starring at the marble which has the details of when Ghana House was commissioned. The name Olusola Alagbe Luther king catches my eye. I know that name. Seeing the name takes me back to my sophomore year, to the beautiful city of Accra, Ghana’s capital. Mr. Luther king had hosted those of us who went to Ghana under the umbrella of the SCSN (Students Chemical Society of Nigeria). ‘Bruce’ was then social director of SCSN. I was not surprised when he became PASSA (Pure and Applied Sciences Students' Association) president. There was no doubt that the journey to Ghana was a real boost to his political career which helped him to become ‘prexy’. I recalled when we were at the border before we entered Ghana officially and we had to sing the Nigerian national anthem to prove that we were Nigerians since none of us had a national passport. No doubt traveling long distances by road is stressful but it sure did have its fun side.
It was June 27, a public holiday in Ghana. It was Ghana’s republic day, unlike Nigeria, Ghana’s republic day is different from her day of independence. It was our first day in Ghana and most of us were fatigued from the few days journey. It had rained lightly but then we decided to go out. I thought we were just going to take a tour around Ghana’s capital little did I know that my eeman was about to be tested. I remember there was a little argument about which fun spot we should head to but then I think majority agreed we should go to the beach. ‘The Beach! But it just rained’, I thought. Little did I know that was the beginning of my worries? It was a long time since I had been to the beach, I think the last time was at Badagry beach in Lagos and it was really a long time. You know Lagos has all the fun spots but then I was young and innocent. The weather became clear and you would think it never rained earlier except for the wet ground and some puddles. We got to the beach and before the bus came to a halt the males in the bus were already screaming and waving like they had never seen girls before(my sisters, you know how boys can be). Then I looked at the reaction of the ladies in the bus, I saw their eyes, I could recognize those eyes anywhere, I had seen them before. It was those same eyes the girls in your secondary school gave you during your school’s inter-house sports if they caught you looking at girls from invited schools or worse still if they heard you say something nice about them and funny enough when you were together they didn’t ‘send you’(my brothers you know what I mean ) . Those eyes said only one thing ‘envy’. I smiled at the drama happening before my eyes, boys and girls, men and women, males and females we would always be different. The Ghanaian girls waved back and smiled, they liked the attention, (which female doesn’t like the attention?). Though they were amused at first but I guess when they saw the inscription on our bus they knew we were strangers in Ghana. The sun was out and a lot of people where at the beach, after all it was a national holiday. The boys couldn’t wait to get out, I can’t remember vividly but I think some of them even jumped out through the window. It was nice to feel the sand in between my toes. I looked around and could see a lot of boys with Rastafarian hair and Bob Marley tattoos all over their bodies. I thought these guys must be Bob Marley crazy. I looked round trying to find a good sight but everywhere I turned my eyes fell into sin. I decided to return to the bus. I think could hear some of my friends calling, they were already in the water. I took a seat at the back and sat close to the window and looked at the Sun, it was going to set soon, may be in a few hours. I noticed the presence of someone else in the bus, she was a Muslimah. She sat in one of the seats in the front rows. I had noticed her earlier during our journey to Ghana. She was easy to notice since she was the only female donning the Hijab. I think she was one level ahead of me but I was sure were both in the same department. I wanted to talk to her, to ask her what she was thinking, to know if our thoughts were similar, if she was thinking of the fun they were having. If a part of her thought like me that life was a prison for the believers and Paradise for the disbelievers. I wanted to talk to her but I decided to stay put. I looked outside the window and I could see some ladies by the Deejay’s stand drinking and dancing. It was obvious it was alcohol they were gulping since they were holding those amber bottles. Suddenly I got afraid, afraid that what if a tsunami happened here right now and we all died here. What a bad place to die. I recalled the verse in which Allah says:
‘And Guard yourselves against a chastisement which cannot fall exclusively on those of you who are wrong-doers, and you know that Allah is severe in punishment’ Q 8:25
Some punishments affect both good and bad people but was I a good person? I was afraid and yet I wanted the Qur’an to give me hope. I didn’t like the present situation I found myself. I had been in a similar situation in my freshman year when I attended SCSN dinner award. It was at NUT plaza and a fight ensued. I had decided then that I would not attend such gatherings but here I was in a similar gathering. I want to die in a good place with good people around. My name sake Abdul-Mujeeb Abdul-Razaq experienced what I desired later that semester, May Allah forgive him. That night in Accra, in the beautiful duplex that Mr. Alagbe Luther king hosted us I could hear the boys talking about the fun they had. Everyone had something to say except me and they gave me that look that… that look that said ‘boy, you missed’, like they felt sorry for me . I left the gathering and found a quiet spot in the house; it was easy to find one since the house was big. I reflected on the day’s event, thinking, asking myself if I was up for this, if this is the path I was going to take, if I wanted to become a stranger. Why did everyday seem like a battlefield? Would I be firm on this path? Only time would tell but I must try my best and pray that my Rabb keeps me firm on this path.
‘To the righteous (when) it is said "What is it that your Lord has revealed?" they say "All that is good." To those who do good there is good in this world and the Home of the Hereafter is even better. And excellent indeed is the Home of the righteous’ Q16:30