We may recall the protagonist of H.G. Wells' short story - "The Man with a Nose." Today I met his antithesis - the man with no nose - on my second day in Nigeria.
Nathan, 32, is one of about a dozen victims of Boko Haram from a random sample that we were able to get to travel down for our CANAN press conference.
He had the ultimately fatal trifecta of Christian names Nathan Ezekiel. His middlename is Moses.
After being denied a job for years because he had a Christian name, he found a job working at a private company. Last year the jihadist terror group invaded the company grounds and rounded up 6 Christians. "We have been preaching that people should convert to Islam and you have not. Why?" and promptly shot them all. Nathan took 5 bullets - two to the head.
After 4 months in hospital, he survived. The medics worked hard to salvage as much of his face of his face as possible. He had to put in his false teeth to conduct the interview with me. Nothing prepares you for this. Nothing. Yet I have been covering this exclusively for the last 3 years.
After we finish the interview he mentions that his maxillofacial surgeons say they can fix his other nostril so he can breathe through it, Right now he breathes through a whole in his face and his mouth. "Really?" I intoned. "Why haven't they done it?" I queried.
"I don't have the money to pay for the surgery." It will cost the maxillofacial surgeons about $1,500 to get him breathing normally again - we are not talking make him look his normal self.
"I was getting ready to marry when this happened. Now I have spent all on just trying to survive."
His company has closed down because of the terror attacks. He has fled town because Boko Haram heard he survived and is still a Christian. But there is good news. His fiancee has not broken it off because he is a man with no nose...
This year at Justice for Jos, we are focusing on the voice of the victims. Nathan is one. Here is another which was in today's dailies. I call it - "Why the journalists wept."
Spero columnist Emmanuel Ogebe is an attorney practicing international law in Washington DC.