THE ANGEL AND THE FUGITIVE CHAPTER THREE PART A
President Ajuwa Williams stated in a press conference during the seven o’clock hour of the morning that every citizen of Baigari State not to be bothered by the qualms, caused by latest supposed terrorist attack in the state, citing the firm position and commitment of the military and other security agencies in taking absolute control of the situation and the need for quietude. The attack was the third to be launched in the month by the deadly unknown group, who had been in operation since the beginning of the new year. The terrorist group had been a concern to the nation and international organizations and each effort to combat it so far had been futile , the group grew from strength to strength , with each attack, unexpectedly orchestrated. The news was watched by former Minister of Iron and steel extraction, Alhaji Saheed Mohammed under the past administration in his emphatic sitting room, wide enough to host a presidential conference. Pictures of politicians hung on the wall in a frame in a circumference, like every other homes owned by a politician, it’s settee, electrical appliances and gadgets, chandeliers, begonia on the center table added glamour and luxury. He himself was a man in his sixties, grey hairs appeared on his head and had oval glasses on, an ex-convict, convicted of corruption and falsification of figure. He dropped the glass of orange juice he had been sipping on the glass table, reached for the remote to switch of the television, retreated to his seat with murmur and lamentations on his lips.
“Arrant nonsense, sheer class of stupidity, this is the height of ignorance and arrogance. Imagine the pep talks”, he was reacting to the news, the words of the President and mimicking them at the top of his murmur. At the height of his lamentations, one his bodyguard led a man in kaftan after informing Alhaji Saheed of his arrival. Mr Bode Samson was his oldest friend and an eye for him in the present Government. He was a serving minister of infrastructural development. After engaging in each other’s warm embrace and greetings, they finally settled down on the settee.
“Did you watch the news? It seems the Government is taking the last attack too likely. They seem the presence of the military men as a savior ”
“Oh, I just was about to bring the topic up, it’s good for business that they take it likely, the silly things he said, I think he hasn’t realized what I am turning this state into yet. How long does he think the masses will continue to believe in him? In his power to eradicate the impending menace, just like when he put me in prison and some of my colleagues? “.
“Not for long, I assure you. He hasn’t yet and very soon he, would open his eyes to the realization that he has been ousted from the Apex house. ”
“Very true Honourable. Oh, what a series of surprises that awaits this sorry Government. I will launch another attack by and by. I need to keep the media and the Government busy while I continue my plan of endorsing the Vice President. Elections is around the corner you know.
“Don’t you think the next attack is sudden? We should lay low before launching next when they don’t expect ”
“I don’t think so. We will only plan for it and then, relax to see how things pan out. Give some minutes, let me make a call to my loyal servants”, he picked his beside him and dialed the numbers.
A yellow painted building stood some meters away from the campus gate. The inscription, well above it was “Danladi Hostel”, one of the male and oldest hostels building in Rahaman University. It was first class hostel, only the affluent could afford it’s exorbitant fee. In one of the rooms, which was well furnished, embellished with enormous poster of Chelsea football team logo on the left side of the wall, pop artiste logo on the right, a Dolby sound system which produced sound so loud that dominated the room, game console on the center, a medium size refrigerator beside it. Adjacent it was a medium size bed and some upholstery. The room itself was large, maybe the largest of all rooms in the hostel. Reason for choosing the room was obvious, more like a room where meeting was held. More than eight men stayed in or went out frequently. There were four men inside this time, sitting on the edge of the bed, wearing a white vest and black trouser, some where chest nude. Each of them held a lighted cigarette and smoking, another group of three rascals, not as good looking as the former sat on the red rug, each one drank from their bottle of gin and played chess. They unusually maintained silence. Only the loud music was heard and their head which danced to the rhythm. Apparently, they awaited the arrival of another, each time, one of them stood to check the corridor. Then, they stopped the music, suspended their activities when the door knob cracked open, the person they had been waiting finally arrived, he was of a giant and dark complexioned, and had a big scar on his right cheek. He proceeded to the refrigerator and got a beer. These men were the Al-hida terrorist group. They resided in the hostel as students they weren’t and rented a room for themselves to divert public attention and for the purpose of school protection . Campus students misinterpreted them as cultists and endeavored not to associate with them, though there was no substantial proof that they were cultists, It was a general belief they were. Some of them had been graduates of various discipline, but then frustration set in as a result of unemployment, one of the degrading factors of the past administration and then, each of them became a political tool in the hands of a man they never knew was a fulcrum in it. They were made to believe falsely it was a revenge mission they had been enacting on government officials, mainly the President and members of his cabinet whom they also believe has a skeleton in his closet, that transited from the past administration, a punishment for their evilness that they considered just. That common faith bonded them strongly. Rogers had been a member since his first year in school like other first year members, the pay was a factor for joining and had no need, of getting away. Schooling was no longer his priority as the pay. Rogers intelligence and diligence made way for him in the ladder and he was now in the same rank as senior members.
“It was a good job you all did back there, launching two different attacks in two different states at the same time, it was marvelous. Once again, we are on top of our game. We have the government on their knees. Send my greetings to the rest of our members “, he commended them after exchanging greetings. Taking two gulp of his beer, Ruff set out to continue in his thick voice.
“We need more men, our next operation may be demanding “, he continued, “Men who are tired of life, I just don’t mean the ordinary, great thinkers.”
“It is very a tedious task. The preaching’s going about, everyone on campus, one way or the other is inclined to the Christian faith. No one will like to compromise his or hers”, stated Kamal, another member.
“It’s that simple, we tame the neck and the head falls off. Everyone is afraid of us, it shouldn’t be so tedious, “he paused for a while, his subordinates looked lost at what he said. It was nearly impossible to them to bring more.
“The head of their Christian Fellowship is in a terrible mess, a weakness we can use to lure him, the rest follows. Don’t ask me how I knew. Information spreads really fast.”
Rogers seemed ignorant of what was happening, even when Ruff fixed his gaze at him , his mind was far off. Ruff was talking about Tafa to them. The latter was the President of Christian Fellowship Association, a subsidiary of a Pentecostal church outside the University. Campus meetings and weekly fellowship were held on campus and on Sundays, at the main church outside. Ruff understands Rogers more than the rest, obviously taunted as his heir, his earlier gaze at him was giving Rogers, room to expound on his theory. When asked if he was okay, Rogers stated he was absolutely fine. When asked about how his roommate was responding to the call, he stated it wasn’t going well.
“He hasn’t given up yet, he is still stuck hard to his beliefs. I don’t see it changing in the nearest future. ”
“He won’t stick for long. I have plans for him. Tafa is intelligent, his intelligence won’t go for nothing and I pretty much like him. If we are to think ahead, we need him amongst us. Only fate will bring him to us. He would come to us like a stranger looking for comfort and when he comes, we will be worst than we are”. Ruff doesn’t make empty promises, his forecast never for once had failed to come true. Sometimes, he went by the nickname “the prophet”. They chanted in chorus, their sect song.
“Death traps, Death traps, that is what we are called. Death traps, Death traps. “. Ruff’s mobile phone beeped thrice before receiving it.
“Good morning Alhaji “,
“Hope you and the boys are safe”,
“Yes, we are”,
“Good, you have another attack to launch surreptitiously. You and the boys should get prepared, strategize the bombing of cupala square and it’s surroundings. I will tell you the day before the day of the launch. ”
“Yes, Alhaji, we will do as you say.”
“Your pay will be doubled this time, “he hung up.
“We have job to do guys”.
[10/30, 1:57 PM] Reginald: CHAPTER THREE PART B
Mr Bode Samson giggled at Alhaji Saheed after replacing his mobile phone, the latter reciprocating . He was always present during his timely call to his “special servants” whenever the needs arises. Alhaji Saheed was his godfather, responsible for putting him into politics. He had been his loyal son ever since and promised to do the impossible to help him on any matter regardless of anything.
“He always respond to your call anytime. They seem to be enjoying their duty”, referring to Tafa.
“Of course. Why wouldn’t they? Money talks and everyone obeys like servants. Do you know how I met Ruff?
“I haven’t gotten the chance to ask and you didn’t have the time to tell me”
“Well, am telling you now. I picked Ruff on the street twenty-four years ago. He was just five, homeless and devastated. I adopted him, became his foster father, took him as my own flesh and blood, educated him and then I knew he will be so pivotal in future. We lost contact at a point, by then he was able to train himself by the business he did. We found ourselves again on the same path, the exact perfect time my first son was sentenced to lifetime imprisonment for smuggling drugs. The frustrations of being jobless had gotten to him by that time as a result of our clique, his business collapsed and had no choice but to be the man he is now, to ease his frustrations and believe a ridiculous story of revenge. Interesting isn’t it?
“Very indeed. He must really be indebted to you for the rest of his life. ”
“Absolutely, he is,” he gulped to the last drop of his orange juice in excitement and then in fury when he reminisces the imprisonment of his son, which came after the death of his wife in an auto crash. Few months later, he was imprisoned for corruption, a sad memory he rode on till present.
“I gave him a purpose, something to live for and fight. He got a team, he knows how he got them and then, the belief was enacted”, he took another gulp and continued.
“How can your own people turn their back against you in favour of a man who isn’t their ethnicity, betray you in the process. It’s like a dog who hunts his fellow animals and man’s enemies for the favour of man, their owners. They voted for Ajuwa Williams instead of Mallam Ali Nurudeen. They will suffer for their actions, this government will wear out like a dilapidated structure by and by, I promise, “he swore to himself.
It was apparent, cupala square was chosen because of the next ruling party convention and rally scheduled to hold. The date of event hadn’t been made public yet but there was a certainty that it would be held at the square. It will be crowded to the brim and will be the perfect timing to launch. Ruff finished addressing his guys about their new mission after he hung up, he proceeded to wear his Jean and shirt, which he had removed while relaxing and went out. He needed to have a birds view of the place and run some things personally.
Tafa and Rita stepped out of the taxi at the gate. It was a mild sunny afternoon, the sun was friendly and accommodating. Tafa had a peaceful night for the first time in days, his thoughts were elated and almost forgot he had a place to go as planned till Rita got him to wake up. He wished he could continue to sleep and never wake, if it means his problems going away. A night sleep, his late mother said was by a distance, a nature’s gift too precious, so important to neglect. It washes away your strain and eases your mind from stress, makes you think of your problems lightly, proffers solutions that makes you felicitous. Tafa was feeling this way when he got up, his attitude, easily noticed by Rita. He anticipated a new dawn of hope, that which could save his dying father.
They ran pep Mel to the church building , a synonymous act with a prey, hunted by a predator. The church receptionist and attendant, a young beautiful plumb lady, who was reading her Bible had told them that Pastor Simon, the senior pastor, wasn’t around but his assistant, Pastor James was. Pastor Simon was a young passionate preacher of the Gospel, finished his theological school at a young age. Before becoming senior pastor, he had been evangelizing for a few years, his excellent spirit which was apparently seen by all was the factor that made him climb the ladder of leadership, eventually selected to become the senior pastor, the youngest amongst other pastors. Tafa knocked twice on the door, they could hear him praying inside. They waited briefly before they were ushered in after he ended his prayers.
“Good afternoon pastor, ”
“Good afternoon bro Tafa and sister Rita. How are you all?”
“We thank God, the Creator of everything.”
“May his name be praised forever. Sit down please, to what do I owe this meeting. Bro Tafa, I didn’t see you in the meeting yesterday, what happened? ”
“Pastor forgive me, am sorry to say this but bad things happened to me this past few days. That was our reason for coming to see pastor Simon.”
“What is the problem? “You can tell me.”
Tafa couldn’t disclose the fact. The origin of his pathetic story eluded his thoughts. The sadness clouded his mind so much he didn’t know where to start from. His mouth was wide open, his lips smacking but the words couldn’t come out. Rita on noticing his plight proceeded to tell.
“Pastor, Tafa’s mother is in the morgue, and his father is in dire need of assistance to be flown abroad for a heart transplant. Tafa is in a mess. ”
“Jesus Christ is Lord”, the pastor himself got astonished by the terrible news. Tafa’s survival in a bomb scare wasn’t part of what she wanted to disclose. Pastor James was already bewildered by what he had heard, shook his head sideways displeasure.
“Am sorry for the demise of your mother. It’s very unfortunate to hear what I just heard. God knows why all these are happening, He will give you the fortitude to bear her loss.
“Amen”, both chorused.
“Have you set the burial date already, ”
“Pastor, that is one my reasons for coming with Sister Rita. I need some assistance from the church, loan or anything to save my father. I will repay the church soon.”
“What you are asking for is slightly impossible. The church doesn’t have a provision for treatment of one’s family member. Am sorry”
“Please Pastor, now is the ultimate time to come to our aid. We just need a small amount to add to ours. Am sure Bro Tafa will repay you sooner than expected, “Rita chipped in.
“I understand your plight but am not the senior pastor neither am I the owner of the church. ”
“But you can help us talk to them, talk to the council on our behalf. Pastor, you can please.”
“There are protocol, guidelines to abide by. It will take sometime to prepare the money. ”
Rita and Tafa kept on insisting. Their persistence and demands, all but cut a frustrating figure from the assistant pastor. In as much as it wasn’t in his power, he had the urge to help them one way or the other. He broke the long silence with a question he asked them about how much they needed, when he was told of the huge amount, he exclaimed. He thought for some minutes before giving his final verdict.
“I will see what I can do. I will give you a call later tomorrow, but am not giving you any assurance that it’s going to go well”
“Thank you Pastor. Surely, I know it will go well”, Rita stated confidently.
“We really appreciate your concern ”
“It’s God brethren. Let us pray”.
They closed their and said a short prayer before finally departing.