THE ANGEL AND THE FUGITIVE – CHAPTER EIGHT PART A
© Reginald Obetta
The military base sheltered more than three thousand soldiers, parading approximately ten miles away from the base. It was so constructed in a way no one gets into the base from the outside without being detected from their satellite that hung above a roofing sheet, which covers up to five miles. It had anti missile detector plate that rendered any missile lunched ineffective, and a bomb detector, a similar kind of setup at the Apex house. The only way to plant a bomb was going inside, which seemed impossible at first. Bin-Ahmed had weighed the possibilities and discovered a loop hole, the satellite only monitored anyone coming in through the front and not any other way. He guessed the best possible way was to go through the back which was as guarded as the front except with maybe, more than. A canal, so deep from far led to it. Their only option was to cause a distraction with multiple explosions outside, lure as many soldiers as possible out, kill a few to collect their uniforms and then go outside which seemed a perfect plan. Bin-Ahmed organised his men into four groups of two’s, he would go inside from the back through the canal after some of the soldiers had lessened, the other groups will cause the distraction. He was in the canal already when the explosion was heard, some of the soldiers left as predicted, Bin-Ahmed and his group handled the few that was left, took their uniforms and proceeded. A long passage like a garage was where they passed, with rooms and small offices beside, one of the other groups had joined. A bomb was planted in the garage, then the armory and the control room, which was their last point before they made a return. They weren’t stopped, the soldiers believed they were part of them. Anyone that doubted their identity was instantly killed. They knew the soldiers will saw nothing but smoke and no casualty. They left the same way they entered and hid in between the canal. All the soldiers had returned by then, the twelve minutes time they set had elapsed and then, the explosion occurred. The base was razed down to fragments.
Reports got to the defense quarters in Abuja. It hadn’t been confirmed if there were any survivors but doubts were raised that there wouldn’t be were. The chief of defense, the minister were all in great shock. They questioned the audacity of these individuals whom they had described to people as terrorists, going to the extreme of penetrating into a military base and destroying innocent lives that put their lives for the protection of their territory. It was no fluke and lie that indeed, they were dealing with a terrorist organization. They thought, we’re the only set of people to pull this kind of operation. A future catastrophe was about to befall the country. The minister, Akin Wunmi paced about perplexed till a junior staff brought a beeping phone to him. It was the President, Ajuwa Williams calling;
“Good day Mr President”
“There is nothing absolutely good about the day. It’s a bad day, what is happening? ”
“Sir, we lost some men in the bomb explosion in Baigari state”
“Did I say I didn’t know we lost good soldiers? I mean, what is happening? What are you planning to do to clear the mess? ”
“We are on it Sir”
“I don’t need more assurance tales, you better act like you are truly on it or face a retirement”, he ended. The chief of defense focused his gaze on the screen, he was studying how the bombers got in. All videos, taken from the satellite in each military base are synchronized to the database of the defense quarters, hence, even after the explosion, the footage was still with them. That was what the chief of defense was studying.
“Three soldiers standing there disappeared and then reappeared minutes later. Probably they were killed and then they clad in their uniforms. Their face aren’t visible because of the helmet. How did they get in then? ”
“It wasn’t from the front, we could have their images”, the operator in charge of the control room stated.
“Then, is from the back. They knew it. Quite smart of them”.
Another staff, a female came running in a haste towards the control room.
“What’s the problem? ”
“Sir, it’s the press. They are all outside, demanding to get reports confirmed from you.”
“Dismiss them, I don’t want to see them”
“Sir, should I tell them that? ”
“Oh, use your senses for goodness sake. Don’t tell them that, tell them we still have unconfirmed reports yet about the victims.”
“Right away sir”, she left.
The chief continued to gaze at the screen even though, there was nothing to look at. No clue or whatsoever would link them to the culprits. In actual sense, his mind was faraway, his thoughts were asking some very good questions. What were the aims if these guys and their political gain? He couldn’t pinpoint what they really wanted from the government or perhaps, they were just mere thugs turned into a group of criminals wanting to prove their mettle about their existence in the political terrain. The questions kept coming and he kept answering with assumptions. He knew the country was in danger, his family too and he himself was not safe either. The next target could be anywhere, something they ought to get prepared for.
“Sir”, came another gentle voice. It was the same female staff that came walking up to him. The chief’s mind was brought back to reality, like he woke up from his slumber.
“These are the figures of the casualties “, she presented the documents to him. It read two thousand, one hundred and thirty dead soldiers and eight hundred and seventy injured. He dismissed her, went to his office, sat back on an empty seat and squeezed the paper angrily. At this point, he was as helpless as a surgeon without his hands. He needed to do something fast or face the threats of the President.
Al-hida group relocated to Taglu state, the night they attacked the military base in Baigari state. It was a fourteen hours journey across two geopolitical zones, from the northeast to northwest and settled in Zurth, a city in the outskirts and also at the border where they always liked to reside, to hide their identities. A place where they could easily move from to another state. Taglu had three states, kamaru, Ejam and Abor in the southwest as neighbouring state and Zurth, shared a border with Abor. It was as if the house had already been paid for even before their arrival. It was night, in the hour of 9 pm. They on loaded their luggage from the two trucks and a bus that transited them. Of course, the two trucks were filled with weapons inform of disguised bags of cements and the bus, contained all of them, including new members that joined from school that hadn’t executed their first mission, as a rule for every new member. Bin-Ahmed had promised them celebration in a grand style about their previous successful mission. He scheduled to do the celebration the next day, because they had to settle in their new place that day. The house was in a secluded area, the nearest house was about a mile away. It’s surroundings were bushy and obviously unattractive. Hence, the reason why nobody cared to live. The paintings on the walls had been washed away by rain perhaps and the walls were cracking. It so happened it rained that night, the whole roof leaked, the rain was pouring on them where they all laid. They didn’t feel it, they were all prepared to survive by it. They had been trained to do so mentally and so, endured. They laid partially till morning, the rain had subsided by then.