Victims – Episode 28
A Story By Rosemary Okafor
It had started like a test, a game for power, a political strategy. Since Danladi and his supporters had succeeded in grabbing the presidential seat, while pushing him to lick his wounds, not only did they rub their victory on his face, he was humiliated beyond words.
He had wished to give Danladi a challenge, heat on his bottom, he had wanted to take sleep off his arch-enemy’s eyes by turning his own people against him.
Being a Northerner, Danladi would be counting heavily on the Northerners’ supports and votes to remain on seat the next four years after this.
Mr Opposition Party Chairman was desperate to see his Own friend now enemy fall, he had wanted to make Danladi fall out with the locals, the Northern leaders and the North generally.
He voiced his worries to one faithful member, Usman, and a plan was birthed;
“I know a man who would make it possible mr chair” Usman had said to him. They were in a bar and Usman was on his fourth bottle, a little tipsy.
“It is not going to be easy to see him, but I can make the arrangement” Usman had added, smacking his lips noisily after Chugging from the bottle.
They just finished from their party meeting and he had wanted to hang around a while before going home, but like every ‘side-kick’ Usman had hung on his cloak.
That was how he was introduced to Imam Ali Husayn ibn. Mr Party Chairman had never met the cleric in person, Usman had taken up the task of doing the dirty job, as long as his account continued being flourished and he kept enjoying luxuries and girls.
The Imam’s conditions where not difficult as at the beginning;
“I only answer to Allah and not to any man” the Imam had told Usman on the first meeting. Husayn was afraid of his father, the Old Imam, the righteous one, but Usman knew too much about the young heartless and ambitious son of the Old man to let go.
Suddenly the old Imam died, he slept and never woke up, whether his death was arranged no one knew, but it was an advantage to them all, including the young Imam who would then run things his own way.
So Usman pressed on, luring the cleric with everything they could offer. Usman knew about the secret colony the Imam was building, though he didn’t know what was being done there, he also knew the Imam had been linked withthe riot that broke out 2000 in Kaduna over the introduction of Sharia as a state law, with more than one thousand people dead.
Usman had known the Imam would come around; “I have followed him for a while now, he is greedy for power and money, give him these two things and he is all your” Usman had insisted
So they offered acres of land where the Cleric would have his own autonomy and develop an Islamic state, they also offered two oil blocks to the cleric under a fake business company name.
And like a greedy hyena, The Imam had jumped to the offer and had wowed them all, he had held Jos hostage and had extended his breath of terror to other states, shaking Danladi and the presidential seat to their advantage.
He had watched with amusement as the president make series of mistakes in a bid to fight the terror they introduced, his little group of elite members had fueled the chaos by coming up with theories, roping the menace on the ruling party.
The game that broke the camel’s back was the twin explosion in Abuja, he had listened to the miserable speech made by Danladi, his stuttering was very visible and Mr Party Chairman knew the Ruling Party had lost faith from the people and ideas on what to do.
It was all good until the Imam started demanding too much, he was no longer contented with little, he wanted all,
“His demands are getting too much” Usman had said during their last meeting. But he had dismissed Usman with assurance that they would always put the Imam in his place, but he wasn’t too sure now.
As he crushed the letter he had received that morning in his palm with frustration, he wound down his windscreen and spat on the dusty road, two lovers walked pass him without taking a glance, they were all over each other, poking and laughing.
He suddenly wished he could switch body with the young man, walking the street of Abuja with no terrible letter to keep him awake all night except the p**sy of a beautiful lady.
The wound up again and thought of the Letter;
“… you have not keep your own part of the deal, you have not pushed my demands to NASS. In addition to our demands, I also demand that our cargos containing Arms should be released or I will bring terror to you, I also demand for an extra Oil block, my sect is fast growing and would need different streams of Income to feed it. I want you to know that you and your men are nothing but pawns in the hand of Allah, you were never in charge of this fight, you were only used to achieve our aims.
In case you wonder how I got your number, I know everything about everyone, I can locate you within minutes there in Abuja. So Obey Allah and go free, but Ignore me and make yourself an enemy of Allah …”
The letter had rattled him, he had wanted to remain anonymous to whoever the Imam was, to play from the dark, but this letter has shown that he wasn’t as invincible as he thought, so he was on his way to see Usman in his Hotel room where he was hiding sine three weeks he came in to Abuja.
Thirty-three minutes later, Mr party chairman was staring with horror at Usman’s dissected body.
The blood was fresh and the intestines were still breathing, his tongue was moving like he was struggling to say something while his eyes bulged out like that of a frog that was trampled on foot.
Whoever did this could be close or even in the room waiting for Mr Party chairman. Out of fear, he gathered his blue Agbada and hurried out of the building, he didn’t look behind him to see that he was being watched by a middle aged man who had ‘Vanguard newspaper’ over his face.
Yusuf eased the car by the deserted road side and wound down the wind-screen a little, the boy was asleep and they were out of Jos. He could say they were out of the danger of being caught by his Uncle or any of his allies.
He opened the car bonnet and added some water in the Radiator, the car was over heated.
He left the bonnet opened and moved to the boot, opening it, he unzipped the military backpack in there and examined his tools;
It was going to be one vengeance he may or may not live to tell the story, as he examined the explosives fitted like sculptures in a leather belt.
This wouldn’t be the first suicide bombing he would be masterminding, but it would be the first child suicide bombing.
He didn’t feel sorry for it, in fact he would have loved to get his uncle to watch as his son’s body scattered to pieces, but first he must get to Abuja and then send his message to his Uncle.
He closed the boot and sat on the car, the boy slept peacefully at the backseat, four years ago, he had loved the boy like his own and would have protected him with his life, but so had he loved his late wife and had sacrificed her on the Alter for Husayn’s Allah.
He has not chosen the location yet, but he would make sure it was worth it, it would be an attack that would wipe the memories of other attacks, and Umaru would be the sacrifice for Allah this time.
“Dalilin da ya sa (Why?)”
Husayn asked for the third time, yet his young bride kept mute. He wanted to convince himself that the girl standing before him couldn’t have killed Issa, but there was no alibi to cover her.
He Slapped her face again, this time sending her landing like a bag of onion on the ground. He saw the tears ran down her cheek but the girl held her ground and did not whimper.
He took a stride toward her and drew his whip like a sword. Without saying much, he released the whip on her, and like snakes, the whip stung severally.
He had little strength left when he was done with her and she was nothing but a pulp by the time he left. The penalty for the offense was death according to Sharia Law, but she was ready to keep them focused on her until she was sure the new girl have gone beyond their reach. Without much words, she had bonded with the new girl, they may have not done much together but they had shared their pains silently with each other. She didn’t know what lay ahead of the girl, as for her, she had nothing and no one waiting for her anywhere, this was her faith and the marriage with Husayn sealed it.
“Inda ne matarsa? (where is his wife)” Husayn asked one of the boys that brought the news of Issa’s death
“Ba mu ganin ta (we did not see her)”
“Sami ta (Find her)”
“Bring her back to me, as long as she is out there she would be a problem to us…and prepare the dead body for burial” He commanded before he stepped inside his office, shut the door and made his contact to Abuja.
To be continued