Victims – Episode 30
A Story By Rosemary Okafor
“We have succeeded in shooting ourselves on the leg”
Mr Party chairman said solemnly. The little room was silence except for the periodic shuffling of
Agbadas and the buzzing of the Air conditioner.
The meeting was not the party’s planned one, it was an emergency meeting for the Inner caucus. And the venue was chosen for the fear that gripped all of them after Usman’s gruesome murder made the news.
“Whoever did this is trying to send a message, he may come for us” Whimpered Honorable wali
The Honorable has always been fearful and pessimistic, sometimes Mrs Party chairman wondered why he was allowed to be part of this Elite party members
“I suspect the president is responsible for this” Alhaji Danjuma said
Mr Party chairman shook his head in the negative “No, Danladi could be desperate but he is not this brutal…”
“He must have paid someone to do the gruesome job for him…” insisted Danjuma
“I still insist he didn’t do this, I have worked with Danladi, brutal murder is not his thing, poisoning yes but not this type of…”
The room was silence again, the men looked at each other helplessly before Mr party chairman spoke again
“That Imam did this” he waited for someone to object but none did “I got a letter from him the morning I saw Usman’s dead body”
“Me ya sa ? Why?…” Senator Kazeem spoke for the first time
“He is beginning to demand more than we can offer, he played us to his advantage…I am afraid Honorable members, we can no longer control this man or his quest for power…” Mr party chairman heaved a sigh
“we cannot allow him ruin us, he has overstayed his usefulness, we can dispose of him and plan another strategy to get what we want…”
“I am afraid honorable Mohammad, he has become stronger than all of us, this man knows weapons like the back of his palm and commands thousands of faithful followers who would burn this country down in the name of his Allah…”
“We can use his own against him” Senator Kazeem cut in
“I know Imam Husayn, at least I know his family so well, I heard he framed his in-law and got him locked up in Kuje for sometime now while his nephew, the son to the old Man he locked up works for him…we could offer the young man something he could not refuse in exchange of selling out his uncle…”
Mr party chairman weighed the suggestion for some time, he didn’t know what to make of it, as long as he wanted to jump into any suggestion that would relief them of the tension hanging on their necks, he would want to be careful not to complicate issues;
“these boys are always brainwashed into doing anything for their leader including sacrificing their families and loved ones…”
“The boy has lost his mother already, and I heard he lost his second wife too, no thanks to his uncle. Now his father is in prison… we could speak to him and get him see the other side of his uncle…then…”
“Where is this boy now?”
“I don’t know… but he would not be hard to find…”
“Make contact Kazeem, then get back to me as soon as possible…I think we should also pay the Old Mallam a visit in his new home at Kuje ”
It wasn’t so difficult to track the big men with the boy. Kazeem could pull strings even in the Enemy’s territory to get what he want, he was a retired military General so playing the fox to get what he want would not be so difficult
“As-Salam alaikum” Kazeem had greeted with all humility he could feign
“Wa-Alaikum Salaam” Husayn had responded, a little disappointed that it wasn’t the voice he had wanted to hear since morning
He had hurriedly excused himself from the secret meeting where plans were being made for another riot in respect of the announced ‘miss world beauty pageant’. He had tried to put up a strong font even though a huge storm was forming inside his head.
The riot would be carried out in four major cities; Kaduna, Jos and Abuja, “send words to brethren in these states, make it violent if you must; burn their houses, set their cars on fire, push into American Embassy in Abuja and bring it down…Allah will make way for you…Islam should not be disrespected like this, and you must not watch Allah blasphemed ” he had told them with so much venom.
That was before he felt his phone vibrate, he ran off to his sacred room inside the office and held his phone firmly on his ears.
“Who is this?” he asked when he felt it was a voice he wasn’t used to
“It’s senator Kazeem…”
“Oh! Senator” Husayn adjusted his tone to sound amiable “How is my friend the Party chairman?”
“He sent his greetings, he would want to pay hcurtsey visit one of these days” both knew it was an ice breaker, to pave way for the real conversation
“I heard one of your boys visited an old man in prison here in Abuja, I mean the Man that was alleged to be responsible for the twin bombing”
Husayn didn’t know where the conversation was going to but he decided to play along “I don’t know about that, and the connection any of my boys have with an old man in prison” Husayn laughed nervously
“Well, it got me worried…this act may give us out and I heard the boy in question said somethings he was not supposed to say, and these confessions were recorded…” Kazeem only know about the visit because the arrest and detaining of the Islamic scholar got his attention and he had wanted to know who had wanted the old man locked up and why. And when the news of the prison break got to him, with only the Old man not able to leave, it became obvious that there was something more to that story, so he had bribed his way into Kuje Prison and had gotten himself allies.
“Well Senator…I don’t know what to say, I am not aware of such visit…”
“Imam, the way I see this, I will advise you give up the boy, you know how these things work, if he manages to spill, all of us goes down…and a well-respected cleric like you…”
Husayn has not gotten himself in a position where he lacked words before, but he suddenly felt he could use this to his advantage, after all has been looking for a way to kill Yusuf, what if he throws him in the hands of these politicians and watch them do the job for him?
“I know the boy you are talking about, but I tell you he is not one of us, he is a rebel who is on the run”
Kazeem tried hard to hide his excitement, he was about to get the news he was seeking
“…he left Jos Long ago, with the report I have of him, he should be in Abuja with a little boy who happens to be my son”
“Your Son? Why?”
“I will not tell you that senator, but Yusuf is a very dangerous man, do with his however you please but don’t let him or anyone harm my son…”
“Sure…sure, do you have any idea where we can locate this…Yusuf you mentioned?”
“No for now, he may be hiding in any hotel there in Abuja, he has lots of money with him and I guess he may be armed too”
“Thank you so much Imam, I promise you we will nab him and your name will not be mentioned at all”
That was two hours ago, before Kazeem alerted his party Chairman
“We have the information we are looking for, the boy is here in Abuja and it seems like he has fallen out with the Imam” Kazeem said
“You need to get to him before Husayn gets to him”
Mr Party Chairman dropped the phone, threw 40 milligram of Enalapril inside his mouth, he gulp down th drug with water, tapping his chest to make the drug go down, a habit he picked up as a child, he had hated taking tablets even when his mother would slide the tablet inside balls of food for him to swallow.
He would have taking 20mg of the Hypertension drug, but after what he saw two days ago and the threat that came from the cleric, his heart has been playing bass drum and was threatening to pull off his chest, his Blood Pressure has gone up as well.
He took more water, dropped the bottle on top of the small table in the small hotel room. It was not the kind of hotel he was known for, but he had wanted to be careful of giving a lead to whoever that killed Usman. He had not slept in his mansion since yesterday, and had located this hotel after several search for a safe place for himself.
He had come in wearing a pair of jean and a T-shirt with a face cap, he hoped some miserable blogger didn’t capture his picture or he would be trending on social media the next morning.
He adjusted the pillow that was worse than what he saw in a boarding house in his village community school where he went to commission a toilet three years ago. He turned and tossed on the bed that was as strong as a stone.
He would have switched on the television to keep himself busy but the Hotel has turned off their generator for the night. He thought of calling Mira, but dismissed the thought, Mira would definitely laugh him to scorn and would want to know why he was hiding here, he really needed to f**ck a wet p**sy in other to forget his fear and getting one or two of those cheap prostitutes downstairs would put him at risk. he resolved to watching some pornographic clips of women licking and humping women while he relief his urge.
They got to her apartment in the evening after Ukwuoma has been with Ife in the hospital, she had refused to stay outside while the nurses perform their duties on the girl.
Ife was sedated before it was possible for them to tend to her wounds. She was hysterical, screaming and throwing fits and her eyes fixed at a spot like she was in a tussle with an unseen present.
Ukwuoma had wished Ife could wake up and talk to her but she didn’t, not even when it was time for them to go.
The good Lady Doctor was generous enough to share her one-bedroom flat with her, seeing the modesty of the house made her want to run away, ‘I don’t deserve this place’ she had thought
She feared what would happen to the Good lady if the demons that has been following her pay them a visit, like they did to Mariam and had her throat slit.
“Let me stay here with Ife…I can sleep on the floor” Ukwuoma had objected
“It is not allowed ma, besides, my house is big enough for us…”
“What would happen to her? Who will be taking care of her here? What if she needs me?”
“Your daughter will get all the attention she need, the nurses will see to that and you will be coming every morning to see her”
She sat in the good lady’s car and shivered as the rush of fresh air hit her. By the time they got to the house, she was already sleeping.
Yusuf stepped out of the hotel, with his pair of tight faded chinos, a shirt and a backpack, one would mistake him for a student except for the little boy by his side.
The boy has a lollypop stuck in his mouth with spittle sliding down from the corner of his mouth and he was trying to walk as fast as the adult that held his hand.
“Excuse me sir, we need you to step over here”
Yusuf cursed softly, he would have worn his military Uniform, it would have saved him being checked
“What for?” he asked, feigning anger
“For security check”
He would have objected, or even created a scene ‘do you know who I am ’ would have been the right thing to say, but he didn’t want to draw more attention and get his bag searched
“See Mr Man, I am already late, my sister is waiting for us…”
“We don’t need to act any drama sir, please follow me” the Security guard said and walked towards the gate. Yusuf had two options, to run or to follow the guard, he chosed the later, not knowing how far he would run before his cover would be blown.
“Step in” he was ordered as the door of a waiting tinted Toyota Prado opened for him
He wasn’t given the luxury of a response, the security guard pushed him inside the SUV and the child was made to seat at the front seat before the car drove off.
“Mr Yusuf…good to see you”
He wondered how this man on a black tuxedo, well-trimmed beards and a brief case got to know his name.
To be continued