Victims – Episode 31
A Story By Rosemary Okafor
“Ba mu damu game da yaron, We care less about the boy as well as you…”
Yusuf had given a side glance at the boy who was fiddling with a bunch of key, unaware how his fate was being decided by some group of powerful men, and an impromptu meeting held in a lavishly furnished seating-room.
“you have no choice here Yusuf, Ba ku wani zabi , you either do what we say or you and your old father rot in prison for the rest of your lives” His captor has said, giving him that smirk which reminded him of his Uncle Husayn.
“Shin yaron (The boy)” Yusuf said, moving his head to the direction of the boy, “ya shi ne faruwa mutu (He was going to die)”
“And he still will…” Senator Kazeem cut in. “You will get your well-deserved revenge Yusuf, all we want from you is to make the call and bring Husayn to us, we will take it up from there while you do whatever you wish with the boy”
The plan was to lure Husayn to Abuja, to the open when he would be trapped. he would call his uncle and demand that he comes to Abuja to a specific venue at a particular time or his son dies.
“My Uncle is not stupid; he will not just walk into a trap”
“He is desperate to get his son back, but I know he is not stupid, he has men that are loyal to him here in Abuja, even in the Army…but leave that to me, I have that planned all out”
So Husayn would be told to come alone and make no contacts or the boy would die.
“He may give up the boy, Husayn would rather see his son die than allow himself to be caught. All I wanted was a sweet revenge, for him to see his son blown to pieces like every other live he had sacrificed for his madness” Yusuf said
“…And we are giving you the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, get your uncle arrested and put away forever, set your father free and have your pound of flesh with the boy”
Yusuf looked at the boy again, he was scratching on the black leather shoes of one heavy chested man who stood like a statue beside the split Unit Air conditioner. The heavy chested man kicked him off and he fall on his back, letting out a loud wail
“Shut that boy up” the senator said with a frown and the guard lifted the protesting boy and walked out of the room
“What would happen to me after this?” Yusuf asked
“Nothing…we would make sure you come to no harm, you can leave this country with your father if you so wish…”
Yusuf didn’t believe him, neither did he believe that this plan would work, he knew they would never be able to outsmart Husayn, and if this backfires, he would go down with it with these men going back to their normal lives, pretending as if nothing happened. But he had to get his uncle down to Abuja one way or the other, and he would want his Uncle to be presence when Umaru would go up in flames.
Yusuf didn’t know what to hope for, whether Allah would be pleased with him, and he didn’t care. He cared little about Allah and his demands lately, he had not observed ‘ Salat’ neither has he been to any Mosque since he became a fugitive.
“I want my father released before we go on with your plan”
“Sure…, I only need to make few calls and he would be out of prison in one or two days from now”
“To sa da Wava kira (Then make the call)”
For the first time in two years he found himself in the presidential villa, walking the same corridor that he had walked with Danladi the day he was pronounce the president of the Federal Republic, and about to enter the glorious office of the president where a man whom was once a friend but now an enemy awaits him.
Kazeem said this meeting was important if they must get what they want, and judging by the situation, he had no better option so there he was, about to be humiliated by Danladi once again, or the other way round.
A security guard announced his arrival to the president and Ushered him in. Mr. Party chairman sat on the expensive cushion in the intimidating office and watched Danladi gave orders and bark like a pit-bull over the phone.
“Sorry my friend…one cannot help but get angry often these days” Danladi hissed while Mr Party chairman nodded with envy
“you know” Danladi started, relaxing his back on the chair “Sometimes I wish I could just forget all this and go on vacation where I will be alone with my family” he chuckled
“Yet you will run for a second tenure ” Mr Party Chairman would have said “I can understand” He said rather
“No you don’t my friend…believe me, you don’t want to be in my shoes, with all these men hanging around you and the press waiting for you to sneeze…its hard work” Danladi cut in
Mr Party Chairman hated him the more, he knew what Danladi was trying to do, rubbing his own failure on his face, reminding him who the boss was at the moment.
“Hmm…I guess I don’t Mr. president”
Danladi laughed louder “What would you want to drink hmm? Tea or coffee?” it was a mockery to the British culture of always offering tea or coffee to visitors, “You people that have travelled to Oyibo countries, you always drink tea and coffee, but here eh…it is beer and hot drinks” Danladi laughed more “Anyways, I was joking…I actually have tea and coffee here”
“No thank you” Mr party chairman said, not sharing on the joke.
Danladi said something over the phone and a lady came in, in less than a minute she handed Mr president a cup of tea and walked out. Danladi sipped from the cut and smacked his lips
“I want my teas prepared on my watch, one may not know who would be paid to poison him one of these days” Danladi looked straight into his rival’s eyes. He drank again and said; “Yes you wanted to see me in person”
“Without your bodyguards”
Danladi gave him a long look, Mr party chairman sensed fear in his eyes which vanished immediately “Of course” Danladi said and waved the three military men in the room off.
“I need you to release someone for me” Mr party chairman said
“Why would I want to do that?”
“You owe me favors which you have not paid Danladi…”
“As far as I remember, I owe you nothing Lamido”
Both held each other’s gaze for a short while, Mr party chairman, Lamido succeeded in checking his temper and restraining himself from flaring up
“Okay, you have been trying to put an end to the numerous bomb attacks and crisis going on under your administration…”
“Attacks you and the likes of you are the brain behind…”
“****head” Lamido wanted to spit at Mr President’s face, “I don’t know what you are talking about…but I am here to tell you that we can end this crisis once and for all by releasing one man from the prison”
“Who is this man you are so interested in and why are you suddenly offering to help me?”
“Let’s just say…I have a personal interest, and the man in question is the man linked with the Abuja twin Bombing last year”
Danladi raised his eyebrows in shock
“See” Lamido continued, adjusting his weight from one buttock to the other “We know who is behind those crisis, even the Abuja bombing was master-minder by this same madman and we have gotten a way to rope this man and drag him to the guillotine, all you have to do is to set the wrongly accused person free”
“What role did you play in all of these Lamido? Why do you suddenly decided to be a knight?”
“Do you want to clear your name and administration while restoring the people’s fate in you or not?” Mr Party chairman asked, ignoring Mr Presidents’ suspicious look and questions
“What is your price my friend?” Danladi asked again
“For now, enjoy your glory…I will name my price when I am ready to play politics again old friend”
It was becoming a routine, she going with the good Young doctor to the hospital, where she would disappear inside her office and bury her nose in many files that piled on her table before she would resume, until she goes to go see[i] ‘them that has the freedom of the mind[/i]’ what she called those the world call ‘ mad ’. her name was Kafaya,
“Are we all not mad in this country?” Kafaya would say each time she returns from the hospital, kicking off her shoes and m-ssaging her toes.
Kafaya has kept her word, aside periodic muttering of incoherent words and withdrawal attitude, Ifeoluwa was looking up and there was hope for her, though she sometimes would not recognize Ukwuoma.
On her part, Ukwuoma was getting used to the city of Abuja, and the comfort that came with it, though she still heard voices in her head and saw her lost loved ones, but Kafaya said it was normal for people who had traumatic experiences like hers. What did she call it? Schizophrenia.
One day she had gone to the market and had followed a man thinking he was her Kunle, only to realize she couldn’t trace her way back no matter how much she had tried, she had sat on a pavement and cried like a baby, she couldn’t even remember the name of the street Kafaya told her she was staying, thank God she had it written on a piece of paper and was tucked somewhere in her purse, a good Samaritan was able to get her home. She was ashamed of herself that day like every other day she had followed those voices.
Sleeping has not been without nightmares either, but the bed was comfortable.
‘it will pass and you will be fine’ Kafaya always say to her and she believe her.
To be continued
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