About me

Posted in Prose, Stories

ASUNDER!

ACT 1


SCENE 2
(Enters Mrs. Tombra Ogiri and their Kids. Joshua is twelve and Daniella is seven. The Kids are still dressed in their School Uniforms, they rush to greet their daddy but sees him sleeping thy run into their room to change their clothes, Tombra comes around and looks her sleeping husband over, she picks up the empty glass cup and smells it, she picks up the Clothes Ogiri had dropped carelessly on the Chairs then she sees the folded envelope on the centre table, she picks it up and reads the retrenchment letter of her husband: Ogiri turns over on the couch, utters some incoherent words, he hisses a long one and continues to snore )


Tombra: (Murmurs) Jesus! Jesus Christ! (She drops the letter and runs into the room tilting over a side stool, Ogiri jumps awake abruptly)
Ogiri: Who goes there! (Wide eyed) I say who goes there! (He stands up and looks around the sitting room; he notices the movement of the adjoining Curtain to the bedroom, he moves carefully towards the bedroom and shouts) I say who goes there! (The Kids now in different clothes rush out to greet him, hugging – 8 –
him, he was taken aback) oh dear me! It’s you Guys! Who brought you home?
Joshua: its Mummy sir!
Ogiri: Your Mum came home this early? What for?
Daniella: Today is Thursday nah! Mummy will go to Church for fellowship
Ogiri: Oh! Oh! I forgot!
Joshua: But Daddy, why are you home so early? Are you going to Church too?
Ogiri: em, em, no! Not really, something happened at work and we closed early
Daniella: What happened at work Daddy?
Ogiri: em, em, we are on recess for now! We have finished the project we were handling at Elekahia and we do not have any other one at hand so I won’t be going to work for sometime until we get another Contract. Where is your Mum? Is she inside?
Daniella: yes daddy! She is inside! (The Kids leave their Dad and proceeds to the dinning table with their books to start working on their home works) Daddy! Come and help me out with my home work.


Ogiri: I am coming my dear! Give it to Josh to help you out; if he cannot do it, then I will do it!
Joshua: Daddy what about if you cannot do it! (Sneering)
Ogiri: Then we will consult the internet! (He enters the room only to re emerge trailing his wife) sweet heart I was coming to meet you in the room, the Kids say you are preparing for Church!
Tombra: yes I was!
Ogiri: You were? You changed your mind?
Tombra: Yes!
Ogiri: Wetin happen? Why the change of mind? Did you just change your mind on your way home? (Picks up the letter his wife dropped on the floor) or you changed you mind when you got home and read this letter?
Tombra: Daddy Joshua what is it nah? Haba!
Ogiri: Ahn han! Why are you so agitated? Did something happen to you too?
Tombra: (Snaps her fingers over her head) Tufiakwa! God forbid! Nothing will happen to me in Jesus name!
Ogiri: (Nods his head knowingly, he hands over the letter to her) Sweet heart, please read this!


Tombra: Read what? Will my reading it change its content? Please don’t give me any bad news letter to read o!
Ogiri: Which means you have read it already while i was sleeping, that is why you are acting this way and that is why you are no longer going to the Church, but you did not even show any sign of concern towards me! You did not even ask me what happened! You are supposed to me my pacifier instead you are being hostile and aggressive! What kind of attitude are you giving me so?
Tombra: You lost your job and instead of going about to look for another job you came home to drink, sleep and snore!
Ogiri: How? Is it not today that I lost the Job? Did I see it coming? No! Won’t I come home first and think of the next step to take? I have been working consistently for fourteen years non stop! I don’t even know where my credentials are any longer except I begin to search, I don’t have an updated CV! All these I have to come home and arrange before going out to look for another job!
Tombra: You did not come home to think! You came home to drink! (Points to the empty glass cup on the centre table. The Children leaves the sitting room with their books slowly)
Ogiri: see how you are disgracing me before my Children? Tombra what is wrong with you? You are getting me scared! You have never talked to me like this in our twelve years of marriage!


Tombra: you have never been jobless in our twelve years of marriage!
Ogiri: But you swore to stand by me for better for worse! Just my first day out of job and you are acting up this way! Darling, I hope you will not make me regret this marriage because as it stands now I need your support more than ever! I see no reason for this attitude you are putting up after all we are not yet desperate! Your Shop can sustain us until I get something to do or until they call us back to work!
Tombra: (Furious) Did You hear your self now? You hear yourself?
Ogiri: What did I say wrong?
Tombra: So you are going to wait until they call you back? And when will that be?
Ogiri: Hopefully, after the elections!
Tombra: (Claps her hands laughing sarcastically) ha ha ha! You make me laugh! That is four months from now! And what will you be doing until then? Drinking and sleeping?
Ogiri: I cannot be hungry till then, I have some savings that can carry us for the next six month.
Tombra: Including payment of the Children’s School fees when it falls due?


Ogiri: Can’t you take care of the fees for me? Your shop can take care of that nah! After all I have never asked you to give account of your shop income to me! I gave you free hand right from its inception. But now, I need your assistance.
Tombra: Bros I can’t o! I can’t at all, at all! I have other concerns I need money for!
Ogiri: (Angry) other concerns? For where? In this house of else where? Are you okay? Look here woman! It is for better for worse o! When it was rosy you were there to enjoy good life! Just today, today! That I lost my job you are already showing me attitude! You could not even persevere for a month of two before you start to complain. Just one day! One day! Tombra, you fall my hand!
Tombra: was it not you that said you want to wait until eternity before you start looking for another job? How did you expect me to react? You are scaring me with your nonchalant attitude!
Ogiri: Oh! Me! Nonchalant attitude? A whole me? I have maintained a steady job for fourteen years with a nonchalant attitude! I built this house from my savings with a nonchalant attitude! I bought you two Cars and set you up in business with my nonchalant attitude abi? Kai! Kai! Kai! My Gawd! Now I understand why it is not good to marry a girl you met when you have arrived! They will never know how to manage you when you go down because they are used to having everything at their disposal.


  • Tombra! You are a gold digger! I made a mistake in marrying you! I think I will have to convene a family meeting so that we can revisit this charade you and I called marriage!
    Tombra: (Clapping and booing) nonchalant man! Lazy man! Go and get a job! You want to turn me into a man over night! What is mine is mine! You will not see a kobo from my shop! You gave me money for business, and so what? Am I not your wife? Is it not your responsibility to make me comfortable? So why are you bragging as if you have done what Napoleon could not do? Go to Town and see what Men like you are doing for their wives! Common three million naira that you invested in my Shop we no go hear word again! (The Children emerges from the room standing side by side they stare at their Parents ranting till fade)
Posted in Prose, Stories

UNTITLED

As I walked out of Full moon hotel at akpajo four years ago, I walked into a new phase in my life. All I had were just my clothes and some books in a “Ghana must go” bag, my clothes were no trendy rather they were undersized and tight, my hair was plated all back and I wore sandals as I trekked the street of Akpajo towards Elelenwon with a bag on my head. I was just blank as I thudded along until I got to the elelewon- Trans woji junction just after RSTV. That was when reality began to dawn on me. There was a big bar almost opposite the Rivers State Television premises so I walked back and sat on a spare chair outside the bar. I fell asleep there.

Some girl that was sweeping the floor woke me up,

Good morning I greeted, I was startled,

Good evening! She returned, look outside! Na after five de nack.

After five? I exclaimed; so I have slept that long?.

Oya come de go o! Our Madam go soon come, abi na our madam you want see? She asked? No! but the thing be say, I no get where to go, I told her briefly about my pregnancy for my boyfriend and my being driven from home.

You sure say na those people born you? She asked. How you papa and mama go pursue you from house because you carry belle?”

They no even say make them go see the guy family or report to police,     they just drive you commot for house like that? I no believe you joor! She had said. Well, the thing be say our manager go pursue you if he see you here, if na work you want to work, that one na different thing but to just sit down here with your bag, e get as e be. Commot your bag make I sweep. She continued with her chores.

They sell food there so I bought a plate of Fufu and native soup and ate at a quarter past eight, I was definitely a nuisance there as customers were coming in to drink and to eat and very chair available was taken coupled with the fact that a “Buy one to get one free” star beer promo was on going. I packed up my bag and started trekking again. I headed to Woji through trans-woji road and by 10pm I was at the uncompleted building where Julius lived. There were so many people most especially kids roaming the compound at liberty street, no electricity but candles and lanterns were used by women selling petty provisions along the road in front of the uncompleted building, I dropped my bag by a young lady roasting plantain and fish

Good evening ma! I greeted

“Why you dey call me ma? Na me born you?” She challenged

“No vex Aunty! I beg I fit sit down here small?” I asked

“Who you be nah? You wan buy something abi you miss road?” She asked.

“Yes! I want to buy plantain and fish, I fit sit down here chop am?” I asked

Ehen! Na now you come dey talk nah. How much own?

One hundred and fifty naira, I said; Plantain one hundred and fifty naira fish. “I beg where I go get pure water?”

“ No worry! I dey sell am!” Na water dey inside that small cooler there.” She pointed at the red Coca-Cola branded Cooler just beside her

As I ate, we got talking and after several curious questions from her, I told her I am pregnant for my school boyfriend and my parent sent me packing.

Shuo! So you get belle as you dey so?

Yes Aunty.

“So na wetin you go come do now?” She asked.

“I no know, I dey confused”, I replied.

“what of that your school boyfriend? You don tell am?”

“No! I never tell am”

“Go tell am nah! At least make him know maybe him people go accept you!”

That is why I am here Aunty! I am looking for Julius, Juluis Odeh, his father works as security.

Shut up your mouth! She snapped. “You dey kolo abi you dey craze?” Which Julius Odeh? My younger brother?

Julius! Julius! She screamed.

Julius came running down with a flash light and a knife in his hands.

Aunty! Na wetin? He asked panting and glancing around for trouble.

“Look this thing well well!” She said pointing at me.

Oh! Ceece! Julius came forward and gave me a hug beaming from ear to ear!

Jesus o! Jesus o! Na true o! The lady shouted running towards the uncompleted building while people came running towards her from every angle.

“Julius don go give girl belle for school o!” she raised her voice above the sound of “I pass my Neighbour” generators running everywhere in the neighborhood.

“We never chop belle full! We no get mother to support us! Na garri we dey drink every morning and Julius go give him class girl belle!” Julius! Julius! Papa! Papa!

It was like a dream, how was I to know that this lady was in anyway related to Julius? Poor Julius.

He pulled me away from the emerging crowd and we ran away leaving my “Ghana must go” I followed him through some dark alleys and cranny’s before he stopped, we were both panting- Ceece what is the meaning of all these? What is happening? Are your really pregnant?

I nodded my head

Jesus Christ! Your father is responsible  abi? He asked

Yes! I replied, I used fifteen minutes and narrated all that had transpired to him. Now I am homeless I concluded.

Posted in Prose, Stories

The Prof

He woke up at the earliest of dawn
from a sleep he hardly had
For his mind had been full all night
Of what fate has in store for him
For the previous day had been bad
It had rained all day
The roads were murky
His favorite spots were messy
The busy streets deserted
for people kept indoors all day

He slept in hunger
terrible dreams turning into nightmares
Kept him away awake all night
His stomach, rumbling and aching
like enzymes feasting on intestines
He had wished for death
For only that would give him rest
He lives in perpetual fear
of seeing the break of another dawn
For how could a man be so poor?
In the midst of so much


The flyovers of Rumuola
Eliozu, mile 1 and Eleme
Offer him shelter every night
He is known by everybody
Yet he knows none of them
Prof! Prof! we all call him
for he was once a school teacher

Nature has turned him a wanderer
he owns nothing, save for the Rags he wears
and the Plastic bowl he carries about
his bowl of course is for multipurpose
He is totally un kept and haggard
he smells about like a he-Goat
With eyes red and angry
for he is always hungry
seeking for busy Streets
as long as there is high footfall
He pitches his tenth therein

With his Bowl in front of him
he calls out to all that passes by
Please help me for I am hungry!!
That is his Song all day
he lives at the mercy of others

He does not have plans for tomorrow
for all his care in this life
is to eat, sleep and eat again
On days that he gets no food
He seeks for food in refuse dumps

He is not insane, no! Not Mad!
But poverty they say is a disease
that would bring a man so low
to the lowest of all esteem
what pride does a beggar have
for really he has no choice!

Posted in Prose, Stories

Restless!

He looked into my eyes and smiled. Those eyes! Those sparks! They reassured me and I gave him my mouth.

I did not know how to kiss, but he was a good teacher, so I did whatever he did with his tongue and I enjoyed it. I held onto his head and rubbed it as sensations ran me wild.He moved his hands up into my blouse, unhooked my bra, and moved his hands through my bare back drawing imaginary lines on my spine. I was burning inside. I looked at the door to be sure it was closed. Everyone was in the parlour watching the television. I pulled off his polo shirt, and did to him what he was doing to my back. He helped me to pull off my blouse, carried me gently, and laid me on the bed. He stared at my full breast, I stared at him in the eyes, and he smiled. I pulled him on me and held him very tight. Only he could douse the fire inside of me. He moved down a little and held my breast in his hands and tickled my nipples. I moaned. He covered my breast with his mouth and did things to each of them with his tongue. I quivered and moaned as I felt a wavelike sensation flow through me. The feeling was not natural, the pleasure was out of this world, and it exploded between my thighs. I clung to him as my whole being vibrated. I was afraid to let him go.

He gradually sat on the bed and asked me, ‘Have you been this close to a man?’

‘I am a virgin if that is what you want to know.’ He smiled again. I was so happy I had impressed him.

‘Then I will have to wait,’ he said.

‘Wait for what?’ I countered.

‘For a better place and a better time.’

We played with each other some more, exploring, and discovering. I was in another realm.

Posted in Prose, Stories

Restless!

He looked into my eyes and smiled. Those eyes! Those sparks! They reassured me and I gave him my mouth.

I did not know how to kiss, but he was a good teacher, so I did whatever he did with his tongue and I enjoyed it. I held onto his head and rubbed it as sensations ran me wild.He moved his hands up into my blouse, unhooked my bra, and moved his hands through my bare back drawing imaginary lines on my spine. I was burning inside. I looked at the door to be sure it was closed. Everyone was in the parlour watching the television. I pulled off his polo shirt, and did to him what he was doing to my back. He helped me to pull off my blouse, carried me gently, and laid me on the bed. He stared at my full breast, I stared at him in the eyes, and he smiled. I pulled him on me and held him very tight. Only he could douse the fire inside of me. He moved down a little and held my breast in his hands and tickled my nipples. I moaned. He covered my breast with his mouth and did things to each of them with his tongue. I quivered and moaned as I felt a wavelike sensation flow through me. The feeling was not natural, the pleasure was out of this world, and it exploded between my thighs. I clung to him as my whole being vibrated. I was afraid to let him go.

He gradually sat on the bed and asked me, ‘Have you been this close to a man?’

‘I am a virgin if that is what you want to know.’ He smiled again. I was so happy I had impressed him.

‘Then I will have to wait,’ he said.

‘Wait for what?’ I countered.

‘For a better place and a better time.’

We played with each other some more, exploring, and discovering. I was in another realm.

Posted in Prose, Stories

Restless!

So with fifty thousand naira in my pocket in the year 1997, I felt as though the world was in my pocket. I said a special prayer to God for Mr. and Mrs. Chinedu. After dotting all the ‘I’s and crossing all the T’s, I fell asleep. My sisters came back from church and were surprised at the transformation they saw in the house. Though I was sleeping, I could feel their presence. They did not wake me knowing I would evidently be exhausted.

Monday morning after a breakfast of Pap and akara, Caroline summoned us together to discuss the way forward. She suggested that we put our money together, and set up a petty trading business on basic provisions. We could build a kiosk at the front of our batcher until we raise something substantial to rent a shop at the Mammy market.

I was the only one who declined on that idea, and such opposition coming from me, the youngest of the four did not go down well with my sisters. I reminded them of the story of the ten talents Mr. Chinedu told us. I told them that the slaves did not join the money given to them together, rather each went to invest his own. I told them I had my own plans. I further reminded them that if Mr. Chinedu wanted us to combine the money, he would have given the whole two hundred thousand naira to Caroline to control.

They called me the prodigal child. Pauline even had to hand me a slap for daring to challenge Caroline, but I took it in good faith. It was finally declared that I was on my own as regards feeding, clothing, cosmetics, and so on. Pauline and Silvia gave their money to Caroline while I kept mine.

Posted in Prose, Stories

The colours of Campus 3

CHAPTER 4

WARRI –EFURUN TOWN

Pandemonium as machetes wielding youths with fresh palm leaves tied around their heads and waist took over the streets linking to the residence of Kumalo.  They all wore black trousers and white singlet. Car owners and drivers had to abandon their cars and flee to avoid molestation from the rampaging irate youths.

There was tight traffic jam on the street as they conveyed the corpse of Jumbo home for burial. The Egbesu Cult members have the sole responsibility of burying their fellow initiate. While smoking Indian hemp and drinking different colours of ogogoro in different shades of bottles, with blood shot eyes were visibly saddened and angry at the death of a very young member. Every shop on Otiotio Street was closed for safety while non initiates stood by the road side to watch the procession. They were singing and chanting war slogans as they marched on with the casket on the shoulder of six able bodied youth wearing only trousers.

Detective Peter was in their midst dressed to match. He also has a red Papas cap on and a bottle of ogogoro and

Machetes in his hands. He had followed the corpse from Enugu, though in his private Car. He had driven after the Bus that came brought Jumbos family members from Warri to carry the Corpse from UNTH Enugu. He had gotten to the local mortuary where the body was deposited before going into town to lodge at the ‘blue waters’ hotel. He came around Kumalo’s night in the night to attend the wake keeping and from there he4 had gotten the whole information he needed about the Akporjotor’s family.  Their men do not live long due to their affinity with the Egbesu cult. They have always died accidentally by the bullet. Though they are noted for their brevity and ruggedness. Kumalo had wanted to break that jinx and make a difference in his own generation that is why he decided to leave this vicinity to Enugu where he can live and graduate peacefully with his brother. Peter also learnt that Kumalo’s mother is hypertensive and lives on daily drugs to stabilize her BP.

Detective Peter was among the group today mimicking the songs they sang and dancing to the rhythm with them also. He had joined them at the Morgue when the Cultist came to carry the Corpse and had followed them thus far. The corpse was laid in state on a platform at the center of the Akporjotor’s compound and the youth danced around it pouring libations and chanting amidst gun shots in the air.

The head of the group later came to the center of the circle and signalled for attention.

Area! He called

Hey! They chorused

Area! He called louder

Hey! They chorused

Area!! He screamed and vibrated.

Hey! The chorus.

Men! Egbe don gas o! He addressed the group. Yawa don gas! Na which day we bury Oga Akporjotor the rainbow shoe here? He asked no body in particular.

Now we don come to bury him Pikin again! Na who dey do this family nah? He asked no one in particular while there were remarks here and there.

See small Jumbo Akporjotor wey just enter school yesterday here! See as dem just burst him head like coconut! Wetin he do dem?

Nothing o! Nothing! The crowd chorused.

Someone in the crowd started a song.

Na wetin he do dem?

He no do dem nothing o! The chorus

Na wetin he do dem?

He no do dem nothing o! The chorus.

Ha! This one! This one! Gentle man no dey o!

This one! This one! Gentle man no dey! The chorus.

The crowd went into another frenzied singing and jumping mode until the leader beckoned for attention again.

The crowd mellowed and in unison started to chant

We no go gree! We no go gree!

Make una wait! Make una wait! He calmed them down.

Madam Akporjotor get only two pikins! Okiemute and Jumbo! Papa Akpors don follow warri crisis waka! Now the only two children wey de give the woman hope, winch don chop one of dem! Jumbo don kpai and Okiemute de form missing in action!

We go bury Jumbo! Yes we go bury am because na we brother. After the burial, we go storm Enugu! We go storm that town to go look for Okiemute aka Kumalo. If Kumalo don Kpai also, we go find the dead body and carry am come home come bury before we know how to take revenge. Egbesu no be small children runs! We no be campus confra! We be correct witches and wizards here! No be every bird dem de chop!

Dem no de chop Vulture nah!  Wey dem? Dem de mad? Someone screamed from the crowd.

This Enugu People don chop Vulture o! He continued.dem go feel us! We go burn down that School! We be Egbesu! We be Winch! We be dead body!

This one! This one! Gentle man no dey o! This one this one gentle man no dey o! He started the song all over while the crowd started charging and cursing.

The leader suddenly stood transfixed, he stood on his toes and spun around, he spun around three times before he changed the tone of the song.

Igbokigbo! He chanted

Hey! The chorus

 Igbokigbo! He chanted

Hey! The chorus

He started chanting and jumping and the crowd went agog as they started cutting one another with their matchetes. The matches were just like mere canes on them as no one was cut.

Igbokigo! Igbokigbo! Igbokigbo! The crowd kept chanting and gyrating. Detective Peter was most unfortunate to be within the crowd at that moment as he received several machete cuts all over his body and his hands as he tried to block off the machete swipe while making his escape route out of the crowd. His head was spared because none of them tried to cut another on the head.

Peter boarded a bike and headed straight to Saint Philemon’s Hospital along PTI road and he was admitted immediately after he flashed his badge. He came back after two days at the hospital to find out that Kumalo’s mother had died of heart attack when Jumbos body was being interred. She was taken to the mortuary where her son’s body was kept while a contingent of ten members of the egbesu cult had left for Enugu to look for Kumalo.

STATE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT HQ

 ENUGU

Detectives Peter and Sandra were in the office of former ASP now SP Sunday Onche. He finally got his promotion after proving to the Police that he is mentally stable and physically competent to carry on with the police job for his mates have been Superintendants three years before now, he was in a good spirit and resplendent in his new uniform of blue and black. He also has an office to himself now.

Peter had narrated what went down at Warri to the SP and briefed him of the imminent danger facing the city by the entrance of ten members of the dreaded Egbesu cult.

Oga! Those guys were cutting and shooting at one another and nothing happened! They were just chanting Igbokigbo! Igbokigbo, and jumping about. It was like an evil spirit entered them all, sir! I was lucky o! I was not expecting the turn of events at all else i would not be in their midst at that time! Peter explained: what if they had shot at me thinking i was one of them?

Then you would have been dead meat boy! SP said: you are an undercover cop and in your line of duty, anything can happen. But thank God you are safe and healthy!

Oga! I am safe but not healthy! My back is gone! My shoulders are finished! The cuts are very deep! Each cut was stitched twelve times. If not that I  am a police officer, I would have been rejected at the hospital. Peter explained.

Which means you could have bled to death? SP asked.

Oga! You are not even feeling sorry for me! Peter challenged.

No sir! Sorry for what? That’s the job you have chosen as a career so you should accept whatever befalls you in good spirit! SP said. Meanwhile I have had my own fair share of misfortune in the line of duty.

Oga! You mean you have scars on your body as a result of the job too? Sandra asked.

Hmm! Peter! Have you guys ever wondered about the where about of my family? At least I should have a family at my age nah! Not so? He asked.

Of course your family is abroad nah! We all know that! Peter said.

SP shook his head sadly from side to side and stood up from his seat. He pockets his hands in his trousers side pockets as he paced about the room.

I was undercover at Akure eight years ago to bust a cartel farming and distributing Marijuana. I infiltrated the cartel and became one of them. The marijuana business in that part of the country was very organized. They had farms in the deepest part of the forest that people don’t venture into. It was another world in those farms. There are houses for the labourers and their families at the plantations. They are well paid and taken care of. The rules at the farms were very strict and must not be broken. The Barons were small gods! They were revered by the workers and these barons were so ruthless that they kill workers at will and bury them at the farm. The security network at the farms is likened to that of a maximum security prison.  We had such farms at Akure, Ifon and Owo communities. The Barons were high chiefs and traditional rulers in their respective climes. But I bust them after three years of working for them. I was as discreet as I could be or so I had thought. I succeeded. I was rewarded with a promotion and I was redeployed to Gusau in the north for another under cover job on smuggling between Nigeria and Niger boarders. Two months going at Gusau. I was invited to Lagos to be briefed that my wife, my four kids, my house help and my two Alsatian dogs were slaughtered over night. A note was pasted on the door of my house claiming that the attack was from Akure drug farms!

Jeez! Sandra screamed.

Peter was speechless, his jaw simply dropped.

So my guy! SP continued, that is the path we have chosen to follow. I was told I lost my mind and ran mad. I was hospitalized at the psychiatric hospital for two full years. I spent one year at rehabilitation before returning to the police three years ago. It’s been over six years now but I still look forward to waking from the night mare. How can I just loose my beautiful wife of fifteen years like that? My first son was in his third year at the Nigerian military school zaria, my second child was at Air force military school while the last two were at staff school UNILAG because my wife was a lecturer there!

I am so sorry sir! Jeez! My gawd! Ha Oga! May I sit down please? Peter asked.

Why? Sit down if you wish! SP said.

Peter and Sandra sat down and Sandra started to sob.

Sir! Your family was wiped out in the course of your job and you still remained on the job? Peter asked.

Yes! They are the only family I have left. The police took care of me when I was sick. I was given the best medical attention until I regained sanity. Even my family members and in-laws abandoned me for madness. The police alone did not desert me. My in-laws blamed me and my job for the death of their daughter and grand children. I had kept my family with my wife safe in Lagos while I was moving around with the job. I never knew that just when we think we are safest, we are actually most vulnerable!

It is six years altogether now, Sandra said; sir, do you have any plans to start a new family?

So that they will be wiped off again? SP snapped

Haba! Oga no nah! That was six years ago nah, you need to move on, Sandra persisted. You cannot say because you fell from a horse you would not climb the horse again nah!

My dear! Fall pass fall! You see this fall ehn? I am not going to re climb the Horse. SP said; enough about me now! Let’s get back to where we were. Where were we?

Sandra and Peter jumped up to their feet.

Peter! From what you have said, there is red alert in town now! Isn’t it? SP asked.

Yes sir! The Egbesu boys must be located and arrested before they reach Okiemute!

And how do you plan to achieve that? SP asked.

We have been to the Edo line motor park! Sandra continued; we found out that they had arrived town in two station wagon cars while a third car was driven by the one of them who we suspect to be the leader of the cult. They chartered two cabs to the IMT campus two. We went there and tried to look for clues but no head way yet.

We also went to Okiemute’s class to know his close friends, especially those from Delta state. We are keeping tab on three of them in case the Egbesu makes contact with any of them. Peter said.

Do the students know where Okiemute is at now? SP asked

That, I cannot be affirmative! But none of them have visited the hospital yet Sandra said.

Okay! Continue to nose around for clues. Meanwhile what about the boys that attacked Okiemute? Have you arrested them yet? SP asked

Not yet sir! Okiemute only knows the face of the one he fought with, he also gave us a name ‘Stanley’ as being called at the scene of the crime when he was pretending to be dead. His information cannot help us much for now but we will build on it. Peter said.

And you said the boy is not a cultist! SP said.

He claims he is not a campus cultist but acknowledges being a member of the Egbesu back home and I have confirmed that to be true. Peter said.

And which is worse? SP asked.

Ha! Oga!

SP started to laugh. I am joking boy! I know a lot about the Egbesu than you do. Okay. Em, we are at a cross road here, the scenario is dicey. Do you know the name of the confraternity that attacked the boy?

Not exactly sir! But we have narrowed it down to either of the Black Panther or the hawks. Sandra said.

And why these two? SP asked

Our internal source told us sir! Peter said.

And who and what is your internal source? SP asked.

We are sorry sir! That is our ‘joker’ for now! Sandra said.

Okay! I respect that! SP said. Now get back to work and close up all these gaps in your case. Let’s clear up this mess now before it forms a big shit! You are dismissed!

Sandra and Peter saluted and left the office.

CHAPTER 5

UGWUAJI FOREST-MID NIGHT

Initiation ceremony; members of the hawks confraternity are dancing around a burn fire on a cleared platform in the middle of the forest, they are surrounded by trees and shrubs and below the elevated plateau is a running stream. The stream must be crossed before accessing the plateau upon which is the shrine in the wilderness, the initiation ground.

Sentries are strategically position from the beginning of the forest entrance to the bank of the stream. The sentries are armed with bull dogs or a 7 and a torch light. The number 7 is the code for a portable axe. The sentries are replaced hourly to avoid anyone falling asleep on duty.

The sentries hide within shrubs or they climb up a tree so as to be hidden from those approaching the wilderness but they can see anyone approaching in the dark. Once an approaching person is about ten yards to the sentries position he lets out the cry ‘who goes there’? The person approaching must reply ‘Ahoy’! Else the bulldog will bark. And when the bulldog barks, somebody go die! That is how it works. Any anomaly observed by the sentry must be reported quickly to the initiation ground lord for immediate regulation.

Four new civilians were lying blind folded on the floor of the ground. They wore only boxers and their bodies glistered in the dark reflecting the ray from the burning fire. The men were in a jolly mood dancing and chanting.

If you sabi dance o!

Hayaya!

Make you dance am well o!

Hayaya!

If you sabi hammer!

Hayaya!

Make you hammer well o!

Hayaya!

If you sabi kosa!

Hayaya!

Make you kosa well o!

Hayaya!

Because anything you be o!

Na your own!

Anything you be o!

Na your own!

If you like be axe man!

Na your own!

If you like be bucket!

Na your own!

If you like be 2.2!

Na your own!

If you like be eiye!

Na you own!

Stanley was leading the sale and his boys were taking the chorus. After several songs, Stanley came to the center of the circle and called the forum to order.

Hawks of the sky! He chanted

Higher! Higher! Higher! The chorus

Hawks of the sky! He shouted

Higher! Higher! Higher! The chorus

Yes! You are welcome to another night of jolly and tinini! As you can see, we are growing! We have four new rats to tinini tonight!

He started a short song

We are going higher day by day!

The hawks are going higher day by day why not join us!

We are going higher day by day!

The hawks are going higher day by day why not join us! The chorus.

Where is Egbe please? Stanley asked. I can’t see him here tonight, it is already 2.00AM.

The men looked among themselves

He is not here me lordy! Someone said

Egbe is not here tonight? Stanley asked no one in particular

Maybe he is sick! Another person said.

Sick of what? Stanley asked. We were together at Nkutu ume this evening. Well, that is by the way!

Egbe has fucked up again o! We went for a hit to eliminate those Jew men that disgraced him weeks ago! It was his responsibility to silence the guys especially the one that beat him up but after shooting at the guys, the younger brother died instantly but the main guy was still breathing but bleeding profusely. I told Egbe to finish the guy off with his bulldog or using 7 to chop off his head but he insisted he wanted the guy to die a slow and painful death! I tell am say all did na die! He no gree! He brushed the guy severally on the head and we left the guy to die in the pool of his blood! It was his call, not mine! So I had to follow his decision. Now the guy did not die! He is currently receiving treatment under police surveillance at the UNTH. The Police and the man’o’war will be after us now. Is vicious here! He suddenly asked. Vicious! The man ‘o’ war! Come forward.

Me Lordy! Vicious answered and stepped into the center.

Vicious, what is the man ‘o’ war saying about this issue at hand.

Vicious; real name Henry Edozie is an ND 2 mass communication student. He is nineteen years old and an only child. His father is the commissioner for works in Ebonyin state.

Our presido said it is a case of two cults clash. He said four men died. The two brothers and two unknown soldiers. He also said that that the clash is between us the BP. Vicious said.

Which kind nonsense talk be that? Stanley asked. Where did your preside get that kind of information from?

I don’t know me lordy! Vicious answered.

It’s a lie! He is giving you guys’ false information because he does not trust you. That guy is a war veteran so we must be wary of him. I am sure he told you guys to report any suspicious thing or people to him abi? Stanley asked.

Exactly me lordy!

We need to move in on the guy at UNTH! We need to finish him off! He knows Egbe facially and can be used by the police to hunt us. And I can remember that stupid Egbe calling my real name instead of my bush name at the scene. Egbe is not here tonight! He is supposed to be here! He is supposed to follow us for the UNTH mission this morning.

Meanwhile, vicious and Dagger will accompany me to UNTH in the morning. We will go with food flasks as if we are his friends. Once we see him face to face, we will silence him with the pillow or any other weapon within reach in the hospital. I will have my bulldog with me just in case things get out of hand. Dagger where you dey? Stanley called out.

A lanky fellow came out with his black trousers, black T shirt and blue beret.

Me lordy! He greeted.

Are you good to go? Stanley asked him.

I am ever gallant! Me lordy! He replied bouncing on his feet.

I trust you Dagger! You no de slack! Stanley commended

Where is the ground Lord? Stanley asked.

I de here o! I dey arrange wood for the fire! Some one answered from behind the circle of men. He came forward with a bundle of sticks which he dumped into the burning fire.

Ngwa! Ngwa! Take care of these rats! Stanley said and  left the circle center to light up a wrap of igbo.

Scatter is the ground lord. He is in charge of the initiation of new entrants and the general preparation of the wilderness prior to any meeting like tonight’s.

He went and kicked the first body lying blind folded on the ground.

Stand up! He commanded,

The young man stood up

Wetin be your name? Scatter asked

Paschal! The young man answered

Who bring you come here? He asked

No body sir! Paschal replied.

So na only you waka come? Scatter asked

Yes sir!

You dey lie! Scatter said slapping him across the face

Paschal fell over but quickly got up and stood backing Scatter

Turn around! Scatter commanded.

What is your full name?

Pascal Alozie sir!

Where are you from?

I am from Nkwere in Imo state sir! Paschal was shaking fearfully.

So why do you want to fly with us? Scatter asked

I love your people and their swag on campus! They are the most powerful and I also like your colour! I have been toasted by other runs but I prefer the hawks!  Paschal said.

Una hear am? Scatter asked out loud. He said he preferred the Hawks!

The men in the circle clapped for paschal whistling and making cat cries.

Oya rugged this man! Rugged this man! Scatter commanded as he jumped out of the circle himself. The circle of men closed in on Paschal with fresh canes cut from the forest tress in their hands .They flogged him all over his bare body. Paschal screamed in pain, he tried to run but was kicked back into the circle; he fell to the ground rolling as canes rained on him severally until the floggers became tired and their canes had been reduced to mere short sticks. However two men were positioned to ensure the new initiate does not fall into the fire. The remaining rats were given similar treatment with fresh canes already cut in the evening and piled up by the river bank by the ground lord. They were later given the oath of allegiance and secrecy and welcomed to the fold by every member present. They were thought how to claw and greet a fellow Hawk. The next morning, the new recruits were made to fly their beret on clean shaven head and walk round the school premises together. Who no go, no go know!

OFF CAMPUS-BEER PARLOUR

Members of the Egbesu cult met for a round table discussion at Brifina Guest house along Abakaliki road close to IMT campus 2. Assorted hot drinks and different brands of cigarette were displayed on the tables. As they discuss, they exhaled thick smoke into the atmosphere to further deplete the earth’s ozone layer.

They were dressed casually except for the leader Jato who wore a white beret of a white T shirt and red jeans trousers. His left fingers are adorned with mysterious rings made from animal skin sewn together with black tread. Even the bangles he wore look diabolically strange.

He poured the content of the black label in front of him into a glass cup and gulped down the content. He closed his eyes and shook his head as he allowed the content to go down his throat.

Yes! Una welcome once again! Amici!

Amici! They replied.

It is four days now that we have been in Enugu combing the city for information. Each group has presented their findings to me and I have summarized everything so that we now have a plan to execute.

Number one! Okiemute is alive! He is receiving treatment at UNTH. He is under Police surveillance and every visitor is being frisked and interrogated by the police before seeing him.

Two out of three students that went to visit him two days ago were arrested and suspected to be on a mission to rescue him.

The man ‘o’ war girl Emilia has being very helpful. Rukewe in getting down with her seriously and the relationship has been fruitful. She told Rukewe that the Hawks are the guys that hit Kumalo and Jumbo. She has given him the names and pictures of some of the members of the Hawks including those that are members of the man ‘o’ war. Well done so far Rukewe, but I hope this babe would not make you forget why we are here? Because the rate you are grooving the city with this girl it’s like you never see yellow babe before!

The men all laughed and hailed Rukewe.

But Bros Jato, how you take know nah? One of the boys asked.

Imagine Rukewe to tell me say he want to write Poly jamb again so that he go come school for IMT! Rukewe wey no finish secondary school! No be for SS2 dem expel am for Don Domingos?

The men laughed heartily.

Bros forget that thing o! Rukewe said; I get my WAEC result o! I don write WAEC as external candidate and the result pure die!

Na lie! Jato shouted; you mean am?

Yes nah bros! Some one else offered; na me and Rukewe write WAEC for the same school as external candidates for that year! Na for Saint Michaels we write am and our two results pure die!

As as how nah! Jato protested; una know book? See una eyes! How una result take dey pure?

Bros forget that thing o! Who no go, no go know o! Rukewe said.

Na true! Na true! The Boss said; yes! As I was saying, the police that arrested those boys at UNTH accused them of being Egbesu boys who have come to scatter the campus to avenge the death of Jumbo. This means that the police are aware of our presence in this town!

But how nah? Rukewe protested. How police take sabi nah? Dem be winch?

Never under estimate the efficiency of the Nigerian police if they are ready to work! The Boss said

Meanwhile we now have a list of those that hit our brothers. Jumbo is dead and Kumalo is hospitalized. We shall work on the list to know the homes and departments of the lords of the Hawks, we need to know when they are meeting on Campus, and we will weigh options and know the right time to strike. At least five of them must kpai! Including one from the man ‘o’ war!

We shall leave only three men here while the rest of us will return home. Rukewe! Sampson and pastor! You guys will remain here and do a clean job of hitting those guys. Rukewe, I put you in charge here! He pulled out a bangle from his wrist. Take this and wear it when you are in charge, you must not wear it in my presence and when you return to Warri, don’t wear it until you see me and hand it over, do you understand me?

Yes Boss! I know the drill. There can’t be two captains in a ship! Rukewe said as he pockets the band.

Good! The rest of us will go home and give Kumalo’s mother, our mother a befitting burial according to our Urhobo tradition. We will hand over the corps to the family tomorrow for proper burial.

Look Rukewe! Don’t forget you are to leave this town immediately after the operation! Don’t be carried away by the man ‘o’ war girl o!

I know boss! But I fit invite her come Waffi nah! Rukewe stated.

No! Let everything that happened in Enugu remain in Enugu! Boss stated and stood up to use the convenience.

Idiot boy! Why you want invite her come Waffi? What of your babe for Warri? Pastor asked .

I go code her nah! I fit keep her for your bunk! Rukewe said.

Idiot! See your head! Wetin i go tell my own babe? Pastor asked.

You go tell her say na you sister nah! Rukewe said.

Na now I sabi say you don de kolo! You don see any person wey yellow for my family? How I want to take explain the girl complexion? Pastor asked.

You  go say na your mama family! Rukewe said.

My mama family people black pass my papa family! Pastor said and the party stared laughing and puffing.

Jato returned from the convenience

So na Igbo girl you dey trip for now? He asked Rukewe.

Boss! This girl sweet die! She dey scatter my head like say I never see woman before! Bros the girl body be like Angel own!

Idiot! You don see Angel body before? Pastor countered.

Well, I trust you sha and that is why I am putting you in charge of the operation here. If not, na you I for first depot. But I know say you rugged and you get sense. But if you fuck up? I go treat your fuck up wella!

So my men! We will split up as we leave town tomorrow, we would leave in batches of two and board different vehicles to Warri. We will all meet at Richard’s Barbing saloon at 6.00PM tomorrow evening.

Correct boss! You be the master planner! Rukewe teased.

Commot for there Kewe! Stupid boy! Pastor teased him as he fills his glass from the bottle of hot drink in front of him and gulps down the content. He started using the glass to tap on the bottle rhythmically, others soon joined and Rukewe started to sale.

My mama tell me say! He sang

Iyoo! Tell me say iyoo! The chorus

Posted in Prose, Stories

The Colours of Campus 3

MAN ‘O’ WAR OFFICE

The president of the school’s internal security team, the Man ‘o’ War is a serving Soldier who is on a five years study leave. He is a Sergeant in the Nigerian Army Infantry corps. He had gone for three United Nations and Ecomog sponsored military operations in Liberia, Sierra Lean and Somalia. He had to seek for a study leave in order to elongate his life span because it seemed he was destined for dangerous operations. His plan was to leave the Military upon graduation from school and secure a civil job. The other members of the Man ‘o’ war team are civilian students who joined the organization for varying reasons.

Pascal is the Vice president of the Association. He is a coded member and a Lord of the Black Panthers confraternity. He is very smart and as cunning as the fox.

Kofi is the PRO of the association, he is a Ghanaian and as dark as they come, he is very blunt and strict and could smell out the bad guy in a crowd. He is the most respected and feared by the students because he does not compromise like other members who would easily look the other way when a crime is being perpetrated as long as the palm has been greased.

Emilia is a beautiful shapely girl in her mid twenties who likes to wear her Man ‘o’ war uniform every day. It makes her feel good because her curves are very conspicuous in the tight green khaki. She has slept with half of the male lecturers in the school in order to get good grades because she is not always in class for lectures or assignments; she belonged to the non academic student’s category. She is the most visible Man ‘o’ war member on campus and the least respected. She is the welfare officer of the team.

The remaining  members of the Man ‘o’ war are coded members of the various confraternities on campus. The only clean member is Kofi. Even the president is careful about issues concerning cultism. He says to himself that he did not die in the military operations he had participated in so he cannot afford to allow some miscreant civilians to put a bullet hole in his head on campus so he tries to act as a mediator when ever there is a cult clash. He prays daily for protection and guidance until the day he graduates from the school.

Sergeant Afolabi Mattew aka ‘Presido’ was briefing his team of twenty seven students inside the Man ‘o’ war conference hall.

Man o war! We! He called

Wa! The chorus

We! He called

Wa! The chorus!

Gentlemen, there is going to be trouble again o! We got information that two cult groups clashed three nights ago leading to the death of four students who live off campus! Two of them are brothers belonging to rival cults. Information has it that the brothers shot themselves. The other two died in action. We need to shine our eyes very well because they will definitely bring the fight into the campus! Exams are approaching and we all want to graduate in peace! Abi who no want to graduate here?

No one answered.

Please call me immediately you notice any suspicious person or group of persons. Remember, don’t act like a hero! I am the only one licensed to carry a gun here so don’t risk your lives. Kofi! Please we need you now as usual. Strange guys will start coming into our campus as mercenaries so please watch out for them.

Preside does not know that twenty five of his team members have different types of locally made pistols in their possession.

CHAPTER 3

CAMPUS 3 NKUTU-UME

The relaxation spot of the school’s second campus located at Independence layout Enugu.

About thirty shops built in a U shape with a large field at the centre for parking. Each shop sells beverages, snacks and stationeries and are always filled up with students. Only non alcoholic beverages were allowed by the school authority to be sold there. Alcohol is only sold at the Staff Canteen at Campus 2. The shops have extended canopies used as sit-outs by customers. These sit-outs are also used as meeting points for students of common interest.

Today, five Hench men of the Black Panthers Confraternity meet. Headed by Ugochukwu Wali ‘The Don’ Ugo is rivers state born from the Ikwere tribe. He is popularly called ‘Danladi’ because of his proficiency in speaking the hausa language and having lived there for some years. Danladi was formally a student union president at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria but was rusticated because of student union activities. He had spear headed a revolt by the student due to poor hostel facilities. The revolt resulted in massive destruction of school properties.

He later got admission into the Bayero University Kano and started all over but was ran off in his third year because he was wanted as  the man that set BUK on fire which led to the death of three students and five police men. He had gotten probation at the end of his second year in his new school because records showed that he did not write many of his examinations. Ugochukwu actually wrote his examinations and did all his tests, but he just joined the school politics and had started spreading his radical views among the students. The student’s level of awareness was on the increase and they have started campaigning on having Ugo as the new student union president.

When all efforts by Ugo to get his real result failed, he knew he was being set up and it was time for him to leave the northern schools so on his last night in Kano the Administrative block of the school was engulfed in an inferno that razed it down. Some students and security personnel were trapped and killed in the rubble.  All fingers pointed at Ugo and he had to run out of Kano.

Danladi came down to the east to start afresh at the Institute of Management and Technology IMT. He did not want to be involved in school politics so he joined the Black Panthers and maintained a low profile.

During the political transmission of 2006 and 2007 when the apex government was trying to secure a third term in office, he was among the body guards used by politicians for protection and to unleash mayhem on rivals. His ability to speak the three major languages in Nigeria endeared him to the politicians and he made a lot of money recruiting thugs for them. Eventually his Chairman won the elections and he settled all the bad boys without rancour. On his resumption for his HND program he came as a very big boy and was unanimously made the Don of the Panthers. Danladi has been able to keep the Panthers out of trouble since he became the Don and he desired to do so until he graduates. He spends his money to help the broke guys in his fold and lends them money too. He has four buses that shuttle between Campus 2 and 3 conveying students and remitting weekly returns to him. He is in HND 1 Accountancy, he lives off campus and drives a clean Toyota Camry 2.0 1998 model.

He is seated with four other Lords including Pascal the Man ‘o’ war VP.

Pascal was talking;

 Guys! There is problem o! The information we have is that there is a cult clash between us and the Hawks which has led to the death of four students including the so called Kumalo and his brother plus two unknown soldiers!

Haba! Danladi exclaimed. But we are not at war with any one nah! Who dey spread this rumour? Now the police and the Man ‘o’ war will be on out trail, which kind nonsense be dis nah?

We need to meet in the wilderness quickly to inform our Soldiers of this development and warn them to stir out of any trouble! They should be mindful of what they do or say hence forth! Kevwe said. Kevwe is the second man of the Panther, he is the Capone.

We all know that the Hawk is responsible for the hit, not after that guy humiliated Egbe! But who is bringing us in? Kevwe asked aloud.

I think it is better we leave our soldiers out of it for now! Danladi suggested. Let keep it with the Lords for now. The less they know, the better for them, we know those of them to carry along. I will go to the Police officers mess and talk to one or two persons. I need to set the records straight to avoid massive arrest of our soldiers and us too. The police need to know where to look and not to go on random sampling which will affect so many innocent people. The Hawks hit those guys and by so doing, they should bear the consequence! I don’t want anything to happen to me or any of my men.

The owner of the shop came and asked what the students wanted to eat or drink.

Give us meat pie and Fayrouz! Danladi said.

Why una no dey sell beer here sef? Kevwe asked.

The owner laughed; na una school policy nah! He said as he went for their order.

Well, me I dey with a small bottle of Goskolus for my pocket o! Kevwe said as he brought out a flat transparent bottle containing locally distilled gin. He placed it on the table and covered it with an exercise book. It will be fun to mix this with the fayrouz he said.

Correct guy! Correct guy! Others commended.

So what do we do now? Asked Maxwell, the number three man who has being quiet all the while but had been busy scanning the environment for any suspicious moves. He is the ‘Slaughter’ of the Panther and the chief ‘hit man’. He is the son of the school’s registrar. He has nine deaths to his credit and still counting. Maxwell single handily ended an ensuing Cult clash rampage when he was in ND 2 by inviting the heads of the warring factions for a peace talk at a Hotel at Achara Layout. The four heads are yet to return till date and that ended the war then. He is easily the deadliest on Campus. He seldom talks and so he is unpredictable, he does not drink nor smoke and he does not have a girl friend. Even Danladi does not pray to be in Maxwell’s black book.

Who do we need to take out? He asked again.

We are not taking any one out Max! Danladi cautioned. We only need to be vigilant.

But we are being framed here! Max persisted.

Yes! I think so too, Danladi said; but from my source, only Kumalo’s brother was killed, Kumalo is still missing in action. We need to reach Kumalo before any one does! The Police, the Man ‘o’ war and the Hawks will be looking for Kumalo now!

But how will those stupid wingless Hawks just kill a Jew man like that? A common Jew man! For their mind now dem don pull hit be that o! Who told them to install a weakling as Capone? He was talking to himself. Maxwell.

The shop owner brought their Order. Kevwe brought out the mixer. The shop owner saw it and feigns ignorance. It was better than some other unruly group that came to buy three sticks of cigarette and ended up mixing and smoking it with five parcels of Indian hemp publicly.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

UNIVERSIT Y OF NIGERIA TEACHING HOSPITAL ENUGU

Detectives Peter and Sandra entered the building; they went to the receptionist desk and flashed their badges before making enquiries. They were directed to the office of the Chief Consultant.

The Chief consultant is a bespectacled old Lady in her sixties. Her face has multiple colours as a result of several years of rubbing make ups, some part of the face looked burnt, other areas are permanently coloured in red, green and black. She does no longer make up again as her face is permanently made giving her the most ferocious and funny look ever because she was always aggressive and angry.

The Detectives flashed their badges as they entered her office and introduced them selves and their mission.

You are different from the people that brought him here! She declared. And what do you want with him? She directed the question at Peter. Peter almost laughed at her face, it was like a hungry Fox chewing Kola nut. The colour of her teeth cannot be gotten in any colour brochure. Peter nodded at Sandra.

You are quite right Madam, Sandra offered; the patrol team that brought him here were on a routine job. They relayed their findings to our headquarters and HQ disseminated to every station. That is standard procedure. Now we are the detectives covering the institute of Management and technology and we have been assigned to take up the case ma! We have been on this for about two weeks now.

Hmm? The Consultant looked at the detectives again through the rim of her glasses. When she stared at Peter, he could not hold it any longer. He busts out laughing. And he excused himself from the office.  Sandra took thirty minutes to plead and pacify the Chief consultant. Eventually she collected and made photocopies of their police ID cards and their detective badges, she made several frantic phone calls before ushering them to the ward where Kumalo was admitted.

He was brought here almost dead two weeks ago by your patrol team at night. The young man was shot in the stomach, he was very lucky that no vital organ was damaged, just perforation of the intestines and the abdominal walls. He has survived! He is very strong willed. She explained to them on their way to the ward.

She opened the door to the ward and asked the nurse in the ward a few questions.

Kumalo was lying on his back. His abdomen was wrapped in bandages and there were bruises on the sides of his face. A pack of drip containing yellowish liquid hung above his head discharging its contents gradually into his body. His right ankle was cuffed to the metal beam of the metallic 6 by 6 inches bed.

I wonder why you people put that thing on his foot! Chief snapped.

It is standard procedure! Sandra said.

This annoyed the Chief and she became furious, she faced Peter to complain but peter pointed at Sandra and backed out to laugh some more.

Do you think he will run away in his condition? She asked Sandra; you could have one of your men stationed at the door of the ward to guard him instead of chaining him down like this! With this on his foot how do you expect him to turn around and change position? Don’t you know this will have an adverse effect on his body? Now Sandra saw why Peter was laughing but she pinched herself hard and she screamed out of pain so as to distract the woman.

What is wrong with you? Chief asked with concern.

It is cramps ma! Sandra said. I had a running stomach this morning, Sandra clutched at her stomach. I will be okay ma! She said. And ma, we do not have enough man power. We did not make the rules ma, we simply follow!

Like Zombies abi? Chief asked.

Yes ma! Like Zombie! Peter answered from behind as he joined them in the room.

You this silly detective! By the time I inject you with Amonia, you will have the laugh of your life! Silly boy! Please i will leave you now and you have just ten minutes to do what ever you want with him but note that this is a hospital and not a police station! If you do any how here, you will see any how!

Yes ma! Peter saluted.

The consultant left, peter pulled a spare seat and sat by the left side of the bed while Sandra went and stood y the right, she checked the cuff on Kumalo’s ankle to see if it was tight or loose.

Hello! I am detective Peter of the state CID and beside you is Sandra my partner. We are on top of your case and we hope you would be able to assist us. We need to catch up with the guys that did this to you and killed your brother.

Where is my brother’s body now? Kumalo asked

He is still at the mortuary, your people have been contacted and they will be coming for the corpse tomorrow. Peter said.

When will he be buried? Kumalo asked

We don’t know for now until your people arrive! Sandra offered

Kumalo started to cry painfully because his stomach wound was yet to heal.

Please don’t over work yourself! Peter advised. Everything will be okay. It is your own protection that is important to us now. Those that killed your brother will want to silence you at all cost since you were supposed to be dead too. Isn’t it? Peter asked.

Sir! Kumalo called through clenched teeth.

Yes? Peter answered.

If I should survive this attack ehn?  Ha! Oga blood go flow o! Imagine they just killed Jumbo like say na fowl! Just because of two fighting o! Ha! Oga i be waffi boy o! My eyes don see tire oga!

Please take it easy Okiemute! Sandra said. That is why we are here! Please give us names! But first of all, are you one of them? I mean which cult doo you belong to?

I don’t belong to any cult here! Kumalo answered.

Do you belong to any cult any where? Peter asked.

I be Egbesu boy for home! That na normal runs for home. Jumbo and I are members! Oga! The thing wey this boys do so na big insult to Egbesu! It is better they vamoose from this earth before I well o!

Stop talking like that Okiemute! Do you realize we are police detectives? Sandra cautioned.

Na today? Kumalo asked. Which kind police detective? Where were you guys when we were shot? You never see the Nigerian police when ever you need them! He said

But the police saw you and brought you here nah? Sandra countered.

The police did not see me first else I would be dead by now! Kumalo corrected. It was a hunter that saw me! The man just left here now, he comes here daily to see me. The man told me that the police collected two thousand naira from him to fuel their Van before they brought me here. When i regained consciousness, I realized that all the money in my pocket, my wrist watch and my neck chain were not on me and the hospital said the police did not give them any of my belongings. Only my school ID card was left in my wallet, even the two pieces of gold circle condom that I always carried in my wallet was gone! Taken by your men!

Peter shook his head sadly. I am sorry Okiemute, please can you give me the address of the hunter that rescued you? We will need to meet with him.

I don’t know his number but you can get it from the nurses here, they have his contact detail. Kumalo said.

Okay! Now back to why we are here, kindly give us the full gist of what led to the attack on you and your younger brother!

Posted in Prose, Stories

The Colours of Campus 3

CHAPTER 1

LET THE SLEEPING DOG LAY

KUMALO stumbled, got up, ran and stumbled some more times before stopping to catch his breath. Looking backwards to ascertain if his assailants were still on his trail.

He removed his palm from the gun wound he had sustained in the stomach. His palm was sticky with clotted blood; his shirt was covered with his blood, fresh blood oozed as he panted. He would die if he does not get help soonest. He trotted on, limping painfully. He was being sapped of his remaining energy for every step he took made him weaker. He knew the end had come, it was night, and the street was serene and deserted of all activities. No bike or Cab to hail at such unholy hour, it was past midnight.

Half spent, he crawled to the edge of the road and sat down clutching his stomach, the pain was excruciating, he could not even shout for help, he tried it but no sound came out of his mouth, he was breathing through the mouth.

The bullet had actually ripped his stomach through the right and came out from the left before nailing his brother Jumbo who was reading his book on the head spilling blood and grey matter all over the wall and reading table. Such a gory sight as Jumbo was killed without any premonition.

If Kumalo had not lain down and pretended to be dead, his assailant would have finished him, but had left him to die in the pool of his blood as he lay down, arms spread out and legs contorting before rigor mortis. When he got up, he saw his younger brother’s face still showing surprise with eyes open and mouth agape. The side of the head where the bullet had ripped in was a dark hollow as its content had gushed out splattered on the wall and reading table. It had happened so fast, he never saw it coming but now he knows from where it came.

He had gotten into a fight two days before the incident at the school’s Cafeteria with a strange fellow who was bullying Jumbo his younger brother. They were on queue to buy food when the fellow came and jumped the queue, he went straight to the counter and ordered for a plate of food, other Students who knew the fellow did not say anything but Jumbo was a Jambite and he spoke out. He went and met the fellow and admonished him for not being civil. He got a smack on the face for his boldness. It was the moment Kumalo walked into the hall and a fight ensued between Kumalo and the Capone of the Supreme Hawks fraternity. They call him “The Kite” or “Egbe”. Kumalo beat him in the fight by raising him up and hitting him on the ground twice. Kumalo and Jumbo had to run away when he was told by some boys to run for his life before Egbe’s boys come into the Cafe.

He had thought it ended there; he went to school the next day and everything was normal, he felt like a hero when he entered his class room and some boys started to praise him for his bravado. The news was all round the Campus that a common civilian, a stinking Jew man had disgraced the lord of the Hawks! It was like a sacrilege.  The Hawks were the most revered Confraternity on Campus, their arc rival “The Black Panthers” would laugh at them. The Blood brothers and the Burkinafaso (Sons of Sankara) confraternities would ridicule them. The supreme Eiye confraternity in their minority would pout at them, The Buccaneer and the Vikings would spit in front of anywhere they are gathered and walk off. A common Jew beating the Lord of the Hawks “Egbe” the Kite in public, slamming him upon tables and chairs in the Cafeteria! The height of insults!

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That same night in the heart of Ugwuaji forest behind independence layout. The dark forest where different confraternities hold their meetings, they call it “the Wilderness”. When ever there was a clash between Cults in the day time and the Police appear, Ugwuaji forest is the escape zone as no police dare enter there in the day or at night. Those living in the communities surrounding the small forest are used to hearing the songs of the Cultists when they meet in the forest at night. They are also used to seeing strange faces entering the forest an night and leaving in the early hours of the morning flying their colours with their beret and concealed weapons.

Egbe sat face down at the middle of the circle formed by his men, there was a burn fire at the center behind Egbe, he sat of the walking stick that doubles as a sword and the handle is collapsible into a platform for sitting when the blade is buried in the earth. It was his late father’s sword of honour worn for his meritorious service in the Nigerian Navy.

Eeeeeeeeweleoooooo!!! He chanted

Hmmmmmmmmmmm! The chorus

Eeeeeeeeeweletiantian! He chanted

Hmmmmmmmmmmm! The chorus

Hawks of the sky! He chanted

Higher! Higher! Higher! The chorus

Higher! Higher! Higher! He chanted

Hawks of the sky! The chorus

My men! Lords and marines! “Ewu ataa m igu n’isi” The goat has eaten my hair! I have been humiliated in the most bizarre way! Chai! A whole me! “Egbe”! A common Jew! I am yet to come to terms with how that guy did it!

How the guy did what? Stanley the butcher interrupted him!

I mean, I think the guy used jazz on me? Egbe said.

How nah? Asked the butcher; person beat you hands down! He use you sweep the cafeteria! Now you say he used jazz! Which kain jazz? I beg you don fall our hands! You don disgrace the whole Hawks for Campus! You don clip our wings! Butcher continued; it would have been better for you not to fight that guy than to disgrace us! You are no longer worthy to be number one!

Hawks of the sky! The number four man, Chester Nwokolo, the Judge chanted

Higher! Higher! Higher! The chorus

By the power vested on me by the council of the Lords of the sky, I hereby declare that “Egbe” be dethroned as “Lord of the Hawks” and Stanley “The Butcher” to ascend to the throne of the “Lord of the Hawks “

Stanley is to redress all fuck ups and redeem our image on Campus! This is to be done within twenty four hours!

Hawks of the Sky!

Higher! Higher! Higher!

The Judge stepped forward and removed the band of leadership from the hand of Egbe and wore it on the right hand of Stanley

You Stanley Muojekwu! AKA Stagger! Formerly butcher of the Hawks Confraternity! From today till the day you die, I hereby pronounce you as “Lord of the Hawks” in this University and beyond! You are to lead us through thick and thin and make sure our face is not rubbed on the mud. The Hawks interest comes first before any other in your life!

He collected the walking stick from “Egbe” and handed over to Stanley. Your first speech as the number one my lord, he bows.

Stanley steps to the centre stage and coughs to get attention.

Hawks of the sky! He chanted

Higher! Higher! Higher! The chorus

Higher! Higher! Higher! He chanted

Hawks of the sky! The chorus

He went into a session of jolly songs which the members danced to while dancing around the burn fire.

Hawks of the sky! He shouted

Higher! Higher! Higher! The chorus

Yes! This is a new era! Stanley addressed the house. My own Bible na old testament, and it says “an eye for an eye” a tooth for a tooth” but for me na “an eye for two eyes” and “a tooth for two teeth”

Those two Jew men must die!

Yes! Yes! They must die! The chorus

That will serve as a deterrent to every other Mosquito in the Campus that wants to try us! I will personally lead the operation this time tomorrow night, Egbe will be there to redeem his image, Sparrow and Eagle will accompany us for the hit. I know where the two lives at Trans Ekulu, in a boys quarter occupied by students. Meanwhile Egbe! For bringing shame unto this house, you are fined a bottle of schnapps and a general jumping by the house! Come to the center!

Egbe went to center stage and was mauled by members of the house flogging and kicking him while he hopped about falling and getting up.

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The only thing that kept him alive was his hope for an opportunity to avenge the death of Jumbo his only sibling. He had persuaded his mother to allow Jumbo to come to Enugu to school so he could protect and fend for him. He could not keep his promise, Jumbo has been killed and he narrowly escaped instant death himself. He could recognize the voice of Egbe whom he had fought with in the Cafeteria, Egbe had called on a certain Stanley to confirm that they were actually dead. He knew they were about four that came for the hit but he heard the name Stanley being called and he recognized Egbe’s voice. He recollected Stanley saying ‘an eye for two eyes’! Rest in pieces the two of you! Next time you reincarnate, you will revere the Hawks of the sky! Stinking Jew men! Stanley had kicked him severally at the sides of his head before kicking dead jumbo to the floor.

How would he and his younger brother just die like that? He pondered in his agony. And what was his offence? Nothing! As long as he was concerned, it was a case of ‘two fighting’ an every day occurrence in Warri. Does it tantamount to a death sentence? If these Cultists were actually strong boys as they claim to be, why did they not challenge him to a duel? Why should they be killed? Did they kill anybody? His thoughts were running wild. He refused to close his eyes even though he was feeling very drowsy. He knew it was an easy way to die off and he was not ready to meet his maker now. He refused to die. He thought of his mother loosing two children at once. The father was murdered during the last Warri crisis. His corpse was among those conveyed with wheel barrows to the mass burial site at jakpa. He was recognised by his shoe. His father has only one shoe that he got from the white man he served as a cook in Chevron estate. The shoe is multi coloured and his mates used to refer to his father’s shoe as ‘rainbow shoe’ he wore the shoe every day for the last six years he spent before his painful death. The father was buried with the shoe among other corpses but the shoe resurrected after some days and became the property of ‘old soja’ a popular drunken retired soldier in Warri who had no family. No one dared accused old soja of robbing the dead because they were all afraid of the outcome. Old soja knows everything about everybody and was not afraid to say anything anywhere. But old soja does not talk anyhow, even when he is filled with alcohol he only vituperates about his escapades in the army.

Kumalo had taken to hawking and street hustling to support his mother who sells smoked fish at the front of their house at Otiotio Street. He graduated into small scale kidnapping of white men working with the oil companies and making good money from ransoms paid. When there were no more white men to kidnap, they resorted to collecting development fees from the companies’ resident in Warri and from any prospective builder. This continued until the state legislature prohibiting the collection of development fee was established. A special task force was set up to arrest youths that cause disturbance as a result of any company’s refusal to pay the ‘deve’ fee.

He then joined the oil pipe line vandals; this was the most profitable adventure he had ventured into but with a high inherent risk. He escaped three major pipe line explosions that claimed thousands of lives all together in the Niger-delta region of Nigeria. It was the last pipe line explosion at Ekpan that made Kumalo decides to leave Warri and go back to school, having been initially rusticated from the federal polytechnic Auchi for cult activities and kidnapping. They had kidnapped the son of a politician and were still waiting for the call for the collection of their ransom when their hide out was busted by the police SARS squad. They would have all gone for life jail if not that four sons of Edo and Delta state top politicians were members of his cult group, even the son of the Delta state commissioner of police was his closest friend and a fellow kidnapper too. They all spent six months awaiting trial at Asaba prison before they were all released.

He saw a ray of light and he jolted back to reality, he was angry with himself for actually falling asleep. The light was approaching slowly, it was not a car or a bike as the ray of light was darting about but slowly getting closer to where he crouched by the road. He pulled himself together; he got up and flung himself on the main road screaming with all his might. As he was falling, he felt all the remaining energy in him completely drained and he felt like a feather in the air. He saw the flash light advancing hurriedly towards him. He fell hitting his head on the coal tarred road. He passed out.