Victims – Episode 25
A Story By Rosemary Okafor
It was the eve of Christmas, not that it mattered to Ife who was seated on a wooden stool while a girl who should be a little older than her tended to her wounds.
She had come down with fever and her wounds were infected, swollen with pus gushing out of them. It took her a lot of crying and pleading for Issa to agree for her to be attended to, not really because she was in terrible pain, but because she disgust him the way she coiled each time he came close to her, and he could no longer stand the odor that came from her inflamed v*****, Anus and her flesh.
Issa had come in with the other girl who had a bowel of hot water a detol and a towel, he stood watching as the girl set down the bowel beside her and helped her to a seating position before he left. He didn’t want to take her to the hospital, he was not ready to answer questions from the nurses.
She groaned as her weight balanced on her buttocks, sending a sharp excruciating pain up to her brain.
“Yi hakuri (Sorry)” the girl muttered
“hmm” and without another word, the girl worked on her wounded body, dipping the towel in the hot water and cleaning her wounds with it, the girl would juggle the towel from one palm to another while flinging her fingers in pain, making a familiar sound ‘tsssssssiiii’ like when a child stole a hot meat from a pot of soup.
Ife saw her skin came off with the towel as the girl pulls the towel away to dip again in the water, they said nothing to each other. The girl ran an ointment all over her body, and her nipples that had deep cuts too due to bits from Issa’s teeth.
She was helped to lay on her back and her legs spread. She saw the girl wiggled her nose because of the odor from her v*****, Ife could swear she saw pity in the eyes of the girl, but it disappeared immediately and the girl went to work, cleaning and applying ointment on both holes;
“Oya take…drink am fast, e go help you” the girl offered her a bottle, she didn’t know the content and didn’t ask, the smell from the bottle was strong but she gulped it quickly and returned the bottle.
“Na watin be your name” she managed to ask the girl
“I go come back anytime way I get chance come see you” the girl answered instead
Bishop Ogundele has been the CAN president for the past Twelve years and he had no intention of coming down. It has not been easy getting to this point in his life, few of them knew how to play church politics and how to romance each Government that has come and go in the presidential Villa Aso rock.
He has been to Aso Rock more than five times since this president assumed office, and each time he visited it was for one favor or the other, the president owed him favors and he knew it, both Powerful Men had washed each other’s hands for long.
The bishop was on his way to Abuja from Lagos, but lately he had loved cooling off at the back seat of his unmarked Toyota black SUV where he could see the streets and traffics without him being seen, with two other escort vehicles following behind.
If he was not called as a religious leader, he was sure he would have done well as a politician because to him, only few men could play the role of a political Godfather like him, and joint together with his highly ministerial honor, he was a very powerful man.
“Your lordship sir, we have entered Abuja” his chauffeur announced
Bishop Ogundele gazed from the window, he would have wind down to allow the air from the powerful city fill his lungs, but that would be a mistake as the street was now filled with beggars;
“Low lives” he muttered to himself as he saw them seated along the pedestals with dirty plates waiting for drops of tattered notes.
His convoy was slowed down by traffic, giving some beggars the opportunity to draw closer to his car, waving their plates while the kids among them peered through the tinted glass. He would have ordered his men to flog them off, but that would be giving the media something juicy to write about.
He was ushered into the big office where President Danladi Await him, the surge of fresh air from the Air Conditioner caressed his face and he smiled, extending his hand to the President,
“Your Excellency sir”
Both men laughed like old time school friends, but they both knew they would have been sworn enemies if not the secret that held them together.
“I came immediately I got your message”
“Not exactly…I sent the message…lets see…eight hours, twenty six minutes ago…” Mr President Laughed loudly
“Anything to drink your Lordship?”
“No…I am fine”
“Then let’s go straight to the point” Danladi signaled the armed boys in the office and the left
“The presidency needs a favor from you” Danladi looked at the Bishop
‘Like always ’ Bishop Ogunlade thought
“I don’t know how long I will stay in this office before they either kill me or impeach me, I need to move something for myself…you understand what I mean” Danladi folded his arms across his chest, pulling some of his Agbada in the process
“I understand your Excellency…how much are we talking about?”
“That shouldn’t be your concern your Lordship, just be rest assured your will be generously rewarded as always…” Danladi shuffled his seating position, resting his arms on the table
“It is my concern your Excellency, that is if you are going to make use of my Private Jet and my Foreign Account…”
This was not the first time they are doing this business, and each time the clergy would always demand to know the exact amount to be moved, Danladi had watched the greed of the clergy man grew with each transaction but he could do little or nothing about it, after all, Bishop Ogundele came highly recommended.
“Okay, I will disclose the amount to you when the CBN Governor is ready”
Bishop smiled broadly, he would have loved to have something to drink now, but he feared for his life, he could be poisoned, who knows.
“I heard you say some people wants to kill or impeach you…you disappoint me Mr President…” The Bishop clapped his five fingers against each other, watching the President cunningly,
“What would you have me do your Lordship?”
“Dispose of them before they make you history… send them to the grave and attend their funerals…you have done it before, don’t be a weakling…”
The secret that tied him to this Man, a then renowned Lawyer and a human right Activist died two weeks of kidney and liver failure after he was invited by the bishop, nothing was found on his autopsy, but both Men knew what happened.
The activist was beginning to snoop and talk too much.
Yusuf sat facing his father, the Man has aged within the weeks the old man had spent in Prison,
“They said you are responsible for the bombing”
The old man looked his son on the face, forcing the boy to look away. His body rocked violently with cough and his eyes watered before he responded,
“you know who is responsible for the bombing”
Yusuf knew, but what he didn’t know was why his father was linked to it and who would want his father locked up.
“I wasn’t expecting you to come” the old man said, his voice was frail, Yusuf didn’t know he still love the old Man till this recent, he feared what he might do if anything happened to his father
“Or did he send you to come and watch me die?”
“I have not seen him for some time now, and no…I came because I want to see you” Yusuf replied
“You still work for him, you still believe in his ideologies, you are no different from him” the old man sank his forehead and his shoulders in disappointment
Another violent cough rocked his body, his bones ached and his throat hurt. He had his water rationed with no blanket to cover his weak bones from the cold that swept his cell every night.
“Are you sure Uncle is responsible for bringing you here? Or some other aggrieved scholar of yours…maybe a politician?” Yusuf didn’t want to believe Husayn could hurt him to this point
“The Isolation is what is killing me, nobody to talk to, no pen or papers to write and no book to read…” Mallam spoke, ignoring his son’s question
“…each time an ugly looking guard walks to my cell, I long to hear him tell me why I was brought here and who want me dead, but nothing…”
Yusuf has not seen his father this vulnerable, not after the death of his wife. What if Husayn was responsible? What was his reason for framing the Mallam up? Was that Allah’s instruction too?
“I know your Imam is responsible, he has always feared that I would one day tell you the truth about Islam and the true worship of Allah…you are a fool to ever listen to Husayn and you will die in your folly” the Old Man spat on the floor
“You are the one dying now…” Yusuf whispered
“Your soul is dead Yusuf, condemned by Allah, you know not Allah and his Prophet, you never did, you are only filled with the hatred and wickedness planted in you by Husayn…”
Yusuf couldn’t stand his father’s words anymore, he stood up and hurried outside, leaving his father to gaze at his back. He would have gone to
Husayn, he would have wanted to cry at his shoulder and ask him why he framed his father, he would have also believed the Imam who would tell his that Allah wished it so, but he no longer have a strong tie to his uncle, his feelings towards his uncle was being replaced with resentment and vengeance, so he ignored his uncle’s call and drove on a chattered car to an unknown motel in the outskirt of Abuja.
‘The boy is soft, just like his weak father’ Imam Husayn thought.
He has waited to hear from Yusuf for days now, he even tried calling him but he didn’t pick, only to meet him absent and his wife admitting not knowing his way about.
Abandoning the sect at this crucial time wasn’t what he expected from his nephew, he had put Yusuf to his second major test and he had failed.
He had feared that the Mallam would one day win his boy over and that would not be good for the sect, he had also wanted to play a little game, proving to the Pathetic Mallam that he has the power to kill and to make alive in this country. The Mallam already constituted nuisance and needed to be locked up.
He was driving with so much thoughts running in his head that he slightly escaped from hitting a little boy crossing to the other side of the street carelessly. As he brought the car to a halt and looked towards the boy, something about the little boy struck him, a striking resemblance to the son he lost few months ago
“Umaru!” he muttered, not so sure
But before he got down from the car the image of boy had thinned away, holding the hand of a woman.
To be continued
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