The director seemingly angry clearly stood up and yelled with his loudest tone “you left your colleagues to die like little chickens, and you think we will congratulate you just like that and welcome you homes with open hands? It wouldn’t works and it will never work.” He was still fuming with anger when another senior General bounced in with some of his ADC and other junior soldiers.
“For those of you who don’t know, what you all have done is punishable by death but we will make sure that you get the deserved judgment when hearing starts” He said with a calm but firm voice. I took my time to use my hand and wipe out the tears that kept rolling down my face and I wondered what I got myself into.
“Take all of them to where they belong” He ordered as he was greeted with a large number of salutes from the free soldiers and was escorted out of the hall. We were chained one to another and we made way to an unknown destination. I wondered how where we were heading to would like, and I concluded that it would most likely be like a cell in a prison yard. We kept walking in chains and nobody asked if we even ate all the while we were in the forest. I saw one of the soldiers in chains like us, asking our warder if there was anything like food
“By the time we go finish with you, you go dey beg to die before we even kill you finish” He said before landing on the soldier that asked the question a resounding slap. He cried! He really cried! Not just within himself, he cried out but not loud. Have you seen a man cried before? Or are you thinking about what could make a man cry? Here is a perfect scenario.
We finally approached an old building that looked like it was built before the Nigerian civil war. It was like a dumping ground in the base, but the building had facilities. I could even perceive the odor of debris around as we came closer. The smell became stronger as we approached the entrance of the building. I saw the keepers of the place, putting on nose masks, while we the prisoners were inhaling everything the environment had to offer.
We were walking like slaves with handcuffs on our hands and legs as we made way inside the building. I then discovered that the ancient building had about two rooms in it that could contain about just 10 people and we were about 25 or more than in numbers. The rooms were so small when I measured them from outside but I was wondering how it was going to be possible. Just then, the Military Police officer escorting us started dividing the room between us. He did it randomly that the security guards in the building had no option than to obey the last order.
Luckily I and Bright and about 5 other soldiers found ourselves inside a small room that would be too tight for two grown-up men to inhabit. They started unlocking our chains as we made way inside a room that would harbor us for as long as nobody knows. It was a battle of collecting the best space and with the hope of seating close to the window. I was so disappointed to enter the room and found out that nothing like a window existed there. It was just like a small space with no means of ventilation, except the door.
“Dey go leave that door open?” One of the soldiers asked me. I gave him a look that showed that he just asked the most foolish question on earth. I quickly found a spot and managed, while Bright sat very close to me.
Bright was this kind of over-pampered kid that one would think he actually came from a rich family. He is tall and has a lot of body weight, making him look like a lazy semi-giant. I personally recognized him as someone who didn’t know what to say at some given moments, and this moment was not exempted as Bright told me “so this is where God wanted us to end up”
“Are you stupid?’ I responded in a harsh but weak tone.
“Why insulting me?” He chipped in with that question
“Because you should learn to say things the way it is, and not the way your pastor of your church asks you to”
“Is that the reason for the insult?’
“Yes and I will dish out more if you don’t learn to control your mouth” I added with a more angry tone this time around
“May God forgive you” He said. I was even even about to drop mine, before some of the guys in the room started grunting “Two of you dey make noise here ooo”(Both of you are making a whole lot of noise).
“Una know say person no fit breath, una dey add spit dey give person”(You know we have poor ventilation here, and both of you are worsening the situation by pouring spit all around.)
“Sorry abeg”(I am sorry please) I pleaded with them
“If you sit small, you stand oo… make I sit small”(IF you sit for a while, you will also give me an opportunity to sit also) That was when I realized that the room wasn’t even okay for the seven of us.
“Sorry ooo” I apologized again before I tried to create space for him. I kept adjusting, alongside other guys as we finally squeezed ourselves together and he sat down. That room was meant for about two defaulters, but conditions made us about nine inside.
It wasn’t long before he heard a loud shout form the other section of the building. The cry was loud that we wondered what would have happened. We were still ruminating over the possible cause of the incidence before one of the soldiers with us alerted us about an impending doom “I wan piss ooo and e hold me badly” (I am pressed badly and need to ease myself).
“Jesus” Bright muttered. I couldn’t help but laugh out loudly to the surprise of the other guys.
“I wish say I follow for those wey those bokoharam bullets kill inside that forest, I for just dey rest. Insha Allah”(I wish I was among those that were killed by the terrorists inside the forest, I would have been resting in heaven. By God’s grace) One of the soldiers wailed
“God wanted you to be here” Bright immediately added as soon as the guy discussed about his favorite topic
“Wow!” I exclaimed
It wasn’t long before we heard an announcement “As from tomorrow, you will be summoned to face a panel of Military enquiry. You will wake up early and do your rounds before moving out. Am I clear?” He yelled. I heard some scanty “yes sir” form like few people around. Nobody was prepared to talk much again and infact, we were all tired to loud our voices.
“I hear say na kill dem go kill us ooo… say we run from fight” (I heard they will sentence us to death because we fled from a warzone) One of the soldiers said
“You have heard the verdict na” I asked Bright who was most acting like he was either praying or trying to sleep “What else do you want?”
“I want you to believe in God” He responded with either a smile because I couldn’t see his face well as everywhere was kind of dark
“Is it the same one that allowed Tunji’s head to be separated from his body?” I asked sarcastically
Where was he when Tunji who believe also was being slaughtered like a little chicken? I asked him in anger.. Just then …
To Be Continued on next episode
****”Who asked you guys to flee?” The panel judge enquired?******
“You have to be careful, he has lots of connections and if he is finally set free, you will be a dead man” He said******************8
“What will be your reply? He asked him slowly but firmly*******************