I saw a hot bullet pierce through his chest, right there in the middle.
“Noooo…” I couldn’t believe that happened. The troops returned fire in the direction the bullet came from but I couldn’t just tell if they killed any living thing.
“Allahu” He kept shouting as he was struggling with life. A soldier attempted to go pick him up, but he was always send back by the constant bullet that came from an angle we couldn’t just phantom.
“Noooo…” I yelled as I was about standing up to go pick him up.
“Stay back” I heard a command from behind. I looked and saw a senior officer asking me to go back behind cover. I saw the way his body was pieced as repeated bullets kept landing on his body. I closed my eyes in pains and held on to my rifle hard
I watched how he fell and struggled for life…the bullets were coming in quick successions from different angles and I was helpless to help him. A soldier never gives up easily and despite the amount of bullets that were in his body, he stretched his hands towards me, with a sign of pleading for help but I couldn’t even reasoning out what to do at that point in time. I remember all he told me about his fear of death and people waiting for him also at home. “RIP” I murmured and saw him gave up the ghost.
“We are moving back. Everybody back…back…” Our commandant kept calling for a retreat and I had to move. I crawled towards the armored car and joined up with some other colleagues. Over 50 soldiers had fallen already and a troop formerly made up of 200 soldiers has almost been reduced drastically.
We had been clearly overpowered by the terrorist who looked like they came in thousands and we had to use the escape route. We ran straight to the bush with bullets still flying in various directions. Some other soldiers were captured alive while we the lucky ones made way for the bush with our commander running faster than us.
“Tunji…Bright..” I shouted mildly to know if they were around with us.
“Yea” Bright replied “Where is Tunji?” I asked him
“I don’t know yet” He replied. Goosebumps came all over me with that reply. We were already hiding in one of the dense forest after trekking a long distance. The commander and the highest ranking officials with us tried making emergency phone calls, but to no avail. We were all armed with our rifles; but looking at those rifles, it was evidently clear that they were all worn out rifles. The sound emanating from the terrorist rifle made ours look like we were holding toy rifles. We didn’t move far before we saw a soldier holding onto his friend who was injured badly
“You have to drop him” The commandant said to him “We need to move as fast as possible out of here” The commandant added
“No Sir” The guy replied with his Hausa accent “Na rantse da Allah, sai ya ba matattu” (I swear to God, he is not dead)
“He will still die because he is badly injured” The commandant with little or no emotions. I was totally surprised at the act but what can a low ranking soldier like me do? I kept looking at the scenario and observed that night.
“Na my brother sir, let him die in my arms than for those animals to kill am” The guy pleaded. The injured was looking very weak and with tears in his eyes, was signaling to his brother not to leave him. I don’t know the relationship between them, but the scene was very emotional. We didn’t rest on time that night and we had to move down further the desert. We finally came to a place we assumed was okay and we were halted to stop and rest for the night. We woke up the next morning and saw Sgt. Usman weeping over the death of his brother. He battled all night to save him but unfortunately he gave up the ghost. We helped him dig a shallow grave and defiled instruction before we buried him. We consoled him and did the best we could as brothers in arms.
To Be Continued…