Tanzanki lit a cigarette and pulled on it, “We meet in the bunker in two hours for the final lap of the preparation. May God accept our brothers as Tanki bows in Lavington, and Zainade in Roman Ridge.”
Musalam remained expressionless but in the next second, he forced a smile and nodded. A bow in their terrorist world meant death and he knew that in the next two hours, he was going to see Tanki and Zainade for the last time. Though dying for the group was a routine and reality they were already accustomed with, the more he thought of Tanki and Zainade getting burnt to ashes in Ghana and Kenya, the more he felt bad and wished their fate would be reversed. They were the only two he had taken as real brothers since he became a terrorist and was already finding it difficult to imagine life without them in the group.
Tanzanki saw he was absent-minded and said, “I think I’m done with you. Go home and rest before we meet in the bunker.”
He had nodded and left Tanzanki’s apartment.
The driver got to a pothole some kilometers from the University of Abuja, slowed down and changed the gear. He looked at Musalam in the rear-view mirror, saw that he was lost in thoughts and changed the cassette to Kcee’s Pullover. He pressed down on the accelerator, watched the speedometer rise to 140, increased the volume of the radio and started humming the song. Musalam asked him to reduce the volume a bit and when he obliged, he started brooding over what he would be facing in few minutes time and for the first time in his life, he became afraid. He fixed his mind on the plan and felt his head sway. The plan was that when he got to the church, he would allow the security men to arrest him; then after they had questioned him and he had given his false confession, Tanzanki would arrange to break him out of prison within a day. But what if something goes wrong? He thought. What if there will be no opportunity for a prison break? At a point, he considered changing the plan and embarking on a suicide bombing instead but immediately discarded that thought; Tanzanki would never forgive him if he tried that. He ran a palm through his stomach and felt the bomb. Everything would go as planned. He forced a smile. Tanzanki would definitely break him out as he had always done. He started nodding his head and heard the driver shout, “I said we’re already there!” and figured he had probably shouted that a couple of times but he hadn’t heard him. He looked through the window and realized the driver had already applied brakes a stone’s throw to a signpost that read Catholic Diocese of Abuja. St Thomas Catholic Church Gwagwalada. He dug into his pocket, brought out three five hundred naira notes and gave the driver. He got out of the car, stood and watched until the driver was out of sight. He glanced at his watch, it was 9:15AM and he turned around and made toward the huge gate guarded by four military men. In two minutes, they were searching him and disabling the bomb and few minutes later, they were putting cuffs on his wrists and slapping and kicking him.