Written by AKOGWU JOSEPH CHINONSO…
The Inspector General of the Gennanian police force, Destiny Noel, strode leisurely down the stairs, his fingers making quick, fussy movements on the rails. Many things dwelt on his mind. His legs buckled and he suddenly stopped. A pulsating headache overtook him and his heart palpitated with the rush of adrenaline. After a while, he summoned a little strength and hastened to the sitting room. Soon, he was lying stretched out on a couch. The previous day, his doctor had called his attention to his rising blood pressure and advised that he found sufficient time for rest. When his doctor said that, he had stared at him with utter defiance. Was he not aware the nation was in a dire and complex situation? He thought. “I’m the Inspector General of police for goodness sake.” He told his doctor, “The nation looks up to me to get her out of this mess.” He said with a note of finality. The doctor looked up at him and suggested, “Why don’t you ask the president to give you some days off. Your health is at stake and you can’t help the nation if you break down.” The IG smiled, “Thanks for your concern.” He squeezed his shoulder gently, “I’ll not breakdown, not now.” And he had dismissed him. Though the IG was glad when he was appointed the Inspector General by the late President Williams Bruno, the current security condition of the nation was seriously weighing down on him. To compound his misery, he now lived on his past glory but was determined to resurrect as the savior the nation once knew. Even as he made up his mind on this, he knew his chances were lean. After a while, he shut his eyes and concentrated his thoughts on the late president. He remembered with pains how he was murdered right under his nose and how the police were still up to the moment kept in the dark about the person behind his death. At this point, he felt his headache increasing and immediately swallowed some pills he took from his Bosom pocket. Reaching for a can of water on the stool, he poured some quantity into a glass and drank it. Feeling somewhat relieved, he allowed his mind to drift and he remembered vividly how he came to become friends with late President Williams Bruno, many years back, when they were still undergraduates of Federal University of Efotu, Genna.
*** It was a bright Thursday morning in the Federal University of Efotu. The time was 7:45. The campus was warm and caressing and there was a cloudless sky above. The campus buzzed as usual with students and lecturers going about their daily routine. At the gigantic campus gate stood a couple of armed military men screening long line of cars that drove in and out of the campus. Among the cars driving in was Williams’ Honda Prelude. The school gloried in being the oldest university in the country and the only university built by the British before they allowed Genna independence. The dilapidated buildings scattered all over the compound attested to that fact. This particular morning, the atmosphere of the campus seemed calm but all was not normal. It was the month of the first coup in the country, the month Major General Robert Smart struck. Cultists cashed in on the tension and confusion, which engulfed the nation and terrorized both students and lecturers with their nefarious activities. They connived with the soldiers working in the school and made the campus hell for both staff and students. It was the turn of Williams to be screened. He edged his car to the gate and put a foot on the brakes, “Williams Bruno,” he said, “a fourth year student of law.” He pulled his ID card from his pocket and showed the soldier who was now leaning on the window of the passenger’s seat. The soldier examined it scrupulously and nodded.
“What’ve you got in the boot?” Williams shook his head, “Nothing.”
The soldier regarded him, “Let me have a look.”
Williams shifted the gear to P, got out of the car and moved behind the car, to the boot. The soldier followed him. Williams unlocked the boot. The soldier looked into it, nodded and handed him his ID
“You can now go.” He waved him on.
Williams smiled, entered the car and sent it forward. He drove up the main avenue, slackened brakes and turned left, en route for his classroom. He was only few miles to his classroom when he saw them. Two cultists rushed from under a yew tree to the road, blocking him. They were holding pistols.
“Pull over here.” One of them said, pointing to the side of the road, “You know the drill.”
To Be Continued…