Here’s the 4th and final episode of Boiling Pot of Madness, a collaborative work by Dimeji (@iStalkWriters) Femi (@DisFemiSef) and Harold (@HaroldWrites). One writer wrote each of the first three episodes, picking up from where the other left, completely at liberty to develop the story as they please. Interesting experiment. The finale was written by all three together. Enjoy.
Margaret slammed her phone to smithereens after she was done venting her anger to Afonja. These boys have gone mad, she thought. They had completely re-written the plan. This wasn’t what she had envisaged. All she had wanted, and had asked of them was to disrupt the elections, not….
The whole country was now in chaos. The governors were either missing or dead. Same goes for honourable members of the legislative houses across the federation. The country borders have been infiltrated by unknown elements. She, herself would have been dead meat by now. But for her awareness and prompt kamikaze driving, she would have been assassinated the other night. She had to relocate to a relatively unknown part in Abuja to avoid prying eyes. These infidels were laying siege to the country!
And where the hell was the President? The last she saw and heard of him was his presence at the Election ground in Otuoke right before the explosion. She knew he wasn’t dead – the security forces did not find the President’s remains at the venue. Where could they have taken him to? What were they up to?
Margaret thought of ringing Gideon Wosu. She picked up another phone of hers and dialled his number, but just before the call could connect, she dropped it. That would be dangerous. If she spoke to him, he would know she was still alive.
She rubbed her palms as she continued pacing around the room.
What if he knows I am alive, what does it matter? I have already called Afonja, and the news would still get to the rest that I am alive.
“The hell!” she exclaimed, then picked her phone and dialled Gideon’s number the second time. He didn’t pick on the first ring.
As she listened to Gideon’s ring back tone, the events of the night were she had met the group flashed through her mind.
Three months before the general elections, the President had called for a special meeting with the security institutions. The subject matter was obvious – how to ensure a fair, free and safe election. The polity was getting heated up. A break out group from the bokoharam – the Al Shubeb were posing a few security challenges in the north; some dissatisfied former militants and members of the now-dissolved Niger Delta militants amnesty program were plotting a national protest for non-payment of amnesty dues. On the political scene, the Northerners were aggrieved that a candidate of Northern origin was not picked as the ruling party’s Presidential flag bearer. A couple of political associations had vowed to make the country a boiling pot of violence for the injustice done; The East also felt pained – they had hoped for an igbo Presidential candidate. A few elder statesmen spewed angry words in the media; the West were not left out in this furore. They felt they deserved a candidate of western origin too…
Margaret had listened carefully to the submissions of her colleagues in related Federal security parastatals on how to contain the situation if any threats were posed. And as the head of the SSS, she made a contribution or two of her own too.
Right after the meeting at the Presidential quarters, she made a few calls to her alliance. She informed them on the direction with which the country was going.
It was then she was given some intelligence report that the Al Shubeb and some dissatisfied former militants were meeting in a fortnight. Whatever the agenda was, she never knew and she never cared. She stole a cue from the report. What if she could unite the four most dreaded outlawed groups in the country for a common cause? What if she could bring together the MEND, OPC, MASSOB and talk the BOKOHARAM out of their cease-fire operation? What if…..
As she paced around the room reminiscing on the events of the pre-election period, a call came through her phone. She did not recognise the number and so did not bother picking. The phone rang the second and third time. She ignored it. Then an SMS came through.
Leave the room tonight…
The message was as short as a clock hourly hand. For the first time since the assassination attempt on her life, Margaret felt a cold chill run down her spine. What did the message mean? And more importantly, who was the sender? How did they know where she was?
After the assassination attempt, she had relocated to the suburbs and was now holed up in a cheap hotel room. Did they trace her down there? Or did they tap her call to Afonja and traced the address? Was her phone bugged?
Margaret quickly redialled the number which sent the message. The voice on the other end was feminine.
“I should not be talking to you….” it said.
“Who are you?” Margaret cut in.
“Who are you?” Margaret repeated. “Talk to me!” she barked.
“Who sent you? How did you know where I stay? Why should I leave tonight?”
Margaret could feel her pulse beat faster. The tension was getting to her.
“Gideon says you should leave tonight,” the voice said and the line went dead.
Before Margaret could get a grip of the situation at hand, she heard a knock on the door. She was startled, but kept quiet. The knock came again. Then she heard the words, “Room service.”
“I..did… not order for anything.”
“You have a delivery.”
“Leave it at the door.”
Margaret could hear footsteps fading away. She waited for a while, and then approached the door. She looked into the peephole but did not see anyone. After a few seconds, she slowly opened the door. A parcelled box lay on the floor. She quickly retrieved same and shut the door.
Inside the box were a number of photographs. The images on the photos looked familiar. On closer scrutiny, Margaret discovered that they were pictures of her little daughter, Ngozi.
“Bastards!” she exclaimed.
Ngozi Ogoegbulem was Margaret’s eight year old daughter from her failed marriage. Right before the elections she had sent her daughter to go stay with her mother in the coal city of Enugu, her hometown.
What do they want from me? What do they want from me? Who is behind this?
Only one name came to her mind: Gideon Wosu. She made to dial his number but stopped midway, and dialled her mother’s instead.
“Nne Mama,” her mother teased on the other end. “Kedu?”
The calm in her mother’s voice put Margaret’s mind at rest. She was certain all was well.
“Mama I’m fine. How is Ozi ?”
“She’s fine. She’s currently playing with her friends in the yard. Any problem?”
“Umm no Mama,” she said abruptly and dropped the call. She knew if she stayed any longer on the phone her mother would suspect all was not well and she did not have the time to explain.
The wall clock ticked. It was 6:00 pm. Margaret quickly packed a few clothes and documents into her backpack. She had to leave as the caller had instructed. Where she was going, she had no idea. Just as she made for the door, she felt a tiny object burst through the door and whiz past her right leg. A little movement to the right and the object would have hit her. Margaret gasped and paused for a moment. Another sharp tiny object burst through the door again. This time it missed her head by a hair. It was then it dawned on Margaret that her worst nightmare was now a reality – she was under attack. She immediately fell to the ground, laying low. More bullets burst through the door. Margaret’s eyes roved round the room, her heart pounding heavily. Was this her end?
She spotted a rectangular hole on the wall meant for an air conditioning unit. There was no such unit. Instead, the hole was covered with pieces of brown papers. Could she make it there in time before her assailants gained entry? Throwing caution to the wind, she darted towards the hole, pulled out the carton and climbed through. Rolling over and thumping to the ground on the other side, Margaret found herself in the parking lot. She heard the door from within the room crash to the ground under heavy pressure. Powerful footsteps could be heard roaming the room.
Margaret left the spot, surreptitiously tiptoed around some vehicles, found her way out of the parking lot and unto the dusty streets. Then with all the energy left in her, she ran for dear life.
Good day y’all. Another week, another episode of Boiling Pot of Madness. Hope your weekend was good, we here enjoyed it. @HaroldWrites is at it again, enjoy the writeup, don’t forget to follow the blog to get email notifications, like us on Facebook and you can follow us on twitter. Enjoy it!
It had been about week now since the election day mayhem. And just as the country was in disarray, same went for AkwaIbom state too. The State was devoid of any form of recognised previous government as the leaders of the old ruling political class were either killed or missing. The leader of MEND, General Gideon Wosu had appeared on selected south-south media channels to declare control over the region. He had said he and his troops now oversaw the south-south geopolitical zone.
“Today, I bring you good news,” he had said in a live telecast. “The days of exploitation by irresponsible and corrupt government officials are over. I and my colleagues have come to liberate our people. This region has been the backbone of the forgone entity called Nigeria but we have never enjoyed the dividends of our natural resources. We were manipulated by the colonial masters, abused by the military dictators and marginalised by the so-called democratic governments. We cried and begged for what rightfully belonged to us, but no one listened. We fought with words and blood, but never succeeded. But today, the Almighty has shone his mercy on us. We finally succeed in our struggle and stand in victory. Let it be known to all men henceforth that the region once known as South-South shall from this day be called The People’s Republic of Boma! We shall strive to achieve our collective goal, for this land is the people’s land! Long live The People’s Republic of Boma!”…
The international community had condemned the coup in the country and had threatened intervention. The United Nations had released a statement reprimanding perpetrators of the coup, saying it was sabotage on humanity and the rule of law. Some G8 nations had offered any form of assistance to bring the culprits to book. The United States government in particular had promised to capture the leaders of the four militia sects. In response, the militia leaders had promised war on foreign nationals within the country if the international community attempted to carry out their threats.
At the government house in Uyo, Gideon Wosu sat in council with his advisers and right-hand men. The week had been a very eventful one. After the taking over of different parts of the country by his fellow rebels, Gideon had immediately set forth to appoint interim heads of the different states within his region. These heads had limited powers and were directly answerable to him. They could only execute directives in their states after due consultation with and approval from him.
At the Executive Council meeting in the government house, Gideon and his cohorts plotted the distribution of oil revenue to the different regions. There had been a little disagreement as to how much revenue should go to Cross Rivers, Port Harcourt and AkwaIbom – the three major oil producing States in the region – as against the other smaller oil-producing states.
As Gideon made to make a final pronouncement, his phone buzzed. He stole a glance at the number calling. It was Afonja, the military leader of the OPC.
“One minute gentlemen,” he said and made for his inner office.
The four militia groups had not communicated as a group since the coup. They had signed a pact to take over the country in a collective effort, but keep their distances and rule over their respective zones thereafter. So it was strange that Afonja would call.
“Gidi, we have a situation here,” Afonja said.
“What is it?”
“Margaret is still alive.”
The words sent chills down Gideon Wosu’s spine. Ordinarily, he should not be scared of an adversary’s presence; the forces of the four militia groups could grind anyone to pulp. But Margaret was not just any adversary. She was THE adversary. She knew too much about their military operations and strategies. She had literally squeezed the information out of them at the meeting where she had converged the four militia heads. This was her only demand in exchange for intelligence report about the state of the country’s security. She knew who were who within their ranks, where they got military support from, their contacts abroad, their hideouts within the country etc. The only thing they had kept from her was their plan to modify her plan. She had wanted them to only disrupt the presidential election. They saw it as an opportunity to take over the country.
They had felt comfortable relaying their other secrets to her because they knew she was dead meat any way. They would take care of her right after they took over the country. But they had failed.
“What? I thought Al Mustapha was supposed to take care of her? What happened?”
“His boys failed. Twice…”
“But how is that possible? She is within his territory. How could she have escaped him? Where is she now?”
“We don’t know, but we have reports that she’s planning to aid the US government into our land….”
“Our land, you mean your land? I hear you call it ….”
“I mean the four zones.”
There was a brief silence. Both men were weighing in on their options. This was going to be another war, one which they really weren’t prepared for. After the election day take over, they were already fast running out of military supplies.
“Call for a meeting,” Gideon said “They want war? We’ll give them war.”
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The tension was so palpable it could be cut with a bread knife
The location was secluded, the meeting clandestine and the topic, inflammatory. The four warlords sat around a table silently sizing each other up. Al Mustapha, with his long beard and little beady eyes sat deep in thought. He was the head of the dreaded Boko Haram. To his left sat Gideon Wosu. Arrogant, selfish and greedy, with his large face and large hands was in the process of speaking his mind. He was the leader of MEND. He did that all the time, speaking his mind. His brash and brazen approach towards everything won him very few friends and loads of enemies. Next up was soft spoken, but extremely dangerous Francis Ngigo, he was the leader of the MASSOB. He rarely spoke, but it was said in different circles that he was a ruthless and cruel man. He tortured his prisoners. He had killed countless people and was seen to be without a shred of mercy. He sat with a look of supreme calm on his weathered, but likeable face. Then of course, there was Afonja, leader of the OPC. His large nostrils were flaring as he thought of all the things going on.
They were the most dangerous men in the country
And now they all had the same problem
How one woman could cause men as powerful as these so much problems was a mystery, but here they were, worrying about her and what she was going to do. Afonja himself was seething, he was the one that she had called first and he was irritated by her insolence. Why couldn’t she just die in peace, like the rest of the people he had ordered killed? Didn’t she see what they were trying to do? They were trying to build a stronger bunch of nations, a place where there was no strife, no war, no tribalism, and people could live in peace with one another and be happy. In every revolution, there had to be sacrifices, and Margaret was the biggest sacrifice in this one. She should be honored to play that role and grateful to be given the opportunity.
Wosuhit the table with a large fist
None of the men flinched
“How could this happen?!” he roared.
Afonja found all this a tad dramatic, but Wosu had always been the dramatic one, his people needed him to be that way, so Afonja felt it worked for him
“I thought Al Mustapha was to take care of that miserable woman Margaret?”
Al Mustapha raised an eyebrow
“You seem to forget…” he said in heavily accented English “That we all picked them together” he finished coldly
“Yes” retorted Wosu “But they were your guys, you said you had used them before and that they would not fail. We all put our trust in you and you failed us”. In Afonja’s head, he was saying ‘speak for yourself’ but in reality he kept quiet. Someone needed to be blamed and blaming Al Mustapha at the moment seemed logical.
Al Mustapha was looking at Wosu with a look of pure loathing. If eyes could kill.Afonja decided to be diplomatic
“This is not a time to be sharing blame. That was in the past, the question now is: what are we going to do?”
“We kill her of course!” said Wosu
Afonja rolled his eyes. Duh! As his teenage son would say when someone stated the supremely obvious. But these were men who only knew how to kill, so making such an exclamation was probably not the wisest course of action
“Yes Wosu, killing her would be convenient. But how do we do it this time?”
All the men fell silent. That was a question that they all had to mull over. Wosu wondered if the threat to her daughter had gotten to her. It had been a desperate move, a move that in hindsight was probably not the wisest. He had known all along that she was still alive; he just needed to seem surprised. If the other warlords knew about his little faux pas with the daughter and everything, they’d be very miffed, and you didn’t want to miff these guys unless it was absolutely worth it. Wosu just decided to keep quiet, they were smart men, they would come up with something.
“We could send another set of assassins” suggested Afonja
“We can’t use assassins anymore. She would be on high alert for them, they’d never get close” said the quiet Francis
Afonja sat deep in thought, this was stupid. How could one woman have them all wound up like this?
“How about we…” started Al Mustapha
“How about we what?” said a voice
The men turned their faces towards the sound
It was Margaret
Wosu made to get up, but Margaret whipped out a gun and pointed it at him
“Sit!” she ordered.
The proud warlord complied
Francis was calm. That was always his disposition
“So, what can we do for you Margaret?” he asked as if he was talking about the weather
“Well I don’t know Francis… said Margaret her eyes scanning the room and taking it all in and also watching her hostages to make sure none of them made any sudden movements
“How about you leave me and mine alone and also stop this foolhardy plot of yours”
“How did you even get in here?” said a clearly enraged Wosu
“You seem to have conveniently forgotten that I am the director of the SSS. I have a specific set of skills. You’ll find your men unconscious and when they wake up, they would be tied up with no recollection whatsoever.
“It was pretty smart of you to pick this place. The lack of security was a little surprising though, but I guess that more security would have meant that more people would have known about this meeting. So it was really only logical for you to have just one guard each for company. And because of the blatant mistrust you all have for each other, I have the only gun in the room”
The warlords just stared at her, quietly seething
“I see, you’re planning my murder. So, here’s the thing: I don’t want to die. I also want you to put a stop to your operations immediately, surrender publicly and we can go back to the way things used to be.”
Afonja couldn’t believe his ears
Was she joking?
Surprisingly, it was Francis who spoke first.
“Margaret dear, you know we can’t do that. We would crush you and whatever army you think you have” he smiled, but the smile never reached his eyes. They were cold and soulless. He was angry, but Margaret didn’t care.
She held all the cards now
“You say ‘We’ like you’re all friends or something”
“We share a common goal, yes” replied Al Mustapha
“I wonder how true that is” mused Margaret
Afonja didn’t like where this was going
“Woman! Don’t waste our time. What is this all about” said the ever impatient Wosu “You’re one to talk Wosu, seeing as you tried to have me killed again. And you also tried to threaten me with my daughter”
Francis raised an eyebrow. Al Mustapha had a very smug smile. Wosu felt himself going red
“You little bitch” muttered Wosu thinly. He hated her with every fiber of his being right now.
“Or Al Mustapha, What are you smiling about? Isn’t it true that you already have sleeper agents in the new territories being formed by your counterparts and bombs that have been set in major cities and landmarks?”
Al Mustapha stopped smiling
“You know the north can’t rely on agriculture alone. Well they could, but you’re unwilling to wait for the period it would take to build an economy on the back of agriculture. So you plan to terrorize the territories of your counterparts and wage a jihad and take over them”
Wosu was shell shocked, as were the other men in the room
“Well, Mustapha, who’d have thought you had it in you” said Francis lightly
“YOU BASTARD!” bellowed Wosu
Al Mustapha looked at the others defiantly.
“I have no need to explain anything to you. How do we know that Margaret isn’t lying?”
Margaret smiled “I am the director of the SSS, I have links with almost every intelligence agency in the world. A few phone calls and all your plans have been revealed to me. The Americans are watching, as are the Chinese. They are just waiting to see what you will do and then act accordingly, to their own interests”
“I see. So this is probably accurate information” said Francis
“I see you look pretty calm Francis” said Margaret
“In fact I am” replied Francis
“You still plan on realizing the dream of Ojukwu. A Biafra, a nation for your kinsmen”
“It is a noble endeavor; I see no shame in wanting to create a nation for my people. A place where they can call home and be at peace with themselves”
“Charming” mocked Margaret lightly “Did you also tell your cohorts that you intend to make Lagos a vassal state and that if refused you’d destroy the entire state so that no one would have it?”
Afonja’s eyes nearly popped out of his head
“Was that your plan all along?” he asked
Francis’ smile was gone. His lips were pursed and his neck was suddenly bulging with veins
Afonja felt dread
“You want Lagos too don’t you? And also Edo state, which could be said to be partly Francis’ territory… or Wosu’s
Wosu glared at Afonja
“HOW DARE YOU!” he said
“How dare i?” asked Afonjaincredulously“Edo has a lot of Yoruba speaking people and places and we intend to take full advantage of the oil found there. You have other territories that can provide you with your oil. So, we’re taking this on.”
“Over my dead body” said Wosu
“Then maybe that’s how we’ll take it” retorted Afonja
“Well, there you have it. You all are disgusting maggots that are going to kill each other anyway. But troops from other nations are coming into our borders as we speak and I’m going to give them information about every hideout, every stronghold, every tidbit of information I have on you all. Unless you surrender…and quickly
“Gentlemen?” said Margaret with a grace she did not feel. And with that she took her leave, walking out the door as if she owned the place, an unquestionable air of victory surrounding her.
There was silence
The warlords looked at each other with a new layer of distrust and disgust
The foxes had just been outfoxed
They were all thinking the same thing
War was inevitable now.
Good morning good people. Hope you had an amazing weekend. A s with all good things, Boiling Pot of Madness has also come to an end. This finale piece is written by @iStalkWriters. An amazing read. It has been fun, we hope you enjoyed it. Make sure you give it a read, leave a comment and share with people. If you haven’t read the story, please you can read them here (http://wp.me/p2sk25-kN), here (http://wp.me/p2sk25-kE), here (http://wp.me/p2sk25-kA), here (http://wp.me/p2sk25-kg), here (http://wp.me/p2sk25-jY) and here (http://wp.me/p2sk25-jK). Thank you again for reading and for your continued support.
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When Margaret left the room, she had walked out with the only gun, but, in a room with men who had killed before they had lost their virginities, a gun was only one in an array of weapons to be found in their bare meeting room. Afonja was staring at Francis Ngigo, his disgust at Gideon Wosu’s drama forgotten. All he could think of was an Ife tuntun without Lagos state and this bastard Francis wanted to claim it for his own or destroy it.
Francis wanted out of the room, everybody had a secret but his plans to claim Lagos had just been irreparably jeopardized. He hadn’t gotten his sleeper cells in place yet. Now that Afonja knew of the plot, it would be doubly hard to pull off. He pushed up from the table, important as it was, winning Lagos wasn’t his biggest problem anymore, if Margaret was right and she probably was, Al Mustapha had plans to terrorize all the other regions, he reached for his belt, the buckle was fashioned out of pig iron, swung at the right angle, it would kill a man on contact.
Sensing danger, Al Mustapha stood and backed away from the table. There was a small knife lodged in the heel of his slipper, he eyed Francis warily, the igbo were quick to attack, he had to be careful. Afonja’s eyes followed the tension, he reached into he trousers and retrieved his ring, he slipped it on as Al Mustapha backed away muttering incantations under his breath. Francis might be vile, but Mustapha was going to betray them all, the man had no honor.
“Gentlemen, sit, let us discuss.”
Gideon Wosu was on his feet, the walking stick he usually carried with him in his hands, its ivory handle now held promise of a brutal beating the way he carried it like a weapon.
Afonja and Francis got up. Francis’ voice was quiet when he spoke. “There is nothing to discuss, you are no better than the cancer I sought to free my people from when I agreed to this coalition. The pigs in politics would lie and steal and stab each other in the back and let civillians suffer for it. That will not be my legacy. Biafra is already a great nation and she has a bright future, her rebirth shall not be marked by war. I will pull my men out of Lagos, you can have your Ife tuntun,” Afonja scoffed, Francis ignored him “Mustapha will remove his people from all Biafran territories, we will leave this room and never meet again, I will end Margaret once and for all. We shall broker with the Americans and the Chinese. Assure them that their business interests will be safe in all our territories. After the first decade, feel free to expropriate. I bid you adieu gentlemen, you are not welcome in Biafra.”
Gideon let his stick slide through his palms till he was holding it by the handle again. “Do we have a deal?” Afonja grunted, Al Mustapha nodded. Francis made to walk out of the room. Outside the door he made his way to the small tray where their cell phones had been deposited, the others were behind him. He punched the number in from memory, “Nnamdi, mechaya.”
They all left the building, ignoring the men tied up in the lobby, Gideon kicked the young recruit that was supposed to be guarding him as he walked by. They all dialed for alternative transportation. Out of inherent distrust more than anything else, they each had a small kill force in close proximity. When their vehicles arrived, they grunted their good byes and made to leave, then Afonja turned around and put a hand on Al Mustapha’s shoulder “Brother, I pray that we never meet again” then he turned, slipped his ring off and got into his vehicle all the while muttering under his breath. As they pulled off, Afonja, Gideon and Francis made calls to their respective bases with the same instruction, “Fire on the North”
When Al Mustapha first saw the creature in his back seat he was deep in thought. He had managed to convince himself that Francis was right, a peaceful co existence was best, why kill and maim, the North could rebuild itself, it could prove them wrong. The creature laughed. Short and black with tiny horns. He gasped, the men in the front turned to check on him, they saw nothing. When they told the story later, they said he started off screaming Shigidi and when he stopped, he made a single phone call and dropped dead.
Al Mustapha stopped screaming when he remembered the ring, Afonja’s hand on his shoulder, he knew it was over but he wasn’t going down without a fight, he ignored the little demons that now filled every space in the car except those filled by its occupants the rest of whom were oblivious to the abominations. He dialed his second in command, what he meant to do was punish them all, Gideon, Francis and Afonja, especially Afonja.
“Initiate Operation Peace and Unity”. The man at the other end stammered, “Si … Sir?” Al Mustapha hummed out the last few lines of the first stanza of Nigeria’s national anthem, he chuckled at the irony before he died. In minutes, missiles were launched from every military base in the North and they were heading for the rest of Nigeria. Those missiles flew over thousands of ground troops from the South, East and West heading in the other direction. War had begun.
War meant nothing to Nnamdi, he was exceptionally single minded. Some might say obsessive, Margaret was his current obsession. Nnamdi hated failure almost as much as he hated poverty or being told that he could not do something. Which is why when his sisters had laughed at his dreams of going to MIT, too small minded to think that the life he saw in the magazines brought to the village by their more fortunate relatives could ever be theirs, he killed their father to gain enough sympathy to follow a relative to Lagos.
When his relative refused to permit him to further his education, he cracked his head open with a standing fan and cleaned out his wall safe. He made it to MIT, away from poverty and since he became an assassin he had never lost a target till Margaret and her cute Lexus.
He had found her soon afterwards but he had watched from a distance. The only person who knew that he knew her whereabouts was Francis Ngigo, the savior of the east, the man who trained him. He had wanted to execute her at her rundown motel, Francis asked him to hold off, he had followed her, watched her subdue the men guarding the meeting, admiring her skill and savoring his moment of satisfaction. Watched her go into the room and come out, he ought to have gone in to make sure Francis was okay but he would not let Margaret out of his sights.
So when she got into a grey sedan, he followed in a beat up Honda accord. She wasn’t speeding, this was Lagos, the streets were not as accommodating as the Abuja freeways. They were on the 3rd mainland bridge when Francis called, ‘finish this’ he had said, Nnamdi did not respond. He pushed the overdrive button on the shaft of the automatic gear stick and planted his foot. The Honda shot forward.
Margaret was in the last lane, as far away from the sheer drop to the lagoon below as possible. She didn’t sense any danger until the Honda rammed into her quarter panel, sending her hurtling sideways into the center of the bridge, the impact of the first collision pushed the car closer to the wrong edge, amidst the screeching and the futile attempts to swerve, the US Government issued Chevrolet she had gotten from the embassy was overturned, engine fluids leaking out.
Nnamdi walked over to her car, things had calmed, traffic had started to build up behind them, people were assessing the damage to their respective vehicles. She was crawling out of the car, pistol in hand, he crushed her ring finger when he first brought his boots down on her hands, the scream was stuck in her throat. He knelt beside her drinking in the moment, her helplessness. He let her crawl away from him, trying to get away, towards the carnage behind them. His Honda was still in the last lane, untouched. He let her get far enough away to hope before he took three quick strides, leaned downwards and in a single motion, almost elegant but undeniably grotesque, snapped her neck.
That was when he noticed the silence. It was too quiet. Everyone was staring upwards, at a flare. The flare in the night sky got larger as it approached. Nnamdi knew what it was, but he was too shell shocked to step out of the way of the missile, not that it would have mattered, nobody on the bridge survived. Nnamdi didn’t feel a thing.
Across the atlantic, there was another meeting of powerful men going on, there were representatives of the Chinese and American governments and scattered among them, the leaders of the largest capitalist organizations in the world. They all stared at the scaled digital map of Nigeria projected on the wall, it seemed almost peaceful. A few days ago, the map had been spotted with red dots. Those dots were crisis areas, explosion, riots, looting, any breach of the peace whatsoever was represented by a little red dot. Beneath the map, a blinking number stated the death toll beginning from election day, it updated automatically as reports came in, right now it was reading slightly above 100,000. It was election day and the Country was taken down from within.
The men inside the room could care less that a regime was toppled. Regimes were transient but business, money was eternal. So they waited and schemed trying to decide how best to protect their interests. They had hoped a military ruler would emerge, one that could be bribed and would have no difficulty with furthering their cause without pesky distractions like human rights and the rule of law. Now, with this talk of secession, they were considering saving Nigeria from herself, marching on the country and appointing an interim government. It would draw criticism from the international community, but a lot was at stake.
Michael Famutimi faced the room. He had been smuggled out of the country after Margaret had left the office that evening. Airlifted to Ghana by helicopter and then flown to the United States. It was he who had found a way to convince the Americans and Chinese to unite their efforts. Now that the map had lost its spots, they seemed uninterested, prepared to accept the secession. He couldn’t have that, he wanted his home, his Nation, Nigeria.
“Gentlemen, Nigeria is still yours for the taking. If we let this happen from now on you will be dealing with four countries, four goverments, four lunatics. They might pretend to preserve your interests but you should know better. How about assets that fall within different territories, there would be new immigration rules in place, and these men hate each other, make no mistakes. How do you manage accessibility to your investments? Look at her he said, pointing at the map, she is beautiful, she is worth saving!”
All eyes were on the map when someone gasped. Michael Famutimi turned around and had a heart attack. The peaceful grey was gone, the map was almost entirely red and at the bottom of the screen, the death toll counter was rising so fast the change was a blur. The room went silent when Michael Famutimi hit the ground, then a phone rang out in the room, decorum was shattered with the sounds of assistants, informants, partners, calling in to tell some of the most powerful men in the world what they already knew, there was nothing left to save.