The final episode of M.O.T.I.V.E.S by Uneñ Ameji is here. As promised, this episode is unusually long. The compiled e-Book will be available for downloads soonest. We will keep you posted on that. Without plenty yarns, have fun and don’t forget to recommend reading.
M.O.T.I.V.E.S, a story set in old and modern-day Nigeria, is a riveting, stimulating, suspense-filled tale of a myriad of absorbing characters with Uneñ Ameji’s fluid style of delivering engaging stories of greed, love, lust and power that leaves her audience on the edge of their seats, guessing and usually clamoring for more.
The story features Nigerian Tycoon and powerhouse Bello Badmus. A man who gave power as he willed, a man who controlled Presidents, a man who put men and monsters in seats of power; Florence Ohiemi aka Naomi Mambutu and her identical evil twin Josephine Ohiemi aka KudiraT Sadika Bello who are ever in battle of wills – good and evil, where evil prevails.
In a thrilling twist, the events likened to a classic game of chess sees each piece on the board take power and lose it and take it all over again. An illusion of power, an illusion of control.
Find out if good or evil prevails after all.
Read all Episodes here
Episode 8 – Series Finale
Victor Dakar – 28th August, 2011
“Business tycoon’s illegitimate son inherits estate” – News Dailys
“Chief Badmus Bello, Most Influential man in Africa disinherit family, names illegitimate son as next of Kin” – The Compatriot
“Pastor of TrueWord Evangelical Church of all Missions disinherited, mistress with love child revealed, wife files for divorce” – The True News
“Kole Badmus found dead in UK apartment, killer arrested” Concord Times
“Son, illegitimate heir to resume office, commission gas plant in Benin”
“President orders immediate relocation of the command center to Mubi, partners bordering countries” National Conscience
Several weeks after the reading of the Will at The Castle and Victor was still reeling from the effect. The increasingly sensitive expectations, suspicious managerial appointments, constant change of residence and flying out to The Castle every other week left him emotionally and physically tired. The unexpected silence from his mother despite her promise to explain why she walked him out of her life twelve years ago was more than maddening, if not frustrating. What ever happened to Bello’s wife? and her children? He wanted to know. The silence was uneasy and whenever he brought it up, she would say she had since released them. Where were they if she released? He expected some form of resistance but for the past months, it had been anything but that.
He roamed the premises of the new residence his mother had ordered they stay, like a caged cat. He had so many questions and unfortunately he wasn’t getting them. The resounding silence that answered back every single time the questions and doubt came to him made him want to scream and curse but he couldn’t. The last thing he wanted to look like was a weakling. Somehow Charity made him want to be stronger, better and that was enough for him.
He had waited with abated breath days after the reading of the Will for the headlines. And they didn’t disappoint him. They were all about him and Kudirat Bello but none about their arrest. That was suspicious but that was the least of his problem. His problem was overseeing his father’s company. His call to appoint new Board members was met without a fight and now the ongoing acquisition process left him winded. He remembered the headlines again, made up new ones and took a deep breath. Definitely it was going to look fishy – selling his father’s company barely five months after taking over as the Chief Executive Officer. He was highly conflicted.
The headlines went from hateful to furious, then to comical in the last months. It was as if the News houses wanted to outdo each other with derogatory headlines about him and Bello’s wife. The media had also been agog with tales of the Pastor Debola who had an affair with a church member and a bastard son. The embittered wife had since taken him to the cleaners but report was that the man was yet to defend himself nor did he show up at preliminary hearings. If there was ever a time he regretted the day he met Charity, it was now.
“You mustn’t look so sad” it was Charity in his boxers and cropped sleeveless see-through chiffon blouse coming up behind him as he walked in the cool garden. The two had remained inseparable since the reading of the Will and he was beginning to love and hate her at the same time.
“What’s fucking wrong with picking up your phone and calling your son?” he voiced loudly the moment she offered him the hot mug of black coffee she was carrying from the house.
Charity was also tired of the series of calls and instructions Naomi passed across. If it was not submitting a petition at the court, it was leaving a new house in the dead of the night. Moreover Victor was beginning to irritate her with his insistence whining. Naomi was his mother after all and with her new siblings, she absolutely refused to be dragged further into the Bello Badmus vortex.
He was dead and the group of evil men who were involved in her father’s disgraceful death lay in burnt pieces. As far she was concerned, she had gotten her revenge. All she wanted now was her Grandma and something told her Naomi would not find her in-house sex activity with her son so agreeable. It was time to cut the cord – whatever that meant.
In the last months, she had also endured series of outings at the Federal High Court following Naomi’s directions to initiate legal proceedings contesting the content of Bello Badmus’s Will. The woman was highly contradictory. Why would one contest a Will that left her son the sole heir? To what end? But she did not question the directive and she had filed the petition that was leaked to the press causing another week of embarrassing headlines. That also was the beginning of the Court house charade that lasted months. She served petitions refraining Victor from taking over his inheritance until a paternity test be carried out, petitions preventing him for carrying out his duties, petitions preventing for even stepping in the Castle. The result was always the same – Denied.
As a legal representative to her siblings, she had simply made a mockery of herself. The Newspapers and soft sells had a good time calling her degrading names even going as far as comparing her to her greedy father. The judge had thrown out the petition after she failed to provide her clients for testing. A fault of Naomi who wouldn’t produce the Pastor who was having his own episode of shaming and Laide whose mansion was being repossessed by the bank.
It was all happening so fast.
How the gossip magazine got their stories about her relationship with her clients didn’t bother Charity. She knew Naomi was playing a game but what game? The media loved the sordid tale of affair between her father, Nigeria’s top activist George Ajero and wife of Chief Badmus, Kudirat Bello. Their lives splashed across soft sells and major Newspaper houses were a distraction to what was going on at The Castle. It wasn’t long before Nollywood titles such as Corporate Whore in Hasso Rock made top Naira in the market.
If there was an angle to the circus, Charity was beginning to suspect that Naomi was using the distraction to her advantage and it wasn’t until Naomi told Victor to nominate new Board members and had instructed her to head the merger and acquisition team for the purpose of an outright take-over while offering a ridiculous price Naomi referred to as a bailout did she realize the grand plan of the woman. Naomi Mambutu wanted Bello Badmus’s company and had worked tirelessly to get it. One had to respect the woman’s tenacity.
“It is going to be fine” she reassured Victor by rubbing his back as she moved to go back to the house. Victor knew he was going to sign the finalized agreement in less than 24 hours and he was agitated. He was torn between preserving his father’s legacy and acting on the instructions of his manipulative mother.
“I am tired of being caught in the middle of all these” he said as he stopped her by holding on to her upper arm, stopping her from leaving.
“Me and you both” Charity tried a smile that was plastered on her face that was suffering from a major breakout.
“What does she want with his company? I can’t understand why she would keep moving us, getting all those people voted in and buying the company?” he struggled to understand and for a moment, Charity saw the conflicted child.
“Either ways, you get a good percentage. You are her son after all. What does it matter who has the company?” Charity voiced, looking away as Victor moved closer to lift her chin.
“I don’t care about being on the Board or working in any of their companies. I know she is using me and will throw me out again. She has done it before” he watched her bite her lower lips and smiled.
“You don’t believe me” he noted throwing the cup of hot coffee on the perfect lawn.
“I should?” she asked with a small smile.
“Yes, yes you should” he gave a rare smile as he found her hands and held her softly, massaging them in circles.
“Don’t” she said prying her hands from his manipulation.
“What are you going to do when all this is over?” Victor asked as they stared at each other.
“Is there an end in sight?” Charity chuckled.
“I should hope so” Victor chuckled as well and she laughed.
“Well, I will take a vacation with my grandmother” Charity said wistfully
“You have a grandmother…where is she?”
“Oh I don’t know” she shook her
“What do you mean you don’t know?” he asked finding her eyes shifting around without focusing on him.
“Naomi has her” she stated painfully, looking at her feet before removing her hands and walking back to the three bedroom bungalow sitting on a large green perfectly mowed lawn.
Victor stood watching her walk away. He didn’t stand a chance with her, his parents made sure of that.
Angered, he made to go after her when he noticed the greyish green metallic gate open and black sedan drove in.
It was his mother.
“About time too” he muttered under his breath as he watched the car drive into the parking lot.
Florence Ohiemi, 26th August, 2011
Florence knew the decision to buy the company didn’t go down well with Victor. The decision was arrived at after she listened to Bello’s plan at getting rid of her and her son. Moreover, with the series of meetings she had attended with Jafal, she came to realize that several subsidiaries were mainly a cover for the funds that somehow found their way to purchasing arms and training more recruits. It funded their operations and buying the company was the only legal and smart way of cutting off the funding of the terrorists activities. She knew that to stop flow of funds, she had to handle the affairs of the company. The chip she had left behind on impulse after recording the meeting had brought her the greatest revelation and idea. Every other meeting, she improved to include photos and videos. If she was going to get Bello, she damn well was going all rhw way. All she had to do now was get Inale who remained adamant at being called Victor aware of the the situation.
Bello had been supportive over the past months, teaching her how to behave like Kudirat so that the 7-man group would not discover she was an impostor. Florence laughed at such lessons. Who was he fooling? Himself definitely. He acted as one who had her interest at heart. She followed Jafal to several meetings with the service chiefs, the arms dealers and group members. It wasn’t surprising to find sponsors from international community at such meeting and as always, she recorded the conversation on her phone and where possible took discrete photographs of the faces of the men she didn’t know. Every meeting was more deadly than the last. She knew she was risking her life but what had to be done had to be done.
When she had gathered enough evidence, she had excused herself by saying she needed to take care of domestic issues. Akin, the Vice President was more than happy to follow Jafal on his meetings.
“I see that your illegitimate son is still handling affairs” it was Jafal on their last trip together.
“It seems I must be present or do everything myself” she said refering to failure of her hit men to carry out the assignment.
“You must let the boy go soon. We are going to need more funds after the blast and you must be positioned to get us the funds” Jafal said almost in a sneer. If Florence had not heard the discussion Jafal and Bello had about her, she would have believed she was being taken serious. But it all worked to her advantage.
The irony was, while they thought they were playing her, she was the one playing them. It suited her well enough. On one hand, she was taking over his company, on the other she was gathering enough evidence to nail their coffins firm and save millions of lives that would be at stake if their plans succeeded. The only problem however was that she had no idea when the attack was going to happen. Somehow, they never mentioned it in their meetings.
“Make sure the boy is gone within a week. We can’t hold off any longer” it was Jafal as she got into her private car she had waiting for her at the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport.
“That will be done Sir” she said playful and left him there.
“Ganbo, where is my son now?” she asked her ever faithful driver and body-guard of over thirty years. He had been with her through the years and his loyalty rivaled none.
“I took them to a new place” he answered as he greeted her and opened the door for her.
“Take me there please” she said as they left the airport.
“We are being followed Ma” he said as he watched a car follow them out of the airport.
“Lose him” she directed almost politely.
“Yes Ma” and he did lose the tinted car.
It was only fair that she played their game and win them at it.
The need to see Victor as soon as possible arose because he refused to sign the document after the newly inaugurated Board approved the sale and witnesses had signed their part. Charity made sure of it but failed to persuade or force her son. She knew of their affair but that was not an issue she bothered about. She smiled as she saw him stand impossibly tall and proud. If only he knew.
She came out as soon as Ganbo parked and opened the door for her. She stretched and gave a tiring smile. She was exhausted but she knew it was not yet time for rest. She had few more errands to run.
She walked in her unhurried fashion to the entrance of the house. He stood watching her approach, hands in pocket, lips held tight.
“Such a cozy property” she tried a jab. He didn’t return it. They stared at each other wearily before she smiled and nodded at Charity who came out on hearing the car drive in
“Good evening mother” he greeted finally as she beamed at him before walking past him to the house. They followed her.
“So how have you been?” Florence tried a chit-chat as she sat down comfortably taking in the quiet surrounding. Charity offered a drink she refused to take. There were no friends in the game.
“As you have commanded” Victor returned with a childish air. Florence smiled passively as she made to get her phone from her bag, unhurried.
“I suspect you have issues with signing the document” Florence said to no one in particular.
“I would hesitate too if I were you. However you must believe the worst of me to think I will take over a man’s life work without good cause. I have been away a lot because there were things, people I had to meet, information that would benefit a lot of us” she continued leisurely as she found the files she was looking for on her phone.
“I would like you both to listen to these recordings and watch the videos. Let me know if you still have issues signing the documents. Charity, you have done well. The balance of your fees will be paid into your account but first, you two will be flown out tomorrow” Florence stated easily as if she were talking to her staff.
“Is she doing well?” Charity’s voice shook, her eyes misting at the thought of finally seeing her grandmother, not believing that the end had come, on a day she least expected it.
“What makes you so sure that I am going to sign those documents?” Victor asked, cocky as he stood up at her signal.
“This will” Florence said as she pressed the play button, dropped her phone and leaned back with eyes closed.
The voices flooding the cozy cream-colored room and warm red furniture soon had Victor shifting and looking at the face of his mother. Every word, every minute was revelatory. Charity and Victor sat frozen to their seats, goose pimples running on the surface of their skin as plans after plans were revealed. As one meeting finished, Florence would press the next button and more of the plans were revealed until it got to the voice recording of Bello Badmus and Jafal plotting their death.
80 minutes of listening to the recording and watching raw footage of videos from her top-level meetings achieved the effect she knew was needed to push the sales through. Of course she could decide to force him into signing the documents but it wasn’t necessary. The boy should know exactly why he had to sell his father’s company and shouldn’t be denied the exhilarating feeling of revenge.
Victor sat stunned as the last recording played out. Without being told, he knew who the person in the last recording was and he knew exactly what they meant when they said there was need to get rid of him.
“You understand why I do what I do now?” it was Florence putting her phone into her bag.
“Bello Badmus is alive?” it was more of a statement than a question. Charity knew that voice in her sleep.
“Yes” Florence confirmed.
“And he wants me dead” Victor completed standing up and squeezing his eyes shot. The rush of emotions blinded him momentarily. His own father wanted him dead – for a company he didn’t even want.
“I didn’t ask him to make me his heir! Why did he have to make me his heir only for him to turn around and kill me?” it was a shout.
“I think he enjoys the game he plays” it was Florence, calm.
“He is going to kill you too. You knew he was alive?” he asked again, taking a new sofa.
“I knew he was alive, I was aware of the simple plan of him playing dead so that we could catch my evil sister and expose her lies and plans to eliminate him for the cabal. It was for a good cause he said. I had no idea Josephine was going to go big with her bomb blast. I suppose it served his purpose just as well” Florence wasn’t sure anymore on why she had agreed with him to work on the plan of making her sister pay for her deeds. The game plan had since changed and she knew Bello had been taking her for a ride.
“What is the story with your sister?” Victor asked, watching his mother carefully as he saw a rush of cloud wash down her countenance.
“She sold me to some spiritualist when I was pregnant with you. She married your father after destroying our relationship. She killed my assistant and tried to kill you the day I sent you away, with the help of Charity’s father of course. She would have killed you when you started working at The Castle as a driver. I had Ganbo frame you up and bail you out the next day. I couldn’t allow her find you in your father’s employment. Ganbo leaves you for a week and you find yourself some trouble no?” Florence gave a small smile as she remembered the panic attack she had suffered when Ganbo who had taken a leave of one week reported on resumption that her son was now in employment of Bello Badmus. She had sacked Ganbo’s replacement with immediate effect.
Charity looked away as Florence looked at her when she mentioned her father being part of the plan to eliminate Florence and her son.
“So I take you have scores to settle with your sister” Victor said as he watched his mother with awe.
“That is correct” Florence answered simply.
“After working with him, Bello wants you dead” Victor repeated
“From his conversation, yes”
“Why?” Victor pressed.
“Why is the devil evil?” Florence answered
“Because he is the devil?” Victor tried dry humor and they shared a private chuckle.
“So what is the plan?”
“Get those documents signed and get you out of here” Florence sat up.
“I mean about you” Victor continued
“I have work to do” Florence volunteered freely.
“Those people, they are responsible for the terror in the North East” Victor said after a moment of silence. He saw his mother in new light and respect. He knew that to have had access to the recording, she must have taken risks. Not only had she saved their lives, she had gone at the expense of her life to save the State. He was proud to call her mother.
“And you intend to expose them” he questioned like a little child, Charity was getting irritated at the questions.
“That’s the plan” Florence smiled at the easy rapport and wondered what their relationship would have been like if there were no craziness.
“How do you intend to do that?” it was Charity.
“I may have to find a way to the President but even he can’t be trusted. He may be compromised”
“I may know someone” she supplied helpfully.
“And who is he?”
“She. Omoni Osagie” Charity continued.
“How sure are you about her integrity?” Florence was skeptical and watching for signs of betrayal.
“I can stake my life on it” Charity vouched strongly
“And how do you know this Omoni?” Florence asked
“She saved my life, paid my way through law school and she is married to Peter Osagie” she offered as they both looked at her with blank stares. “The acting Director General of the DDSS” she volunteered.
“We should set up the meeting” it was Florence. She had heard that name mentioned behind Jafal’s back by the other members of the group but she wondered why they all couldn’t mention his name in Jafal’s presence. The joke was that this man was the only one who could stop Jafal. If this was the man, it was good.
“We should” Victor added looking at his mother before breaking into a full smile at her raised eyebrows.
There was no need for words. When life is threatened by a common enemy, forces are joined. Florence had no doubt about that.
Bello Badmus – 26th August, 2011
Bello Badmus sat in his recliner chair and sipped his drink. All was working according to plan.
Daba had finally located where Florence had taken Kudirat and her children. The same building! She seemed to be more careful than usual at first then she got careless. He found it surprisingly though that she stayed away from Inale. If she did, Daba did not report it.
Florence entertained him, with her double entrees and eagerness at playing his wife and her twin sister, Kudirat at the same time. He laughed out loud as he remembered the first time he met her. He remembered the first night he had her, how eager and naive she had been – eager to please, eager to be pleased. He remembered the bright pink coloration of her labia the first time he had kissed her maiden head. It was breathing hot and shy. He smiled as he remembered the dark skin coloration of Josephine’s labia and mole just beneath her abdomen. The sisters maybe identical but they deferred where only him knew. Their sex.
He had figured that out the next semester after his first night with Josephine. At the beginning of the semester in January, Josephine was impersonating Florence, coming as Florence to his house, asking that they forget about her sister – Josephine and harping on about continuing from where they stopped. He knew Florence would never push that much but then it had not dawned on him. The feeling and conversations were simply different and when they made love, it was too hurried and loud. Florence was anything but loud.
Night and after night until he stumbled on it. The mole and coloration.
His first reaction had been anger at being played and he had thought about going to confront her. If the sisters were playing on his intelligence, it was time to stop it. But when he told Sule, his closest step-brother, Sule had laughed and told him to play along and date the two sisters. If they wanted a game, Sule suggested he played along. The idea had been perfect, even desired but no matter who he met, there was the mole and the dark coloration. And the sex was fast, loud and sweaty. It was then he began to suspect that Florence wasn’t Florence but Josephine. After being pressed, Josephine (now impersonating Florence) revealed that her twin sister – Josephine had deferred her admission from nursing school. That had been the lie that raised his antenna. He should have called her on it but then he let the game play for so long that he let it continue. After all he was going to get rid of her when he got tired of the game.
Why he had gone ahead with the game of deceit to the point of marrying Josephine, he never knew. Perhaps it was because he wanted to hurt Florence for deserting him. After few months, he went back to his old style of having many girls on campus. When Josephine claimed she was pregnant for him, he knew the game was over and he had lost. Confronting her about impersonation her left Josephine threatening to get him kicked out of school and had gone ahead to ingrain herself with his father. His father had immediately insisted they marry and when Josephine had decided to convert to Islam for the sake of unity, his father was ecstatic.
He regretted playing the game but there was nothing he could do. They were married months later and both of them had continued having affairs until Josephine had fallen in love with George. There was no way he was going to let her enjoy being in love when she had denied him the same. The affair with George had been to spite him, he was sure. He was not a jealous man but even he had pride and there was no way he would allow himself be cuckolded. Nothing had made him happier than when the he-goat had been killed. It was the perfect punishment for the crime of impersonation and adultery.
When his father died shortly after their marriage, Bello began his search for Florence but she had simply vanished. It was not until Naomi Mambutu appeared on the radar after so many years that he found who he was looking for.
The random checks of high-profile investors in his multimillion Naira produced the woman he had being looking for for years. Florence was Naomi Mambutu and like a bee to a flower, he couldn’t resist going after her once more.
The walk on the beach in Seychelles had been planned. With Sekinat in his hands as the perfect excuse to be on a holiday, he walked into her blindly on a cool breezy day. The breath had gone off her lungs as soon as she saw him and he could see her trying to decide what cause of action. He didn’t allow her though.
“Florence” he had called, surprised and holding on to her hand as he pulled her up.
“What?” Florence muttered, looking away.
“Florence Ohiemi!” he continued holding her, ignoring Sekinat who was always more than eager to follow him around the world offering bald pussy service.
“My name is Naomi”
“Naomi Mambutu? A major shareholder in my company?” he asked, eyes fixed on hers. Florence had smiled then and he had too.
“Naomi, yes” she recovered, shaking his hand.
“I know you are Naomi Mambutu but to me, you are Florence”
“Who is Florence?”
“The first and only woman I ever loved” he said casually still watching for a crack in her face.
“I see” she said walking away, baffled at his utterance and shaking at facing Bello so many miles away from home and unprepared.
“You look so much like her” he continued, trailing after her.
“I am sure” Florence answered as she walked to her house by the beach.
“Please tell me. You are Florence. I know you are and I am not going anywhere unless you tell me who you really are” he said simply, looking boyish with grey hair and ridiculously long eyelashes and fading pink lips.
“I am Naomi Mambutu and I don’t know what or who you talking about” Florence had feigned ignorance and gone into her beach house.
Bello had smiled at her denial and remembered what it had felt like to chase her over thirty years. Sekinat was sent back to Nigeria the next morning.
He would court Naomi Mambutu the rest of the week. Offering rides, flying her out to lunch, sitting outside her house at sunset and sharing a cold bottle of wine as they shared tales of travels, funny experiences and favorite foods. He was sure Florence had fallen again. The first night they kissed under the receding moon, he knew she was Florence and when he had her in bed that night, his first point of call was her labia. He was not wrong..…they were bright pink, hot and shy.
He had found his Florence.
When she revealed she was indeed Florence and had a son for him, he knew it was not long before things changed. Her tale of finding him married to her sister, George’s affair with his wife and what hand she had in setting him up for his final fall flowed freely. The weeks that followed, he revealed that Josephine had plans to kill him for the cabal and take control of investments possibly to fund the budding terrorism in the State and like his sweet naive mouse, she had swallowed his story and she had gone with the flow.
It was sad that her darling son was going to go but now that he had caught a glimpse of his son in the news, he was having a rethink. Perhaps he could let the boy live. The problem was getting him to do what he wanted. Would he be as pliant and cooperative as his mother? What would he do if he found out that the subsidiaries were covers for illicit operations? What would Florence do? Leave him? Inale was definitely going to the press. He couldn’t allow that. They had to go. Too much at stake and he was one who loathed loose ends.
Just then, the business headline news caught his attention. The Newscaster was saying the sale of his company had being finalized and the new company was being introduced shortly before a clip of Victor shaking an unknown man filled his screen. He knew the company that bought his company. It was Naomi’s!
His roar was enough to bring the house down as he sped into his room where Florence had been last night.
“Florence! Florence!! Naomi!” he called furiously, his heart beat increasing exponentially as Daba came forward.
“Where is she?”
“She has gone out”
“When?” he asked already planning
“I see” Bello knew something was wrong.
“Get ready, call Sekinat, I need you both for a quick trip” he said as he walked to his room and opened his electronic save hidden behind Florence’s painting.
Josephine Ohiemi – 28th August, 2011
Josephine had since given up on escaping or being released. It had been months since Florence had locked her up in the private quarters. The environment was always quiet, humming.
Some days she was convinced Florence had forgotten about her and other days she waited for the day she would come and pull the trigger. The recent change in treatment was welcomed but worrisome too.
Her meals had changed and she was allowed to bath and change into clothes provided for her. It was after such mornings that she found Florence sitting in her cleaned new room.
“You startled me” Josephine said as she came into the room from the bathroom.
“What did I ever do to you?” it was Florence, sitting on the side single sofa and watching her sister move around the room in her pair of white cotton trousers and navy blue blouse.
“Your countless plans to kill me, taking what belongs to me…..all of it, Why?” Florence asked as she unfolded her arms to reveal a pistol. Josephine froze.
“Florence” she called gently, taking a seat on the bed as Florence signaled her to.
“Yes, I am listening”
“Don’t use that, please” Josephine begged.
“That’s a first. The deadly Josephine, wife of influential Bello Badmus, begging” Florence said, waving the gun.
“Florence, you need to understand it wasn’t about you. It was about me, I was just evil” Josephine excused
“I was hoping you wouldn’t use the ‘this has got nothing to do with you’ line” Florence mimicked and stood up as Josephine flinched. After five months in captivity with four of those months living in deplorable condition, Josephine knew Florence was not the person she knew.
Florence watched her sister squirm and smiled. It was surprising that she lived her life for this moment and now that it was here, she wondered why she had wasted her emotions on her all those years. Her drive for revenge on her sister and Bello had kept her up at night, planning, scheming. She felt better as Victor and Charity were flown out that morning. She had driven herself out of Bello’s mini Estate after instructing Ganbo to load his private plane with explosives in the dead of the night before asking him to take the evidence to the man in Mubi. She remembered the serene happy look on Bello’s face as she left him that morning. It would be the last look she would remember him with.
“I see you haven’t heard the news” it was Florence, going back to sit down. The urge to pull the trigger since leaving her.
“No” Josephine answered shaking her head.
“Bello is alive”
“Bello is dead” Josephine said darkly.
“No, he is not but he will soon be” Florence confirmed, eyes firmly on her sister with the ready silencer.
“I killed him. He was blown up” Josephine argued
“You blew up an empty casket”
“No. He was pushed. I arranged that”
“You didn’t push himself Josephine. Moreover, he was on to you from the beginning, well not exactly from the beginning. At some point, I believe Jafal must have sold you out for the seat of the President”
“That is not possible. I saw him lie in that coffin!” Josephine argued
“Are you sure it was Bello you really saw him?” Florence laughed at the expression on her sister’s face. It was the one of being played a terrible joke.
“No” it was barely above a whisper.
“Your husband is alive sweet sister and he has been really busy with Jafal”
“And you? How do you know all these?”
“I have been busy as well” Florence gave a small smile as she pointed the gun at her sister again.
“Wait! Before you shoot me, where are they?”
“Who?” Florence chuckled knowingly.
“Where are my children? Please” it was the first time Josephine referred to her children with the look of utter surrender on her face.
“They are safe. I don’t know for how long though. Somehow, Bello knows where they are and I heard him say he was going to kill them and then you, if I don’t get to it soon”
“Please don’t let him get to them. They have nothing to do with this and Kole needs to be warned”
“Kole is dead Jose” Florence informed pitifully.
“Noo! Noooo!!” she shouted and began to shake and sob. Kole was her favorite mostly because he reminded her of his father, her first love.
“Nooooo! Noooooooo!!” Josephine broke down in tears, heartbreaking sobs escaping her lips. Florence sat through it.
“How did it happen?” Josephine asked finally, standing up and going to the water dispenser that had been placed in her room the night before. She knew she had to distract Florence and collect the gun from her hand. A plan came to her. It was now or never. She chose now.
“He was slaughtered in his UK apartment. His body found after many days” Florence said, standing up noiselessly as she watched her sister fill the glass cup. She was smiling.
“Of course he did! The bastard, the devil, I will kill him, I will kill him” she cried, swearing, her eyes erstwhile downcast shone with revenge and in a blink of an eye turned around to pour the glass of hot water on Florence with the intention of blinding her to take the gun.
Only it wasn’t hot water. The water dispenser had been tampered with to produce only lukewarm water. The look on Josephine face as she noticed Florence standing without flinching gave Florence all the joy in the world as she shot her sister on her right shoulder blade.
Josephine screamed at the impact of the bullet, her shoulder blades enveloping in heat and pain as she landed on the perfectly laid white bed.
“I was hoping you would do that”
“Florence, Florence, don’t. Please I beg you”
“Close your eyes, pray for forgiveness from where you may get it”
“Florence please, forgive me”
“I will see you in the afterlife. Say hi to Bello and George” Florence said wickedly before pulling the trigger at pointblank range.
The scream that started died in Josephine’s throat and calm soon returned to the room.
Peter Osagie – Mubi, 28th August, 2011
It was Farah who told Peter to take residence with the traditional bone setter who served the community in his red old hut built as an attachment to new stalls in the old community market that had since grown to include new houses and stalls for traders. The house attached in the rowdy community had dried herbs and animal parts hanging out in the open.
Peter had arrived Mubi with his team in disguise. With grown beards and dirty kaftans, they made their way to the man who was to give them a cover. Farah swore he trusted the old man and he knew they would blend into the community with the old man as their master. But it was a set up. Farah’s identity had been compromised and for his life, he had told Peter what Yakubu told him to. Although Farah did not understand why his boss and colleagues had to be put under surveillance, he knew that their assignment had been compromised but there was nothing he could do about it especially as he had been tied among the other captives.
On arrival in April, the old man had received them warmly as he took to the task of setting the bone of one of the locals. That night, he had discussed the problem of the insurgent with Peter deeply, speaking in Hausa and vigorously defending the people taking the law into their hands and fighting the Boko Haram. The old Mallam pointed fingers at the governors and financial faceless backers who unfortunately were untouchable.
Peter followed the story quietly and seemed interested in what the man had to say although he was unconvinced. He couldn’t quite place it but he knew something was amiss.
“These people caused this menace, now it has become war, they leave the community to pay for it” he said indignantly in good English. Peter was surprised at his clarity of facts but refused to show his shock or question his sources.
Days turned to weeks and weeks into months and still they were not closer to real evidence of sabotage than they were when they came. It was one attack after another, the terror spreading and residents going about their daily activities with trepidation. The so-called command center gathered no intelligence that was substantial, if anything it seemed it was a hopeless cause with soldiers conducting themselves without rules of engagement and high-profile officers reporting wrong figures to the Head Quarters and news outlet. The figure of casualty was always reduced and number of bomb blasts reported rarely reflected the sporadic explosions across the state.
In reality, the soldiers were losing ground and the superior fire power of the Boko Haram members more than ever convinced Peter there was a plan for show down soon. The problem was timing.
Omoni was still adamant about her position on him being at the center of the deadly attacks. He reassured her of his safety times without number when he took breaks to see her. The last time she had evoked a promise. If nothing happened within the next month, he would come back and be with her as her delivery date drew near. And then her call had come in.
“Hey love” he called sweetly moving away from the other occupant of the room to answer her call.
“How’s my favorite husband?”
“Your only husband is sweating and missing you” he replied, smiling into the phone.
“Well, your days of sweating and missing me are over. It seems what you are finding in Mubi is right here in Abuja” she said, smiling and wishing she could see the look on his face.
“What do you mean?” he was on high alert.
“I got a call from Charity, remember her?”
“Yes, yes” Peter barely remembered her.
“She called saying there were voice and video recordings on the sponsors and some photos. She didn’t call names but she vouched for the authenticity of those recordings”
“Names and video recordings of the sponsors of these boys? I have to leave right away”
“No need. I mentioned you were in Mubi Township and the recording is on its way to you. I have not seen it but I have a good feeling about this. I really want you back her with me” she cooed.
“Very soon too”
“It had better”
“And how is he supposed to locate me?”
“I said to find the bone setter in Mubi Township, Mobil Market. The messenger is familiar with the part. You will know him when you see him”
“I hope so”
“I know Rambo” she teased and he laughed.
“Love you too” she returned and dropped the call to go check on her Irish potatoes she was boiling.
She had just finished lunch, barely an hour later when her doorbell rang.
Standing up heavily, she walked to the door and opened it. The man she saw there made her weak at the knees.
Peter tried to call his wife throughout the day but the phone was switched off. How was it possible that her battery was off? Even the guard’s mobile rang off. He worried deeply and was considering making the trip down when his phone rang. It was her thankfully.
“Hello sweetheart” it was Omoni, her voice sounding rasp and heavy. Peter knew immediately something was wrong.
“What is wrong?”
“I …” and the phone was taken from her as she tried to answer the question.
“I suggest you think really carefully before you do anything with that list” it was a voice he would forever detest, that deep dark voice of a killer.
“Jafal” Peter called with heavy breathing.
“Father would be nice. How are you?” Jafal asked, watching his son’s wife shoot daggers at him with her eyes, she was a feisty one.
“If you as much as harm her, a strand of her hair and I swear I will find you and kill you” Peter threatened darkly.
“Common on son, you know I wouldn’t do anything to my grandchild. Congratulations by the way” Jafal dragged, almost laughing. This was the reason a man like him didn’t have a woman. It was always an Achilles’ heel.
“Let her go immediately” Peter commanded hotly, frustrated and trying to hide his fear. He knew what his father was capable of.
“Destroy those tapes and burn those lists son”
“And what tapes are you talking about?” Peter stalled.
“You know what I am talking about. If I do not receive a call to that effect, I am sorry I must vent my anger on someone” Jafal said darkly.
“And how would you know if I destroy these evidence against you that I don’t even have?” he asked, exasperated. He noticed the eyes of one man in the room shift continuously and his chest grew heavy with anger. A mole in the room.
“I have my sources. The ball is in your court. Get back here with your team or say goodbye to your wife and my grandchild. She tells me you are having a baby girl too” Jafal taunted before cutting the call abruptly.
“Jafal! Omoni! Hello, Hello!” Peter flung his phone on the wall and what remained of the phone fell to the ground as he looked around the room and charged at the man in dirty kaftan and brown beards.
“You!” he said rushing the old bone setter, raising him and smashing him on the wall. His group was beside him in a second and prying the old man from his hand. Umoru his second calmed him down.
Peter looked at Umoru, took a deep breath and left him fall to the floor in a boneless heap.
“Let me have your phone” he demanded quietly albeit fearfully.
“I don’t have a phone” he said in Hausa. The slap that would fling the man across the room mixed with the first sound of explosion miles away.
Umoru searched the old man’s body and produced a phone hidden in his girdle.
The old snitch’s phone provided the confirmation that the information indeed was right.
“Lock him up. Get the SWAT team up and send them to my house. My father has kidnapped my wife” Peter commanded before taking the motorcycle and heading to the Mobil market to wait for the list or whoever had it.
Peter Osagie – Mobil Market, 30th August, 2011
The man in sparkling black suit and a definite spring in his step was not missed. Peter waited as he saw the man approach steadily.
“You are looking for the bone setter” it was Peter on the motorcycle waiting in front of the stall which housed the old snitch’s properties. He had since relocated his team to an abandoned blown up cathedral and was keeping the man in one of the pastor’s room that was largely unaffected by the fire.
“Yes” Ganbo answered the stranger and looked closely at the man. He looked like the picture he saw in the papers and online reports of the newly appointed Director-General of the DDSS. If he was not good at disguise himself, he would have missed him.
“Come with me” Peter said and brought the motorcycle to life as Ganbo hopped on and they drove out of the busy market few minutes before the first blast would start.
The team watched the videos and listened to the recordings quietly. The cold silence and anger was targeted at only one man in the room. Ganbo’s father.
Ganbo had seen his father tied up the moment he had stepped into the room. Peter was particularly too angry to explain the situation but Umoru, his second in command explained to a disappointed Ganbo. The old bone setter was Ganbo’s adopted father and mentor. He had been instrumental to Ganbo’s upbringing as a man who stood for what was right and his belief that evil needed good men to stop it. After so many years, Ganbo was disappointed to see that the man he called father and held in high esteem was a traitor to his people, a gun for hire – like himself. The only difference was that he did correct evil and it made all the difference.
“I am disappointed in you father” it was Ganbo, eyes red shot as he watched the man he had admired growing up. It was sad that he had become the monster that spied on his community.
“I had no choice” the old Mallam said, tired and weak from the random beating Peter melted on him whenever he thought of the danger his wife and baby girl were in.
“You do. There is always a choice” Peter swore loudly as they heard the gun fire begin in earnest.
“The attack has started. What do we do now?” it was Umoru, looking at Dante and Scorpio. The duo rarely spoke but were quick with the guns and loyal to a fault.
“Jafal has Omoni, he will kill her if we get the names out” Umoru continued, turning to Peter who was calling the Ibro, the head of the SWAT team Umoru had assembled. Every hour counted and he couldn’t even imagine a world without Omoni. He would piece the beast he swore hotly.
“We must call in reinforcement” Peter was angered because the call wasn’t connecting and was about flinging the locally made phone at the wall. He couldn’t think straight. Umoru collected the phone and began to dial a number.
Peter could only sit still and hear the raid continue in the distance, as the massacre went on.
“Get me Mr. President” Peter announced thickly after 30 minutes of brooding silence. Umoru nodded and made the call.
Eid el Fitr – 30th August, 2011
The day was a black day. Thousands of Nigerians lying dead as rain washed their blood from their stiff bodies.
The multiple attacks started at 9:20am and lasted through the day. The emboldened members went of a rampage, over powering the military barracks and camps in communities in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states. Several coordinated suicidal attacks in hospitals, markets, mosques, churches, schools, filling stations and motor parks while they raided residential areas and captured women and young girls. The live stream of the destruction brought the country to a standstill leaving the entire country in mourning.
The military had gone on the defensive leaving their posts, running into hiding as the terrorists gunned them down, taking over major towns, burning their barracks, destroying government houses, police stations and major businesses owned by states and private entities. In some communities, the soldiers surrendered willingly as they gunned them down and marched the senior officers along with their convoy.
The mosques and churches had since been blown up and now the number of displayed persons rose from 10,000 to hundreds of thousands as some fled to neighboring countries while others ran into neighboring Nigerian states before coming to the capital to seek help.
Many families separated, mothers looking for their children, fathers looking for their wives, children lost and weeping as images of persons rushing to border towns for safety filled television stations. The international community and news centers had their spot light on the crises in Nigeria leaving many calling for the resignation of the President. He had failed his first and foremost obligation – to protect every Nigerian life and property, analysts say.
In less than 24 hours, the senate had convened and the move to impeach the President began. The citizenry drove the move as the President was yet to make a statement. There was simply no word from the Executive House and people worried that he was not affected by the dastardly act or more plausible, there was nothing he could do about it. He had failed the Nigerian state and must step down. The analyst called for a military government, other called for separation of state while others simply blamed corruption and past leaders.
However a few argued that the act was an attempt to frustrate the government into submission. These few people couldn’t have been any closer to the truth but the notion of simply sabotaging the government for sake of change of power by killing thousands of Nigerians was more than a larger group of activists and Nigerians could swallow and so did what every society would. They took to the streets as they called for resignation of the President, appealed for international help and condemned the attack in the highest regard before they retired at night to take a bottle of cold beer and steaming plate of peppered assorted meat over heated debates before taking to the streets the next day.
The SWAT team moved noiselessly, steadily advancing the hideout where the signal of Omoni’s phone was strong. Omoni had taken an extra phone as she had being bundled out of the house and had sent Peter a text at night, nearly 72 hours after she was allowed to go alone to the bathroom to ease herself.
She had locked herself and sent the text promising to leave the phone transmitting when he was sure the team was ready.
The text had been received after Umoru had patched Peter’s phone up the night of the attack and he had sent it immediately to Ibro. In an hour, Omoni had requested that she be allowed to ease her bowels again. Tired and irritated, the bulky man guarding her allowed her as she placed a call and left the phone on top of the WC floater and returned to the room where she waited.
One by one, the snipers took out the men guarding the facility and Jafal who sat smoking his cigar in his bedroom and wondering where Bello had disappeared to, was the last one to discover they had been discovered. The game was up.
“Where is she?” it was Ibro as the team came in, taking down Daba who was too late in drawing his gun. Ibro advanced into the room, pointing the gun at Jafal at point-blank.
“Somewhere in the building” he said totally relaxed as they cuffed him minutes later and led him out to the bullion van.
The rescue of Omoni was swift and the news of Jafal’s arrest came with the release of the names of the cabal and the tape of violence in the morning of 3rd of July, 2011. Three days after the devilish attack.
Peter had left Mubi on the eve of the blast leaving his team behind. He couldn’t stay another hour despite the threat of possible attack. He drove his bike to the nearest town, passing bodies and meeting roadblocks set up by the members of the sect. when asked who and where he was going, he simply said he had a message from Yakubu to deliver to their sponsor in Taraba state. The lie was well received and immediately they let him pass as he looked and talked like a holy warrior from Syria. He took an abandoned truck at the outskirt of Maiduguri, hot wiring it and driving for hours, stopping only to refill his tank at deserted filling stations.
He arrived Abuja 24 hours after the attack and had attached himself to the rescue team. The moment he found her seating beside the bulky man she had knocked with a stool and shot with his gun, Peter was laughing with relief as he rushed to her side. She smiled as she saw him and as she made to get up, her water broke.
“On my God, Oh my God” she was saying in a laugh as he carried her off her feet and members of the SWAT team came to secure the room.
“Is it time?” he asked as he carried her out of the house and saw his father turn to look at him before they led him away.
“I don’t care. I just want her out already” Omoni gritted her teeth at her first pull of pain.
In less than 8 hours, Peter was a proud father. His fierce baby girl was bellowing and angry at being birthed 3 days early.
“She has your eyes” Peter comforted as he watched the feisty little tyrant sucking angrily at her mother’s milk breasts.
“She sucks like you too” Omoni said as Ibro entered the room.
“Sir, the president is on the line for you” it was Ibro. Peter after the rescue had sent Ibro with the package to be delivered to the president and ordered Ibro to begin arrest of the names on the list.
“Your excellency” he said into the phone as he eyed Omoni who was making a face.
“I am indebted to you. You have saved us, the country and me” he said. One could hear the relief in his voice.
“I believe you owe thanks to a certain Naomi Mambutu” he said repeating the name the man with the limb, Ganbo had told him.
“I will find her and do so accordingly. However, I need to make this official. Seeing as I have no Vice, would you consider having my back for the next 6 years?” the President asked and Peter laughed heartily.
“I am honored Mr. President but I would rather serve than lead” he answered, looking at Omoni.
“Thank you Peter. I shall speak to you soon”
“What was that about?” Omoni eyed her husband with suspicion.
“He wanted a Vice” he said as he hugged both of them, his little one already asleep.
“And you refused” she confirmed.
“And I did”
“Good’ she answered cheerfully as he took her lips in a kiss.
The recording, videos and photos had since become viral as arrests were made from all spheres. Kudirat Bello had been found dead in her house with a suicide note. The arrest of the service chiefs, his Special Adviser – Nurudeen Soyemi, Vice president – Akin Jolojolo, Jafal Asiedu and the well-respected Cleric shook the country amidst cheers of victory. Bello Badmus had since gone missing but to the populace, he was dead.
He was nowhere to be found and Peter knew he still had his work cut out for him. But Bello could wait. His family was paramount and Omoni wouldn’t hear of it. Perhaps in future he told himself as he watched his wife and baby sleep several days after they were discharged from the hospital.
The country turned vicious after initial celebration taking into the streets, armed and advancing on properties of the arrested men and destroying their businesses and properties. The wives, children and relatives of the evil men were rounded up too and brought in for questioning, Debola and Laide Bello inclusive. The Castle was flooded into by angry youths and it took the intervention of the Police to restore calm after burning buildings.
With appointment of new service chiefs, the quick clean of the Boko Haram group was swift. The funding had been stopped and French supplier caught while international help from the U.S, A.U, French and German countries poured. Analysts began a new discourse and the vote of confidence in the President increased as his impeachment proceedings came to a halt.
The new change brought about a change in war tactics and the flush of fleeing Boko Haram members from their camps revealed women and children held under captivity while several hundred members of the sect were killed and over two thousand captured awaiting trial.
And for the first time since Nigeria’s independence, the country was truly one.
Venice, Italy – September, 2011
His sweet insistent tugging of her brown nipples made her toes curl with excitement, heart racing.
“Stop it” Charity stressed pushing him from her exposed breasts.
“I can’t. You make me sane” Victor tickled, pressing his length down her thighs
“My grandmother is right inside” Charity begged as she tried to leave his arms.
“Not until I have you wife” he said hotly before planting himself in her warmth. The words forming on her lips died a natural death as she welcomed him, holding on to him in the private pool as they enjoyed their first as a married couple.
Nigeria, September, 2011
Florence watched as the private helicopter took off from the helipad and gave a small smile thumbing the remote in her hand.
“Goodbye Bello” she said as she pressed the button and the helicopter in the distance blew into pieces. It was only befitting that Bello Badmus died in flames, a bomb blast.
Seme Border – September, 2011
The man in dirty rags crossing the Benin Republic border attracted little attention. He was sitting in the white bus with little luggage and as they were stopped and told to come down for routine checks, he came down and smiled at the patrol guard with the big head and flappy ears.
“Oga mi, abeg give me small money for bread naw” the patrol guard joked when it was his turn.
“Na you suppose give me some money” the man said in terrible pidgin.
“Where are you going?” the patrol man asked as he watched the dirty man, his face familiar.
“I am going to Cotonou” he replied in good English.
“Where is your passport?” the patrol man asked suddenly in haste to continue his search of other passengers as he saw a new car arrived at the border.
“I have it here” he said going to bring it out.
“Go, go, go” he waved the man away as he noticed his colleague approach the new car.
The man in rags smiled as he walked back to the bus and took his seat, scratching his fake horse beard with a deep satisfied smile on his face.
“Adebayor Kokoro Philips indeed” he muttered under his breath as Bello chuckled watching the patrol guard in rear mirror pocket clean crispy notes and waved the new car past, his private thoughts returning to him. His little Sekinat and Daba must have exploded in his private plane, he smiled wearily at his erection. Florence had won in the end, but did she really win? He asked himself humorously.
The old white bus continued its journey steadily and every mile, every hour took Bello closer to his destination – freedom, a new man. A man who could do as he pleased with his Cayman island account. Perhaps he could buy his company back, perhaps he could find Florence or find a new pastime. He chuckled at the revelation. He could do anything he wanted. Anything.
Whoever said evil did not prevail? Especially if he were wise like the ant who saved for rainy days.
M.O.T.I.V.E.S is written by;
Author of Memoirs of a Justified Gold Digger on Amazon.com
See new book Love on the 25th on Okadabooks http://goo.gl/hmsKnv
All Episodes here. Share, Comment, Enjoy.
Like Us on Facebook or Follow African Stories on Twitter and you’d never miss any of our postings.
Enjoy your weekend.