Saturday, 9 February 2008

THE TRIGGER TALE...part five

Dazed, he just stood still like a mosquito transfixed by RAID insecticide that “kills insects DEAD”. The trained, strong hand of the cop positioned the gun between his eyes. The end had come. The muscles in the man’s hand were taut. The pellets of death gathered in attention waiting for his cold finger to send them on death’s errand. The pellets were cold and wanted to be fired into some warm blood. Ozi did not give up in his mind. He left everything for providence. Handy pulled the trigger…

Ozi Francis slumped.

“…the violent shooting of the young brilliant writer of The Conscience newspaper has continued to generate interest, rage and bizarre revelations. In the eye of the storm are the Police High Command and their goons. The suspect of the violent shooting who has been on the lam for five days was finally apprehended trying to cross the Lagos-Seme border. But his capture was not achieved by the Police Force, it was done by a local ethnic vigilance group known as Odd – a vigilance group that is notorious for violent justice…” the famous ETV news caster, Jide Mobor, reported. “Don’t go away as we give you more update of this celebrated shooting incident. Now we take a break.”

Funki groaned mournfully in his seat as he stared into the TV set. His eyes were red with tears as he kept muttering “twenty kids, twenty years…twenty children, twenty years”. Sometimes he would jump out of his seat and let out a shriek. He was weeping uncontrollably, a man distraught and inconsolable. “Tell me this is not happening. Wake me up, it’s a nightmare!” Even with dark glasses on, he could not hide his mournful state. He was like a woman violated and left alone to face her humiliation. His body heaved under intense sobbing. From time to time he had to clear the mucus dripping from his nostrils with his kerchief. Sometimes he behaved like a man possessed uttering unintelligible words.
“Please, tell him to stop writing. Policemen are coming! Tell him to stop o!” he would rant. “Ah-ah, that man has a gun…please, don’t shoot Ozi. He writes very well. He loves only pen and ink. Not gun and blood…olopa, abeg sir!” Then he would say again: “Ssshhh…Eyi’s sleeping. No noise. Nobody wakes him now. Listen to the rustle of papers…he’s not sleeping on a mattress; he has plenty of papers to sleep on!”

He became silent again as soon as the news caster appeared on the screen again:

“…the Odd vigilance group has told the government authorities in plain language that Handy was their ‘sheep’ and they will ‘shepherd’ him accordingly with their ‘rod’ of justice. When our reporter asked the Odd spokesperson what they meant he said: ‘Soul for Soul’. The group warned that the authorities should not interfere. However, the group charged the government to deal decisively with the likes of Handy in the force. Warning the authorities if they failed to do that on time they will take the laws into their hands.
“Still on the violent shooting, rumours have been rife that Ozi Francis, the shot journalist, is still alive. One of his close associates, Funki, a celebrated journalist and an activist, said on the night of Ozi’s shooting the SSS took away the body to an unknown destination. Claiming that since then no one has seen the remains of the shot journalist. As the day goes by, more dusts are being gathered rather than settled. Even government agencies having oversight of Crime and Security have pointing accusing fingers of complicities against one another….
“Once again, the nation is the focus of the world, not for good but for evil. There is a strong outcry of condemnation, to the point that a famous international human rights activist called the nation’s Police system ‘an abattoir of inhumanity’. The nation’s president is under intense pressure. The IG has been fired. Other heads are rolling. Pockets of riots are reported in some areas. There are bonfires on many streets,” Jide Mobor, the news caster, informed her news-starved viewers.

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