“Hey! Stop there! I say stop! You no dey hear word, kwo? I go burst your tire!”
Danjuma seethed. He thought he had successfully boycotted these unlucky fellows, by following a shortcut through the streets. Now they were here like fierce masquerades. Why didn’t they stick to the major roads? He knew better not to drive off, so he pulled up. Three soldiers walked up to him, leers on their faces. He did not miss their AK-47s, or the whip they swished with malicious intent. He concluded he would fight his way out of this if he had to.
Soon they were at his door, hitting it with their guns, as they ordered him to get down. When he asked what law he had broken, one looked at the other and laughed incredulously. As soon as his feet touched the ground, he was tripped so he fell face flat, his left cheek grazing the rough tar. He was shocked! Was this how defaulting citizens were treated in the lockdown? His reply was the vicious sting of the famous Koboko on his skin.
“Next time you’d obey authority.”
Iya Sekinat was waiting at home with their three children. Their stomachs were probably grumbling in protest. They’ve only had water for the day.
“Na people like you dey spread the virus! Stay at home, you no gree.”
Ade was shivering on the bed, cocooned in old wrappers. He had bought his five-year-old son drugs with the little change he managed to squeeze out of nothing. The roads were void of commuters in adherence to the new law, making them look like ghost towns.
Lash! Lash! Lash!
“We go teach you big lesson you no go forget! Scapegoat like you!”
Scapegoat? That was the last straw. He’d show them how victims like him reacted to situations like this. He ignored the fire that was spreading all over his body, as he sprang up like a wounded lion, snatching a gun from an unsuspecting soldier, all in one breath.
He cocked to let them know he meant business. “Any closer and I’ll shoot you all, then kill myself. Why treat me like a thief?” He questioned, daring anyone to defy him. His unexpected outburst stunned them into inaction, because they gawked at him, motionless. Yes! This was the proverbial chicken that had grown teeth and horns overnight!
If he escaped this alive, he would drive home as fast as he could to find that Ade’s fever had worsened. Sekinat, his eldest child, would run to him, her eyes expectant. She wouldn’t be terrified that her pa looked ghoulish. With a strained smile, he’d squeeze N500 note into her hands so she could give to her mother. Then he’d administer drugs to his son, hoping it worked effectively on an empty stomach. And fortunately, Bola, his last child, would be fast asleep on her mother’s bosom.
But right now, it was only a fantasy!
© FORTUNE C. OHALETE, June 2020.