The military base sheltered more than three thousand soldiers, parading approximately ten miles away from the base. It was so constructed in a way no one gets into the base from the outside without being detected from their satellite that hung above a roofing sheet, which covers up to five miles. It had anti missile detector plate that rendered any missile lunched ineffective, and a bomb detector, a similar kind of setup at the Apex house. The only way to plant a bomb was going inside, which seemed impossible at first. Bin-Ahmed had weighed the possibilities and discovered a loop hole, the satellite only monitored anyone coming in through the front and not any other way. He guessed the best possible way was to go through the back which was as guarded as the front except with maybe, more than. A canal, so deep from far led to it. Their only option was to cause a distraction with multiple explosions outside, lure as many soldiers as possible out, kill a few to collect their uniforms and then go outside which seemed a perfect plan. Bin-Ahmed organised his men into four groups of two’s, he would go inside from the back through the canal after some of the soldiers had lessened, the other groups will cause the distraction. He was in the canal already when the explosion was heard, some of the soldiers left as predicted, Bin-Ahmed and his group handled the few that was left, took their uniforms and proceeded. A long passage like a garage was where they passed, with rooms and small offices beside, one of the other groups had joined. A bomb was planted in the garage, then the armory and the control room, which was their last point before they made a return. They weren’t stopped, the soldiers believed they were part of them. Anyone that doubted their identity was instantly killed. They knew the soldiers will saw nothing but smoke and no casualty. They left the same way they entered and hid in between the canal. All the soldiers had returned by then, the twelve minutes time they set had elapsed and then, the explosion occurred. The base was razed down to fragments.
Reports got to the defense quarters in Abuja. It hadn’t been confirmed if there were any survivors but doubts were raised that there wouldn’t be were. The chief of defense, the minister were all in great shock. They questioned the audacity of these individuals whom they had described to people as terrorists, going to the extreme of penetrating into a military base and destroying innocent lives that put their lives for the protection of their territory. It was no fluke and lie that indeed, they were dealing with a terrorist organization. They thought, we’re the only set of people to pull this kind of operation. A future catastrophe was about to befall the country. The minister, Akin Wunmi paced about perplexed till a junior staff brought a beeping phone to him. It was the President, Ajuwa Williams calling;
“Good day Mr President”
“There is nothing absolutely good about the day. It’s a bad day, what is happening? ”
“Sir, we lost some men in the bomb explosion in Baigari state”
“Did I say I didn’t know we lost good soldiers? I mean, what is happening? What are you planning to do to clear the mess? ”
“We are on it Sir”
“I don’t need more assurance tales, you better act like you are truly on it or face a retirement”, he ended. The chief of defense focused his gaze on the screen, he was studying how the bombers got in. All videos, taken from the satellite in each military base are synchronized to the database of the defense quarters, hence, even after the explosion, the footage was still with them. That was what the chief of defense was studying.
“Three soldiers standing there disappeared and then reappeared minutes later. Probably they were killed and then they clad in their uniforms. Their face aren’t visible because of the helmet. How did they get in then? ”
“It wasn’t from the front, we could have their images”, the operator in charge of the control room stated.
“Then, is from the back. They knew it. Quite smart of them”.
Another staff, a female came running in a haste towards the control room.
“What’s the problem? ”
“Sir, it’s the press. They are all outside, demanding to get reports confirmed from you.”
“Dismiss them, I don’t want to see them”
“Sir, should I tell them that? ”
“Oh, use your senses for goodness sake. Don’t tell them that, tell them we still have unconfirmed reports yet about the victims.”
“Right away sir”, she left.
The chief continued to gaze at the screen even though, there was nothing to look at. No clue or whatsoever would link them to the culprits. In actual sense, his mind was faraway, his thoughts were asking some very good questions. What were the aims if these guys and their political gain? He couldn’t pinpoint what they really wanted from the government or perhaps, they were just mere thugs turned into a group of criminals wanting to prove their mettle about their existence in the political terrain. The questions kept coming and he kept answering with assumptions. He knew the country was in danger, his family too and he himself was not safe either. The next target could be anywhere, something they ought to get prepared for.
“Sir”, came another gentle voice. It was the same female staff that came walking up to him. The chief’s mind was brought back to reality, like he woke up from his slumber.
“These are the figures of the casualties “, she presented the documents to him. It read two thousand, one hundred and thirty dead soldiers and eight hundred and seventy injured. He dismissed her, went to his office, sat back on an empty seat and squeezed the paper angrily. At this point, he was as helpless as a surgeon without his hands. He needed to do something fast or face the threats of the President.
Al-hida group relocated to Taglu state, the night they attacked the military base in Baigari state. It was a fourteen hours journey across two geopolitical zones, from the northeast to northwest and settled in Zurth, a city in the outskirts and also at the border where they always liked to reside, to hide their identities. A place where they could easily move from to another state. Taglu had three states, kamaru, Ejam and Abor in the southwest as neighbouring state and Zurth, shared a border with Abor. It was as if the house had already been paid for even before their arrival. It was night, in the hour of 9 pm. They on loaded their luggage from the two trucks and a bus that transited them. Of course, the two trucks were filled with weapons inform of disguised bags of cements and the bus, contained all of them, including new members that joined from school that hadn’t executed their first mission, as a rule for every new member. Bin-Ahmed had promised them celebration in a grand style about their previous successful mission. He scheduled to do the celebration the next day, because they had to settle in their new place that day. The house was in a secluded area, the nearest house was about a mile away. It’s surroundings were bushy and obviously unattractive. Hence, the reason why nobody cared to live. The paintings on the walls had been washed away by rain perhaps and the walls were cracking. It so happened it rained that night, the whole roof leaked, the rain was pouring on them where they all laid. They didn’t feel it, they were all prepared to survive by it. They had been trained to do so mentally and so, endured. They laid partially till morning, the rain had subsided by then.
Four women expatriates had visited the Governor, Tunde Oyim in his Governor’s house to discuss about the inactive participation of women in the politics of the state. The women were the leaders and runners of Women Empowerment Initiative, an NGO in the country that advocates for the women to have a niche in politicking of the country. Gender inequality had been a disturbing issue in the state as no women occupied any political seat in the affairs of the state. The speakers each narrated the plight of the women, why they should be voted and ways they can improve the state by implementing their ideas gallantly. Mr Tunde Oyim saw it as a welcome idea and bold steps, the women took in the interest of their fellow women and ensured, he will act accordingly to make sure women benefitted from his administration.
The sunset diminished as evening came by, paving way for the moon to show a little of its superiority over the clouds, even though, the earth’s dead satellite illumination is from the sun itself. The streets was boisterous, and not quiet as Baigari or Moguil states that had lost nearly one-third of its citizens. These people never had any history of that, so they were calm. The women expatriates lodged in the quarters till night, where they actually said, will return to Abuja. They climbed into their jeep, waved at the governor and left. They were to pass through coyant district into Agatha street in 4th Avenue where the airport situated, but before they got to coyant, three masked individuals came out from the road side, hijacked the jeep with threats to driver to get down or be killed. In any way, the driver complied, ran away for his life, and the women were held hostages, in their vehicle that was locked. Not many cars were present at the time of the night generally, and the threats raised no suspicion, it looked casual but with a gun pointed at the driver, they all knew, it wasn’t a game. The other partner seized all their bags and made sure they, had nothing that will implicate them.
“Please, who are you? Don’t kill us please”, pleaded the women.
“shhh”, the driver put his index finger on his lips.
“We are who we are”, he replied and continued driving the car. The women didn’t have a clue of who and why they were kidnapped. They majorly guessed, it was the nature of their jobs, protecting the interest of the women and some politicians, weren’t happy about their advocacy. It’s the Government, it’s the Government, they kept assuring themselves. Each of them maintained an impeccable silence till they got to a stop. It was all bushy and a lot of dry grasses were blown out by the wind. The driver stepped down, led the women to the corridor of the house, that somehow, hid in between the bushes. It was another location, different from their residence. Bin-Ahmed, crept out from the door of the sitting room that opened to the corridor, trailed by the rest.
“Oh, yeah. We have quite a number of angelic guests. They say beauty beholds the eye and I can see that quite vividly. Good job Aina and you too Gamaru. Your first mission was successful”
“Thank you boss”, both chorused. Aina and Gamaru were new members which according to the rule must successfully complete their mission to fully become a member of Al-hida. The women fully knew what they were up against, they have become victims of the dangerous terrorist group, that had caused a havoc and still causing in the country. Their previous conclusions was now a theory, this group were financed by the government to kidnap them.
“I can see that stupid Man up there, still deserved to be praised after all for his dexterity in his craft. Sorry for the way you must have felt but we would like you to be our wonderful feel get company. It’s not a plea or a request but if you don’t want to comply, then, it depends on your lives”
“What do you want from us? We know you all are financed by the Government”
“On the contrary, the Government are our foes. They are the problem not you. They are full of gluttony, ridiculous and mean towards humans. So you see, we are only using you as a bait against them. Some consequences may arise though”, he whirled around them in slow motion while he spoke.
“And what are they? ”
“If the Government doesn’t rescue you in the time we set and doesn’t yield to our demands, we will use you for our supper but if they do fine, you go. Pray, your loyalty and hard work isn’t going to be in vain. We will see if your lives are of importance to them or not.”
Rogers led them inside, bound them in chains and shackles forcefully into the four chairs that was in a spider infested room, an uncomfortable place not even deemed for a chicken to reside. It would be a day of tales to tell when they actually escape from the dungeon alive.
Rumours were quickly picked by the ears of the police chief of the state, Abati Isaac about the possibility of abduction of the women that visited the state. Police D. P. O, quickly swung into action by investigating when it was discovered it had been twenty-four hours since they were last sighted after efforts to reach them by several ministries, associates and friends proved abortive. Several Calls had been made to the police command from Women Affairs Ministry and other women NGOs to look into their whereabouts. The latest was the Governor calling the Police Chief ;
“What is the latest on the matter? ”
“Sir, we still don’t have any clue about their whereabouts but we are optimistic”
“No clue yet? It’s been almost twenty-four hours and still you have nothing. They left my house and now they are nowhere. I will be held accountable for their safety, their disappearance, and now, an anarchy may spring up. Don’t you get it ?”
“Sir, we assure you we have it under control”. They only have a few hours before they make a public declaration about their abduction. Few minutes later, the D.P.O rushed in with a man, so nervous that sweats covered his forehead.
“Sir”, he saluted. “A witness at the scene has come to make a statement “. It was the same driver that was driven by Aina and Gamaru at that night of incidence. He was taken to the interrogation room and there, he provided his name.
“What do you have to say?”
“I was there at the scene. I was their driver when we were approaching coyant street”, he narrated the whole story to them.
“Why should we believe you? Your willingness to come to us. Prove to us you were the driver that night”
“I was driving a blue-black SUV, the women all sat at the back and were ignorant of what happened at the front, the blind separated the driver seat from the passengers’. They wore red, Navy blue, white and sky blue gowns respectively. Is it satisfactory”. The Police Chief forwarded a call to the Governor for confirmation and when, he did confirm they wore the stated dresses, and driven in the blue coloured SUV, the chief assumed at once it was them, the terrorist group that had almost everyone under their radar. He decided to call on the Governor before the press.
Political campaigns continued. The defector, Vice President Mallam Bello Salaudeen became the opposition IPPN presidential Aspirant in what was predicted will be a keenly contested election. His supporters gathered at the Lankan square to vouch their support for him. His running mate senator Bode Samson was beside him all the time during the rally which was attended by all and sundry, each of them carrying and flying the green white yellow flag of the party. He mounted the stage and calmed the boisterous supporters by the gesture of his hand.
“It’s a new moment for the country to have a deserved leader, worthy to lead the country out of her perilous situation. What is a country that cannot guarantee the security of the citizens? What is a country without defense? How can we have a booming economy, have investors coming when they know their safety and investment cannot be guaranteed? “he rhetorically questioned them in his native accent, the crowd yelled impossible.
“Security is the first responsibility of any Government and a Government that cannot be responsible should be removed from the Apex”, the boisterous crowd once again yelled his name and continued that way all through the rally.
Chuckling and watching the rally on TV in his home was Alhaji Saheed and Ex-vice president, Obinna Egwim, both seated on a settee in the former’s sitting room.
“Haha, it’s working. The heat is getting hotter and hotter by the day”
“Look at what he just said, throwing a jab at the government he helped to build”
“That is why the people will believe him. They need a man that will put the situation in black and white. The crowd out there is a testimony to that”
Suddenly, the broadcast changed into a breaking news about the abduction of the women in Taglu state in the hour of 8 pm, citing the possibilities that the women may have fallen into the hands of the rampaging terrorist group.
“It’s them. My boys are at it again. Two separate broadcast, run by artistry. Now it is I who run the Government”, he boasted.
“What is next? ”
“We continue to let the boys do their jobs till we all meet at the polls”
The Governor was visited by his security adviser and Police Chief early the next morning at his house. It was nearly thirty-six hours since the disappearance of the four women. The Governor had tried to use unorthodox ways of finding their location but it proved abortive. He panicked under his shivering skin when the two men entered at once.
“Have you anything yet? ”
“No, I carried out my regular street surveillance, no one seemed to know anything”, his security adviser spoke.
“I don’t want to believe this incidence is happening. The first reported case of kidnap in this state and no one has a clue about these women. Why are all these happening? My state is the latest victim of this ongoing peril. It’s far too shameful”
“Sir, we will get to the bottom of it. We just need a little more time”
“There is no time anymore. The blood of these women if dead are in my hands. You don’t understand, do you? ” He kept pacing, once or twice and had been in that mood all through the morning, refusing to take a seat. He got an upcoming call from an unknown I.D and rushed to receive it.
“Governor Tunde Oyim speaking”
“Your Excellency, it’s a honour to speak with the number one person in this state”
“Who are you? ”
“I think you should already know that but if you don’t, it’s my privilege to officially introduce myself in this state. I am Bin-Ahmed, the leader of the most popular terrorist group in the country, Al-hida”
“How did you get me and what do you want? ”
“Welcome, first of all, I am everywhere without letting you know and secondly, those beautiful women, you ransacked everywhere for are in our hands”
“Why should I believe you? ”
“Turn on your TV and you will be live with them”. The governor quickly rushed to switch the TV on, ignoring the questions, thrown at him by the two visiting men. The four women were partially stripped of their dresses, only their undies separated them from their nudity. They were tied to a chair, their mouths enclosed in a cell tape being molested by group of masked men. Unsurprisingly, Tunde Oyim was more relaxed than thought, perhaps, with their location known, a rescue would be possible.
“You see, my men got them abducted at your expense. I think you should be grateful, they aren’t dead. At least , that means we still have some conscience, don’t you think? ”
“Am in no mood for your chit chat. I don’t want them hurt.”
“Well, they are a little bit hurt, not to the point of not talking though but they will if you don’t come within the next thirty minutes to get them”
“No, we should have a little more time to negotiate this. Name your price in place of the ladies”
“Do you really consider us as beggars? We want nothing from you. The time starts now. Twenty-nine minutes”, the video ended. Tunde Oyim stood stunned with the rest of his visitors. These people were politically motivated and did their nefarious activities, not for money but for their political gods and their selfish interests to whom were still unknown. He forwarded a call immediately to the state defense to track the location of the call and relate the information within the next ten minutes.
“Sir, it may take longer than that if their location is encrypted”
“I don’t care, do as I say”, he yelled at him and ended the call.
“What do you plan to do Your Excellency? “, the security adviser asked.
“Exactly what you heard me say, I find their location and the mobile police squad comes in no time”
“I hope this isn’t so risky. I mean, the lives of those women”
“What are your alternatives? This is the only viable option we have. Luckily, before the time elapsed, we get those women to safety and we get hold of Bin-Ahmed and his group”. Another call came from Bin-Ahmed once again and he answered immediately.
“It’s not time yet”
“What do you think you are trying to cook up with? Finding my location and surprising me with your raid. The time is ticking, ten minutes left”, he hung up.
“How did he find out our plans”
“He must have had a mole in the defense tell him or tampered with the security system. Our plans would be in jeopardy if we don’t get his location”. Eight minutes passed and when he was told there weren’t able to locate the either location, few minutes later after the elapse, Bin-Ahmed called back.
“I knew you would fail, caliber of men like you bit more than they can chew and incapacitated. Look at the TV once again”
Their undies were finally torn, exposing their nudity one after the other.
“Do you all remember the promise I made about a grand celebration? “they yelled in confirmation.
“Well, pick anyone of your choice and leave her in rags and pieces, but first, I will open the floor”, he unzipped his trouser, moved to the first, went inside her in and out in quick succession till she collapsed to death. His subordinates screamed his name loud and followed suit till they all were raped to death.
“This is a total shame, disgusting to the zenith”
“I hope you all enjoyed the show. Come pick up their dead bodies and give them a proper burial at least. More still to come. Till when next we chat again”, the public broadcast ended. Tunde Oyim went back to his swivel chair and scattered everything on his table, broke his framed picture on the wall and everything hanging in rage. His administration was in a hell of a quagmire situation at the moment, he lost insight on how to handle it.