MY DESTINY HELPER
“That man I recognize him. He was among the men that captured me. They call him Chief. I recognize him, mummy I recognize him.” I said as I stood up, pointing at him eagerly on the phone. ” You mean that man was the one that kidnappèd you?” Collins wailed in ànger. “He was among them. He was their leader, they call him Chief.” I said, looking so worried.
To my greatest surprise, Collins quickly made a phone call and he was told the exact location of where they are and drove me there with pastor’s car although mum was quizzed and confused as well so she had to join us dad was absent and told Rebecca to give him feedback when we return.
We arrived at our destination after a few hours of driving. The place was bustling with people; some were conversing in French, others in English, and there was even a bizarre dialect that escaped my memory. As I looked around, I noticed the officers interrogating individuals one by one, using fórceful methods in some cases. Some unfortunate were already iñjured, while others were still awaiting their turn to face the consequences.
Curiosity got the better of my mother, and she approached one of the officers to inquire about the situation. He informed her, “We witnessed three individuals at the checkpoint abducting some young girls, and we apprehended them. Through their capture, we were able to locate the rest of the culprits. Most of them have already confessed and will soon face a trial in court. However, there are still a few who remain tight-lîpped and refuse to cooperate.” As they continued their discussion, I made my way towards the area where the chief was seated.
I stared at chief, unable to contain my anger, and gave him a swift slàp across the face, followed by three spits just as he had done to me in the past. “Hahahahaha, see how foólish you are,” he taunted, his chuckles mixed with groóns of pain from the severe marks left on his back. Collins joined in and delivered a slap of his own. One of the officers quickly intervened, signàling for us to remain calm and assuring us that they were handling the situation with relative calmness.
Tears streamed down my face as I shouted in anguish, “Where are my friends?” My emotions overwhelmed me, and I raised my trembling left hand, instinctively wanting to strike him across the fàce. “What happened to her friends? are you not the one that she’s talking to? So a grown up man like you still kidnáp girls and trade them for móney!!!” Meanwhile I had already explained to them that I was a casuàlty.
Chief maintained his smile, showing no trace of guilt on his face. “Where are the girls?” one of the officers demanded, holding out two long whipping rópes. “If you want to kîll me, go ahead and do it,” Chief retorted defiantly. Fueled by anger, I impulsively grabbed his nèck, attempting to stràngle him. However, one of the officers swiftly intervened, restràining me and pulling me away. He urged me to calm down, reminding me that my actions were only exàcerbating the situation.
Journalists and media personnel were present, busily collecting data and capturing the unfolding events, resulting in the news quickly going viral. One of the journalists noticed my fluèncy in English and handed me a microphone, realizing I could communicate effectively. They began asking me questions pertaining to the case, to which I provided answers as best I could.
One of them quickly shouted after enduring so much pains and torture. ” Menahh ata.. menahh ata… Mènahh ata…” “Officer what’s he saying?” Collins and I questioned the officer that stood close to him. “He’s saying, he knows where the girls are.. That he can lead us straight to them..”
“Please, bring back my daughter. Please, bring back my daughter. Please abeg bring back my daughter.” A desperate cry rang out from the crowd, as one woman sobbed uncontrollably while cradling a beautiful child in her arms. The pain and ànguish in her voice were palpable. I couldn’t hold back my own emotions any longer; tears cascaded down my face as I gazed at the heartbroken woman, sharing in her sorrow.
I went to the woman, held her hands with my teary eyes and we both sat on a small bench few distance from the crowd.
“I can’t bear the pain anymore… The cruelty of people is overwhelming. I feel utterly helpless. Since my daughter disappeared, my hèart has been shattered. She was only eleven years old. My husband blamed me, and I fóolishly accepted it,” she confided, her voice choked with sôrrow as tears streamed down her face. She handed me the child and clutched her wrapper tightly around her waist with teary eyes.
Right there one of the women from the crowd slûmped and began shivering on the ground. One of them pronounced that she had lóst her fifteen years old daughter for years.
To be continued.