That evening the euphonious news elated every living soul at home, and Mama in the spirit of celebration, ordered for assorted beverages which was also given to Mallam Saliu, our ghost neighbor. Baba, was is not much of a talker, left the house to his regular pito joint by 8:30pm and Mama continued to entertain and talk to our neighbors that came to celebrate with us.
Well as for me, I went to my salubrious station under the mango tree in our compound. This was where I normally put on my thinking cap if I want to be clinical in thoughts. Though I was happy for Baba’s new role in his work place, but the little details I knew about Tirzah Security company made me to be worried. And this made my evening a mixture of happiness and fear.
Tirzah was a security company owned by Alhaji Useni Aliyu, a retired general in the Nigerian Army who orchestrated many coups during the blossoming era of coups in Nigeria. During the onset of insurgency in Nigeria, General Useni was one of the supreme sponsors of the lethal group “Boko Haram.” He was a lord in the weapon of warfare, black market, and a known figure in many notorious cartels. Tirzah was used as a shield to cover all his shady deals and involvements. Though I was still seven years, I was a voracious reader and a lover of fact finding. And if it concerned any member of my family, I would go the extra mile to source for information that concerned the safety of the family. Even my elder siblings wondered how I knew so much at my age, but this came with it’s own price because I was always thinking about other members of my family more than myself.
At 9:15pm, some men stormed our home with a Lexus van, about seven of them, all dressed in black suit, with bold and rhythmic steps like soldiers in the parade ground. They came asking after Baba.
At first, the whole neighborhood was in awe because this was the first time something of this kind ever happened in Raheem street. Hanutu was able to tell the men in black that Baba was not around, but these men preferred to wait longer for Baba to come back.
As usual, I sat under the mango with thoughts floating in my mind. And rhetorical questions that were of my own doing saturated my curious mind.
What are they here for? Have they come to bribe Baba? Have they come to offer him the devil’s deal? Are they kidnappers?