Biodun placed the Mrs Nzeribe inside the canoe. The smuggler was waiting for him to join in when suddenly, they heard shooting coming not too far from them. As Biodun moved to enter the canoe, bullets started raining into the water
Biodun: “go! Go! Now…” he shouted as he dove to the ground and rolled away from the river bank.
The smuggler moved the canoe, his head bent on the canoe. He told Mrs Nzeribe to lie down on the canoe. He paddled quickly. The current soon took him away from the scene of the shooting by the time the shooters got there. He was surprised that they wasted time. “Maybe the man distracted them.” He thought as he paddled on. He looked for the torch light but could not see it. “Maybe Benson had panicked on hearing the shots.” He kept on paddling.
Biodun ran to a building he saw close by. As he got close several men came towards him from the other side. They had guns and they ordered him to stop or they will shoot. He slowed down and two other young boys came to him, also holding guns. He looked at the boys and sighed. He turned to look at the river but he could not see the canoe anymore. “At least they have crossed safely. This is a good place to die as any.” He went down on his knees and placed both of his hands behind his head.
The other men joined the boys and they quickly tied him up and took him away.
Chidinma heard the gunshots and leaving her father covered in the truck, Driver had carried her to, she ran back to where Driver. He saw him tied to a tree, his mouth covered with a cloth. She removed the cloth from his mouth and with her direction, got a knife in his boot out and used it to cut the rope binding him.
He struggled to his feet then he slowly moved to where Tope hid. Tope was squatting and he had the torch light flashing once again. Chidinma moved close to see what was going on. She was worried for her mother. Then Driver pounced as Tope turned and hit his hand holding the knife, with his gun. The knife fell as well as the torch, immediately Driver quickly tackled Tope. Both of them fell into the mud and they started fighting. All Chidinma could hear was the grunt of the two men as they fought in the mud. She stood unsure of what to do. Then she saw the canoe drifting passed. She knew she had to give a signal of some sort of they would miss them and could end up in a patrolled area. She walked slowly close to where the men were fighting. She saw the torch in the mud between the two fighting men.
Suddenly driver heaved Tope from the ground and slammed him hard into the mud. The breath left Tope and mud flew into his eyes and mouth. Driver quickly picked the torch and threw it to Chidinma then he sat heavily on Tope, restraining his movement. Chidinma bent to pick the torch and then she saw that the person Driver was fighting was Tope. She paused, in shock
Chidinma: “Tope…what…what are you doing here?” she asked.
Tope turned and looked at her. He saw the scarred face and he turned his face in disgust. Chidinma flinched. “The letter was a lie. He did not leave because he had impregnated Seyi. He knew I had an accident and he didn’t want damaged goods.” She thought as she regained herself from the shock of seeing him.
Tope: “you are a rebel spy and you will explain yourself at the army camp. Tell your boyfriend to get of me. I am a soldier of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” he replied savagely.
Chidinma: “every time I thought about you and I meeting again, I never thought of it turning out like this. What happened to you, Tope?” she asked, surprised at how calm her voice was.
Tope ignored her and tried to wriggle from underneath Driver. Driver punched him in the face and he passed out. Chidinma looked at him sadly
Chidinma: “he used to be the apple of my eye, my knight in shining armour…well I hope Seyi enjoys him.” she said turning her back on him.
Driver: “Not all that glitters is gold.” he muttered in reply.
Driver pinned him deeper into the mud. Chidinma walked back and brought the rope and rag. She then picked up the gun and pointed it at Tope. Driver tied Tope to the tree and covered his mouth with the cloth.
Chidinma walk down to the other side and flashed the torch, the canoe turned slowly and soon her mother was on land. Mrs Nzeribe was surprised to see Tope bound to a tree.
Driver: “where is Biodun?” he asked the smuggler.
Smuggler: “I am sorry my friend but he gave himself up so we could escape. He was caught by the Biafran soldiers patrolling that area.” He replied quietly.
Chidinma staggered forward like someone hit then a loud wail spilled out of her lips. Driver quickly covered her mouth with his hand.
Driver: “Let’s leave here.” He said quietly.
Mrs Nzeribe went to her daughter and hugged her. She led the sobbing woman away leaving Driver with Tope, who had woken up from his faint.
Driver: “I could kill you here and nobody will find your body but I am not that kind of man. It is people like you who are destroying the country. You believe that you are better than others and you want to force your idea of what is right on others. Let our paths not cross again.” He said then he and the smuggler walked away leaving Tope tied to the tree.
Biodun was taken to a guardroom where he met other prisoners of war. He was horrified by their conditions. The men told him that some of them had been in the camp since the beginning of the war. They looked like sticks. He sighed, “I believe I will soon come to envy them.” He thought to himself.
Some few hours later, some men came and carried him to a room. The room had a chair placed directly under the dangling light bulb. The chair had been screwed to the concrete floor. He was place on the chair and his legs were chained to the chair. His hands were also cuffed behind him then they left him. After some minutes, another man entered the room.
He stood before Biodun, reading a file. He closed it then looked at Biodun thoughtfully.
Man: “who sent you?” he asked quietly.
Biodun: “I was not sent by anyone. I simply came to take my wife and her parents back to my place.” he replied.
Man: “and your wife’s father just happened to be a technician in the army. Someone who was privy to sensitive information on the placement of mines, bombs and all that? You’d better start talking or we will make your stay here memorable.” he replied coolly.
Biodun: “I have nothing to say.” He replied with false bravado.
The man smiled and snapped his fingers. Two men entered the room with a box and they set the box on the ground. The man brought out surgical gloves from his pocket and wore them then he looked at Biodun and smiled. The screaming began.
Chidinma and her parents arrived at the Ijaw village without any mishap. Mr Okunola came out with his wife to welcome them. After they had carried Mr Nzeribe into a hut and sent for a doctor from Warri, Mr Okunola asked after Biodun. Chidinma told him what she witnessed with tears in her eyes. Gladys held her as she sobbed painfully. Mr Okunola stood quietly and stared at a distance. “I will have faith and hope. One day this war will end and then he will come home.” He thought to himself.
Papa John came and looked at Chidinma. He shook his head,
Papa John: “so na you e leave Preye for? You must be something o.” he said, smiling.
Chidinma looked at him curiously. The other refugees came to meet her and her mother and started questioning them on situations across the river. Chidinma told the tale as best as she could while her mother sat near her father and waited for the doctor.
Tope spent the night in the mosquito infested river bank. The next morning, the errand boy came and found him. He helped him free himself from the ropes and together they went back to the army base. He was feeling good despite everything. “The bastard, Biodun was probably dead by now. He was a traitor. He deserved to die.” He thought to himself.
At the camp, he was arrested and taken to the guardroom for being away without leave. His Platoon had moved out the day before and he had been nowhere to be found. He tried to explain to them that he had been tracking a traitor but no one listened to him.
No one also told him that a letter had come for him from Lagos.
Mr Adetola received the sad news that Seyi was dead from her aunt Heather. She was bringing her body to Nigeria to be buried and also coming with the baby. Mr Adetola sat alone in his sitting room and cried for his beautiful daughter who had loved life but had not stayed long enough to enjoy it.
He sent the letter to Tope informing him that his son was on the way and that his wife to be had died but Tope did not get the letter.
Peterson: “Thank you Jesus for answering our prayers.” He said
Peterson’s Mother: “Amen.”
Peterson: “Mom, now you can pray on other prayer points you have.”
Peterson’s Mother: “In Jesus Name, Most Powerful God, we commit this home into your hand. I also commit myself and my Son, Peterson in to your hands… you promised in your word that you will save us and our household … We claim that promise this night… we ask father, that you will save us and destroy all the works of Satan in our lives In Jesus Name. I break every shackle of bondage in our lives in Jesus Name.” she prayed.
Suddenly the goddess appeared in their midst while they prayed.
Peterson’s Mother: “I plead the blood of Jesus over this household in Jesus name. The Blood which you shed on the cross of Calvary, we shield ourselves from every attack in Jesus Name. Right now, i decree every attack of the devil to crumble right now in that mighty name of Jesus!” she continued praying.
They both opened their eyes and saw goddess with the old hunter’s gun in her hands pointed at Peterson’s mother.
Peterson Mother: “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!!” she said continually in shock.
Peterson faced the goddess with boldness of Jesus Christ in him.
Peterson: “What is this? Who are you again? I confront you in Jesus Name. Because it is written that no weapon formed against us shall prosper… in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, surrender that gun to me. The name of the Lord is a strong tower! The righteous runneth into it and they are saved. I command you to surrender that gun to me in Jesus Name.” he said authoritatively.
Orisha extends the weapon directly out in front of Peterson, cocked the gun and….
Question: Will Biodun make it out of the prisoner of war camp alive? Is Peterson or his mother safe?
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