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Wednesday, 26 September 2018


After an hour of flying through the skies from Nnamdi azikiwe international airport, finally I arrived yola international airport. Stepping out of the aircraft, I was welcomed by a harsh weather, the hot ball of fury up in the sky shone without any blanket to it's rays, the hot dry wind that swayed hit my face that instant I knew I was far from home, this was indeed the Sahara.
It took me only a few minutes to clear my luggage and just in time the driver that was arranged to get me called. After a brief description of where I was standing a man in his late forties dressed in an English attire that made him look much younger than he was appeared before me simply identifying himself as "Malam iro". I greeted him politely trying to hide my surprise... I was startled by his mode of dressing considering it was somehow foreign in Adamawa especially to elderly people who are used to flowing kaftans and caps, I appreciated his punctuality for being there on time, at least he saved me the stress of waiting.
He helped pull my trolley all the way to the parking lot, finally coming to a halt at the trunk of a black Mercedes Benz GLK450 (yes I know the name because studying cars was just as important as my 4 unit course in school). He inserted the luggage into the trunk and quickly came to get the door for me saying "Hajiya please",
I was ashamed seeing him do all that, I mean even when dad was alive our drivers who were heavily paid only get the door for him or umma but not me, not even once were they that kind but Malam iro who I just met is nicer than all of them combined! I sat behind the passenger's seat fully making myself comfortable, Malam iro also got in and we drove off.
The scenery of Adamawa never seize to amaze me, thou I have visited a couple of times but for every visit I get to see something new... Well what would you expect from the home town of the great Atiku I thought ( note my sarcasm ). I noticed the roads were wider and street lights adorned almost every nook and cranny of Adamawa, every now and then I sighted gigantic billboards that stood boldly only meters away from each other to remind residents and guests of who the president and governor were.
Malam iro's voice distracted me from my sight seeing saying "Hajiya I'll have to stop for some fuel I hope you don't mind" I saw his eyes darting straight at me through the center mirror as if he was waiting for my affirmation, I was confused as to what to say to him but finally muttering a "no problem" that I wasn't even sure he heard.
It took all my will power to control the wave of nauseous feeling that hit me after inhaling petrol fumes coming from the pump, unfortunately for me I was right beside the tank which at this point was not a good thing.
Some minutes later we were done refuelling, we then set course for yobe. Only a few kilometres into the journey we began to come across military check points, I have heard of the Boko Haram insurgence at this part of the country but I never thought it was this serious, soon after two hours of slowing down to meander through check points and speeding off afterwards the military check points started going into extinction and vehicles started becoming scarce. I noticed Malam iro slowing down without a possible reason to, I shrugged off trusting in Malam iro to do what he does best.
We came across a swam of parked vehicles and malam iro also parked. "let me enquire what's going on Hajiya" Malam iro said with a hinge of worry his voice, I only nodded him a worrisome OK. Malam iro came later telling me that the insurgents have blocked off the road so we have to stop or turn back. Hearing his words I began to shudder, my whole body was grasped in fear, but I tried well enough to compose my self and tuck away all signs of fear.
After we waited for almost thirty minutes, a Toyota hilux belonging to the Nigerian army came by carrying six soldiers with a mighty GPMG(general purpose machine gun) mounted on top. Never in my life have I been so excited to see the army like today.
We made a convoy of fifteen cars and begin to drive back towards Adamawa with the single military truck leading the way. Suddenly the military indicated that we all park, stay in the cars and lock the doors, without any explanations. That instant I knew something was wrong.
I began to say all the prayers I knew, hoping I don't die today, No I can't die today I said to myself. I told umma I did not wanted to come but she insisted, if only she listened now see the mess she put me into. Malam iro kept soothing me telling me not to worry everything will be fine the military were with us, instead of calming my nerves his words only projected the reality of the situation.
From no where we were ambushed from both sides of the bushes by the insurgents, we took fire from every possible angle! I could not hold back my fright, my body trembled I literally had my heart in my mouth. Docking behind the passenger's seat, I folded myself up as best as I could, closing my ears with my palms, the sound of the gun duel going on between the army and the insurgents almost rendered me deaf. I was scared shitless I peed my pants.
After the shooting subsided, I summoned the last of my energy and courage to peep through the window to see if the military won, but the reverse was the case they were out gunned and over run, the insurgents superiority in fire power added to their advantage, bodies of the dead littered the road, people who I think attempted the escape the shooting. I looked around the car and a few bullet slugs had penetrated our car as well lodging into the seats. Regaining some sense of calm I noticed something wasn't right, malam iro haven't said a word yet, I called out his name but there was no reply, I looked forward from my position only to see malam iro laying head first to the steering wheel drenched in his own pool of blood fighting an already lost battle for life, he gasped a few times for life before finally giving up the soul. I winced from the pain I felt from my left shoulder only then did I noticed I was bleeding too, a bullet had grazed my shoulder. If I was to imagine this scenario I'd picture me screaming and crying my head off but here I was in reality unable to make move, my voice had betrayed me only tears rolled silently down my cheeks. This is surely the end of me.
Screams of injured people filled the air which quickly prompted me to kick into survival mode. I hurriedly opened the door and jet out, trying to run to safety but was cut short in my tracks when I spotted some insurgents heading my way chanting "Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!! Death to the infidels!! Glory and victory belongs to the troops of Allah Allahu Akbar!!! Allahu Akbar!!!". I quickly turned around running towards the path leading to the convoy of now shot out vehicles, on reaching there, more insurgents poured out from the other side of the bush marching towards us chanting and lifting their AK47 rifles up in the sky. We were trapped! Trapped by death from both sides little did I know death was the best thing that could happen to me at that moment.
"Abu-siddiq make sure to search each an every one of them properly, destroy all mobile phones and flog all those ladies that aren't wearing proper Islamic clothing! Kill all the elderly men and escort the young ones and the ladies to the camp, await further instructions, as for you Murtala ready the men we'll proceed to the army barracks as planned as soon as the second and third contingent arrived" Abu-Qaqa commanded looking merciless Running his fingers through his well arranged beard.

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