Fraternity Destroyed My Home, Home Destroyed My Life:
“… a man sees many things my friend” with a bugger filled mouth, sitting opposite me and staring into my eyes without a blink, in one of the restaurants at the Muritala Mohammed Airport.
I watched as He muttered in a Kenyan accent, adjusting a bit in anticipation of words that would follow.
“you know, that feeling when you watch your loved ones being murdered right before your very own eyes and you are just too handicapped to save them?”
I nodded pitifully, still in anticipation of the words to follow. He scoffed, and then continued
“you don’t know my friend, you don’t! Do you have a wife? He asked.
“No I’m not yet married. I responded calmly.”
so you would never understand that feeling.”
We had met only a moment ago and he already held my mind captive with the ordeal of his escape from Nakuru, a local town in Kenya into Uganda and resorted to Nigeria over 20 years, yet couldn’t do away with his Kenyan accent. Carefully putting down his story: Having newly recruited into a local fraternity, custom demanded that we carried out every assignment given us to the letter, irrespective of its magnitude or persons involved, otherwise, heads of our own family members would be required to appease every form of disobedience. Unfortunately, my misfortunes began almost immediately, as my first assignment was to carry out a hit on my own blood (twin sister) who was reported to have a major confrontation with the ruthless leader of our fraternity, and duty behooved on me, her own twin brother to eliminate her, also being my first hit, but I refused the task.He paused, took a sip and continued…
“I joined the brotherhood to help protect my family, how in the word do you expect me to murder my own blood whom I’m meant to protect?” He retorted. A revolver base landed on my cheek and next was my body on the floor with blood gushing out my mouth.
“How dare you bandy words with the boss?” A fellow member yelled. I remained silent as dead….
So it was as days turned into weeks and weeks into months hence the elapse of the execution date. I intentionally avoided the FRAT meetings, not without an expectation that the day of doom would definitely come, because the fraternity was a deadly group whose venom is more poisonous than that of an adder. Though I expected them to have been a bit emphatic, considering my justifiable stand.
On that late cold night was a very loud bang on my door which jolted me out of sleep. I signaled my wife and daughters (5 and 3 years old respectively) to stay calm.
“Who is it?” I asked
“Adongo” It was my twin sister’s voice. An air of calmness filled the house as our faces brightened. But was only for a moment. As I hurriedly opened the door to let her in, following was a huge blow dealt on my fore head throwing me out of consciousness.
I woke up to a strong migraine, with the sight of my sister’s lifeless body lying in a pool of blood. I almost passed out again but not with the thought of my wife and kids, cos I wouldn’t bare any harm on them. Still struggling to regain complete consciousness, my vision becoming more clearer, I could see my wife and kids tied to a stool with gaffer tape over their mouth, tears filled my eyes and rolled down my cheeks. They had shot at my sister soon as they steeped in.
“You need not shed tears brother, all these would be over soon.” That was from a fraternity member.
There were three of them, the KAPON was absent. Please spare my wife and kids I beg of you guys, take my own life instead. I pleaded helplessly. I had barely finished with my plea before the response…
“You know that is absolutely impossible, you already knew the implication of disobedience before you chose your path.” I could still visualize the sight of the revolver pointing to my wife’s face and I closed my eyes to avoid the sight of her head been blown open by a bullet. I was dashed a heavy slap which almost destroyed my left eye.
“Open your eyes brother” One of them barked. “We will make it easy, we won’t use the gun” He continued He placed his gun on a side stool, reached for his pocket and brought out a syringe, injected my wife and our two girls. My wife attempted to resist but couldn’t, her hands and feet were tied. I bore painfully the sight of their helpless bodies struggling for life and gasping for breath. I still visualize my wife struggling to speak and say at least a parting word to me but the gaffer tape had her lips tightly sealed, she wished I could rescue them.
Oh I was so helpless. In about fifteen minutes life was already out of them. Those fifteen minutes were like eternity. I wished I had the ability to end mine before theirs so as not to live to tell this story. I was in a state of despair with tears uncontrollable, all I kept saying was
“please” that fell obviously fell on deaf ears. It was like pouring water on a rock.
“I told you it would be quick and easy” The same voice re echoed. I cried some more…
“We will return for you after you have mourned your family.” one of them assured as they stepped out with a smile of fulfillment.
“Why didn’t you report the threat to the police or even after the murder of your entire family?” With a heave of sigh, I queried deeply,
With a grim, he responded… “The FRAT had members who were highly placed in the government and the Police, including the military…
Phone rings…He looked at the caller’s name and smiled. “My wife” he said “You are here now…? Okay I will be with you shortly”
He dropped the call. Seeing the surprise written all over me, he continued, smiling as we walked out… “Please come, I would love you to meet my wife and son. I actually remarried, she’s from the Igbo decent.”
“Oh really?” I said that to ease off the surprise. As we stepped out, an announcement was made that my flight was boarding, so I made a quick excuse to turn back, apologizing for not being able to honor his invite. He understood though.
“Thank you for listening to me.” He said.
“Thank you too for sharing.” I threw back.
He offered a handshake and I reciprocated. We hugged and parted ways, but his story kept playing back on my mind as I walked further to pick up my boarding pass, looking forward to the rest of the story and having a dinner with his family. I promised him that after we exchanged phone numbers. I Would give him a call as soon as I’m back in town.
The amazing or captivating thing about him was the way he maintained his smiles, no one would have believe that a human being would go through such pain in life and still wear such genuine smiles. Really amazing.