June 4, 1998
With the moon at the peak of it's powers, sitting pristinely in the hallowed company of the stars, the town was quiet, asleep and on this night, illuminated by electricity which had been illusive the past three days. The quiet and yet hearty laughter of police officers could be heard. Kirikiri town was not your perfect residential area in the 90s if you fancied a GRA-estate type environment, but it had it's "rich people side". There was the well known prison also in the town and if you walked long enough, you would be right in the Navy barracks. As far as robberies went, this community barely witnessed any. Not with the Police not far away and the Navy just a distress call behind the Police, people slept soundly and felt safe in this knowledge.
The happy policemen stationed close to Juliana hotel, exchanged stories on duty, with little else to do
" I dey tell you, that girl sweet" said Abdullahi, a giant of a man, they all laughed heartily. Just then a shot went off rupturing the sacred silence that saturated the air. Instinctively, the officers ducked, all 5 of them. They were in crouched positions for all of 5 seconds when Sgt. Okoro spoke
"The shot seems to have come from that place" he said pointing in the general direction of Cardoso close
"If we move now, we fit locate them, block them out"
"Haba! You hear that gun?" Sanni asked
"We no get enough bullet"
"The short man is right" Solo an Edo man said "usually there is no disturbance in this area so we are never really prepared to face one"
Abdullahi got into the patrol van quickly "stay put everyone, I go radio barracks now and Navy and we wait till they get here"
"What?!" Okoro questioned
"And when they ask for recon report, what will you tell them?"
"That we are ill equipped to engage and so we are calling for backup. I have a daughter who was just born yesterday you know. I want her to grow up knowing her father" Osas cut in.
"Abdul, make the call" Solo said bluntly.
"Well, you guys can wait for backup, I'm going in" Sgt. Okoro said gripping his pistol and running in the direction of the shot.
More shots were fired and the officers wondered if they were being cowardly or being smart, they knew they were to serve and to protect, but at what cost? Who drew the line under when they were to stop protecting the citizenry and protect themselves? They wondered what was going on, where Sgt Okoro was as the shots became a lot more frequent, they believed there was an exchange. Was it the backup they radioed for or was the exchange between the robbers and Sgt Okoro.
Abdullahi looked at Solo with an intensity that suggested he knew what the latter was thinking, he nodded knowingly and gestured at the other officers "let's go". The engine of the patrol van roared to life and they were off, speeding to the rescue of the citizens, to the aid of the Sgt, their friend and colleague. They were the Military and they were to ensure thieves were never in the ascendancy. They had made a mistake but they would correct it now.
The shots became more rapid and they could tell there were different guns being fired. They were really close now and so prepared to engage, and as suddenly as the shots started, it stopped. Was it over?
Somewhere in Sapele 3:13am (same day)
Junior woke up, sweating profusely.
This startled his aunt who was awake sewing in order to meet a deadline
" what is it?"
"I want to go home. I want to see my father" Junior said sobbing
"Did you dream of him?" The child nodded "was it a good dream?" The child shook his head, wiping mucus off his nose with the back of his hand
"My dear it is only a nightmare, your father is fine. Everything is fine. You can't go to Lagos now even if you tried. We will go at the weekend iyeh?" The child nodded
"Now go back to sleep" the aunt said, facing her sewing machine. Junior lay back down ready to believe his aunt, she was an adult, she knew better, surely everything was fine he tried to assure himself but deep down inside, the feeling didn't go, the feeling that his father was dead, the feeling that Sgt Okoro was no more.
The Officer is a fictional story written by Sharpman Olumati aka D author for Mirus Empire blog.
This maiden episode is dedicated to My brother Jubilee Olumati whose birthday is on the 4th of June. Have a blast bro