The Activist

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Mar 6th, 18:38

Episode 6
Shade, the darling of many a secondary student, was the ‘crushe’ of Tade. About six feet, her fair complexion and long legs announces her presence in a gathering. Her smile, strong enough to charm even the strictest teacher, was often a weapon, the weakest weapon she used to her advantage. Her as5 was fleshy enough to sway men’s thoughts, wills and caprices to her advantage. Her brea5ts, though puny, was braless, an action which gave her another weapon against men.
Shade was a paragon of beauty, which to many a s-x hungry lad, was the perfect meal for them. However, despite her cordial relationship with Tade, he never had any amorous feelings towards her, which surprised her. So he become a target, an oddity which interested her.
She looked surprised at the sight of Tade, her white dress expressively showing her ‘love’ for the not too handsome crush of hers.
“Tade! Its has been a long time! How are you?” She flung herself to him, her small brea5ts pressing firmly to his chest. “Its has been a ………”
“A year, Shade and if you don’t mind, you are squeezing me to death.” Tade replied.
“Always the brash man, aren’t you? You are a fresher here?” She asked familiarly.
*As if you are a stalite* his mind spoke back, but he nodded at her question.
“Cool! Am also a fresh student of Dramatic Arts, planning on going into the entertainment industry.”
*Before nko* his mind fired back. He was not surprised in any way, at least she had modeled for Pepsi before and had done a couple of Close-up ads, not to talk of the little roles she had in sitcoms.
“What course are you studying?”
“Law? Hmnn. You know what they say about the Law faculty in this school.”
“Wetin you hear?” Tade asked.
]”Don’t you know that Law Society usually produces the most radical students on campus; the cult members and those that are against cultism. For example, the current president of LSS ( Law Student Society) is the leader of Red Axes while the vice president is the Leader of Black Brass ( a female cult group). Equity Chambers President is a DSMite ( DSM stands for Democratic Socialist Movement, a group against cultism among other things) and you know what that means.”
“What does it mean?”
Shade looked surprised. “It means that the two Presidents won’t see eye to eye. Meanwhile, the Black Brass has another member as an executive in Equity Chambers. I hear a lot of fights occur between them and I don’t know why its the Law Students that have the highest number of these people.”
“We are intellectuals.” Tade spoke freely, much to the surprise of himself.
Shade dragged him to one corner and knelt down. “Tade, I am begging you, please just mind your business there. Don’t join any of them. A cult member life span is usually short and those anti-cult guys are usually hunted and killed. Ife is a bad place to be carrying any new idea on power. Tade, please! I love you and you know that you mean a lot to me.” Tade’s face shot up in surprise with her admission. “Tade, I don’t want to lose you. Even if you can’t have any thing to do with me, don’t break my heart by joining any of them. I don’t want your life to……”
“Its okay, Shade.” Tade said, his eyes showing concern. “I will try not to.”
She cleaned her legs and eyes. “Am hungry, let’s go and eat.” She dragged a protesting Tade away.
At the eatery, Tade probed her.
“Why did you warn me about LSS?”
“Well, I have seen a little here and I don’t want to see or hear more.” She said quietly.
What did you hear? He asked more quietly.
“Well, you know Wande? Our class rep in SS1 na!” She said, seeing the confused look in his eyes.
“The one with goggles, that wears all those Reverend Sisters gowns, that we call Holy Mary?”
“Ooh!” He exclaimed as he remembered her. The lady was an extremely shy lady, who used her spare time as class rep to preach against fornication and ask people to repent.
“So what happened to her?” He asked quietly again.
“I heard she is the Leader of Black Brass!”
“Ehen?” He almost shouted, leading to one or two angry stares. He apologized and resumed to his food.
“What happened to her?” He asked after eating some more.
“When I got here during Post- UTME, I heard that she ran loose when she entered school, that she do boyfriend runs up and down and that she don change gan. That she don hard. The worst part of it was that she killed Kenny!”
“Kenny ke? Her best friend ma ni yen!” Tade said.
Shade shook her head. “I dey tell you say babe don change. Her eyes don dey run red and you dey talk best friend for there. The rumour be say. Kenny na PaceSetters persin and that dem fight each other as per leaders of their groups. After them kill Kenny, they distribute her body parts everywhere.”
“Wow! You heard that one too?”
“No, I saw it with my eyes.” He choked on hearing that. “It was a gore sight. And to think that na only Kenny Wande dey follow talk for school?”
“Na so I come think am say wetin be life sef? See as Wande waste persin life, dem fit waste her life like that too. Na so I think say that if I see any persin wey I sabi, I go warn am. I no think say I fit bear the pain of seeing such. Its almost derailed my examination preparations.”
“So Tade, please am not joking, DON’T JOIN! I have to go.” She stood up and left, leaving Tade to ponder on what she said.

To be continued

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Mar 6th, 18:42

Episode 7

Tade returned to school the following Monday, packing enough goodies to feed the whole school for a month. His parents loaded his account with money in the usual nonchalant attitude he was used to.

In all, he had an account balance reading 2 million(2M for short). For course he was not stupid to show the ‘abundance’ he had as he packed all the uncooked rice and beans, not to talk of the favorite student companion, garri.

He walked straight into ETF hall, Salisu following him with some of the baggage. He got to the porter’s lounge and quickly cleared himself, paying all the required dues. As soon as he was done, he headed for his room, Block 1 room 7.

On getting there, he looked around in disgust. The room was dusty and all stuffy, despite the fact that freshers had resumed a week before.
Seems like nobody has been allocated this room. He thought.

He signaled Salisu to drop his luggage and bring the rest, while he searched for a broom to use. He walked around the room, using his eyes to scan around. When he could not find what he needed, he started to shift the lockers, getting startled twice as rats ran past him.

“Mtscheww!” He hissed. The room was becoming more unsettling for him when he saw it.

The rat, as fat as a packet of Cheeseballs, was tearing a black nylon, obviously looking for food. It soon got its delight, as grains of rice fell from the nylon while the rat went about enjoying his feast. Its teeth went on working with glee, as its claws kept making noise.

“Jesus! What is this?” Tade said, speaking to no one in particular. The rat then stopped eating and started to stare at him. Tade stared back and made a feigning move to scare it. The rat did not respond. He continued looking at it as it replied his stare with its own, occasionally twitching its whiskers.

The rat suddenly made a move towards him. Tade was shocked, when did rats start having brains like this? He wondered. The rat moved a bit forward and stopped, like it was studying him.

Tade clapped his hands towards it. The rat refused to run, rather it adjusted its claws.
I don suffer. His mind spoke. Na rat dey do dis? His eyes suddenly fell on a used food flask.

With unspeakable rage at the defiance of the rat, he stoned the flask at it. The rat scampered away, scattering the rice.
“I have to find a broom!” He said to himself, just as Salisu called him.
“Oga, see broom here!” He quickly gave Tade the broom.

]Tade seized the broom without hesitation and started sweeping the room with rhythmic madness. Quite soon, the room was cleaned and looking new, even as he started the fan in order to introduce fresh air into the room.

Salisu soon finished packing his load and after a little difficulty, they found his bunk and placed his luggage in there.
“Salisu, come and take me to the central market.”

They entered the car and drove off, only to come some minutes later with a long locker which wanted to rival the wardrobe already made in his room. With some difficulty Salisu and Tade carried the locker, Tade assisting so as not to be viewed as a ‘spoilt’ kid. They carried it to his room and after removing the locker present, placed it around his bunk. Tade was loading his foodstuffs when a young boy in glasses came in.

“Guy, submit your food.” Tade looked at the boy and went on with his work, ignoring the demand made.

“E be like say you wan stubborn small, Oya bring that food!” He walked straight to take a packet of indomie.

Before Tade could do anything, Salisu seized his hand with a vice-like grip, forcing the guy to drop the indomie with alacrity. Tade then turned and sized the young boy properly, realising that he will beat the bespectacled fellow easily.

“See, if you can’t ask for something decently, don’t ask at all, do you understand?” The young fellow nodded his head.

“Now get out!” The fellow scampered away as another boy came in, looking angrily at him.

“That guy has been trying to extort guys that comes into the room.” He said. “Good thing you chased him away. You are in this room?”

Tade nodded, as Salisu went back to the car. “Salisu, you can go now, don’t want Dad to get angry at you.” He faced the young boy. “Am a resident here.”

“Cool. I am also a resident here.”
He pointed to his bunk at the other side of the room. “My name is Made.” He stretched his hand.

“Tade it is over here.” Tade shook his hand.
]”What department are you in?” Made asked

“Am in Law.”

“Ok, am in economics.” Made said. “One other student has arrived here, but he has not moved in. Anyway, enjoy yourself, tomorrow is another day.”

“Ok. Can you help me with my stuff and then we can go out together?”

“Sure.” Made moved to help him.
The two individuals worked faster than each initially thought and in no time they were done with the arrangement. Tade soon wore his sneakers and went out with Made.

The weather was calm and a bit cool as they left the hostel, creating a serene view with the bamboo trees across the road.

The road was dusty, a common feature during Harmattan, which added to the atmosphere its kind of feel. Tade walked quickly, using his Walkman, while Made inhaled the scenario and relaxed a bit. They were contrasting in nature.

As they got to SUB( Student Union Building), they saw two people arguing, with people gathering round to watch.
Shouts of ‘Your Fada’, ‘Sho ya werey?'( Are you mad?) among other obscenities reigned the air, shocking many a fresh student. Made walked towards the scene confidently, asking questions with Tade following conservatively.

“They are fighting over babe.” He heard someone tell Made.

The two boys stood and watched as young guys who were at least three years older, went fighting for a girl that the crowd had not seen. When they were tired, the girl walked past them with no sense of remorse and entered a car waiting for her, driven by another guy. The reaction in the two men faces was enough to verify their feelings; they have just been emotionally duped. The ever interested crowd noticed the change and soon started clapping their hands in disgust, wondering why two men will disgrace themselves on top a lady that does not think about them.
The week went past as Tade was getting used to the school. Quadri, Malik and Andrew were other students that had landed. Quadri was a fresher like him and Made, whil Malik and Andrew were finalists.

Lectures had started too and much to his surprise, Tade had to attend a lot of courses not related to his faculty. To make it worse, they were core courses; meaning that they were compulsory courses to pass. He hoofed all around campus with other fresh students, struggling for spaces at lecture theatres. Soon enough, class representatives were to be selected and he was made assistant to a certain Ortega, who was two years older than him. Ortega, twenty years old was a typical Warri guy, thickly set with the local accent and way of maneuvering tight situations, keeping his class in peace.

Two weeks after he first entered the room, Tade had seen most of his roommates. In addition to those present, Shittu, a part two student of Computer Science and Ovie, a quiet lad in Biochemistry had joined. It was remaining one more person, and he wondered who he was and why he was absent.

On Friday he knew part of the answer he sought.

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Mar 6th, 22:29

Episode 8

Lying on Shittu’s bed was a young, handsome guy, obviously Igbo from his skin color and facial composition. He was reading a Biology textbook.
“Hello, who are you and what are you doing here?”

The young man shifted his gaze to Tade. “Am Chukwuma, better known as Chuks. I stay on top of this bunk. Just did not want to go through the stress of climbing. Hope am not disturbing you?”
“No.” Tade said before he could catch himself. “Am Tade, also a fresher over there.” He pointed to his bunk.”I don’t think he will appreciate your lying down on his bed, the owner that is.” Tade had seen him shoo some guys away from his ‘corner’.
“Oh, okay.” Chuks stood up and arranged the bed. “I am a part one student of Medicine.” He said quite calmly. “I just cleared my space.”

“Just what? This is the third week, hope you know?” Tade said, unable to believe his ears.

“Easy guy. I have been in school since, was just squatting with a friend in Awo hall. I got my accomodation late.”

“Sorri oh! So when are you moving in?”
“I have moved in already. My bed is there and my things are in the wardrobe.” Tade looked at the upper bunk and true to his word, a new bed was on the bunk. Tade was sure that Samuel, who had been ‘managing’ the space will be sleeping on the floor tonight, as per a ‘squatter’.
He decided to question him further.
“Why did you come late? And have you attended any class?”

“I never came late, do you understand the meaning of the word ‘squatter’? I was in school since the first day and I have attended all the classes, am the class rep for that matter.” He replied with a ‘matter of fact’ look.

“You have squatted before and you want to bounce the squatter here, is that good? Can’t you have sympathy for the less privileged?”

“Do you understand the word you just uttered? By the way, I was also sent out of the room I stayed in, that’s part of the reason am here. The bunk is my space now, at least until the two semesters are up. Please don’t ask any more questions.” He stood up and grabbed his bag, leaving the room for Tade.
The weeks rolled by and lectures were moving well.

Tade was already used to being the assistant class rep and was quite efficient in it, gaining some form of admiration from the female folk. Unlike Ortega, who was loud and hot-tempered, Tade cut the figure of a quiet, unassuming person who did his work quietly, like someone behind the scenes. Ortega on the other hand, was ruffling feathers here and there in the faculty and was already been warned by the faculty president, all to no avail.

The lecturers in his faculty were also another pain in his neck. Some, like Professor Koya, only comes in with his hand-out and dictate like he is reading a novel. Others like Mr Jakande, gave vivid explanations, only problem was that he set tests at every class, even the impromptu ones. It was one of such tests that Ortega started to count his days on campus.

Prior to this day, the lecturer had informed them about the test, they in fact knew the date of the test. The only problem was that…….
He moved the date forward to that day unilaterally.

“Good morning.” He stepped in, replying the few that dared to greet him. “Tear a sheet of paper, write your name and …………” Students were shocked as he started to dictate orders and dish out questions, with a few including Tade silently calling others to hurry into class.
That day they managed to hold the test for an hour, the whole time for the lecture. As the lecturer left the hall, spreading anguish to absent students; many of the students followed him, especially as he was the course co-ordinator and had claimed that the test will hold weight. A few, however decided to ‘scratch’ their axes against the leadership of the class or more specifically, Ortega.

“Tega! Tega!! Tega!!!” Mohammed, a six foot three muscle powered guy called in anger.

“Why you no tell us anything?” He asked, charging towards Ortega.

“We did not know about……..” Tade was trying to defend his class representative, when Ortega eased him away.

“See, I don’t care what you think, because you guys deserve what you got. What does it take you to attend classes, eh? We that come to class and come early are not fools, you know.” Tade looked at him incredulously. Did he not know that the guys he was challenging attended this particular class regularly, even more than him.

Tade spoke up and made a sign for Ortega to keep quiet. Ortega ignored his advice and kept talking.

“I know you and that guy are extra year students. He said, drawing attention of the crowd to Mohammed and a seemingly quiet, slim guy. If you ‘agbayas’ can’t take a simple course like this serious, then it shows what you guys do with your brains, which is nothing.”

Tade could not find the link between the class and usage of the brain. If not that they just had a test, he could have swore that Ortega had been drinking early in the morning, or maybe he secretly did. He was going to stop the increasing tension, when the quiet guy stepped in.

“Mr Oortega. He started. You have only attended this lecture seven times while both of us have attended the lectures ten times.” He informed a stunned audience. Why was he keeping attendance of everyone?

“We have attended this class more than you and you are calling us unserious. Do you know how many people have given up on lae because of this lecture? One-tenth of my class! If you think this course is easy, let the semester results come out, in fact do the exams first. Every mark counts in this course and because of people like you, a good number of us lost marks.”

“Now, I don’t really care about others since they are not here, but if me or Mohammed here have to repeat this class, consider your life as a burnt offering to God, you hear me?” He walked away with Mohammed, instilling some fear into students.

“And we are Part Two students, not extra year students!” He said smiling, as they walked out of the hall.

Tade looked at Ortega, who was still ‘forming strong head’ and concluded that the semester was not going to end well. As students dispersed, he grabbed Ortega tightly and dragged him away.
“What is always wrong with you?”
0rtega looked at him like he was a fool and wrestled his hand away from Tade’s grip.

“Why must you make war with almost every person that is different from you in this class? Don’t you know that as a class representative you are supposed to unite the group together, this class? Students that are in tight situations suppose to meet you to help them and you are doing this. Do you know if Mohammed and Dumuje ( referring to the quiet guy) are cultists or worse? Why can’t you for once behave like the representative you suppose to be?”
“See, see, I don’t have time for all what you are trying to tell me. Ortega started. What’s your business, ogbeni? I sabi you from Adam? No be this school we sabi? Wetin you no sabi no talk! Besides na only me dey dey talk to, so no come dey form counsellor abi coach for me, you hear me?”

“Stop to be forming Van Damme too!” Tade shot back. He wondered what Ortega’s confidence was in that made him so bold. No cult killings so far, but he has been hearing of threats from some quarters. With Ortega’s abrasive behaviour, more people are sure to be bruised.

He walked back to the hostel and narrated everything to his eager room mates.

“Your class rep get ‘liver’!” Made said, punching the empty air.
“And he is a fool! It was an unnecessary confrontation. A simple apology would have done wonders. Shittu spoke next. Its annoying when such people start their cocky arrogance.”

“Arrogance suppose to be cocky!” Samuel spoke, forcing Shittu to notice him.

“Who ask you come into this discussion sef? I talk say I no sabi English?”
“Sorri oh! Samuel replied, looking contrite. For me, the guy must have something that is giving him that confidence. Maybe na babalawo or he be cult member.” Ovie kept reading his note quietly, contributing in no measure to the discussion at hand.

“That one no mean! Persin fit arrange im f.uck up! Nobody dey wey dem no sabi him password for this life.” Quadri came on board.

“Which one be password now? Quadri you don come again!” Everyone said in chorus, forcing themselves to laugh as Chuks entered.

“Chuks, Chuks! Come contribute to our talk na.”Made said, dragging Chukwuma before he could protest, Oya Tade gist am.”

Tade told him everything about the incident, including the threats.

“The guy is brave but stupid! In life, you have to choose your battles carefully, if not you could die before you have the chance to be born.” Many a person were stunned by that, even Malik who was typing some project work suspended his work and listened.

“He is just brave but headless, like a bull used for amusement. Funny enough, I feel that the quiet guy will deal with him.”
“Why?” Made asked.

“Quiet guys are dangerous. Loud guys already tell you of their plan, that is if they have one.

Quiet guys keep the plan to themselves and wait for you to take your guard down and sleep before hitting you!” He hit his hands together, startling them all. “By the time they are done with you, you won’t be able to retaliate. That’s why silence pays at times, because your opponent does not know the next move.

This Dumuje guy won’t be the first person that will be offended, abi?”

Tade nodded and was about to say something when Malik cut in.

“You said Dumuje, right? The same Dumuje Otaku?” Tade wondered how he knew the surname.


“Tade, don’t get into the way of that guy. He is well connected to cults all over the school and is well loaded. His father is a former Minister. I can assure you that your class rep is as go as dead, its just a matter of if its during the break or second semester.”

“But we never even do the exams!” Tade said in shock.

“Dumuje will make sure that he will fail the exams, no matter what he does! And when that happens, be sure of this; Dumuje will fulfil his promise! A Lannistar always pays his debt!”

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Mar 6th, 23:01

Episode 9
Tade and the others were shocked at the revelation by Malik.
“Shey Student Union Officers can’t help Ortega?” Quadri asked. Some of the others nodded their heads in agreement.
“A good number of them are cult members. A quiet voice quickly answered. It would be better if those ‘radicals’ like DSM handle the situation.” They turned to the direction of the voice and saw Ovie facing them, book flung to the other side of the bed.
“Let me advise you guys. Malik took back the attention, don’t join any of the two sides; either cults or anti-cults. Cult members are only safe from their fraternity members and anti-cult guys are usually targets for every cult member. In fact, if not for some strong minded persons in these anti-cult groups, nobody knows what would have become of them. Their lives are usually no safe, a sacrifice that they bear. I can say all these because I have seen them all.” Tade bent his head down, the head reaching the region of his laps.
“And don’t date a female cult member. If you do….. You are on your own!” Malik gave a nasty grin at the end of the advice.
With the information shared, Tade was sure that Ortega won’t last long. If only he knew who Ortega really was.
The weeks rolled by, soaking everyone with it. Even Chuks seemed to be more engaged than ever, his duties making him scarce. Meanwhile Ortega was still forming ‘ James Bond’ in the class, creating rifts with other people everywhere.
One day, Tade decided to hit Ife town for some fun. One of his coursemates, Tijani was having a pool party at Fine Touch Hostel located some metres away from campus. The road, though was untarred and sandy, with various inroads, something Tade noticed as he decided to walk it out instead of taking a bike. The buildings around the area, which were mainly bungalows were not bad either, only that the sand seemed to make everything awful.
He was close to the hostel when two Hiace pick up vans charged past him and into the hostel. A few seconds later, two gunshots were heard, sending Tade and everyone on the road to a frantic search for cover. Tade managed to jump into a fenced compound, having a sprain in the process.
“God!” He winced at his hurt. He then heard movement from the house, meaning that the occupants of the house were coming. His eyes darted all over the place looking for a safe spot to hide, but none was available.
“Who are you?” A hostile tone, hidden by the curtain in the house informed him of trouble. Tade knelt down quickly.
“Please sir! Armed robbers are robbing somewhere close. I need to hide here for some time.”
The door opened, revealing a man in his late twenties, tall, muscular and elegant. His brow was hairless and he had this combination of height and movement which revealed one thing; he was a model.
Tade tried to stand but the sprain took him down again, even as shots were been heard everywhere. The man walked quickly and dragged Tade into the house.
“Shade, bring the First Aid kit here!” Tade lifted his face in half suspicion and anticipation. Could Shade be the girlfriend of this guy? It won’t be too much of a shock if she was, in fact he was more like the guy she will date. Tade was just not sure that Shade was a faithful partner.
The lady came out and truly, she was Shade.
“Tade! What are you doing here?” She shouted.
“Quiet! Don’t you know that robbers are all over the town?”
“But nobody can hear us. This house was made to hide sound.” She replied, giggling.
“Yet you can’t shout for me .Since you know him, come and treat him.”
“Lekan dear, don’t do that. Please now.” She threw a fake ‘sad face’ at him. Lekan walked to her and kissed her deeply, Shade responding by dropping the First Aid Kit and running her hands on his back. She was soon removing his shirt while he was almost removing her wrapper.
“Hhmmm!” Tade grunted, returning attention to himself. Lekan left her and walked to the room, causing a smug smile to surface on Tade’s face.
“What is the smile for?” Shade asked.
“I spoiled someone’s chance at smashing your a-s, sorry for him.”
“See how raw you are. She licked her lips. I will like to imagine how raw you will sound in bed.”
“Bad girl.”
“Bad boy. What are you doing here?” Tade told her about the party and how the vans drove in.
“Yeee! This guy stalled me sha! I was to go to the party. The celebrant sent me an IV.”
“Really? That’s cool. Those robbers ruined it anyway.”
“Yea, although its not the first time this is happening.”
“Wow, how did you know?”
“I have stayed here for a while, Tade. Most parties that happen there are usually well planned, because the celebrant settles the cult guys around so that they don’t disturb. They are even given free access to the party. Thought Gbohumi will settle them.”
“You know him?” Tade asked.
“Of course. I know all the handsome and rich guys in this school and Gbohumi is both handsome and rich.” Tade looked at her as she made that statement, wondering if she had s-x with all the rich and handsome guys in school. You can never say with Shade.
“Ah!” He yelped as Shade squeezed the sprained area. “You were too far into your world. Tell me, what were you thinking.”
About you f.ucking Gbohumi. His mind spoke but he shut it up.”How did you meet him?” He pointed into the house.
“Lekan? I met him at a fashion runway show in Lagos. We discovered that we are in the same school and we kicked it off from there. Mind you, am not dating him.”
“Really? What are you two then?”
“We are just friends with benefits. His girlfriend is in Calabar and like him loves s-x to the end of time. So they both arranged to have friends with benefits who they will f--k when the urge comes. The only thing is that the friends have to do is to have a proper medical examination in order to be sure that they are clean of STDs. So if you want to join, you can come, just bring your medical report.”
“Me ke? Abeg make I see road!” He laughed.
“Na so you dey do. Your kind person too dey form.” She parked the kit.
“Am done with that. She pointed to the leg. Just don’t strain it and see the doctor in health center.”
“Okay ma.” He mocked her.
“I think they have gone. You can leave.”
“Ehen! You are chasing me because of his ‘tool’.”
“Which one be your concern? Abeg dey waka.”
“Okay oh! Bros, I don dey go.” Tade shouted.
“Safe journey!” Lekan replied him. Tade walked out and met a gore sight.
Dead bodies littered everywhere, some of them in clothes readily identified with cult members. Local made pistols, shot guns and even an rifle were present in the scene. The sight of the bodies was already giving him a sour mouth and a weak stomach. Tade walked away, happy that it was a weekend. If he only knew what he will see next week.

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Mar 8th, 15:38

Episode 10

By Monday, he had recovered sufficiently to be mentally fit. He had not told anyone about what happened, they were not his diary you know.

With classes on, he noticed that Ortega was not behaving in the usual aggressive name. He was more timid than ever, pushing all the responsibility to Tade. Tade was now handling the class alone, calling lecturers, photocopying lecture notes, getting handouts ready, etc. Ortega was almost looking redundant and it did not take long before other students started asking questions on what was happening, pouring a deluge of questions on him.

“Wetin do class rep?”

“Him no well?”

“Why Ortega no dey do anything?”

“Na wa o, Ortega no fight today, na you cause am?”

“Wetin you do Ortega?”

The questions were endless and at times annoying. All this while Ortega was quiet, wearing hooded clothes and making all efforts to mask his presence among students.

On Thursday, after another barrage of questions, Tade was about meeting a lecturer when he saw a paper bill with Ortega’s face on it. It read:


With the deepest sense of regret, we thereby announce the death of a son and brother, Ortega Aneke, who died after a brief illness. Burial arrangements to follow shortly.

Courtesy: blank

Tade did not understand the bill, for Ortega was alive and well, even attending all the classes today as he had seen him. He walked into the class and dragged Ortega quietly away, in order to avoid attention and to show him the new discovery.

Ortega eyes dilated immediately he saw the bill, almost falling to the floor, Tade holding him tightly. His hands were shaking out of shock or whatever it was.
“Ortega, I don’t know what you have done but you need to get your acts together. You need to settle whatever is happening. You must deal with your problems quickly.”

Ortega thanked him promptly and left. Tade went ahead to see the lecturer, other students discovering the bill and gossiping around.
That was the last time Tade saw Ortega alive.

Ortega failed to show on Friday, despite having a test that day. Tade, meanwhile enjoyed the test and was having a great day when Shodipo accosted him.

Shodipo was a reporter for Megaphone, a campus news agency. He was known, even by rookie reporter levels to be quite sneaky, always sniffing around for information. His work was the reason that the agency created the crime section, as he specializes in reporting crime stories around the school. Tade really did not want to see him.
“Hi Tade.” Shodipo spoke, giving a fake smile.

“Good afternoon. How can I help you?”
“Take it easy na, stop squeezing your face.” Shodipo smiled heartily, baring out his white teeth and holding his stomach. “You need to see the way you are.” Tade, however did not care.
“I have some information I need to verify from you?”

“What information?”

“Do you know what was Ortega’s last job as a cult member?”

“Excuse me, can you stop spreading rumours? You are doing nothing but destroying people’s reputation.”

“Really? Does Ortega have a reputation?”
Tade placed his hands on Shodipo’s
shoulders, which made the other guy feel short even though he was a few millimeters shorter than Tade.
“Ortega may not have a reputation or a good image, but spreading lies about him just to gain some popularity is wrong. Do you know that you can be sued for that?”

“Yes, that’s if I am saying a lie. But these pictures don’t lie.” He showed some pictures to Tade.

The pictures, taken in broad daylight were implicating to be lenient. Ortega was on every picture, wearing a shirt with skulls on it and holding different weapons, his face looking violent. He was on a sleeveless shirt, an oddity considering that Tade had never seen him in such and he had a symbol on his hand that shocked Tade to the marrow.
The symbol of a cross smashing a skull, with a snake hugging the two objects.
While the symbol was very strange ordinarily, Tade had seen it before. In fact he had seen it recently. It was on the arm of one of the dead ‘robbers’ around Fine Touch Hostel. With what Shade told him about the place, Ortega’s behavior became clear.

Shodipo noticed the shock on Tade’s face. “You mean that you did not know? Like really, what sort of representative are you? I mean, you suppose to assist him in……”

“Class duties, not his personal life.” Tade retorted, angry that Shodipo was linking his responsibilities as a class rep to Ortega’s personal life. Was he trying to rope him into the mess Ortega was in?
“Am sorry, really sorry.” Shodipo said
after noticing how angry Tade looked.

” I just thought you guys were a bit closer. At least you were in the same class.”

“I take it that you know nothing about this then? If you hear anything, call this number.” He scribbled a number on the back of one of the photos. Luckily for Tade, it had the symbol on it. He gave it to Tade. “Sorry again for the way I came at you.” He quickly walked away.
Tade took the picture and looked critically at it. He needed to see Malik
Back in the room, he met only Malik and Andrew, working on their final year projects.

“Malik, how far?”

“I dey oh. This one you come early, wetin happen?”

“Na test jare, we do one small test and essay.”

“Oga o! This your department and essay eh?”

“Na so.”

“So, you no fit greet me.” Andrew spoke from his corner.

“Andrew, how far? Abeg no vex I no see you.” Tade replied.

“Okay oh!” Andrew said, sounding like an overused mop.

“No vex na.” Tade came and tickled Andrew, creating a little playful fight between the duo. Andrew was trying to tickle Tade back, since they were both prone to it, but Tade had the upper hand.

“Oya, Oya, I don give up. Abeg make I do my work.” Andrew gleefully said, prompting Tade to release him. In the process the picture fell down and Andrew spotted it.

“Whose picture is that?” He picked it up.
“Na one picture that Shodipo guy give me.” Tade told him. “I wan show Malik before.”

“Where did he get this? This is a symbol for the Unseen Demons!” Andrew pointed at the exposed hand.
“You know that symbol?” Tade asked. Malik, who had listened to their conversation, then joined.

“The Unseen Demons is supposedly a new cult group in this school, because apart from the Vikings, Aye-Axemen and the dreaded Eiye group, the other well known cults are the Red Axes, Quick Scorpions and the Ravens, who have now joined forces with the Eiye group.”

“However, Andrew jumped in. The Unseen Demons are popular in diabolical Europe, where they hold secret meetings and obtain powers that are not of this world. They are thought to be affiliated with the Free Masons, and you know what that is.”

“Who is on that picture?” Malik asked.

“That’s Ortega, My class representative.” Tade answered. “Shodipo brought it in the hope that I will give some information about Ortega, but sincerely I know close to nothing about him. I could not have imagined that I will be seeing this again.”

“Again? You have seen this before?” Andrew inquired. Tade briefed them on the party and what he saw.

“I have a feeling that Ortega was in that group and they fought with another cult group, probably as a retaliation for something that happened. Now, I believe that the Unseen Demons lost the fight and their members went to hiding, which explains all of Ortega’s behavior.”
Andrew held Tade’s shoulder.

“Be careful, Tade. I will advise that you burn this picture before it falls to the wrong hands. Anyone that sees this will think you are a cultist or you know about Ortega’s whereabouts; you don’t want to be in that situation I can assure you.”

Tade brought out a pen and paper to write down Shodipo’s number. After he was done, he walked outside with a box of match sticks and burned the picture.

“Am done.” He said to no one in particular. Andrew beckoned to him.

“For your safety, don’t tell anyone about this. Not even the other guys. Act like nothing happens and if Shodipo bothers you, threaten to report him to the authorities; he will shut up. For your safety, say nothing.” Andrew advised.

To be continued

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Posts: 101
Joined: Mar 1st, 05:26

Mar 9th, 12:32

Episode 11

Next week went by, with Tade working as the substantive class captain. Ortega’s absence was becoming more evident and worrying, much so as other students and some lecturers started questioning Tade over his disappearance. It was becoming a terribly nauseous hangover of a dream for him, only that in this case it was real. This was no dream.

The last week of lecture came up and everyone temporarily forgot about Ortega, rather focusing on photocopying notes, finishing assignments and rounding up lectures. Some of the lazier students started to show up in class, in a late effort to have some attendance. Tade himself was so worked up that he forgot about Ortega.

Until Ortega showed up on Wednesday, looking ragged and mentally unbalanced. It was the cry of a female student around White Wall that aroused the attention of everyone to Ortega’s re-emergence. The Student Union officers were called and he was been watched by students, who out of sympathy or curiosity looked at who was once an OAU Law student.

As he moved towards the main road leading to the academic section of the university, not up to twenty minutes after his discovery, a fast moving bike drove towards him. The bike was definitely not the commercial type, as its design was more like that of a speed bike. As it drove towards the SUB bus stop, students moved back in a bid not to get hit, giving the occupants of the bike space to see Ortega.

That was a fatal mistake as the bikemen, who wore shaded helmets and other protective clothing, shot Ortega on the head, once they got through, shattering his skull and forcing brain tissue out of his head with a shot gun, before speeding off to the Main gate of the campus, leaving students flying to different directions for safety.
Ortega was dead,and Tade never got to see him.
]Tade was busy making copies of his lecturer’s handout when a student called out to him.

“Ortega is back! He is at SUB!” The student told him as Tade diverted his attention to him.
“When did you see him?”

“I did not see him, Shodipo told me to tell you. He sent me just now.” At the mention of Shodipo’s name, Tade’s stomach churned. He was beginning to dislike the guy. However, he was eager to see Ortega, so he quickly collected the ready-made copies of the handout and headed straight to the place.

As he got to motion ground, he heard the shot.
“What is that?” He asked the unknown student, who looked incredulously at him.

“Its a gun shot, probably those hunters who go after bats.” He turned back towards the road only to see students running around. Tade also noticed the pandemonium and ran towards the scene, fearing for the worst.
He came upon a crowd of student, murmuring silently and some of them looking sorrowfully at the ground, probably at something.

He charged into the crowd and made his way to the front, only to see the scattered brain of Ortega jutting out of his skull.
He immediately went out of the crowd and puked, the image of the remains of Ortega turning him over.
“Are you okay, sir?” A few students asked, two according to his estimate of the number of voices he heard, even though it was one man he saw when he recovered from the irritation and rose his head up.
“Am fine. Just a bit nauseous.” Tade said to the man, looking a bit weary.
“Are you sure that you don’t need a hand? I could help you to a resting position if you wanted.” The man insisted.

Tade looked around and saw people gather round. He decided to leave before he became a spectacle.
“Am okay, sir. Thank you very much.” As he turned to leave the man, he fell down and fainted.
When he came to, he found himself on the hospital bed in the Health Center. Made and the man were staring at him, alongside a lady in white overall, which he later deciphered as a ward coat. He could hear Made asking about his well-being and the lady talking of dehydration. Did he faint or what happened he thought, his mouth conveying his exact thoughts.

“He is awake. I have to observe him for some time. Cynthia, please come and place another drip on him. Can you please wait outside?” She ushered Made and the man out of the place, with a pretty young nurse coming to his ward. Tade laid down again and rested.
The next day being Saturday there was no class so Made was able to bring Shittu and Malik to the ward. Shittu almost caused trouble for the nurses, who did not want overcrowding but the matured way in which Malik handled the situation doused the tension. Tade then told them what happened.

“Ehen? So na so your class captain die be that?” Made asked, looking shocked.
“Na so o! The funny part of it was that it was inside campus, if na town na another issue.”
“Its not the first time dem go kill person for campus, only that e no dey plenty. Malik informed the group. Usually, such stuffs happen in town.”

“Who kill am?” Shittu asked.
“How I go know? Shey I dey there when him pafuka?”
“But e possible say you…..”
“Him no no!” Malik and Made shouted in unison, disturbing other patients.
“Abeg I wan rest, maybe when I recover I go tell you wetin I know.” Tade told the rest, which led to Made to drag Shittu away. However he beckoned on Malik to wait.

“The person was on a speed bike.” He whispered to Malik.
Malik then paused for a minute like he was thinking.

“It must be Dumuje then.” He told Tade.
Malik patted Tade on his head. “Rest well and recover your strength. Remember that next week is lecture free week.” He walked away, smiling at the weakened student.

Lecture free week and exams breezed by for OAU campus, as nothing of note happened save for the few issues of examination malpractice in some courses. Tade himself had obviously recovered and was busying himself with his papers.

It was after one of such papers that Shodipo nosed his way to Tade’s front.
“How far?” He attempted a handshake on Tade with that fake smile beaming brightly like the sun. Tade did not buy into it, however and refuse to shake hands with him.
“What’s wrong with you, bro? You do as if you no know me.” Shodipo said in a mock rastafarian style.

“What do you want?” Tade asked him, obviously uncomfortable with the appearance of the latter.
“I see I am not welcome. Keep your greetings man, keep your greetings.” Shodipo said as he ran after Dumuje,which was a relief for Tade.
On getting to his hostel, he called Salisu to come the next day to take him home. He decide that a change of atmosphere will do and fortunately for him, that was his last paper. He gave out some of his foodstuffs to Malik and Andrew, who were staying behind because of their project, while he kept the provisions in his locker. The next day, Salisu came by and they left for home.

To be continued

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Posts: 101
Joined: Mar 1st, 05:26

Mar 9th, 12:33

Episode 12

Salisu looked at his watch for then umpteenth time. Oga’s wife was still dressing up, quite the annoying situation. He wondered why women in general can’t be exact; its either they want you to be five minutes early or like today,twenty minutes late. He had to bear the insults, which to be fair to her has reduced recently when he comes late, or he has to waste his time when he is early.

Not that he had any choice. In fact, considering the rate of unemployment in this country, he is indeed blessed to have this job. A job pay of 120,000 naira per month, free food and accomodation (which is a boys quarters, not the ‘hut’ used by the gateman), electricity and water bills paid, he was really blessed. He could not remember the last time he really had to ‘hustle’ for a puny wrap of fufu or amala, the food has been sumptuous and never too little, courtesy of his boss wife. He knew, despite his lack of education that many a graduate will jump at the job he has, therefore he protected it with all he had. His boss had often told him that he was still around because he was part of the family, even though the first son Andrew, who has died was older than him.

Which brought him to his current thoughts. He had initially planned to save enough money to go to school, maybe even up to Diploma level or something from the tertiary institution; so as to secure a ‘better’ job, that was if there was anything called a better job at the moment. He wanted his children to have the kind of life he saw his boss kids enjoy, even if it was a shade of it.
Then Andrew entered the university and changed. Changed so badly that it disrupted what was a blissful marriage and made a nightmare, with parents having frightful fears for their kid, while Andrew carried on with his stubbornness.

At the end, Andrew was killed in what was an attack by the cultists he was trying to defeat. It broke his parents heart and with it, the marriage. Seeing all of this stunted Salisu’s faith in education, and so he stopped bothering about it until now.
Clara suddenly came out, asking him to start the car immediately. Her presence was now becoming another distraction to him, as he soaked up her beauty. Despite the facts that she has two grown up kids and she was clocking fifty, Salisu could still try and woo her. Of course, the consequences of either success or failure was too much for him to handle. After all, this was a boss who had entrusted him with some much, even as much as his wife who he had not touched for a long time. Salisu was not in the know about how their relationship had gone, but he knew that s-x was lacking, not because their hormones had paused; it was more because of the unseen lack of affection they had for each other.
Seeing her reminded him that he was a fully grown man and that he had to ‘fire’ his frustrations at a woman, both of them been n.aked of course. He loved rough s-x and Shukurat, the groundnut seller will soon show up.

She was the main recipient of his sexual urges, even though she always protests before the act.
“Salisu! What are you doing?” He just realised that he had been standing since like forever, leading to Clara being in an angry mood. He quickly apologised to her and started the car, driving her quickly towards her workplace.

Fifteen minutes later he came back, driving like a mad man. He had taken shortcuts on the road at dazzling speeds that Clara was beginning to suspect that something ulterior was on his mind. In fact if that was the first time he drove her, she would have been afraid that she was about to be kidnapped. He was not bothered anyway, his attention was only on the mounting ‘attention’ he was having and a soft, soothing fresh he had to plunder.
As he was about to enter the room, Tade called him.
“If that groundnut seller comes, call her for me.” Salisu nodded his head. Tade looked at him half-suspiciously. “Why are you shaking like a cold dog in harmattan? Ki lo she yin?” ( What is wrong with you?). Salisu realised that he was getting agitated, quickly calmed himself down.
“Nothing sir.” He answered, almost choking himself.
“Okay. If you have an health problems tell dad, he can sort you out. ”
“Okay sir.” Tade entered back into the house,leaving Salisu to walk back to his lodge
“If its because of that girl, then just be careful. If she breaks a bone, its none of our business.” Tade spoke from the window. Salisu looked back and felt like swearing for him. If not situation, will he be speaking to him like that?
“Mstcheww!” He hissed at him as someone knocked on the door.

To be continued

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