1 June, 2020
SPECIAL CRIMES Episode 01
It’s so unfortunate that the days we map out as special days are also days that horrific incidents take place. The fact is, as we get so engrossed with the events that take place on special days, some psychopaths and sociopaths take advantage of our distractions.
My name is Mustapha, I come from the Northern part of Nigeria. I am 27 years old, a graduate of Economics but currently hiding in my village because of fear of death. My fear is as a result of what I witnessed last year when I was a youth coper serving in one of the most rural villages in the middle belt. On the 26th of May 2019, I fell ill, I was so weak that I slept till 27th. As I woke up, I checked the time, it was 12:15 pm. I quickly brushed my teeth, took my bath and went outside to check on some of my fellow copers. I noticed that there was nobody in the Copers lodge. They had all gone to the local government to watch children display, after all it was children’s day. Everywhere was so quiet that I could hear my own heart beat. A state of silence I had never noticed since I started serving in the community. I decided to take a stroll to the village palm fruit plantation situated two kilometers away, where palm trees are planted side by side in a well arranged order. Birds squirrels and other tree animals dwell there and as soon as one gets there, one disconnects from the realities of life and immediately connects with nature. I was enjoying this sweet communion with nature when all of a sudden, a munching sound from a nearby bush called me back to reality. I paused, then picked a long stick thinking that it was a bush animal enjoying a palatable kill. It would be fun to kill a bush animal you know, so I can get to show off my hunting skills when my colleagues return
, this could earn me some bragging right, I thought. The sound came louder, this time showing that the action was intense and passionate. “This isn’t a grass cutter eating” I said to myself. But what could it be? I quickly remembered how I had caught many young boys and girls who usually chose the bush to explore their sexual fantasies. “Yes” I concluded in my mind then repositioned to blow the whistle as usual. I maintained a stealthy approach, tip toeing towards the increasing sound. On reaching the scene, my eyes widened, fear melted my bones as I saw an old woman munching the flesh of a school child. I gasped in fear which alerted her of my presence. She raised her face to see me. She paused, then giggled as blood dripped down her lips. Goose bumps saturated my body. She left her meal, casting a fierce look at me like a lion about to pounce on a prey, I shivered and the stick in my hand became light. She repositioned, slowly moving her head in a calculated way. Suddenly and violently she shouted in a strange tone and widened her arms ready for an attack. Instantly, I knew my life was on the line but I couldn’t run either, I felt my legs won’t move if I tried. In a blink, she dived at me, I hit her, she retreated. She roared and dived at me again, I hit her down, then maintained a continuous hit on her head as blood spattered on my face. I kept hitting her until she went cold. When I noticed she had gone cold, I stopped, then continued hitting her again until I was sure that she had no life in her. I stopped, starring at her and panting heavily. Gradually my breathe began to normalise. The whole event came to me like a flash, more like I was dreaming. After few minutes of normalised breathing, I looked at the woman’s body again and realisation set in. I recognised her immediately. She was a woman considered to be a dunce in the community. She was usually neglected because of her imbecilic dispositions. And I wondered. How did such woman who was always dirty and slow in movement get into cannibalism? How did the lethargic woman get so energetic to grab a child, devouring with such intensity? How did she also get energy to attack me? If I wasn’t with a stick thinking it was a wild animal, maybe I wouldn’t be the one telling this story, maybe the story wouldn’t have been heard at all. Such energy and disposition wasn’t just something that came, she had learnt it overtime, I thought.
Suddenly a shout interrupted my thoughts. I turned, gripping my stick. This time I was ready for any attack not minding if I would go down with the attacker. The shout increased, I stretched my neck only to see a boy of about 10 years old on torn school uniform running towards me and crying in a voice which portrayed nothing short of distress. As he approached me, I stretched my stick towards him, signaling him to halt because I had learnt a while ago not to throw caution in the wind as everything is never as it seems. I watched him closely in readiness of an attack, then he began to narrate in tears, how an old woman chased him with a knife a while ago. I discovered he was just a child who would have been a victim, I grabbed his hand and we ran out. We ran straight to the village police station and I reported the development. Initially, the police thought the little boy and I were insane, the story sounded rather ridiculous anyway so I could understand their position, but when we all visited the scene and they saw the woman’s body and the half eaten child beside her, they were stunned. The villagers couldn’t believe their eyes either. Such cannibalism was only seen in horror movies. It was the first of it’s kind to be seen physically around here. Investigation followed up immediately and it was discovered that three pupils disappeared that day and over 11 pupils had disappeared in the community over the past 3 years, mainly on children’s day. Henceforth, the incident kept the community at alert on special days.
Within two days, I became popular as a coper who had conquered a cannibal and rescued a child. In the evening of the third day being 30th of May, I received a strange message from an unknown number which read “You must die. Your flesh will make a good dinner” I froze in fear and confusion loomed in my imagination. Without showing the message to any of my fellow copers, I ran to the police station. On reaching there, I showed them the message and they froze in shock. Immediately, they knew that the incident was orchestrated by a group of people who had eyes in the community. It wasn’t the old woman alone who was into it. My stay in the community would be a risk. That night in the police station, I walked restlessly in the D.P.O’s office, sweating with fear and panic. I told them that I would like to leave the community immediately. They knew my life was at stake and the best thing was to stay off the environment while they investigate the horrific crime. Without debate, they facilitated my movement and the next day, two of their men escorted me to my state and told me that they would cover and protect my identity. They promised to reach my zonal inspector and make sure I get represented until I pass out. It was the first time I began to respect and trust the Nigerian police. However, Since then, I have been in my village,thinking and living in fear, gradually falling bit by bit into depression. It’s 2nd February today and the police called to inform me that one of the perpetrators was been caught in the act. He got arrested, but swore not to disclose the identity of his members. A good news you would think, my spirit should be uplifted. But for some reason, a fresh wave of fear enveloped me. What if the other members knew me already, what if they had kidnapped my room mate and forced him to disclose my location? Or worse still, what if their powerful members are working with the corrupt officers inside the police station? That would mean I’m already exposed and even here is no longer safe. Immediately I felt my fears rise to the ceiling as hot sweats descended down my pale skin. Suddenly, my phone rang…