• His storm troopers scared the ‘hail’ out of my son
“Daddy, daddy, come and see Jihadi John. He is in our room. He is in our parlour,” Junior said as he ran into our bedroom. Panting. Jihadi John inside our room? Inside our parlour? How come?
Jihadi John? The one that we had seen, in a bloody and chilling video produced and posted by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), in 2014, beheading, in a gruesome manner, Peter Edward Kassig, the American aid worker known as Abdul-Rahman Kassig? Jihadi John? The one who had earlier beheaded James Foley and Steven Sotloff (two American journalists), also in gory manner?
What is he doing in my house, I found myself asking curiously as Junior dragged me, sheepishly, by the right hand to go ‘see’ (meet with?) him in our living room. Jihadi John, the one that turned the Word upside down in Dabiq and Raqqa by snuffing dear life out of my fellow journalists? But I thought they said he had been eliminated in a drone attack by American-backed forces? So, what is he doing in my house? What is he doing in my parlour of all places? Has he come thither also to torment us journalists? Or, was it his ghost that Junior was seeing? Those were the questions I found myself asking as Junior dragged me to go see things for myself.
You could imagine my disappointment when I got to the parlour and there was no Jihadi John anywhere. Instead, I saw a hooded figure that looked like him on Channels TV, being harangued by Boma Goodhead, a member of House of Representatives. But he was not talking but stood like one of those statues that Governor Rochas Okorocha moulded in Owerri municipal council. Who knows, he or his ex-boss, Lawal Musa Daura, may likely be the next statue to be built by Okorocha for posterity.
READ ALSO: Lawal Daura: The inside story
As you rightly might have guessed, I was livid with anger as I found out that the ‘Jihadi John’ that Junior was talking was on TV and not in our living room as I had supposed. I was really relieved though to find that it was all drama, not the real deal. To crown it all, the ‘Jihadi John’ was being addressed, being talked to in stern manner, by Boma Goodhead, not Badhead. Otherwise, someone’s head would have started rolling on the ground a long time ago before I arrived the scene. Good or bad head, it does not really matter!
“Where is the Jihadi John you said is in our parlour?” I queried Junior. “Ah, ah, Daddy, see am now. It is on our TV.” Which TV? “But you said he was in our parlour?,” I added, more angry than surprised. “Ah, ah, Daddy, daddy, is the TV not in our parlour?” Ignoring his annoying rhetorical question, I remarked that the hooded figures that I was looking at, at that moment, were more than one. So they couldn’t have been ‘Jihadi John’. “Then they are ISIS because they covered their faces with black cloth,” Junior interjected while searching my face to see how I feel. “Na lie,” countered his younger sister, “Daddy, they are Boko Haram.”
READ ALSO: The ISIS threat alert
Sh, sh, sh, shut up your mouths, two of you, I said. “What do you know about ISIS? And what do you know about Boko Haram? Have you seen them before? Do you know what they look like?”
“Yes now, Daddy,” Junior cut in. “We know what they look like. We always see them on TV. They wear black on black and they always cover their faces so that no one can see them. That’s why I believe that these ones that I am seeing here are either ISIS or Boko Haram.”
“No, they don’t look like them,” his sister interrupted. “They look like Ekpo, Mmanwu, Ojuju Calabar or Egungun.” Shut up, I bellowed. “What do you know about all these creatures that you are talking about?”
“Ah, ah, Daddy, we know now. We used to see them on the road, moving about with canes. We also used to see them on Eyo Day and also on TV.” But mid-way through his talk, Junior, left me, his sister and ran out of the house. Pointing at Channels TV, he cried out. “Daddy, run o; they are coming this way.”
“Junior, come here. What the heck is all this nonsense?” At this juncture, I discovered that I was talking to myself. My boy just scrammed out of the house and kept running as if he was being pushed by thousand demons. He ran out. Still panting. “I won’t let them get me. I won’t let them capture me and kill me. No be me and you, Daddy. I am running away from the house.”
“Junior, I say come here. This is not Jihadi John. And, definitely, these are not ISIS and Boko Haram fighters. These are DSS (Directorate of State Security) operatives.”
“Are they mourning?”
“No,” I replied.
“Then why are they in black on black?”
“Maybe they are mourning the loss of the National Assembly lawmaking body to PDP lawmakers especially now that President Bukola Olusola Saraki and many APC lawmakers both in the Senate and House of Representatives have defected to PDP.”
“Then I am going to call Acting President Osibade to call them to order. I used to hail them before now for helping to arrest many of the Boko Haram insurgents and to spoil their plans. Now they have scared that ‘hail’ out of me.
“Sorry, Junior, what did you just say? You called the Acting President “Osibade”. I thought his name is Osinbajo”.
“Both names are correct,” he said. “At least, he has not come out to deny that that is not his name since our President called him by that name. So, as far as I am concerned, he is both Osibade and Osinbajo.”
And, with that he picked his phone and started dialing a number he said is connected to Aso Rock. He was going to ask the Acting President to call the Director-General of Di Ex Ex (DSS?) to order because his storm troopers are giving him nightmare, he vowed. Brothers and Sisters in Crisis, could it be that call that led to Daura’s sack?