By: Chinedum Emmanuel
-Inspired by Actual events-
The fierce looking men grabbed Amaka, flinging her bible away into the bush. They quickly tied her mouth with a dirty rag and poured a whitish substance into her eyes which made her pass out immediately. They hurdled her into the car booth and drove away in great speed raising so much dust that could make someone blind immediately; causing the grasses beside the roadside weep bitterly.
After driving for almost 30minutes they arrived in a mud house with a thatched roof located in an abandoned area. They climbed down in a hurry with two men positioning themselves in strategic places in the compound, armed to the teeth. Two other men opened the car booth and dragged Amaka’s fragile body with one holding her on her hands and the other on her legs. They carried her into the stuffy room hosting other captives and laid her roughly in one corner of the room; satisfied, they left.
Three hours later, Amaka woke up from her artificial slumber and coughed roughly causing the other unfortunate captives gaze at her like morons. She scratched her eyes sleepily and at the same time wondered what caused her current change of environment. With so much effort, she sat up and a sharp pain crossed through her back, she let out a cry painfully, and balanced herself on the wall. She turned and saw the occupants of her new environment. She couldn’t recognize any of them; then, reality dawned on her. She had been kidnapped.
Her weak memory reloaded in bits and bits all that happened to her a while ago replayed. she remembered leaving home around 6am for her usual morning preaching known as “morning cry”;and after preaching, started walking back home before seeing a car approaching her. A man alighted from the car asking her directions to a particular place and before she could talk; she felt a hand grab her from her waist, she screamed. That was all she could remember.
After recounting all these, she wanted to cry, but she never did. Faith from her inner being took over her giving her hope that her God is alive and has promised to always save her in time of trouble and difficulty.
The door creaked open and three women carrying trays of food approached them. They started sharing the food to the hungry captives who scrambled for it as if their whole life depended on it. Amaka watched with weak dreamy eyes, trying to comprehend what’s going on around her.
“Girl! Collect this thing from my hand!” The middle aged woman sharing the food barked at poor Amaka. Amaka gazed at her absentmindedly.
In anger, the woman kicked her roughly and poured the food on her body. The other inmates stared with mouth agape in dismay and disbelieve. They felt pity for her.
Amaka couldn’t hold back the tears, she wept.
A fellow inmate crawled to her corner, consoled her and shared some of her food with her.
“Stop crying, that’s how they behave; I believe God will surely punish them one day.” the little inmate consoled.
“Thanks for your care” Amaka said and sniffed.
“I am Ngozi”
“I am Amaka”.
After eating they lay back recounting their lives before they came to the kidnappers den. Unlike Amaka, Ngozi was on an excursion trip with her classmates before the kidnappers attacked them and took her away.
“…I have been here for over three weeks now, and since then; they have executed over fifty captives…” Ngozi narrated.
“…Fifty captives!”Amaka shouted in total disbelief.
“… Hmm I just pray we’ll never be among them one day.”Ngozi said and sighed weakly. Amaka was short of words, she relaxed on the wall thinking of what next to do. Prayer came to her mind; but her flesh was very unwilling, she felt very weak and exhausted; her body was heavy and dry.
“You have to pray…”The little soft voice of the Holy Spirit ministered to her soul. She adjusted weakly and whispered to Ngozi who was drifting to sleep.
“Wake up lets pray…”
Ngozi blinked sleepily and murmured. Amaka dragged her up and seized her hands, closed her eyes and flowed in different words of prayer and supplication. They prayed and prayed; and to their wildest amazement, nobody complained , not even the capturers.
The next morning, the kidnappers came to their camp and took twenty captives away. They cried and cried but there was no one to rescue them; Amaka and her new inmate friend pitied them and prayed a miracle would happen but they were disappointed. They curled into their corner and cried like never before; thereafter they consoled themselves with words of prayer. Minutes later, they noticed a little girl crying beside them; they consoled her as she narrated her version of the kidnap story. She concluded her story of pity with the last words; ’they took away my mother…’
Ngozi and Amaka tried to tell her that Jesus saves but she never listened, she said that God has forsaken her; they pestered on her but she never believed them. In her plight and stubbornness, she left them and walked away. The two friends nodded their heads in pity and left her to her unfortunate fate.
Two days gone, God was still to decide their fate in the den of kidnappers. However, the two determined girls seized the opportunity to draw the captives closer to Christ; teaching them that God is their only escape route. Through their teachings many captives accepted Jesus Christ to be their Lord and personal savior. Many people believed and were given a new hope in Christ Jesus.
Then, a fateful day came; a day of liberation, a day of judgment, a day of payback. The remaining captives were waking up from sleep in their weak styles when a properly dressed man walked majestically into the hall.
He began to inspect everyone one by one. He arrived to the centre of the poor inmates and addressed them thus;
“If you want to be saved, pack your things and follow me!” he commanded. Silent took over the whole camp. Everyone gazed at him not knowing what to do. Amaka calmed down to hear the voice that always speaks to her. Then the word came…’ never go with him!’ Without wasting time, she called Ngozi and told her what her mind was telling her. Ngozi agreed to obey the tiny little voice.
Minutes later, one quarter of the captives sheepishly followed their assumed rescuer. Ngozi and Amaka stayed back with their back rested on the wall.
‘Aren’t you going with them?” The man asked them and laughed mischievously. The remaining captives nodded in decline and bent their heads. The man left and locked the door firmly behind his back.
“What if they are been set free?” Ngozi asked.
“Don’t doubt the Holy spirit.”Amaka responded and silence ensued, because they are the only ones left in the captive hall.
Hours later, Amaka and Ngozi lay weakly on the bare cemented floor tired, hungry and exhausted.
“What if we die of hunger?” Ngozi asked in a discouraged tone and sniffed.
“Nothing will happen to us; I pray and believe we’ll come out here victorious.” Amaka responded and cuddled her like an elder sister.
Afternoon came and passed with no event. Then, night set in; the famished children yawned hungrily crying to God in dried tears for a savior, for a helper, for a genuine rescuer at this awkward moment of their lives. The door opened and a woman came in with a broom, probably to sweep the hall for the next inmates to set in.
“Heh! Una still de here? She screamed surprisingly at them. She walked slowly to their position to make sure her eyes are not deceiving her.
Amaka looked at her and recognized her immediately; she was the woman who poured the hot rice on her 48 hours ago. Her stomach grumbled and she yawned again.
“I know say na you weh go remain here. You’re stubborn too much. I see am for your eyes that day they bring una here.’ She continued, referring to Amaka.
The children gazed at her in silence, thinking what her next action will be.
“… And who be dis one who dey with you eh?’ She said kicking Ngozi at her backside. Ngozi wriggled and gazed her scornfully. She wondered why a woman could be so hostile to her fellow gender.
“Why you chose follow this stubborn girl the suffer for here, while una mate don waka commot eeh? Anyways I go do my work leave una, Na my oga weh go sabi wetin go happen to una….’ She concluded and commenced sweeping the stench filled hall. She swept tirelessly for thirty minutes releasing so much dust and dirt into the already polluted air making the children cough toxically.
After sweeping she left the hall door half open and walked out of the hall in calculated steps. The kids were very tired and weak to move an inch. They continued rendering their supplications in their little heart, asking God for mercy and escape route.
Later on, the same woman came to them with a plate of roasted yam and palm oil. She passed it to them and walked away; uttering no word. The kids mopped at the food for some minutes, prayed and afterwards descended on it like angry bears. To their dismay; they finished eating, slept off and woke up the next morning feeling strengthened.
“Amaka what really happened?’ Ngozi asked her, stretching her bones, which cried out
“I don’t know. I guess we finished eating and slept off.’ Amaka responded and glanced at the door. To their wildest surprise it was open. NO HINDRANCE!
“Oh my Goooood….! The door is open!” Ngozi yelled and rushed towards the door but Amaka called her back.
“See Ngozi, this is not a play matter. You don’t what this people are up to. This may be trap to get us out.” Amaka insinuated. Ngozi quickly pondered on what her friend just said and nodded sorrowfully. They sat down weakly again. But then, smoke oozed into the hall slowly.
They observed the sudden scenario for a minute, sprang up and headed for the door without been told. Getting to the door, they met a staircase with two slides, one leading downstairs and the other leading upstairs.
“The smoke is coming from the up… Can’t you see?” Amaka said pointing at the dark coated ceiling. Ngozi raised her head and nodded fearfully. She was so terrified. ‘What are we going to do now? She muttered.
“This way!” Amaka commanded pointing downstairs. She took off and Ngozi trailed behind her, her heart pounding like a miserable pestle pounding the heap of Fofo in a weak mortal. They moved down the dirty staircase littered with cigarettes particles and sachets of half smoked Indian hemp in calculated steps. At last, they arrived at the last stair stop and gasped. It was an underground building.
“Amaka, we’re finished, it’s an Underground!” Ngozi exclaimed.
“Ngozi! We are not finished. God’s with us okay.” Amaka calmly objected.
They strutted into the final floor and met the unbelievable! The bare head of the woman who fed them lay there with the body removed.
“Jesus!” Both of them screamed in unison closing their eyes. Like flash they speed off to upstairs clashing at each other countless times. At last they came out of the kidnapper’s den to meet the shocker of their life… They were apparently stuck in a thick forest covered with so many tall trees. Thick Smoke covered the entire cloud.
“Amaka we’re stuck! What are going to do?” Ngozi yelled pitifully. She has totally lost hope of getting out from the menace they’re into.
“We are safe in Christ” Amaka replied to her deepest amazement.
“Are you crazy? What did you just say? Ngozi yelled back in annoyance.
“This way!” Amaka ordered like a possessed instructor. She led the way and Ngozi hesitated for some seconds staring at her mate who kept running deep into the forest. She looked around her surrounding and fearfully followed suit. They ran for almost thirty minutes and arrived at a small bridge made with local wood and palm fronds.
Not knowing what else to do, they squat down breathing heavily.
“Amaka I don’t understand this whole thing anymore, you could’ve allowed me to join the other inmates, who are already on a safe side now.” Ngozi complained.
“What if I prove you wrong?’
“What exactly are you insinuating?’ Ngozi fired back.
“Take a look” Amaka replied, pointing at the far end of the valley in which the bridge is situated. Ngozi rolled her eyes to the exact direction she pointed at.
Shocked beyond words, she stood up and gazed at the scary scenario; she covered her eyes and wept.
“Have you seen it, they all perished in fatal auto crash. Still not enough, they all corroded in an unfortunate inferno. Had it been they had listened? Had it been they waited? Had…had….had..i..it..” She couldn’t withhold the tears anymore. Ngozi embraced her and wept bitterly.
“Amaka thank you for saving me.. Thank you Thank you so much. If not for you I would’eve perished with that little girl. Thank you….” Ngozi muttered and wept.
“its okay girls you’re on the safe side now.” A voiced echoed from behind.
It was the police. The siren was heard from afar approaching them.
“Are you okay?” The police man uttered again, touching them calmly.
“We want to go home…” the girls cried out…
All copyrights reserved
Chinedum Emmanuel C.