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[Delta State University, OLEH Campus, off Campus axis]

It’s an early hour of the day as only few vehicles were passing and Man ‘O’ War Nig. Delsu Command B continued with their jogging. Their feet that were covered with boots hit the ground uniformly like the sound of racing horses while their voices continued to rent the air with their gyrations.

 “Oshobe! Eh Oshobe! Eh! Morale! High! Morale! High!.” Their thick bass voices rent the air, except for the few female among them that were singing soprano notes amidst them. Their boot continued to create beat for their songs which was now sounding pleasant to the ear. It was Joshua’s turn to sing and he raised his voice high;

“Mama no dey oh Papa no dey oh! If you want to kille me kill me make I die I will never run away from Man ‘O’ War.” Others joined the song with high morale, while whistles run scales through at intervals. Vehicles had no choice but to reduce their speed each time they want to cross as they stormed the road fearlessly as if the cars will crumble if there happened to be a coincidental collision between them.

After some hours they were in front of an entrance with the inscription *Delta State University, OLEH Campus.* They matched in with their normal gyrations and demonstrations. They continued like they weren’t getting tired. They jogged off till they got to their base where different kind of training facilities has being established. The  squad  formation used has being dismissed and re-formed into a semi circle formation. Priiiiiinng the whistle went to draw their attention. “Commander on deck, All stand still. Morning sir!” A guy whose name is Joshua shouted. Joshua happens to be the 2iC and the thus the second highest in rank. After the completion of the payment of compliments to the commandant, the squad stood at ease. A short briefing was done by the commandant in the military manner and the squad proceeded into drills and subsequently combat training. It was really an awesome sight to behold as young and able men and women fought and defended themselves while lifting those heavy combat boots. You may wonder why they get involved in such when they are not soldiers. In most Nigerian universities, law and other is nothing to write home about as cultists do not obey  law and have kept order as slaves to avoid intimidation Man ‘O’ War has taken its upon itself to train its members to stand up to prevail Justice and fight back it course when oppresion is attempted.

In a couple of hours the squad was dismissed and after some words with the commandant Joshua was on his way home. As he heads towards the Old Emede road off campus axis. Few steps away from the school gate he attempted waving a bike down when the ‘Battle cry(cover) by Kelz Nena) sounding from his phone constrained him. He reached out for the phone and slide the screen part of the screen touch LG up to receive the call. “Hello mum.” He said and the caller responded from the other end. They continued chatting, after he was through with his call, he realized he was sixty percent done with his journey so he just decided to jog it down.

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      Joshua the only son of his mother grew up to a life of poverty and emptiness. Growing up all he had was his mum, he never bothered till he was a boy of six and he asked his mum  why it is that he doesn’t have someone to call Daddy. “Momma!” He said as he sat down in front of her on a wooden box. “Yes! My dear. She responded. Momma. He continued I see and hear other children call people their daddy but I have not seen my Daddy. Mummy don’t I have a Daddy?” He asked. Mrs. Arube countenance fell and her eyes became teary. As the first drop of tests  escaped the glimpse of her eye leads Joshua the boy of six asked. “Momma are you crying?” Her mom immediately dried her eyes and gave a reassuring smile.

“No am not, I sliced onion before you came into the kitchen.” She lied. Though she sliced onion, that wasn’t the reason for her tears.

Joshua. She called. “Yes Mom. When you are ready and grown I will answer you, but for now don’t bring it up again. Okay?” She asked. “Yes momma.” He answered with a nod of his head.               “Now run along, go and join your mates on the field.” That was decades ago. When Joshua was man enough his mum narrated to him how his dad got missing and was never found. According to her, it was during some days after the birth of Joshua. Mr. Arube being a fisherman travels far away from his crop farmer wife to the riverine regions of Delta State for periodical fishing trips. It was in one of this fishing adventures he went on for two weeks before the delivery day. After the delivery, a message was sent to Mr. Arube that his wife has given birth to a bouncing baby boy. Oko his partner called out to him in the cold night breeze while he sat down with fire in his front. Eh! Mr. Arube answered his just arriving friend. who made to join him at the fire stand.

“Guess what.” he said, as he sat down.

“You swam all the way through the river.” Mr. Arube guessed. “No, not at all. You wife has given birth. You are not serious! As he jerks from his seat.”

” Oko tell me something.” He asked almost seizing his shirt to his neck. “Yes I am. You are a true son of your father, it was a male.” Mr. Arube jumped up. After bragging about, he went inside to bring some fresh fish for roasting as a form of celebration.

Early the next morning there were thunder clapping, lighting striking and a heavy downpour. Mr. Arube and his friend Oza were arguing as Oza refrained him from traveling through the river with the unsafe weather conditions. Oko he called him. “I know your wife just delivered and you can’t wait to see her and your new born baby, but keep your mind on check.” He concluded. He went back inside the small hut. At about 8am the rain and thunderstorms have not subsided. He could not contain himself again he left the hut with his luggage and fishes and headed for the pier. If only I knew that would be the last time I would see my childhood best friend I would have stopped by him by all means. Oza narrated when Joshua’s mum took Joshua to him for a first hand story.

He didn’t jog more than a few meters before he got to his lodge. As he entered, he walked past someone at the gate and they exchanged pleasantries. He got in showered, ate and slept off later. Later in the day, chioma came. After hours of chatting and laughing he saw her off and branched a sportin center to watch Premier League match. It was about 8:30pm that he returned and was about entering his lodge gate that a car ran some yards past him. The speed caught his attention. Skweuuuuuuu the all tinted Toyota rav 4 Range Rover screeched and came to a sudden halt and about 6 masked gentle brothers jumped out with oaded firearms…


What happened …

To be continued……..

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