The Omuha Fraternity

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Mrs Obaniko detested her husband.
Senator Afiang Obaniko held her husband of over thirty years in very low esteem.

He had given up on life. Gone were the days of vibrance. He had lost his edge. He seemed content to sleep and then awaken. Eat, drink and work out. In between, read a book or two and then some news.

He, in her opinion, was a shadow of his potential.
He seemed to have embraced a stunning depth of lack of ambition. He seemed to be content with bare minimum.

Unfortunately, Dr. Ochiwar Obaniko did not care about her opinions. Or anyone else’s for that matter.

Consequently the relationship was precariously perched at the edge of a sheer cliff. It was a matter of time.

So when Java did not come home the night before, another decrepit pillar of their relationship was on the verge of collapse.

He was late… As usual.

He could perceive her signature fragrance from inside the elevator of the police force headquarters. She was the only woman he knew with a penchant for male perfumes.

Her aides, assistants and security respectfully stood and bowed as he sauntered into the office of the Inspector General of Police.

Her voice was elevated.
She was stressed and afraid. It was understandable, Java, their daughter was an only child. She was not just the apple of their eyes, she was Ochiwar’s life.¬† She had been missing for a little over twenty four hours.

The perpetrators had called the house. The Butler said they wanted a ransom of one million dollars. In small unmarked bills of course.

His wife was livid and incensed. The money was not the issue, somehow though it was his fault.
Java was twenty years old. In the country on holiday. She was busy in the Senate ironing out national policies, where was he when this happened?

Her sour disposition did not help the situation. The I. G of police was already beleaguered by a myriad of official problems. He did not need a senator of the federal republic complicating his already complicated life. And so when Dr. Ochiwar walked in, he naturally preferred the man’s mild – mannered disposition.

His wife’s brothers and sisters were unfortunately present too. The cacophonous racket they were raising was as useful as Jack Daniels to a newborn baby.

Everyone was stymied. The situation was hopeless. A notorious gang of kidnappers had been terrorising the town for about a year now. The victims were usually killed anyway. Ransom paid or not. Java was as good as dead. The time line for the cash drop expired in three hours.

Senator Afiang increasingly grew incensed as she observed her husband marooned on his phone. Seemingly less than a hundred percent present.

“who the hell are you talking to at this time? What could be more important than your missing child? Your only daughter?! Can’t your whores wait?” Her flawless diction and accent-less phonetics empowered her words not only to hurt, but also to emasculate.

As if to further provoke her, his rather immature ringtone shattered the dead silence her cruel words had created.

Dr. Obaniko calmly picked up the phone,

“Do you know who I am?” He almost whispered into his mobile phone.

“I am reborn” He continued with his eyes closed.

“I will pay the ultimate price. My rights will not be usurped.”

The room was silent as he nodded intermittently listening to the voice on the other end. As he listened, tears escaped his closed eyes and trickled down his roguishly handsome face.
Everyone present knew that the call had to do with Java. No one interrupted. They hung on every word propagated by his strained, cultured voice.

He ended the call and slowly extracted an excessively white handkerchief which he proceeded to use to wipe his tears and noiselessly blow his nose.

He arose slowly and approached the I.G’s desk, he leaned over and rhetorically said,

“Do you know who I am? I am War!”

Then he proceeded to tell a suddenly very suspiciously docile  I. G of police the precise location where his daughter was being held.
He disclosed the number of people within a twenty meter radius of his daughter and the sort of weapons they were carrying.

As soon as he was done talking, the I. G barked some orders into an intercom.
He jumped up and left his own office running, screaming instructions as sirens instantly
began wailing outside in the car park.

Dr. Obaniko left the office and his wife behind without a backward glance. She called out after him gently. He paid no heed to her or anyone else. His personal assistant rushed towards him offered her shoulders as support. He was suddenly limping, sniveling and profusely weeping.

Senator Afiang and her entourage got to their fifteen bedroom mansion an hour later. Her sirens afforded her preferential treatment on the roads.

Java ran out of the door into the arms of her mother and extended family.

Inexplicably, she was set free. Her kidnappers suddenly began to disagree. Fatally so. Ultimately her captors fell upon each other with knives, furniture and theirs truly in paranoia and rage. The last one alive had hoarsely told her to go home. She had driven back in her own hitherto carjacked Nissan 370z.

Dr. Obaniko arrived an hour later. Father and daughter clung to each other and wept.

Less than a month later, Java returned back to Cyprus to continue her second degree.

Dr. Obaniko was suddenly appointed as the minister of petroleum by the president.

The governor of his state reached out in fellowship and within twenty-four hours, their newly incorporated company was awarded an oil block, complete with licenses and perpetual tenuity.

Chevron and Shell simultaneously conferred on him the title of “Goodwill Ambassador”. Each multinational paid him an annual honorarium of half a million dollars each.

He accepted every offer with humility, grace and charisma.

Before he could assume office as the honourable minister of petroleum, he was forced to accept the position of senator representing his federal constituency.

It was only fair because the senator representing that constituency died suddenly. She was fatally stabbed and shot whilst on her way to a meeting within her constituency.
As her husband, the Senate, her constituency, her governor and the powers that be unanimously deemed it fair that he should complete her remaining seven years in office.

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Dance With My Father

I laid my head on his broad chest, my arms around his muscular torso.

I felt his large hand ‘gently’ thumping my uncovered back, the space between my neck and where my wedding gown began.

Luther Vandross’, “Dance With My Father Again” was aptly playing through the monstrous sound systems DJ Snap had brought for my wedding.

From my peripheral, I could see Antoine standing close to mum. He looked unsure, it was his wedding day, yet his father in-law got the first dance… hahaha…

My mum looked on tolerantly… I guess the years had taught them all not to come between this daughter and her father.

As the song ended, he pulled away and gently kissed my forehead. He was still as handsome as always. Athletic too.
He wore his Armani tuxedo like second skin.

My father… El Presidento! I mean that literally, my dad is Mr President.

He has remained unchanged physically for as long as I can remember. It’s so bad that trash-talker’s have branded him a vampire. Some say he is a shape-shifter.
There is talk of his affiliation with The Watchers and some say even The Illuminati… Well…

I tend to agree… In a way…

Back then he drove a pearl green Nissan Pathfinder. I was maybe four years old.

He has always driven us to school. For as long as I can remember, on my way to school, dad and I always sang and prayed and talked and played every school day. He loved us unreservedly.

That morning, he wore black jeans under a flowing white jelabia (traditional native dress). Everything was normal. I was seated at the back and screaming songs as they played off his CD player.

We got to school and he parked across the building along the street.

As always he would clown a bit before opening the door behind the drivers seat to let me out.

School was for 8 am. But dad was always there by 7 am. I was usually the first student to school.

He was standing out there and making faces at me through the window when suddenly a car hit him.

It seemed to have come from nowhere. I screamed as his body was tossed in the air and then he hit the asphalt before rolling towards the other side of the street.

l looked and saw his white jelabia suddenly turn crimson with blood and dirty brown from dust, mud and dirt.

He was not moving.

I remember screaming “Papa!”… “Papa!!”

I can’t remember how long I screamed and cried. But it was a while.

The engine was still idling, music and the air-conditioning still on. I was frightened and confused.

Suddenly there was a ‘ratatat’ on the window and I whipped towards it, my hands wiping tears from my eyes.

My dad stood by the window.

He looked different. Like a good ghost. He was still dressed the same way, but he was a sparkling white.

I looked past him to where his body had fallen…he was still lying down there immobile.

Even though I was young, I knew this was not a good sign. So I tried to open the door to get to him… To them? It would not open… (Child lock).

Ratatat…

I looked up at dad’s ghost… He was pointing at something in front like on the seat. I slid toward the front and climbed into the drivers seat looking frantically about. I could not see anything he would want.

Ratatat…

I looked… He was by the drivers side window now still pointing… Toward the other seat?

Then I got it… His phone!

I snatched it up and held it toward his ghost… And he rewarded me with a wan smile.
But my face fell as he held up his hand… His usual gesture that meant, ‘wait’.
He closed his eyes as though in deep concentration… Opened them and looked at his phone.
Closed his eyes again, Papa looked like he was going to cry… Opened his eyes and looked at the phone again.

It looked like every time he closed his eyes, he faded. He was weakening.
By the fifth try, I could see through his ghost. I could see his body still bleeding out on the street and my school beyond him.

Then I noticed he had placed his right palm on the window for the first time since his apparition appeared… Again, though I was a kid I intuitively knew he had given up and required I place my palm on the window opposite his. I screamed out, “no!”

He was visibly taken aback by my action and he gazed solemnly at me for a few seconds… Eyes full of tears, I held his gaze… Then he shut his eyes again…

Immediately his phone started to ring, with my heart pounding I glanced up at him and he gestured that I pick up.

“Hello”…, I remember saying to whoever was calling,

“a car hit Papa and I think he is dead”…

“at my school”…I told the screaming lady that called.

By the time I looked up, Papa’s ghost was smiling at me, yet I wept. He was almost like smoke now. But he pointed to his phone again, and it rang once more.

I recognised her voice immediately. My grandmother. His mum. Bawling now, I sobbed out the story. She calmed me down and while we were still speaking, my mum and some uncles arrived within minutes of each other.

Dad was the victim of a freak hit and run accident. The driver did not stop and was never caught.

He broke one leg in two places. Several ribs. Ruptured his spleen. Broke a collarbone and his wrist.
In less than a year though, he was fully healed. To the amazement of everyone.

Only he and mum know the identity of the lady who called him that fateful day. She was the one that called mum. My parents never speak of that part of the incidence or of her. Ever.

I stopped calling him ‘Papa’ after that accident. He became ‘dad’. No reason.

Only he and I know what happened that fateful day. Well you do too (now). We have no need to speak of it.

We became friends, soulmates, confidants after that. Yes, and father and daughter.

He almost gave up and died, and I refused.

No big deal.

He has always loved big cats, guess he simply lost one of his nine lives.

@ The End of Days

Is there a higher power? Or are we simply mere (or supreme) entities with our destinies in our hands?

Or maybe we are both? Subject to divine mandate but with free will to choose?

Is there that proverbial “judgement” at the end of days? Or will we slip into eternal sleep, all over? Case closed?

Either way, it behooves us to make a mark in this life we live. To try to positively touch all and sundry. If we find it prudent to save up of our monies, to invest and diversify the same monies…in a bid to be assured of our future. If we pay our insurance, believe in a pension scheme, disregarding proven cases of pension and insurance fraud; what’s the big deal about doing the same for a likely spiritual future?

I’m just saying that though the messengers of spiritual verities fall short from time to time, should it not be about the message as opposed to the messenger(s)? Is it not obvious that ‘men of God’ are ‘men’ first – ‘of God’ next?

To hell with the messengers! Did you get the message though?!