Thorns In My Boot - S01 E35

3 weeks ago

Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 35

EPILOGUE Part 2

I had gone back to Lagos after my annual

leave in 2004 and resumed duty as the A.O.

Finance. The monthly booty kept coming

and I kept putting it in the separate bank

account I had opened for it. I continued

working while I monitored activities at my

farms and residence. I sneaked into Ibadan

or Esa-odo on free weekends and public

holidays to monitor the work in progress.

My palm seedlings survived the first scourge

of dry season and rain season, they

developed new roots and I was assured that

they would grow well, the weak ones and

the dead ones were replaced while I handed

the Farm over to an Igala Man that has being

in our Village for as long as I could

remember, we called him Baba Agatu.

The Farm at Ibadan was also completed in

due time and the House at Eleyele too, it

took us a whole year to get all these in place

and I was ready for our plan B.

I made up my mind and went to meet my

C.O with a mini tape recorder in my breast

Pocket. I once again told him of my fears

and my desire to be posted to another

office. He went berserk and started to

threaten me.

Look lieutenant! He said; I have had enough

of this your silly talks about not liking what

we are doing here and wanting to leave the

pension Office! Did I bring you here in the

first place? Look if you are not comfortable

here you better resign and get the hell out

of here!

Think I will resign sir! I said; I have a feeling

that all of these will back fire some day! I do

not want to go to Prison again, not now

that I have a Wife and Kids that look up to

me!

Anything you want to do, do! He shouted;

but let me tell you, people like you that have

tried what you are trying to do are six feet

below the earth now! And yours will not be

an exception, I promise you that! You will

just disappear! Where is captain Adekunle

now? Where is staff sergeant Adamu?

Where are major Isiaka and Corporal

Johnson? They all tried to be stubborn but

they forgot that the stubborn fly follows the

Corpse into the grave! My friend, go and ask

questions! Do you know the caliber of

People that are involved in this cartel? Do

you know how many heads that will roll and

the number of families that will be shattered

if you sing? My friend, this is not 82nd

division Enugu o! This is Lagos! He shouted;

my friend, leave my Office this moment

before I charge with something that you will

not be able to explain.

I stood up and saluted him, and then I told

him that all the monies paid to me are still

intact in my account, I asked him if he

wanted it paid into his account. He was

furious and he lost his cool and punched me

in the face. I fell down on my butt. I got up

and asked him why a general could

condescend as low as to physically assault a

fellow Officer.

I will give you another blow! He shouted: in

fact I will slap you! And with that, he slapped

me in the face, I screamed and fell down

again.

In fact! Ojo, you are dead meat! You are

dead meat I promise you! He fumed as he

left his Office and banged the door while I

was still on the floor rubbing my cheek.

I went home to meet my Wife who had

flown down for the execution of plan B, and

we replayed the tape recorder and heard all

that transpired between me and my C.O.

We did not sleep at home that night; we

went to a Hotel outside the Barracks and

slept. The next morning, I went and

submitted my resignation letter to my C.O.

The beauty of it was I had done a total of

over fifteen years in the Army and I was

pensionable. I would have loved to get to

the rank of a more senior Officer before

retiring but I guess that was not my destiny.

I submitted the letter to him with a Copy of

the tape recorder in a compact disc; I

saluted him and left his office as abruptly as

I came in.

He knew my wife was a Lawyer, he knew

she was the one that instigated the move at

Oputa panel that eventually led to the

dismissal and jailing of nine men and the

demotion of a Colonel to Captain. He also

knew she must the brain behind the

recording of my discussion with him, he

knows he was doomed if anything

happened to me.

He called me after two hours and asked that

we met and talked at the Officers mess

immediately, I told him I would be available

in the evening, he was so scared of my every

move that he drove straight to my house to

meet me and my Wife.

We talked for sometime but I told him that

my mind was made as per leaving the Army.

I told him I was not going to expose the

decay and corruption at the pension office

but if anything happened to me or my

family, then the tapes would circulate and all

hell would be let lose. He agreed to protect

me and my family until his dying day. He was

on his knees asking me to beg my Wife for

him as he does not trust Lawyers especially

female lawyers! He wished he could swallow

all the words he uttered in the tape. The

General was begging and crying like a small

Boy before a Lieutenant and his Wife!

Amaka later promised to bury the hatchet

and he left our house with thanks and

prayers for us.

I officially resigned from the Army in the

month of March 2006 as a pensioner and

came to settle with my family at Ibadan.

Today my Wife speaks fluent Yoruba and is

working for the state government. I have

over fifty permanent staff on my pay roll. We

sell eggs daily in thousands of crates, we

supply fresh fish and Chickens to over

twenty fast foods, it is a matter of first

booked first served.

Traders in the Market book our Turkey,

Sheep and Goats in advance. The grass

cutter and the Snail farm are Money

Spinners. My major challenge is to meet the

demand of Customers. Politicians book my

turkey and Ostrich months before they are

matured so they can use them as gifts to

their Political God fathers. Ostrich lay an egg

in a year so it is very expensive.

I give lectures at symposia on Agriculture

and Aquaculture, I have regular inflow of

students on industrial attachment; I have

investments in chains of businesses and my

fifty million naira booty realized from the

Army pension Office is still growing in the

fixed deposit account. Indeed life, they say

begins at forty. I guess I was not destined to

stay in the Army because whenever I wore

those boots, things go sour for me; it is like

there are thorns in them that I had to pull

them before I get some comfort. But the

Army prepared me for my today; it was a

means to an end for me.

THE END.

Previous Episode

Thorns In My Boot - S01 E34

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