if witches were horses

A Novel Written by: Kolade Segun-Okeowo (KSO)
Gradually, the boy lifted his head and stared at Lanre menacingly. He gave Lanre a hateful look. He stared around the hall to see the faces looking at him expectantly, all waiting for him to reaffirm his earlier allegation about the Deputy Vice Chancellor; Again, he returned the hateful look to Lanre and declared confidently; I dont know what you are talking about!!! Haaa The whole hall of students leaders and security operatives erupted in shock and gasps.
Lanre stared at the boy with surprise and bewilderment. He smiled to cover his shock. He looked back to see the expression on the faces of the DSA and The CSO. They were both taken aback. Only the CSO smiled confidently.
The Campus became more tense after the arrest of the suspected cultists. There were threats of counterattacks by the main cult group whose members were arrested by the Students Union leaders headed by Lanre Durotye. The CSO on the strength of the statements of the Student Leaders and the Para-Military operatives had invited the police to the campus and handed over the suspected cultists to them.
He also presented the arms seized from the room where the suspects were arrested. The Divisional Police Officer had assured the CSO that due diligence will be done and proper investigations carried out before the suspects are charged to court.
Prof. Ajayi Olufowobi, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration) mentioned by the suspects as one of the sponsors of the cult group had proceeded on an indefinite suspension as advised by the Council. Although he denied the allegation, the council insisted he stepped aside to allow proper and unbiased investigations take place.
For seven days after the arrest of the suspected cultists, police patrol vans paraded the campus while an armoured tank was stationed at the gate of the Campus to forestall any attack by cultists or their collaborators.
Nothing happened for seven days so the police withdrew the tanks and the men. As if prompted by an insider and acting on a tip off, the cultist stuck same day!!! Although Morakinyo had drawn a list of people to visit before his travel to Ikeji-Arakeji and Gbayike was first on his list, he was not able to make good his decision to visit her until the eve of his journey to Ikeji Arakeji.
He had made some attempts to see her during two previous Sundays in the Church, but each time, his confidence failed. He was confused and totally unsure of what to tell her. His legs shook and his heart beat fast as he waited after knocking the door at Gbayikes flat that afternoon.
His heart missed a bit as the door flung open. He had silently prayed that Sister Wonuola will be the one to open the door. He wanted Wonuola to be around so that at least if words failed him, Wonuola will at least bail him out.
Moreover, the presence of Wonuola will be a form of silence breaker in case of expected and sudden silence as they speak. As the door opened, Morakinyo nearly jumped out of his skin as Gbayike stood there laughing hysterically. Apparently, she was discussing with someone in the house and came to open the door in the midst of some excited discussion.
Gbayike was shocked seeing Morakinyo too, gradually the hysteric laughter gave way to a blank expression. Gbayike stood still and held the door involuntarily staring blankly at Morakinyo. The cold deep stare was too much for Morakinyo. He dropped his gaze and stared at the floor. Bro. Morakinyo I hope all is well? She managed to speak after what seemed like hours of silence. Yes, all is well, Sister Gbayike. I will be travelling tomorrow for my mission course at Ikeji Arakeji. I felt I should visit to bid you goodbye Morakinyo explained. The words followed naturally. He wondered if he was choosing the right words. Please come in Gbayike said and opened the door wide enough for him to step in. She still held to the door. Morakinyo wondered why she did that. Several questions raced through his heart. Who is inside with her? May be she doesnt want me to see the person I hope its not a brother! Who is our visitor this Saturday o!!! Wonuola shouted from the kitchen. It was a Saturday, so Gbayike and Wonuola were at home. That brought some relief to Morakinyo. Apart from not wanting to have a solitary meeting with Gbayike, he also was scared of his emotions. In the last few days, he has experienced an unusual desire for sex. Although, he could not have successful intercourse with her, the three months of intimate romantic relationship he had Oyinkan while their ill-fated marriage lasted and the sudden break had started to take a toll on his manliness. It took him several hours to decide whether to see Gbayike or not. For a sister he had expressed deep love for several times, Morakinyo was no longer sure what could happen should he suddenly find himself all alone with Gbayike. He had specially prayed that Wonuola would be at home when he visits. That was part of the reasons he chose to visit on a Saturday. Now God has answered his prayers. Wonuola was at home! Wonuola waited for a response to her enquiry, but none seemed to come. She heard the door opened and knew someone entered. Thereafter there was silence. She continued her cooking expecting Gbayike to come and inform her if it was necessary to see any visitor. The silence persisted again. Sister Gbayike! Wonuola called out. There was no response. Wonuola could take it no longer. She knew she heard the door cringed and opened. She was also sure someone entered and suddenly the silence. Wonuola walked into the parlour completely unaware of the scene playing out in the living room. Seated on the sofa was Morakinyo staring blankly at the floor with Gbayike sitting afar from him. A dead silence reigned between the two of them. Oh, sorry! Wonuola said as she bumped into the silent meeting. Brother Morakinyo, I didnt know its you. You are most welcome Wonuola managed to say. Thank you Sister Wonu Morakinyo replied. I was just about to ask after you now, when you came out. Thank you for taking good care of Sister Gbayike Morakinyo was choosing his words carefully. He had rehearsed the lines for days. He was merely rolling out the lines like an experienced actor on a theatre stage. AhThank God. But I think she is the one taking good care of me O Wonuola said smiling. Ok then, shall we thank the two of you for taking good care of each other Morakinyo said smiling sheepishly. That is more like it Wonuola blushed. Thank you for coming Brother Morakinyo, please excuse me so I can tidy up what am doing in the kitchen Oh sure, Sister Wonu. Thank you Wonuola disappeared into the kitchen leaving Gbayike and Morakinyo alone in the living room again. The reign of silence continued. Suddenly, Morakinyo stood and moved closer to where Gbayike was seated and knelt before her. I am deeply sorry, Sister Gbayike. I completely take responsibility for all what happened. Please find a place in your heart to forgive me Morakinyo pleaded. He was on a knee as he pleaded. Gbayike remained silent and head bowed. She continuously stared at the floor. Tears had already swelled in her eyes. Suddenly, Morakinyo reached out for her left hand and held it lovingly. Gbayike was surprised. This was the first time Morakinyo was touching her since they started their relationship over a year ago. She looked up and their eyes met. They were locked in that gazing spree for more than thirty seconds. The tears in Gbayike’s eyes had stuttered gushing. Morakinyo was beginning to feel uncomfortable. He felt a sudden rush of sexual emotion surge from his hands through his spine and throughout his body. He knew he was doing the wrong thing now. He felt a bulge in his trousers!!! Gradually, he dropped Gbayikes hand and stood from his kneeling position. Something in him told him he had overstayed his visit in Gbayikes house. No wonder The Senior Pastor warned him not to visit Gbayike at all. Initially, he had wondered why the restriction on a sister he had wanted to marry before the coming of Oyinkan into his life. Had it not been for Oyinkan, he would have settled down with Gbayike as husband and wife. The thoughts raced quickly through his mind as he withdrew his hand and stood away from Gbayike. He had seen reasons why the Senior Pastor restrained visitations to her. Having tasted unrestrained romantic relations for three months with Oyinkan, a part of him which had remained dormant since he was born had suddenly become awakened. Then he remembered the word of God in Proverbs 6:27 “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Certainly, I have carried coals of fire with my hands!!! He muttered to himself. Gbayike looked away, pretending as if he had not seen Morakinyo. A long silence ensued between them, it lasted for about two minutes which seemed to Morakinyo like two hours. I am sorry for everything that happened Sister GbayikeI know I have offended you” He managed to utter the words again and sat a little distance away from Gbayike now. He was not sure of the way his body was reacting. You have nothing to be sorry about Bro Morakinyo. You never offended me She replied. Just then, Wonuola stepped out of the kitchen holding a shopping bag. “Sister Gbayike, please I have to dash to the market, I have forgotten we have ran out of palm oil, I need to quickly get it from the market besides, we need a couple of other things. There is beans on the fire, please check for me in case I stay too long She said facing Gbayike. Bro Morakinyo, please kindly excuse me, I will be back in about fifteen minutesI hope I will still meet you? Ah !!! No. I should have left by then; I wont stay long. Thank you Alright Sir. Thank you Wonuola said as she made for the door. “Thank you Sister Wonu, please take care Morakinyo managed to mumble the words. Another reign of silence followed. Gbayike’s hearts started beating fast. She had started feeling strangely since Morakinyo stepped in to the house. Although she had angrily declared that she does not want Morakinyo in her life again, suddenly she had developed a new longing for him the moment he stepped into the house that afternoon. I came to bid you farewell. I will be going to Ikeji Arakeji tomorrow to commence my Bible College training. I will be away for six months” Morakinyo explained to break the silence that followed when Wonuola stepped out. He also needed some sort of neutral dialogue to break the trend of negative feelings he was having towards Gbayike. Oh congratulations Bro Morakinyo, the Lord will go ahead of you and make the crooked places straight Gbayike said forcing a smile. For the first time, Morakinyo saw that Gbayike had dimples! She had become more attractive than before. The negative feelings rushed in again! He felt another bulge on his trousers!!! He could not control himself again. He felt like rushing to embrace Gbayike and planting a kiss on her lips. Ahhhh.Morakinyo.you have to leave .NOW!!! Morakinyo said to himself. Your defences have broken down completelymove out of this houseNOW He felt like he heard a voice speaking to him. Suddenly, Morakinyo stood and announced his leaving. “Sister Gbayike, I have to leave He said standing away from Gbayike, she must not see the bulge! He quickly pocketed his hands and made a good attempt to speak and adjust the offending bulge. Oh thank you Brother Morakinyo. It was thoughtful of you to have checked on me. Please take good care of yourself in Ikeji-Arakeji” I will. Thank you. Morakinyo made a quick dash for the door praying frantically that Gbayike will not make attempt to see him offJust then she stood to see him off. Dont bother, I will be fine He said without turning back to see here. The mere sight of Gbayike’s face was sending wrong signals to him, so getting out of the building was Morakinyos greatest desire. “OkayNo problem” Gbayike turned back. Morakinyo’s behaviour was already confusing her. She would have loved him to stay a little longer but she too was not sure of how her body was reacting to the presence of Morakinyo. If Morakinyo had taken a further step to make advances at her, she was not sure if she would be able to resist hm. She breathed a sigh of relief as soon as Morakinyo stepped out and the door closed. Outside, Morakinyo crossed his heart and raced down the stairs towards the gate. His walk to the road where he took a taxi was more like a flight. What happened has proved to him the extent of his vulnerability. He never believed it could happen to him. Each time the Senior Pastor warned him not to visit Sister Gbayike, he felt the clergyman was being too strict and unnecessarily protective. The experience at Gbayike’s house shocked him and changed his orientation. As soon as he entered the taxi, he closed his eyes and began to seek forgiveness from God. He also thanked him for helping him to muzzle enough strength to leave Gbayikes apartment at the nick of time. He tried to imagine what could have happened if he had stayed a little longer in the house. He could have committed fornication with her or even made an attempt. He would have had no choice than to go and report himself to the Senior Pastor. His going to Ikeji-Arakeji would have been cancelled and another round of suspension and punishment would have commenced. He opened his eyes just as the taxi entered Felele Rab. He was close to his sister’s house where he had been staying since his return from Onigba-Iwofa. Lanre had just left the SUG office for the Hall of Residence at around 11pm. He could not in his wildest imagination expect that the cultist had already planned to attack that night. He was the main target of the operation. His offences had become multi-dimensional. First, he renounced membership of the cult and exposed them at a well-attended programme of the Christian Union where he gave a testimony. Secondly, he as the President of the Students Union had led a raid on some members of the cult leading to their arrested and continued incarceration in police cells. That night the Keggites Club’ was having her annual ‘World Gyration It brings all Keggites’ Clubs in the country together. Being the international headquarters of the Keggitess Club dubbed Ilya du World The University of Ife played host to all the Keggites from other Institutions across the country. It was a festival of some sort. A major itinerary of the World Keggites Gyration was the plan to honour the President and The Secretary General of the Students Union and induct them as honourary members of the Keggites Club via the Ilya du World Lanre had pleaded to be excused from the honourary induction citing reasons of faith and irreconcilable differences in convictions. He however promised to attend the gyration in his capacity as the President of the Students Union and to honour his General Secretary; Akin Sewanu who accepted to be inducted. The Gyration was to kick off at 12am, so he begged them to allow him sleep till the moment when he would be honoured. The Exco had a marathon meeting session from 2pm till 11pm, so Akin Sewanu requested that they should send someone to wake him as soon as they were set for the induction. Lanre also agreed that to honour Akin, whenever they came around to wake him, he should call on him too. That night, Mrs. Durotoye could not sleep. She stood from her bed and went to the toilet several times. She thought she felt pressed but each time she got to the toilet, she had no urine to pass. She eventually concluded she was becoming unnecessarily jittery. Then, she remembered her husband in Liberia. Calls have been made on the Nigerian Government to evacuate her envoys in the now becoming hostile country. Fear gripped her as she remembered the things her husband told her the last time he visited home. He was part of a meeting between the Nigerian Ambassador to Liberia and the duo of Charles Taylor and Samuel Doe. She began to pray. Two hours later, about eighteen armed men burst into the gyration venue and shot sporadically and indiscriminately to disperse those at the Keggites festival. The information they had was that Lanre will be at the gyration to honour Akin Sewanu who was due to become an Honourary Comrade of the Keggites Club. The sporadic shootings continued as the gun-throttling men kept shouting Where is Larry Bee Odgjidga?

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