“Can we have order in the house?!” The Senate chairman bellowed, banging his gavel against the polished mahogany desk that sprawled impressively in front of him. The Chairman, or Alhaji Mustapha Kadiri as indicated on his national passport, was a tall, thin, dark skinned man with northern features. He was clad in a white agbada that seemed to validate his position as the man in charge of the gathering of the members of senate.
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” He began in a thick Hausa accent “I want to say that both sides have debated impressively on the matter at hand, but we must reach a conclusion and reach it today.”
A murmur of agreement rippled through the senators.
“Now we will give both sides the opportunity to make one last case for their agenda. Let us have Senator Brown deliver her closing remarks.”
A lady in a green skirt suit stood up amid cheers from the audience. Her flawless skin seemed to radiate as she smoothed out the papers she held in her hands. She adjusted her glasses, smiled, and began speaking in a beautiful voice with a slight British accent.
“A lot has been said today from very intelligent people I hold in very high regard. There is no doubt that this is important to them, and they have shown great tenacity to get their agenda to this stage where we actually have to debate it. But truth be told, there really was no need for us to get to this point. They should have known that this honourable Senate chambers will not agree to any wage slash of any sort for us or any arm for government, and this for obvious reasons. No one individual will ever be greater than the state, talk less of a deranged mad man going about killing policemen and political figures in cold blood. What type of message will we be passing if we give in to the demands of this murderer? The public outcry notwithstanding, we must be resolute in our stand against all forms of terrorism, and this is indeed terrorism! Ladies and Gentlemen, I put it to you that if we capitulate to the sick demands of this psychopath, we will only be giving more psychopaths the platform to display their depravities. They already have a name for him. They call him ‘The Terror of Maitama’. Can you just imagine? He’s using the internet to give people the opportunity to choose the next leader they want dead via an online poll! Instead of conceding to his demands, I will suggest that we deploy more policemen into the streets, make use of our military intelligence resources, and flush out this killer, make an example of him! And not just him, anyone seen publicly supporting or advancing his cause!”
The audience shouted in agreement, some banging their hands on the desks in front of them.
“Order!” Alhaji Kadiri shouted, struggling to be heard over the noise in the chambers.
After a few moments, the noise subsided.
“That will be all Mr Chairman, I believe we all know what needs to be done.”
With that, Senator Brown sat down amid cheers from her supporters. Alhaji Kadiri banged his gavel several times after which the noise subsided once more.
“Senator Daniel Akabueze, the floor is yours.”
A medium height man in a white kaftan got up from his seat at the front of the chambers and promptly folded his hands behind his back, looking round the chambers as a school teacher would look at his pupils. He looked younger than everyone else in the room, with a strong jaw and light stubble on his face.
“Ladies and Gentlemen of this Senate, we are at the precipice of a revolution. History will judge us harshly for what we do or don’t do at this time.” He began, speaking very calmly in a rich baritone voice.
“In the almost one hundred years of existence of this great nation, we have never had anything like this. We have pushed citizens to the point where we are seen not just as the enemy, but as prey. There is public outcry because we cannot account for billions of Naira. There is public outcry because citizens are dying in hospitals without facilities and we are travelling overseas to treat cough. And now, the public outcry has morphed into violence. There is a man on the loose, killing us one by one.” He said the last words deliberately, making eye contact with as many Senators as he could. The house had descended into an uneasy silence, and every word hung as though it was explosive and any sudden movements could detonate it.
“I could be next, who knows,” He continued, opening his palms upwards “Anyone here could be next. And we all know that our Police are at their wits end. They do not know what to do anymore, so this is beyond simply deploying more men into the streets. We must examine deliberately what this killer has said to understand where he is coming from, then we can begin to understand what motivates him, and only then can our security forces catch him. Not only is he very skilled, he has also gathered public sympathy, and it won’t be long before copycats begin killing as well.”
A murmur began to rise in the room.
“Is it so ridiculous to ask this esteemed house to reduce their wage bill, and make it proportionate to our GDP? If for anything, his demands make us look like the bad people, and him like a man who wants what is best for this country.”
“You sound like you like the man, is he your brother?” Senator Brown cut in.
The house descended into laughter. Senator Daniel smiled
“I assure you, Senator Jessica Adanma Brown, that if he were my brother, a lot more of us would be dead.”
The silence descended back on the house as quickly as it left.
“You must be careful with your words, Senator Daniel.” Alhaji Kadiri said, cutting through the silence.
“Of course, by that, I mean he’d have easier access getting to all of us,” Senator Daniel responded “But that’s not the point. The point is we are in this mess because we have been insensitive to the plight of our people, and now we have been pushed to a point where we either begin to right our wrongs or live in fear for the rest of our lives. Senator Kazeem, God bless his soul, was well protected, and yet this killer still got to him. No one is safe. Let us begin to clean up the economic mess we’re in, create avenues for dialogue, and use the opportunity to study this killer before we can take decisive action against him. Reducing our wage bill will inspire public confidence, as opposed to this current debacle where even the citizens are hiding information from our security forces about his identity. I even hear he gives money to the poo—”
“Thank you Senator Daniel, you have said enough and we have run out of time for this session.” Alhaji Kadiri cut in.
“Where are we going to? We might as well just finish–” Senator Daniel countered before getting shut down by the chairman again
“We will now proceed to voting.”
The man stood in front of a wardrobe in the dimly lit basement of his house. He pressed down on a panel by the side and pushed a false door open, revealing a collection of different blades and guns. He picked up a handgun and tucked it into the holster by his side before grabbing two short knifes and tucking them into knife holsters around his thigh. He grabbed a small photograph of a man from a table and in one fluid motion tossed it upwards and sent a third knife flying through it. The knife pinned the photo to the wall, right in the forehead of Alhaji Kadiri’s smiling face. Senator Daniel walked past his laptop with Alhaji Kadiri’s name displayed on the screen. The people had decided the next corrupt leader to dispose of.
The Terror of Maitama stepped out through a hidden passage into the night, his predatory mind sharpened into one focal point with a single target in mind.