Anthill of Sambisa

Akíntayo Akínjídé

Dedicated To All Nigerian Soldiers

Some of the other soldiers in the bus sang that sad song that became popular after Paul Walker died. Jesse never cared to learn the lyrics. The song was definitely too sad to be learnt. And he hated negative energies like the one the song emitted. The only thought on his mind was what waited for them ahead. The truck danced wearily in the forest till it couldn’t go any further.

They jumped down and filed out like ants. Their antenna were ready to scan out the hideouts of the Boko Haram sect. Jesse checked his backpack and the knives he kept at strategic places.

‘ Jesse, from you, I need a head count’, their captain shouted.
‘ One’
‘ Two’
The number circled through the voices of the comrades around him. He loved the way the sound came become the forest seem to be devoid of any sound. Even, the tree refused to shake or making any noise.

‘ Good, welcome to a new world’, the captain said with his hands behind him. ‘ I know many of you are ready to fight for your nation, but I must advise you to be cautious. No one must leave the camp without a partner’.

His partner, Murudeen, nudged him. They were buddies who had clawed their ways to the top of their class and into the heart of their teachers. Jesse smiled warily. He was prepared for Sambisa forest. If he died there, his girlfriend would have no cause to weep. Even if he died, he must have had a lot of blood bath in his wake. He would see the red liquid splashing from a battered head and he must relish the yell of the enemy lest he became the victim.

Before he left home, he had done the unspeakable. His girlfriend, Mide, was mad at him when she met him sleeping with another woman. Normally, he wouldn’t have left home, Fortune City, without making her know the truth, without making her know that he was the one who hatched the plan.

Yet, it was a better information. He preferred her to feel hurt, to cry, to be angry, to nurse the wound of being hurt emotionally than for her to know he had left home for Sambisa forest. She didn’t have capacity for such fear, such news. Worrying about him might kill her before he returned home, if he ever returned.

‘ Now, soldiers are you ready? March out’.

The soldiers chanted in response, and used their boots to crush the grasses on their way to their new camp. They moved to their Anthill, from where they would launch their attacks and watch many of their men die and prepare for their own death.

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