A SHORT STORY BY GABLA GODWIN
This story is purely a futuristic fictional story which seeks to speak to the conscience of all Ghanaians against violence in the forthcoming election. I hope this story touches as many hearts as reads it. Please do well to share to your friends and relatives.
Around 5Pm at the other polling station where you went, you saw some movements. You saw some macho men heading toward the ballot boxes from where you sat. You looked carefully at their faces and you could recognize them. They were part of the group of macho men for whom you worked. You sat still with your heart pounding heavily like an Akan man pounding fufu. The men got closer and closer to the ballot boxes. When the police officers around realised that they were making an attempt to snatch the ballot boxes away, some charged toward the macho men. Before they could get closer to them, four gunshots came from nowhere and hit four police men in the back. They all fell flat instantly. The macho men then hurriedly made away with the ballot boxes to an unknown location where all we heard was the loud roaring of motor cycle engines and off they sped! Some dispatch riders also followed in their chase at top speed.
Now, the whole place was virtually empty, the fully filled polling station was now left with few electorates who sought refuge in buildings around and police officers who tried to control the situation. Two more gunshots came from the bush and this time from specific directions. Before the police officers could take note of the gunshots, two more men were down. Now, it was clear that something really terrible was about happening. More gunshots were heard as some macho men fell dead and so did the police officers too. The gunshots became more and more and the weak electorates who had seen none of this before were locked up with few options. The very weak ones collapsed and those who felt they weren’t safe there found their ways to their various homes. Some got shot by stray bullets from the shootout. The strong ones hid themselves at places where they could watch it all. You were part of the strong ones. You hid yourself in the corner of one of the classrooms.
After several hours of shooting, the police called for re-enforcement and the 66 artillery military troupe was sent within sometime. The battle became even fiercer when the military men came. They shot anyone who they suspected and so many lives were destroyed. Out of fear, you spent the night there in the classroom. Sleep never came for you kept vigil through the night. Every minute of your life that night was very precious to you and you handled it as such.
The following morning when the atmosphere became a bit calm, you managed to scamper your way back home through the bushes around. When you got home, you realised that the place was virtually empty. All you saw were people’s belongings scattered around. You got to your door and realised that it was broken and your belongings were disorganised. You walked out carefully to ensure there was nobody around. You then entered your room again, packed few belongings and tried moving out of the town. Just at the entrance of your house when you tried moving out, you saw a group of youths holding cutlasses and other weapons in protest of what happened. They were chanting and dancing.
You couldn’t hold the pain that grew in your heart. Your eyes belched tears and you leaned against the wall, awaiting them to come. When they got closer, their leader asked them to keep mute and he addressed you.
“My brother, Good morning” he greeted
“Good morning, son of our land”
“My brother, I hope you have seen what is going on in this town?” he asked
“Of course, I am. I personally escaped death narrowly yesterday”
“Yes! The raffia palm does not talk for fun. It only talks when it is been distracted by the wind. We have been distracted by the wind and it’s time for us to speak now. We have decided! Will you join us now or be against us?” he said.
“Honestly, my brothers, I just don’t know what to do or say yet because I am more confused than the word itself” you said.
“You have to make a choice. So many people were killed yesterday and today. Even my own sister, Esinam got shot dead” He cried.
“Huh? Who? Which Esinam?” you asked out of shock
“My sister, Esinam. The one who studies at Ho Nursing Training College” he said
“The one who lives opposite the public borehole behind Noval Junior high school?”
“Yes, my brother! Esinam is dead!” he cried.
Upon hearing the news and confirming your fears, your back dropped from your arm and you fell slowly to on your knees. “NO! NO! No! This can’t be true! I saw Esinam yesterday. She was at her polling station here when I left. What happened?” you asked with bitterness and tears flooding your eyes.
“The same thing that happened at other polling stations happened here too” he answered. Just before you could lament, more and more people told the stories of how they lost their loved ones.
Gradually, the man in you grew up and you became more poised for battle. You dropped your bag, entered your room, took a cutlass and dashed out of your room.
“I shall join you fight for freedom. I shall join you fight for our people! We must fight and win justice for our departed relatives.” You said with pain
“One more thing, I need a pen and paper.” You said. You were handed a piece of paper and a pen. You took your time, wrote some words on the paper and handed it to a small boy who passed by. He was about twelve years old. You took him to a place where he would be safe till everything was over and asked him to keep the paper safe.
“Keep this paper safe. In case you hear I’m dead, let the rest of the people of Akatsi read what is on this paper. Send it to the police station or give it to any elderly person you see and ask them to read it out to the world. This is a piece of me to the world” you said. You hugged the little boy with tears all over you.
With chants and dances, you went to Jonas’ house only to meet his absence. You met an old lady who told you he had travelled earlier the previous day. You were amazed that Jonas could travel without saying a word of it to you. But you took it in good faith. You tried calling him on phone but his line was switched off. You tried reaching his cousin also but his line was also switched off. You were convinced that he had also travelled but you decided to go to his house to confirm it. When you got there, you were welcomed by locked doors and a dirty compound indicating that nobody was in there.
You were now sure that it was all a planned and executed attack. Now, you had no option than to face the security forces that shot at your people. You matched to the polling stations and demanded audience with the security personnel but they would have none of that. They fired several shots at your group. Some people got injured; some were able to kill some security personnel, took their guns and engaged in a shootout with them. You got a gun too. The leader of your group targeted an army officer and shot at him but unfortunately, he missed the target. The officer who was quick enough shot back and in an attempt to save your brother-in-law or perhaps pay your last respect to his sister, you got hit in the chest by the bullet. Your friends tried helping you out but unfortunately, their efforts were not enough to save you from the icy hands of the monster called death.
The war continued for some days before the system became stabilized a bit.
The boy sent the piece of paper you gave him to the police station where it was read to the whole public.
The content of the paper read:
“Silver and gold were my chase, Fame and power were my laurels. The safety of my fellow town folks became an option. I sold my patriotism for money; cheap money. I sold my conscience for an Iphone. I sold my dignity for earthly things. I exchanged thousands of lives for useless power. Today, I regret my misdeeds. I regret my inactions and actions. I was born a man but today, I call myself a woman. I am not a man! I am a woman! Please, my fellow town folks, I know I have been a cheat and a traitor but I am so sorry. Poverty sold me into being a slave to wickedness. I knew about all the macho men and their hide outs but I was paid by Honourable Benjamin Akoto to give them all the information the needed. I am very sorry, my people. My heart would know no peace until you forgive me. I know I shall not survive this battle but please don’t just curse my soul, do forgive me. I have been a victim of circumstances and I have been pushed by society.
My advice to the world is: Politicians would come and go, elections would come and go but your nation, your homeland would remain until Jesus comes. Don’t let anybody deceive you with some coins today to destroy your own future. Hold on to what is right and vote in peace. Elections happen in a day but the effect lives with us for long. Don’t accept free offers from politicians. Nothing from them is free. Finally, I wish you all peace and much love. I love you all and I sincerely regret my actions.
A failed citizen of Akatsi”
And this brings us to the end of this interesting story. Please and please, no matter where you are or who you are, try as much as possible to uphold peace and justice in the least way you can during this election. Ghana needs you alive! Your family and friends need you alive! Stay safe and promote peace!
I am Gabla Godwin and I stand for peace.
Meanwhile, if you haven’t read my maiden Novel titled “ Doom’s Dawn (A Tale of A Cultist)” yet, please you are far behind. Do get a copy today to spice up your holiday and to caution you against the various ways by which you could be initiated into occultism.
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