Soul Mates

CHAPTER ONE

                 The sun crept in from the cloudy skies and its radiance lightened up the foggy climate around the old Eastern House of Assembly in the coal city of Enugu. The statue of the great Zik stared at a huge garbage dump that housed a thousand and one rats. The stench from the garbage dump portrayed the rogue society with its corruption infested civil service where pen robbers like rats looted the national treasury with reckless abandon. This has resulted in a decayed and failed society with a broken moral fibre, distorted values and torn social fabric. The noisy sound of traffic echoed all around the state secretariat.

Nnanna a tall young man in his mid twenties was passing through the state secretariat. He was a modest man with an oval face, and one who did not believe in intentionally giving others a false impression of himself. He was a kind and forthright person who had a mind of his own. In one word, he was a non-conformist. As he approached the Ministry of Finance where he once applied for a job, a policeman brandishing a pair of handcuffs appeared on the scene. Those golden-coated handcuffs dazzled, from the reflections of the sun’s rays. The policeman had a protruding belly and puffed-up cheeks which were often signs of over nutrition. That humpty dumpty look was however regarded by many of Nnanna’s countrymen as the evidence of good living. The cop then solicited for criminal patronage with the following words. “Police services for sale. Arrest and lock up go for five hundred naira, frame up costs one thousand naira while bail out goes for two thousand naira”.

Nnanna looked side ways and saw a poster whose slogan read “The police is your friend”. Such posters along with those of movies, obituaries, etc that were often indiscrimately posted on and off many locations often degraded the aestatic quality of many cities around the country. He looked at the poster once more, shook his head in disgust and whispered to himself, “the police is your enemy”.

The mere thought of the police brutality he had been subjected to at the state Criminal Investigation Department (C.I.D) made Nnanna’s blood to run cold once more. Nnanna was one of the “suspects” who were indiscriminately arrested the previous night by a team of anti crime police officers who were on routine patrol.

“To guard and protect with integrity” was boldly inscribed on the vehicle of the police team. Suspects were often released by the police after a certain amount of money had been extorted from them. Suspects who either had no money or refused to bribe the police were framed up and subjected to de-humanizing acts of torture and other forms of brutality. Nnanna then walked back to his father’s house where he was still living.

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