Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

A Short Story

The Braves Shall Flee (Part 2)

By Ebo Quansah

The grey Peugeot car pulled to a stop in the moonlight. The soldiers on guard at the broadcasting house knew the importance of the man at the back seat and concluded that for him to come to them at that ungodly hour, the mission might be equally important.

He was one of those at the fore-front of the revolution and leaders did not usually call at such time of the night. After a hard day's work, they were entitled to relax in the comforts of their rooms. Guard duties and night patrols were left to those of them at the bottom ranks, who had not been blessed with that kind of wisdom necessary to formulate revolutionary policies.

He had called earlier in the after- noon and asked for a particular person. It was a matter of course that the night visit was a follow-up to that of the afternoon. There was only one name on the lips of all the service personnel.

"Corporal ADEMEKA".


"Officer wants you".

Cpl Ademeka rushed to the car, collected the piece of paper the man held to him and turned back. Both men winked at each other but not a word was spoken.

Ademeka read the coded message on the paper and got his assignment in clear perspective. (J+AO) CU+BF=D+Bu. Interpretation was simple: Judges plus Army Officer during Curfew time at Bondase Firing Range, equals Death and Burning of Bodies.

He had been shown the residences of the proposed victims in the afternoon. He had also been mandated to constitute the squad for this very important assignment considered to be one of the main pillars of the revolution.

The rest depended on his ingenuity and professional skill. His was no mean task. Apart from ensuring its success, he had to carry out the task in such a manner as not to betray the leaders of the holy war. As the man responsible for similar operations in one troublesome region of the country, Ademeka was well-versed in kidnapping. However, this particular role would demand more skill than he had employed in those assignments behind the big river.

"Yensa, Kporte, Dundza, . . . He ordered a roll call of the trusted aides.

"Are you ready?”

"In the name of the revolution," came the men's response.

Ademeka distributed to them traditional dresses, meant to conceal their military identity and led his delegation to the residence of the Chairman from where they were to take delivery of the truck earmarked for the operation.

The chairman was out, but the empty liquor bottles and cigarette cartons littered about in his hall suggested the household had not been idle.

A few minutes after arrival, the delegation heard footsteps descending the stairs. They were those of the wife of the leader of the revolution, who handed the truck's keys to Ademeka.

"Gentlemen," her voice spoke of somebody who had just been awoken from a slumber, "you are in tatters and in want. The nation owes you so much but can do little for you. You are about to be led into a society where want is something of the past. The going won't be easy but bravery is the trump card. Men of the special operation squad, would you lack courage?"

It was the sort of question that needed no negative answer. To show bravery and abundant courage, the men rose in unison and thumbed their chests. With a wave of their caps, they bid farewell to the first lady and went aboard.

The army officer and the two judges were picked without any incidents. It was the third judge that was to give clues to the squad's identity.

Mrs Addow-Korang had been engaged in the review of cases of soldier-politicians gaoled by leaders of an earlier mutiny. She had freed a number of convicts on the grounds that their imprisonment had no basis under the laws of the land.

That fatal night, she and her prosecutor had staged a mock trial to prepare her mind for the sort of legal argument awaiting her in court, when the doorbell rang. Mr Addow-Korang opened the door only to be accosted by Ademeka.

"Good evening Madam”

"Yes, but what can she do for you at this time of the night?"

The answer was not immediate. As man of action, Ademeka was given to less words. When he ventured an answer, it was the kind of reply that would not satisfy an average school boy.

"She is needed at the operations headquarters to undertake a very important national assignment."

"But what kind of national assignment is it that can't wait? And by the way, why the operations headquarters? With what authority do you summon her?" Mr Addow-Korang had appeared unconvinced.

There was not any tangible response but in the kind of atmosphere enveloping the revolution, it was not in the interest of his wife and himself to stand in the way of the agents of the holy war.

Since it was curfew, Mr Addow-Korang could not come out. The best he could do was to watch as his wife was helped into the truck that was soon lost in the cloud of the night. Before retiring to bed, Mr Addow-Korang performed the only duty within his powers. He picked up the phone and briefed the chief justice on the night's activities.

Court workers were still mopping the floor as a result of the ten minute rain that night, when the Chief Justice walked in to have a word with the registrar. A few minutes later, the court clerk announced the adjournment of all cases until "further notice."

The chief Justice summoned the Judicial Council. They were still debating their line of action when the chairman announced the recovery of the abducted judges' bodies in his broadcast.

The chairman's broadcast created a pandemonium. Grief-stricken relatives broke into unending wailing. People gathered in batches to unravel the mystery.

With Mr Addow-Korang's account of the night's ordeal on everybody's lips, the only way the revolutionary leaders could avert trouble was to pledge an inquiry. A special investigation committee was appointed by a Government… Part 3

talking drums 1985-09-09 Rafindadi's N.S.O. Empire exposed