Click Here to read the previous episode The Nivenger (A Political Action Thriller) – Episode 1
Breaking New: The Nivenger Strikes Again!
In the late hours of Saturday night, Senator Makinde Ayodele was murdered by the Nivenger. The senator from west Lagos senatorial zone was found in a pool of his own blood by his guards when they had heard a commotion in his room. Several weeks ago, evidence surfaced that indicated Senator Makinde in an embezzlement scheme of the funds released by the federal government for the production of a clean water facility to serve western Lagos rural communities. The government had been ineffective in indicting the senator and he seemed to have gone scot-free. However, where the judiciary system failed in that it was weak, the Nivenger has succeeded.
Also deceased was the senator’s mistress and a couple of guards. Scribbled on the floor of his room was the trademark sign: The Nivenger. The government has come forward to condemn this act and has also increased the bounty on the head of the Nivenger to one million dollars. But the question is, would Nigerians be willing to sell out the Nivenger, whoever he is?
Ever since he became a national phenomenon, the Nivenger has always been known for going after corrupt leaders of government and industries. His work has been so effective that whenever his name is mentioned fear strikes the heart of the corrupt. Always, whenever a corrupt detail about some of our nation’s heads comes to light, the Nivenger springs to action. Even some of people in power, who everyone thinks are clear, meet their untimely deaths at the hands of the Nivenger. Many have expressed joy at the activities of this vigilante. But the question remains, who is the Nivenger? Is he, himself, beyond reproach?
Coined from the two words: Nigeria and Avenger, the Nivenger has branded himself in the public’s eyes as a savior. He is highly trained. He is extremely dangerous. He is ruthless, and he lacks the capacity for compassion as demonstrated in some of his bizarre ways of killing his victims. However, his emblem still rings true in the hearts of hearts of Nigerians. It has become a beacon of hope to the poor masses. It has become a phrase of fear to the high and mighty. It is his emblem: Beware, O ye corrupt leaders, for the Nivenger is coming for you!
More news after the break…
* * *
Senator Abdulla Rasheed knew the end had come for him. But he’d be dammed if he didn’t fight it. He sat fidgeting in the cabin compartment of his black SUV. His security detail had him surrounded, watching every corner of the street, every passing pedestrian, and every moving vehicle.
Across the road from where he was parked was a playground, where a group of kids played football. His daughter wore a bright pink sweatshirt over a pale grey jean. She was only seven, yet she moved with the grace of a runway model. Watching her in her innocence made Senator Abdulla regret where he was now. And the killing of Senator Makinde two weeks ago didn’t help.
Abdulla should have never trusted Makinde.
Makinde was notoriously known for his vulnerability to skimpy skirts. He was the perfect example of a ‘woman wrapper’. Months ago, while he was banging a tall, extremely attractive model in Calabar, he had let loose that he was part of a sophisticated network tasked with funneling government money towards the aim of a hidden, hydra headed organization. Unknown to Makinde at the time, this lady was an agent for an online news agency. Makinde had come clean to Abdulla about what he had done, and they had paid millions of naira to track down this lady. But they had failed, and surely, two weeks later the report was published, implicating Makinde and Abdulla as part of a money laundering scheme.
Of course, they had come forth to publicly condemn the allegations as there was no evidence. But it didn’t matter. Abdulla and Makinde had come under the crosshairs of The Nivenger. For the first three months, they had put several security protocols in place to protect them from retribution by The Nivenger at least until the news stopped making the rounds online. When it did stop and nothing was heard of The Nivenger, Abdulla decided to relax, thinking that they had somehow been spared. Until when Abdulla woke up to the terrifying news that his partner in crime had been murdered in his house.
Abdulla alighted from his car and crossed the road to the entrance of the playground. The moment he walked in, his daughter saw him. A big bright smile formed on her face and she paused to look at him. The whole world seemed to stop, and Abdulla’s heart broke. The Nivenger was coming for him. He was not safe. But most importantly, his daughter and his wife were not safe. If The Nivenger hadn’t shown the whore Makinde had been banging no mercy even though she’d had nothing to do with the embezzlement of public funds, why should he not kill his family too? They were guilty by association.
Abdulla fell to his knees and spread his arms for his daughter to jump right in. He lifted her up, swiveled on his heels, and started walking towards the car.
“Senator,” one of her teachers called, “I’m sorry but you can’t take Fareedah home!”
Abdulla ignored the teacher and entered his armored vehicle with his daughter. Through the tinted windows, he saw the teacher who had followed him out of the playground being stopped by his security operatives.
“Daddy,” Fareedah said. “Where are we going?”
Abdulla looked at his daughter, and even though fear had gripped his heart so strong, he forced a smile. “We are going away from here for a while.”
Fareedah smiled back. “We left my bag,” she said as an afterthought.
Abdulla nodded. “I’ll buy you a new one.” He pulled his phone out of his pocket and placed a call to his wife.
“Is she safe?” his wife asked the moment she picked up.
“Yes,” Abdulla replied. “What’s your status?”
“I’ve bought five first class tickets to Dubai,” she replied. “Our flight leaves in twenty minutes. All our luggage are already on the plane. Hurry!”
“Okay,” Abdulla replied. “We’ll be there in about five minutes.” He cut the call, then he said to the driver. “Take us to the airport.”
The driver started the car, and the convoy began its journey to the airport.
Abdulla hadn’t told his wife everything. All she knew was that he was a close associate with Senator Makinde and that The Nivenger didn’t care who the actor was and who the accessory was. All were guilty in his eyes.
* * *
The moment they got to the airport, Abdulla felt relief flood his heart. They were safe. The departure hall was packed tight, and it was difficult getting a place to sit. So they went to the VIP lounge were they paid money to wait for the remaining ten minutes for their flight. Abdulla’s wife kept their daughter busy, laughing with her as they played with her bright pink jacket. Abdulla took a moment to pray to God, thanking Him for sparing his life from The Nivenger. Any moment now they would board the plane and they would be beyond the reach of the vigilante.
After praying Abdulla spent the rest of his time watching the news, which was still centered on the murdering of Senator Makinde and how investigations had revealed just how dastardly corrupt the senator was. The report showed that were ties to Senator Abdulla, and one or two references to ‘The Cabal’ surfaced in the discussion that followed. Just hearing ‘The Cabal’ uttered once in the commentary caused shivers to run down Abdulla’s spine.
Abdulla was part of a very sophisticated, very occult network of money launderers that funneled money from government coffers to the service of ‘The Cabal’. Abdulla had been doing this job for them ever since they picked him from the streets of Yola ten years ago and made him a senator. Till now, he didn’t even know what The Cabal was, or if there was in fact a Cabal. They were a shadow, parallel government with indescribable power. Displeasing them was as simple as committing suicide. And Abdulla knew that they wouldn’t be too pleased that the actions of Makinde had exposed their existence to the general public. Furthermore, The Cabal was not unlike The Nivenger in the way they treated associates. Guilty by association was also their watchword. They would be looking for retribution and now that Makinde was gone, they would be looking to Abdulla and his cell of money launderers. It was another reason why he would never return to Nigeria.
Abdulla knew that the moment he stepped foot on that plane, he was never returning to Nigeria. They would stay in Dubai for six months after which they would travel to Spain to stay with his brother until the fires Makinde had created died out. Already, there was a letter of resignation on his table in his office, which his secretary was supposed to forward to the National Assembly tomorrow.
Abdulla was brought out of his thoughts when he heard the final announcements for his flight. He and his family left the lounge and followed the stream of other passengers to the boarding gate, which fed into a tunnel that led straight to the plane hatch. Since it was the final call and most of the passengers had already boarded, there were a few people walking towards the open hatch. Aside from his daughter and his wife and two of his trusted guards, who were following him on this trip, there were about seven other passengers in the tunnel, when a siren exploded.
The lights in the tunnel went off, plunging them into darkness. Emergency lights—recurring flashes of dim orange light—came on in the tunnel. The strobe forced a feeling of dizziness down Abdulla’s throat; he fought the feeling of nausea and disorientation for a few seconds.
Led by instinct, Abdulla turned to the entrance into the tunnel and saw a hooded figure descending from the top. The figure slapped a device on the door, locking it and preventing security personnel from entering the tunnel. Between one flash and the other, the figure was gone.
Fear struck at Abdulla’s heart with the savagery of an armor piercing bullet. A gunshot rang in the closed space, causing a horror struck Abdulla to return his gaze to his family. He saw his two guards on the ground, arrows in their chests, while his wife was bleeding out in a pool of her own blood. His daughter stood over her mother in the dim, flashing light, distraught. The figure was nowhere to be found.
Then Abdulla felt a hand grab him and shove him to the wall of the tunnel pinning him there. Abdulla was so terrified, he had lost the will to fight. Nevertheless, The Nivenger slid a knife into place on the skin of his throat.
“Senator Abdulla Rasheed,” The Nivenger said in a scary, throaty voice, “YOU HAVE FAILED THIS COUNTRY!”
The Nivenger will return…
Beware, O ye corrupt leaders, for the Nivenger is coming for you!