Monday, 19 November 2018

The Stone You Throw

Chief Sekoni slid the cheque he had just written across the table to the Customs Officer sitting across him. The man picked it up, saw the amount written on it and smiled widely, revealing a shockingly white set of teeth that contrasted with his very dark skin.

“Ah, Chief, Chief,” he pronounced. “You don’t have problem now. We go release your container sharp sharp.”
Chief Sekoni wrung out a cynical smile and thought to himself, So upon all your shakara, acting like a saint, you too can collect bribe.
Usually he would not have come over to handle this himself. He had employees whose jobs it was to take care of such challenges, but this particular officer had proven quite tough, so he had needed to. The man had even threatened to bring NAFDAC in on the matter. Like he had expected, though, despite all the initial gragra, he turned out to have a price tag. Good thing he was wealthy enough to afford it.
That settled, Chief Sekoni exited the building and headed to where his Prado was parked. His secretary came rushing to him the moment she sighted him.
“Sir, your phone has been ringing since. I couldn’t bring it to you because you said no one should disturb you while you are with the customs man. It is Small Mummy and she has called severally.”
Chief Sekoni took the phone from her. Small Mummy was what his employees and many other people referred to his youngest wife as. He dialed her number.
“Chief! Chief!” her shrill cry almost deafened him. “It’s your son o, your son! I have been calling you since. Since! Ha, God, my son must not die o. He is in the hospital. I don’t know how he is behaving o.”
The next set of words that rushed out of her mouth were incoherent. After struggling to calm her down, he finally got the address of the hospital from her. He gave his driver the address, saying, “Quick, drive there fast!”
They arrived at the hospital in record-breaking time and he was led to the room that held his son by a nurse. He was shocked when he saw that the boy was hooked to a life machine, and was even being given oxygen.
“What happened? What happened?” he queried.
“He was just feeling feverish o, just feverish,” his wife sobbed. “I brought him to the hospital and they gave him injection because I knew he would not swallow any tablet. The moment he was injected, he collapsed.”
“What? What have they done to my son? Where is the doctor, where is the owner of this hospital, where is the person that injected him?” Chief Sekoni at once began raising hell.
A doctor rushed into the room. “Please sir, come with me,” he tried to placate him, leading him to his office.
In there he began, “Sir, we really don’t understand what went wrong. We are still trying to investigate. All we gave him was this injection and he reacted badly to it.” He waved at a pack on his table. “We are still conducting tests to understand what is happening…”
Chief Sekoni stopped listening to him. He recognized the bright red pack on the table very well. It was an injectable form of a popular anti-malarial drug, but he recognized it all the more because this particular pack was fake. It was really only discernible as fake by someone like him who was responsible for importing it into the country. As a matter of fact, the container he had just been to the custom office to clear contained another batch of it, along with other fake drugs.
“Yyou gave my son this – this poison?” he gasped, pointing at it.
Before the doctor could reply, a nurse came running into the room. “Doctor, the boy has stopped responding,” she whispered urgently and the two of them rushed out.
“My son,” Seokoni gasped. “My only son! What have I done?”

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