AMADOU’S BRUSH WITH INJUSTICE

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BABILI MANSA

BABILI MANSA

Amadou is a very shy but upright man who resides in Kankary Kunda. He alerts and avails himself to the needs and aspirations of his community particularly those who are in dire need of financial and moral support. Albeit he most often goes the extra mile to be there for anyone that requires his assistance in one form or another, he is also conscious of not overstepping his moral and religious obligations. He treats all his neighbours equally. Amadou is so generous that he is dotingly nicknamed Mobayta by his friends and family. His house was never short of visitors. His family especially the little ones could not understand why he has so many visitors day in and day out. At one point, it was highly rumoured that he was aspiring for a political position. Soon it dawned on his friends and family that Amadou nurses no political ambition. His best and childhood friend, Samba once confronted him: “Ams why are you so unwittingly generous?” Amadou was taken aback by Samba’s unexpected rhetoric question. For a while he was quiet battling to figure out the right answer to his friend’s query. As if Samba has forced him to plunge into a deep reality check pool, his mind exploded with conflicting reasons. Some painted him as a fool who deprived his family only to help others who do not even appreciate his kindness while others glorified him as a man who gives to his community without expecting any returns. After what seems an unending silence, Amadou finally found his voice and replied: “One who does not live for his community is never missed by its”.

 As Director of the Department of Care and Hospitality, Amadou is always mindful of not mixing business with pleasure. Consequently, he admonished all his friends and family that his office is purely for official matters; anyone who has a personal issue should come to his house instead. Those who could not draw a line between business and personal matters saw him as a martinet and a very strict person. Some of his colleagues at work who often entertain their friends and families at work considered him as the bad apple in the bag. Word soon started going round the department that he was cold and callous. Anytime he walks the corridors of the department, chilling whispers followed his footsteps. Once in a while he summons some of his junior staff to caution them about using their offices for personal issues such as allowing their friends to abuse the office telephones. Furthermore, he established a very strict break system for his department which curbed down the amount of time wasted by some of his staff loitering in and out of office during official hours without reason. This earned him a handful of scheming foes. Whenever he is at work; the idle one feels unease. They tried everything possible to influence him. One of such was to set him up with charming girls. Anytime he was alone in his office, they will send in a very beautiful girl provocatively dress to charm him. Again this failed abysmally to their greatest disappointment. When it became clear that it was not possible to seduce him, they spread another story that he was so scared of his wife that he could not look at another woman. Some even went further to conclude that his wife’s marabou has turned him blind to other women. Their every effort to bring him on board failed.

One day, the Seyfo of Kankary Kunda gave a new decree that every fortnight everyone in Kankary Kunda must attend his Mansa bengo. The Mansa bengo was an occasion to while away time, fornicate and waste community resources. It was also a moment for merry making by wining and dining with the Seyfo. Loud music from various cultural groups of Kankary Kunda fills its airs. The Seyfo dressed in a white kaftan sits under a makeshift shed surrounded by his “Konsin mbaroos”-security guards and council of elders. The Konsin mbaroos carried strange weapons which mesmerised the people. The Seyfo, Afang Karamo Kankuntu Nyapinkang Jaralaa Mansa, smiled as he browsed through the huge crowd. His gaze lingered on a very beautiful young girl before his scary face broke into a devilish smile. He then turned and whispered to his chief security. He took a bundle of cash and handed it to his guard to give to his latest prey-the charming young face in the crowd. Amadou was not happy which what was going on. He promised himself that he will not attend the next Mansa bengo. He could not understand how the Seyfo could be so lavish when most of his people were languishing in abject poverty. As he drifted into a captivating day dream, he recollected his father demanding “What kind of a neighbour will go to bed with a full stomach while his neighbour goes with an empty and crying stomach?” Suddenly, he was catapulted back to reality with a nauseating uproar by the crowd and saw the Seyfo dancing like a Nfanbondi.

In his train of thoughts, he wondered if as little as quarter of the resources spent on the Mansa bengo was used to build good road networks, it will go a long way to harness travelling between the wards of Kankary Kunda. It will also make it easy for traders to transport their products from one market place to another. Once the economy booms, the health sector will also be improved since the educational sector is being looked after by the Toubaboo. He decided to suggest that to the Alkali of Seyfo Kunda since he was also overseeing his department. Perhaps the Alkali will also suggest the same to the Seyfo. On a second thought he decided to keep his idea to himself less he is perceived as anti-establishment.

The next Mansa bengo was observed without Amadou. This did not go down well with the Seyfo. He called his Alkali and thundered: “I knew it…Yes, I knew it…Amadou is a very bad citizen. He is one of my enemies. Why didn’t he grace the last Mansa bengo?”The Alkali tried to reason what might compelled Amadou not to attend the Mansa bengo. He said, perhaps, Amadou was either ill or out of town. “No!” roared the Seyfo “I know he is planning a plot against me. But I will teach him a lesson.” At that point the Alkali kept his peace and let the Seyfo continue to rattle. Shortly after the Alkali left his office, the Seyfo rang the Kebba of Nyapinkang Agency and ordered for the immediate arrest and detention of Amadou.

As soon as the Seyfo hung up on the other side, Kebba of Nyapinkang Agency began bobbing up and down his lavish office contemplating whether to carry out the Seyfo’s order. He knew Amadou as a very righteous, generous and caring man who commands a lot of respect from the community. Arresting him will spell gross misappropriation of justice. Furthermore, it will depict him as a puppet and unpatriotic who abets in the miscarriages of justice. On the hand, if he fails to arrest and detain Amadou as ordered by the Seyfo, he will not only lose his job but also might equally be arrested, detained and tortured. Either choice has damning consequences, he observed. He took a deep breath and caressed his nose unconsciously as a thought flashed like a lightening in his clouded mind. “Why didn’t I think of that before?” he heard himself thinking aloud. He took his private cell and phone Amadou. “What a pleasant surprise”, Amadou said from the other end. “Listen Na Kebba, we don’t have much time to waste on pleasantries. I have just received an order for your arrest from the Seyfo but I am giving you enough time to ready yourself and run for your safety”, countered Kebba of Nyapinkang Agency. At least, thinking this time he has done the right thing. “Are you out of your mind? How can I abscond and leave my family behind beside that will only confirm I have committed a crime. No, I am not going anywhere. You go ahead and execute the order”, Amadou sternly maintained. “Perhaps, Na Kebba, for once put your family before righteous. If you leave now, you will settle before you even realize and then arrange for your family to join you. But if you remain adamant and subsequently get arrested, tortured and/or even killed, who will look after the same family you talking about?” he tested Amadou.

“Hello…Hello…Amadou, are you still there?” as the long silence grew. Amadou was thinking of what Kebba of Nyapinkang just told him. Yes, it makes a lot of sense. Whatever choice he made, his family will be without him until God knows when. Should he run away as suggested by Kebba of Nyapinkang or should he stay and dare the devil he thought. “Yes, hello. I am still here, just thinking of my options”, he said when he finally found his voice. “Listen, Na Kebba, time is against us. Just go please”, he begged Amadou. “In as much as I would love to, my gut is telling me to stay and face whatever awaits me. Thanks so much for your kindness”, Amadou concluded and hang up. “Stupid!” he roared and banged his mahogany executive desk upsetting it neat and beautiful flower vases, pens, photos and files. “Are you okay boss?” queried his slender and charming young secretary as she walked majestically into his office. “Do I look like I am?” he snapped at her. “Oh darling”, she said soothingly as she wrapped her tender arms around him and planted her succulent lips on his. The touched of her moist and tender lips and her pleasant fragrance vehicle him to cloud seven and shortly brushing Amadou’s issue into the bin of his mind.

A loud knock on the door jolted them from their erotic position. “Come in please”, Kebba said reluctantly straightening his suit as he walks to stand behind his desk pretending to dictate a memo for his secretary. His deputy walked in looking very flustered. “Kelefa, what is it again? Whatever it is, let it wait. Now go and get two officers and pick up Amadou for detention”, he dismissed Kelefa with a wave of hand. Kelefa’s lights up with the order like a child seeing his father sing and almost run out his boss’s office. Kelefa is always excited by orders of arresting people especially the likes of Amadou.

Sulayman Jeng, UK


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