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Another Died Soldier (Part one)


© Bello Hamisu Ida

I1st April, 2015

        As he sat in the truck, terribly worried, his face, concealed between his laps, his heartbeat was rebelling with normal beats and was way too fast. Some part of it boiled to the extreme like water as he thought about many things. His ruby eyes like a red smoking coil. One eye contact could easily make one believe that he was a thief, gang leader, heavy smoker or drinker, but he was none of these.

         He was a muscular well-built guy, zealous and an unyielding soldier. Fortune favors the bold. His heroics in the career made him successful. His name was Corporal Bashir Bello the commander of their squad of soldiers.

       He always wore uniform like a deceaseds white cloth. As a Nigerian soldier he knew the sorrow, the unhappiness, the sadness, the distress the casualties, and the bloody suffering of this job; he had gazed upon many casualties, some lost their legs or hands and the blood of others spilled on him. The blood of victims from crises; civil war, ethnic clash, religious variance and other conflicts on his face. He forfeited his life to the country to save the lives of his countrymen. Maybe this was why the soldiers are from various ethnic background but they still considered themselves as brothers. They are the broom that sweeps away grime. He was not afraid of death, didnt care about his crying mother or his two months pregnant bride, he cared for his country. He wished to save his country from this innocent killing.

        As he sat, holding a heavy gun, their truck drove from Alagarno village to Sambisa forest. It was the first truck that would enter the forest; there were other nine Trucks which was almost about five hundred soldiers that would clear the forest.  They turned and drove to the pathway which crossed the forest. They could hear no sound, but the sound of birds and hum of their Truck; these sounds added melody and vibe in the forest.

        Sambisa forest in Borno the northeastern part of the west Sudan Savanna is a large forest, the mixture of various trees; rubber, baobab, bush willow, wild black plum, monkey bread, plum, birch and date palm trees decorated the wooded area. The sounds of birds like fowl; weaver, sparrow, dove, and ostrich formed the musical and harmonious voices in the forest; there were wild animals like baboons, leopards, hyenas, wolves and gazelles. Nothing, except; trees, animals and a few villages.

        They stopped and the expert scanned the road and few areas around the bush, they found nothing; the commandant instructed them to drive ahead. The explosion sound made from the bomb was extremely loud, the blast which caused the unusual sounds as earth quaked. The road was covered in dust and the driver slammed on the brakes to avoid running over but the truck lost its control, for all of the sudden it rolled over and slid to the forest and crashed into it. Corporal Bashir Bello was thrown from the vehicle and landed far away; his head hit a tree, but he managed to stand on his feet and held his weapon. He stared at the truck observed many casualties, the truck was damaged and the soldiers were injured, there were many fatalities. All of a sudden, Militants appeared holding heavy guns and started shooting.

        Corporal Bashir Bello took a balance, picked his gun and shot a terrorist and shot another. Their bodies he threw away. The Militants turned around to face him and opened fire. He ran but was shot; the bullet crossed his right leg. He fell  and landed far away. He couldnt bawl but felt the spiky pain and the aches in his body especially in his right leg. He tried to open his eyes but his vision was unclear. He heard the hum of other trucks, the marching of the soldiers and sounds of the guns working. He crawled down to the forest carefully in the midst of the melody of the frightened birds that jumped from one tree to another to flee from the guns sounds.

        The quietness of the forest made him feel a bit comfortable, but he could still hear gunshot sounds, the chants of the slogans of the terrorists, the yelling of the soldiers and the dusty weather which caused by the explosion. He crawled deeper into the forest to run away from the threatening sounds. He moved slowly deep down to the wooden area and stopped as his body touched the bank of the river and splashed in before he fainted.

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