Today we host author Obinna Udenwe as he reads from his crime-thriller novel, Satans and Shaitans. Listen to him read here.
We offer you transcript of his reading below, enjoy:
‘Sir, you are the only one who can stop this—’ ‘And tell me, Alhaji, why should I do that?’
Alhaji Umar Hassan shifted anxiously. Inside his socks, his feet sweated. ‘Islam does not support terrorism, Dr Clark. What is being planned will consolidate the Sacred Order’s powers in Nigeria. We will gain greater control over the Government. But we will destroy the holy religion of Islam in Nigeria. Forever.’
Dr Clark frowned and did not answer for some time.
Eventually he replied, ‘Why come to me? I am not the Sacred Lord.’
‘But you are the richest man in Africa, with a global business empire. We are lucky you belong to this organization. And Chief Amechi is your friend. He listens to you.’
‘You go against the decision of the Brotherhood, my friend. Our actions have been approved by the Tais.’
‘I want to save my religion, Sir.’
‘Does the holy war not happen in the United States, the most liberal country in the world? Are there not attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Palestine? In Africa, are you blind to what is happening in Somalia, Mali? Even in Kenya? Do you not know that these events are all a creation of people’s ideas? People who seek power. People like us.’ He came closer to the Alhaji. ‘The young men who are to benefit from this, do they not have a reward in paradise? If they die in this war, do they not have seventy-two virgins awaiting them in paradise? You cannot take the decision for these men, my brother.’
Alhaji Umar Hassan looked at him with pity. ‘Sir, Islam does not support terrorism or suicide bombings. My Lord says: “And do not kill yourselves. Indeed, Allah is to you ever merciful. And whoever does that in aggression and injustice then we will drive him into a fire. And that for Allah is easy.” There is no mention of seventy-two virgins for a killer in the Holy Qur’an. That is Western Islamophobia. The Qur’an condemns the killing of innocent souls whether Muslim or Christian.
Islam rebukes forceful conversion. I know you may not understand the Holy Book, but I tell you, Sir, nowhere does it encourage terrorism and the murder of innocent people.’
There was hope in his eyes that his superior may be agreeing with him.
‘I… I don’t know what to say, Alhaji.’
‘Dr Clark, if we continue with this plan we will benefit as individuals, but our people will suffer. Think about Yorubas, Itsekiris, Ijaws, Igbos. Think about all the hundreds of different ethnic men and women and children residing in the North. When this starts, they will suffer. But my people will suffer more. If I bring war to my house, my enemy will suffer, but I suffer more because I will lose my belongings and my people too. That is what will happen.’
There was a long silence. The muffled sound of a football match could be heard from a television in one of the inner rooms. Dr Clark stood and moved to another chair. He finished his drink and sat back against the cushion.
‘What you ask for, my friend, is difficult. Very difficult.’
Evangelist Chuba came back from visiting one of his churches. It was late, but he was feeling wide awake and energized. He removed his jacket and walked to the bedroom. Franca was already in bed, wearing a thin nightdress, the covers thrown off her. He looked at her for a while, allowing her beauty to take effect. Her rosary was beside the pillow. He knew she’d forgotten to hide it. He grabbed it and ripped it apart. The beads bounced and rolled across the room. The rattling sound woke Franca.
‘Hey! What’s that?’ she asked sleepily. ‘Oh, welcome home.’
She raised her head and saw the scattered beads of the rosary. She said nothing. Her husband was removing his clothes.
‘Get undressed,’ he said and unbuckled his belt.
She was not surprised. It was an act she had got used to. ‘I am not in the mood.’ She rubbed her palms over her eyes.
‘But I am in the mood.’ His trousers were already down. He pulled down his underwear revealing the clear sign of his desire. As he leaned over the bed to remove her nightdress, she said nothing.
His hands travelled up her smooth legs. His breathing became slightly more urgent. She flinched.
‘I am your husband. Both of us know what the Holy Book says on this. So just do as I say!’ He pulled her white lace pants past her hips, and then down the length of her legs. Climbing on top of his wife, he slid into her as she let out a sharp cry.