IF WITCHES WERE HORSES … Episode 29&30 – Kolade Segun Okeowo

IF WITCHES WERE HORSES… Episode 29

By the time he arrived at the parsonage, Lanre and Akinlolu were already waiting for him outside. They stood on the balcony looking askance. Morakinyo’s heart missed a beat as he saw Lanre and Akinlolu. He wondered what could have gone wrong. He was expecting Lanre. His sister, Mrs. Durotoye had already told him Lanre will come to pick Akinlolu his brother. What could warrant the stay on the balcony in that sober mood is what he could not understand. He increased his pace towards the parsonage.

For Oyinkan, the Onigba-Iwofa mission was a failed mission and was over for her. The recent seven day prayer and fasting of some brethren in Ibadan led by Pastor Kalejaye had caused some major disasters in the operations. Frustration was already setting in for Hagatha. However, she had the problem of determining how to escape from the fury of The Queen. The last time she had a meeting with the Queen under the tree outside the parsonage, she had told the Queen about her frustrations. The Queen merely boasted and made promises; but none was accomplished.

The Kingdom was known for lies and deceptions. Human marine agents were subjected to all kinds of lies and half truths, so that they can continue their operations on earth and continuously be available for satanic usage. When a female agent gets tired and wishes to quit operations, she would be enticed with several goodies of promotions and may even be promised marriage to Lucifer, the Prince of Darkness. Such female agent becomes happy and feels highly honoured to be so priviledged to be Lucifer’s ONLY wife. Unknown to such female agent, several of her mates are going about boasting with the same honour, title and priviledge.

Hagatha knew all these and has become frustrated. But who will she tell? Who will she confess to? Confession meant sabotage and sudden death. She dares not think of it in her heart at all, let alone discuss it with anyone. Morakinyo had been very good to her and she was beginning to have human feelings for him, but a huge danger lies ahead of her. The demons given her to operate with were not just to assist her, they were also meant to police her actions. Any slight action of betrayal on her part will be instantly reported by one of the demons.

Her escape that afternoon before the coming of Lanre was necessary. Apart from the secret that his coming will reveal; she could no longer withstand the volume of power carried by Lanre. Having just gone through a successful deliverance ministration on the campus, where her sprit was forcefully ejected from his body, she was no longer a spiritual match for Lanre. Waiting to meet him would mean disaster! So, for her it was goodbye to Onigba-Iwofa!!!

Lanre explained everything to his uncle. Sweat covered Morakinyo as Lanre told the entire story. He became restless and troubled. Suddenly, his worries gave room to fear as Oyinkan did not show up. Akinlolu had delivered her message. She had gone to Awofolaju to see some brethren in the other village. Awofolaju was only thirty minutes walking distance from Onigba-Iwofa. The time was eight O’ clock already. Nothing could keep her in Awofolaju beyond six O’ clock.

Suddenly, several thoughts began to flood his mind.

‘How did I come about marrying Oyinkan in the first place?’

‘Why didn’t I seek to know her people?’

‘Now, what if anything goes wrong with her and her people show up to ask for the whereabouts of her daughter?

‘Why didn’t I carry my Church along in all of these? Who will help me now?

“Why did I not pray about this before the marriage?”

‘Why didn’t I bother to know the Missionary agency that sent her to join me here?’

‘Wasn’t I stupid? … Was I crazy…Was I under a spell?’

‘What if Lanre is right? Could it be true that I married an agent of darkness?’

‘Oh my God am I dreaming? Jesus save me!!!’

‘Morakinyo wake up from this bad dream?’

It was as if some scales fell from his eyes as he began to ask himself a thousand and one questions.

“Sir, what are we going to do?” Lanre asked from Morakinyo who was completely lost in thoughts. Lanre asked again.

“Uncle, I said what do we do?” Morakinyo sighed heavily. His thoughts were not coordinated as his brain raced through his mind thinking of what to do.

“We have to report to the Police Post first and then inform the Kabiyesi that my wife is missing. We have to start from there” He stood and quickly entered a pair of slippers. “Let’s go!!!”

“Uncle, lets pray before we go” Lanre said.

“Oh, you are right. That’s true. We should do that. I am just confused”

They knelt and prayed. Lanre said the prayers. It was a simple prayer of a young convert. He simply said “Lord Jesus, we are confused, we don’t know the right thing to do. We ask that you teach us what to do.  Please shed light on our ways and give us victory. In Jesus name we pray”

Greatone shook his head as he did the day Morakinyo started his misplaced prayer on marriage at the village church.

The only Police post in Onigba-Iwofa was a few meters from the palace. A few minutes trek took Morakinyo and his nephews there. The only police officer on duty was fast asleep when they got there. It took some efforts to wake the middle aged police constable who appeared clearly older than his age. He wore a loose shirt over his police trousers while the official uniform hung on the wall across his head where he slept.

As the voices continued, he hustled out of his sleep and quickly grabbed a torch light carefully placed not too far away from him and pointed it at the “intruders”

“Yes, what do you want” He said, yawning as he spoke.

“We have a case of a missing person!” Morakinyoo said, almost barking. He stared at the officer angrily.

“Ah, missing person!!! In this Onigba-Iwofa!!! It has never happened before!!!” The Police Sergeant said pointing the torchlight at Morakinyo. Suddenly, he stood as he recognized the face.

“Ah Pastor! It’s you. Good evening. Who is missing? A member of your church?”

“No…It’s my wife” Morakinyo said slowly. For the first time it dawned on him that the news of a pastor’s wife missing is not too palatable. He wished he hadn’t come to the police post.

“She went to Awofolaju village around twelve in the afternoon and has not returned since then” Morakinyo managed to explain.

“Ahhh!!! That is serious” The Policeman stood quickly, grabbed his uniform and wore it speedily. “I need to take your report and we shall immediately swing into action” He gave Morakinyo a log-like book and asked him to write a report of the missing person.

“Please write, while I inform my boss” The Constable said and disappeared into the station leaving the torchlight with Morakinyo who continued with the statement.

Soon, the constable emerged from the room with another officer; a Sergeant. Although fully kitted, the Sergeant too had sleepy eyes. He yawned and greeted Morakinyo familiarly.

“Pastor, don’t worry, we shall find her. First we must get to Awofolaju right away. Have you informed the Kabiyesi?” The Sergeant asked.

“No, not yet, we came here first”

“We shall inform him at once. He will order the local Town Crier to go round and beat the gong that the Pastor’s wife is missing so that anyone who knows her whereabouts can come forward with useful information”

Lanre squeezed his face in the darkness. That was not going to be a good one for the reputation of his Uncle. Fortunately, Morakinyo had the same mind.

“Ah …no Sir. That might not be necessary, so that we don’t create panic in the town especially amongst our members” Morakinyo explained.

“That’s true, you are correct” The Senior Police Officer agreed with him as he finished writing the report. “Let’s go to see His Royal Highness”

Their stay at the palace was very short. Oba Folagbade was shocked to hear the news. He immediately sent a message to the Head Hunter who quickly sent word to seven of his men to join in the search. Within thirty minutes, they had assembled to join the two police officers in the search.

Morakinyo excused Lanre and Akinlolu to return to the parsonage while he followed the search team. Initially, Lanre refused, but Morakinyo insisted, on the grounds that the journey from Ibadan to Onigba-Iwofa earlier in the day must have taken a toll on him and the fact that young Akinlolu cannot stand the stress of the search party, neither can he be allowed to stay alone at the parsonage at such a time of the day. Lanre agreed and returned to the parsonage with Akinlolu.

The search team first went to Awofolaju and questioned Madam Mobiyiina Ajanaku; the Head of the women group Oyinkan was said to have visited. The woman was aghast. She explained that the wife of the Pastor did not come to Awofolaju that day. She spoke with authority.

“Mummy did not come here today at all. If she comes, I am the first person she would see, since I am the one that will gather all the women in Awofolaju together for her to speak to all of us. The last time she came here was a day before our last market day. That was four days ago. She promised to come again two days after the next market day. She was not in Awofolaju today at all! That I am sure of” She explained as she moved her heavy frame each time she spoke, describing her point with constant gesticulations.

The search team; not satisfied with her report insisted that she take them to the house of some other women in the village.

“You see, Mobiyiina, when a very valuable object is missing, one searches for it crazily…crazily my sister” Dendoga, the Head of the Hunters explained to her.

Reluctantly, Mobiyiina followed them to the houses of two other women in the village. Her husband, Gesingunwa followed them. The visit to the house of the two women produced no better result as they echoed Mobiyiina. According to them, they have no direct relationship with the Pastor’s wife except through Mobiyiina and there was no way the woman will see them except through Mobiyiina.

“I told you, Mummy Pastor is a very good woman, she believes in me and will not do anything without me. God will not allow her to fall into the hands of evil people” Mobiyiina explained to the search team.

“Thank you Mobiyiina…Gunwa, thank you for releasing your wife” Dendoga said as the search team left Awofolaju for Onigba-Iwofa.

The journey back to Onigba-Iwofa was a big burden for Morakinyo. The stress of the whole day was already affecting him. He had only taken breakfast. He had been optimistic that dinner would be ready by the time he returned to the parsonage. That was what gave him the boldness to reject the food prepared by the Olori. If he had known, he would have eaten at the palace.

‘But who could imagine this will happen’

The search team encouraged Morakinyo to return home and sleep soundly as they were sure nothing could go wrong with the woman. They promised to continue the search in the morning.

“Nothing of this sort has ever happened in this town…Never” Said the Sergeant. “Missing person? No way!!! Not in Onigba-Iwofa” He said with assurance and finality.

“The only problem we had was the Orogojigo epidemic and it was you Pastor that God used to stop it…Haaa!!! It will never happen” Dendoga, the Head of the hunters prayed

“First thing tomorrow morning, Pastor; go to the NITEL office in Sepeteri and make calls to your people and her people in the city. You never can tell; something urgent might have taken her to the city that she didn’t have time to explain to you” The Police Sergeant offered further advice.

Morakinyo thanked all of them and wished them well. As they all dispersed back to their various homes around eleven O’ clock in the night, Morakinyo heart was heavy and pounding as he recalled the words of the Police Sergeant.

Pastor, go to the NITEL office in Shaki and make calls to your people and her people in the city.

‘Her people? Which people? How do I tell the world that I don’t know my wife’s relations? Haaa!!! I’m in serious trouble!!! How could I have been this stupid?’

He kept asking himself another round of questions till he got to the parsonage. Fortunately, NEPA restored light that night as he strolled back to the parsonage. It was already late in the night, so shouts of “Up NEPA” did not rent the air as usual. Morakinyo entered the house carefully and went to his room quietly. He had asked them to leave the door open for him. Lanre and Akinlolu had slept.

Sleeping was a taboo for Morakinyo that night! More thoughts raced through his mind as he considered the foolishness of his actions as touching the marriage to Oyinkan. Suddenly, his mind flashed back to the report Odesola, the husband of Eebudola came to give him weeks ago about his wife. He sat up from the bed in a jiffy, his heart panting heavily.

Odesola had claimed he saw his wife transform from an eerie-looking creature into a normal human being at the banks of River Ahobiose. He remembered how he had dismissed the report with a wave of the hand and counseled the man to bind the devil anytime he sees such scenes again. Odesola’s wife, Eebudola and her only child had stopped coming to the church afterwards. His eyes shone in the brightness of the NEPA-illuminated room, even as more thoughts flooded his mind preventing any possibility of sleep.

The testimony of Lanre was equally scary. Morakinyo had been a born-again Christian for years but he never heard of dual personality. The only time he had the opportunity to learn about demonic operations was when a deliverance minister came to the church in Ibadan to handle a seminar on demonology and operations of the world of darkness. The Guest Minister said some scary things that made Morakinyo lose interest in demonology and deliverance studies. However, the man never spoke about dual personality.

‘My God…so I married a witch!!!…Oh my God, let someone tell me I am dreaming!!!’

Dream!!!

He shuddered as he remembered the dream and almost screamed!!!

He was gathering firewood on a farm. He sang as he gathered big bundle. He looked around for a rope to tie the bundle of firewood. He saw a good one and pulled at it but the rope would not give way. He tried again and a sharp thorn pricked his hand, he screamed and turned away from the rope. He looked around for another one; he saw a thin rope which was not strong but easy to pull. He pulled it out and tied the bundle all around. He pulled off his shirt and made it into a head-rest. He carried the bundle to his head just then, the rope broke and the bundle scattered….

He remembered everything now!!! Even Mrs. Aarinola Paseda; the Secretary to the Head of the Department, confirmed the dream as she had a similar one. He remembered clearly how the woman had accosted him that morning when he went o pick the two envelopes with one marked ‘Ford Foundation’ from his pigeon holeHe had tucked the two into his pocket and headed towards the door, when the woman called out to him. He remembered the exact words of the woman.

“I saw you in our village, you wore a native dress and you were gathering firewood. You got a large bundle and looked around for a rope to bind it. You tried dragging one rope but it hurt you badly, so you left it and got another. After binding the bundle, you removed your dress and made a head-rest with it. As you carried the bundle, the rope broke and the firewood scattered. When I woke from the dream, I laughed and laughed. It was such a funny dream. I asked myself; what would a Senior Lecturer have to do with gathering firewood in the farm, my village for that matter. So I told myself, I must share the joke with you”

Those were the exact words of the woman. The whole scenario began to play out to him like a movie!!! The rope!!! Gbayike was the first rope that was difficult to get while the second, barely manageable rope; referred to Oyinkan!!!

‘This is getting clearer now!!! But why didn’t I pay attention…A sister walks up to tell me she is a missionary and…Pronto! I accepted her and we started working together…This is crazy!!! Morakinyo…what went wrong with you?’

IF WITCHES WERE HORSES… Episode 30

Those were the exact words of the woman. The whole scenario began to play out to him like a movie!!! The rope!!! Gbayike was the first rope that was difficult to get while the second, barely manageable rope; referred to Oyinkan!!!

‘This is getting clearer now!!! But why didn’t I pay attention…A sister walks up to tell me she is a missionary and…Pronto! I accepted her and we started working together…This is crazy!!! Morakinyo…what went wrong with you?’

He remembered Sister Gbayike and her doggy attitude when she heard about the mission work in the village. He knew it was the mission work that scared her!!! It was glaring she was no longer interested in him, the moment she heard about the village mission.

Suddenly, some of Oyinkan’s clothes hanging inside the wardrobe caught his attention. He stared blankly at the wardrobe and stood to inspect the clothes. To the best of his knowledge, none of her clothes was missing. He checked the shoes, the handbags, books and other belongings. Everything was intact!

‘So she could not have run away… She is still coming back!’
‘To where? …After all these?’
‘What will the whole town say after they have discovered all these…Oh my God…Haven’t I messed up the wonderful assignment the Lord graciously gave me and released great grace to back me up’

He remembered his first day in Onigba-Iwofa and how miracles trailed his maiden outreach. He remembered the exploits at the shrine of Olojongbodu and the many other miracles of healing and salvation of souls. He could not stop the tears from coming. The bowels of his eyes gave way to a torrential flow of tears as he cried for mercy. He wept bitterly like a baby and asked for renewed grace.

‘Lord I have missed it. Lord I have messed up!!!”

He wept and prayed throughout the night. Mercyone danced all through! Greatone smiled when he started the prayers, then he laughed and became ecstatic with joy. His strength was completely renewed and was ready to fight again!!! The blade of his sword shone again like the brightness of lightening. He had been waiting for this moment all along!!!

The meeting of The Pythons’ Confraternity was holding for the first time after the initiation ceremonies which claimed the lives of three initiates. Ever since the incident, the campus had been tough for any underground activity to hold. The testimony of Larry Bee had added to the tension on the campus. Policemen were drafted to the campus a day before the testimony at the Christian Union Fellowship programme.

Unfortunately for the Pythons, the school went on vacation immediately. The VeeCee ordered all students to vacate the campus immediately. How Lanre escaped from the campus remained a mirage to the Capone and the Silly Gene. Strikers had been mandated to gun down Lanre and Benson Osarode who joined him to declare for the fellowship at the programme in the amphitheatre.

The strikers made all efforts to trace Lanre and Benson that night. Unknown to them, the Dean of students Affairs Prof. Victor Bankole had arranged for Lanre to be lodged at The Vice Chancellors’ Guest House with tight security arrangements. No one knew when Lanre left Ile-Ife for Ibadan. Benson Osarode was moved by Police escorts to Ore, for his onward journey to Benin.

Due to the closure of the campus, the meeting of the Python’s could not hold on the school premises. The Capone had to make arrangements for the meeting to hold in his father’s residence somewhere around Ijoka area of Akure in Ondo Stae. His father, a senior military officer has been posted to head a tactical military formation in the Northern part of the country. Thus, he had the freedom to hold the nocturnal meeting in the expansive residence of his father. Only 17 members were present.

“Pythons!!!” The Capone started with the greeting slangs of the cult.
“Deadly and Brutal” The members responded

“Bloodbath Assured!!!”
“No retreat …No Surrender”

“Forgiveness is a Sin!!!”
“Mercy is a Taboo”

“Every deserter is a traitor”
“Every traitor deserves to die”

The words of The Capone were few. “Lanre Durotoye and Benson Osarode are traitors…They both deserve to die! My investigations reveal his family live somewhere around Felele Rab in Ibadan. Benson Osarode is presently in Benin living with his uncle on no 17, Aiguobamsinwin Crescent” He paused and looked around the members for any response. There was none. He repeated the slangs!

“Forgiveness is a Sin!!!”
“Mercy is a Taboo”

“Every deserter is a traitor”
“Every traitor deserves to die”

“Where is the head of the Strike Force?” From the end of the living room, a tall, heavily built member lifted his hand and stood.

“Divide yourself into two groups. One group proceed to Benin and the other to Ibadan. Lanre Duroye and Benson Osarode must be traced…Force their sun to set with immediate effect!!!”

That night, Pastor Kalejaye could not sleep. He stood from the bed and paved around the room, managing to speak in tongues without disturbing his wife who was fast asleep. At a time, the woman turned around on the bed and gave a small grunt. Pastor Kalejaye looked in her direction and decided to walk away to the living room. What he thought to be silent prayers was already disturbing his wife.

He first sat on the couch and began to review, the whole Onigba-Iwofa mission and the recent errors of Morakinyo. He was truly disturbed.

‘Why would Morakinyo be this obstinate? Despite all my messages and letters to him…What did we do wrong Lord?’

He was asking that question for the first time since the crisis started. Then he began to ruminate on the events that led to the mission in Onigba-Iwofa. His mind raced back to the meeting of the Mission Team on the assignment. The Evangelism Team Leader had argued that sending a lone missionary to an unknown field was dangerous. He believed the church should wait for another male missionary to accompany Morakinyo on the mission to Onigba-Iwofa.

Other members of the team joined the Team Leader to agree that Morakinyo should wait till another brother would receive the conviction about the Onigba-Iwofa mission. They all argued that lone missionary work was dangerous and fraught will all kinds of possible errors.

Pastor Kalejaye had waited for all the members of the Team to speak before he cleared his throat and spoke for the first time since the meeting started.

“Brethren, I thank you all. I am deeply convinced that your concern is borne out of the love you all have for Brother Morakinyo. That concern is not out of place” He stared at each of them as he spoke, making sure that the words are laden with emphasis and ensuring eye contact with each of them.

“The decision our brother took to embark on this mission is the product of a two-year burden that the Lord had placed on his heart. He did carry me and The Evangelism Team Leader along all the while” He paused again to see the effects of his words on them. Silence reigned everywhere.

“In the last three years, our Missions Department has suffered. No one has volunteered to go on mission. That Brother Morakinyo volunteered himself for this mission is an answered to our prayers”

The brethren sighed. Pastor Kalejaye was right. Everyone in the Evangelism and Mission Department consciously prayed that The Lord will raise missionaries, but none was ready to go for missions. Pastor Kalejaye was hitting them hard.

“Your suggestion that we wait on The Lord to raise another brother to join the mission of Brother Morakinyo in Onigba-Iwofa is a good one. However, what happens if we wait for another two years and nobody sees what brother Morakinyo is seeing now. Don’t you think we will kill the burden in his heart and water down the zeal burning in him now?”

The words came like stones from a catapult hitting each member of the Evangelism Team. None was ready to see what Morakinyo had seen. The occasional evangelical outreaches to the town and nearby villages were enough.

“This is my counsel” Pastor Kalejaye continued “Let us continuously back up brother Morakinyo in prayers and trust that the Lord will be with him on this mission. Apart from that… Team Leader!”

“Yes Daddy!” The Team Leader stood promptly and bowed.

“This is what you should do. Draw a roaster of visiting missionaries who shall go once in a month to check on Brother Morakinyo on the field and join him to pray, evangelize and do follow up works. Let’s do that continuously until the Lord will speak to one of us to join him on the field”

The whole team agreed and accepted the proposal from the Senior Pastor and committed themselves to the plan. A roaster was drawn immediately and agreed upon. The roaster was to start the first month after Morankinyo’s arrival in Onigba-Iwofa.

The roaster took effect as planned. The Team Leader and two other brothers were the first to visit Morakinyo at Onigba-Iwofa a month after his arrival in the town. However, that was the last time anyone from the Team visited Onigba-Iwofa again. The tortuous journey and the reports they gathered from Morakinyo about the wicked priest terrorizing the community and the strange epidemic of Orogojijogo sent shivers down the spine of the members of the evangelism.

Although the Team Leader did not discourage the members like his two colleagues who travelled to Onigba-Iwofa with him, he simply kept mum and concentrated the activities of the team into other assignments around Ibadan and the adjoining villages.

‘I take the blame’ Pastor Kalejaye said to himself as he reflected on all of these. ‘I shouldn’t have assumed all was well with him’

Pastor Kalejaye trusted the spiritual maturity of Morakinyo. For a man who has risen to the peak of his career and accepted to give it all for God on missions, Pastor Kalejaye believed there was not a better proof of spiritual maturity than that.

‘My judgment was wrong. I accept the blame…’ He knelt and began to pray for forgiveness. He laid in that position; groaning and sighing as he prayed for Morakinyo. The groaning gradually turned to weeping as he begged God to have mercy on Morakinyo and the Onigba-Iwofa mission.

He didn’t know his voice had attracted his wife who had walked into the living room and heard her husband praying. As if beckoned by a conductor, Pastor Mrs. Kalejaye joined her husband on the kneeling position and continued the prayers with him. They remained in that condition for another two hours, groaning and weeping on behalf of Morakinyo.

As they finished the prayers around four in the morning, Pastor Kalejaye stood and appreciated his wife for joining him to pray.

“I was already getting tired when you joined me. Your presence fired me on for the next two hours. God bless you my dear.” Pastor said and planted a kiss on his wife. The woman chuckled, giggled and smiled sheepishly.

“To God be the Glory” She said “So, what do we do now” She asked, still smiling after the kissing spree.

“Today, we are going to Onigba-Iwofa” He said with finality.

“Praise God…I was going to suggest that too. There is nothing as good as you seeing Brother Morakinyo yourself…can I come with you?”

Pastor Kalejaye smiled. His wife had made the burden easier for him. He was going to ask her to come with him but he considered the stress of the night prayers and other assignments the woman had been involved in during the day but chose to spare her. Now that she has voluntarily released herself; the job is done!

“Ah thank you very much my dear” He drew the woman closer to himself and planted another kiss on her. Goose pimples rose all over the woman as her husband carefully guided her into the bedroom. She continued chuckling and laughing as Pastor tickled her and touched her lovingly.

Soon, the door of the bedroom was shut!

Early in the morning, Morakinyo was set to go out again. The night was the longest ever since he was born. Sleep had completely disappeared from eyes. Just as he set to remove the latch of the main door and step out, Lanre emerged from the guest room and greeted him.

“Oh, you’re awake; I didn’t want to disturb you. I intend to see the Police men early enough before hitting the road again” He explained to Lanre as he bent to unlatch the door again.

“Uncle, can I discuss with you before you go?” Lanre chose the words carefully, unsure if he was saying the right thing.

“Oh why not” He returned the latch and they moved back to the living room.

“Uncle, she won’t come back!” Lanre dropped the bombshell. “She left because I was coming. She knew I will reveal all her secrets…I told you everything yesterday. She meant to destroy and kill me…God’s mercy delivered me” Lanre said soberly.

Mercyone blushed.

Morakinyo’s jaw dropped as he listened to Lanre’s second round of testimonies again. A part of him felt ashamed that Lanre; his nephew who got born again less than two weeks ago seemed to know more than him. He bowed his head to avoid the lines of tears that were already forming.

“Lanre…What do you suggest that we do now” Morakinyo lifted his head and asked. The tears were no longer hidden but had become like a string of beads around his eye. He was sure it was God who sent Lanre to him at this time. He imagined what would have happened if Lanre was not available to be with him at a time like this.

“Sincerely, I don’t know what we should do now. But I suggest we do nothing than praise and pray. I am sure God’s mercy is working something out”

Mercyone nodded and smiled. Greatone winked at her. Morakinyo sighed. He stared at Lanre and sighed deeply.

The search for the Pastor’s wife continued in the early hours of the morning. Although, the King did not send out the Town Crier as agreed, the news found its way to the town. Some of the hunters who went with the policemen to Awofalaju told their wives and that was it. The news leaked!!!

Unfortunately, it was a market day so it formed a major topic for discussion.

“Their Pastor’s wife is missing” Mojoyin the wife of Badipe announced to her mate, Ilelomia, at the garri stall.

“Missing? Noo. I heard she was kidnapped by the men loyal to Baba Ajamolaya. You remember they all moved to Igboologun after their leader was killed by the Pastor. Since then, they have been looking for an opportunity to strike back at the Pastor” Ilelomia explained without blinking an eyelid.

“Ilelomia…You are a liar” Mojoyin almost shouted at her friend. “May your lies not kill you”

“I swear by the grave of my mother. That is the truth. I heard it from one of the friends of the one of the wives of one of the men loyal to the late Chief Priest”

“Heeeh!!! Ile-lo-mia!!! I had better stay away from you immediately…When the police comes, you will take them to the house of one of the friends of the one of the wives of one of the men loyal to the late Chief Priest” Mojoyin half whispered and half screamed as she quickly carried a big bowl of garri and returned to her stall.

Other women gathered in groups within the market, discussing the incident that the whole of Onigba-Iwofa was experiencing for the first time in history; a house wife disappears suddenly without traces. To make the matters worse, she is the wife of a pastor!!!