Chapter Two

4472 Words
Executing the Plan 0930 hours July 6 Calaberi, Falls State The make-up artist did a good job. Tanko wore a new face. The beard and moustache looked very realistic, and could even pass very close scrutiny. He drove the Honda Accord to the parking lot at the airport. The airport was brimming with security and politicians from the President's political party, and civilians were restricted from coming close. His fake GDSS credentials got him through the checkpoints. Most of the soldiers and policemen, couldn't tell the difference between a fake and real GDSS identification card. Even a GDSS officer, would be fooled by the credentials which was crafted by an expert forger. It would only fail a database search and Tanko hoped he wouldn't be subjected to that. Tanko got past the security at the VIP wing of the airport, by flashing his credentials at the GDSS officers stationed at the door, all armed with their Israeli IMI Tavor Tar-21 assault rifles and Belgian FN P90s. Tanko soon got talking with a GDSS operative, and soon learnt the president's itinerary. It conformed with the information his man at GIA had given him. The presidential Boeing was just about touching down on the runway of the Ekpo International Airport. Safety and security vehicles were all in place for emergency. Tanko didn't need to linger any further. He left the building and soon regained his car. There was a communication blanket around the airport and he couldn't make a call. He drove away from the airport and signal reappeared on his Samsung mobile phone. It was a new phone with a new SIM card. His own phones were in Las Gidi. None of his men came with their phones. New phones had been purchased, along with pre-registered SIM cards, illegally bought from peddlers. Their numbers and codenamed were stored in every phone. The phones and SIM cards would all be destroyed immediately the job was over. Tanko called Uche. The phone rang once and Uche picked up. "Follow the plan." Uche didn't reply. He cut the connection immediately. Tanko put the phone back into his pocket and drove towards the Industrial Estate. By the end of the day, he thought to himself, there will be a new dawn in the country. Blood will flow, but blood will always flow before things would get better. "It's regrettably unfortunate," he muttered to himself as he drove. "But it's a small price to pay for the greater good." The Industrial Estate was a vast land carved out by the Ben Ayidi administration, for industrial purposes. Subsequent administrations after Ayidi have maintained his legacy, adding more industries to the many he had built there. The President would be commissioning a second noodles plant, as well as taking a tour of the facilities at the Industrial Estate. He would afterwards address the workers and managers of the Industrial Estate, before heading to other engagements he had in the state. The Industrial Estate would be the best place to execute their plan. Three bulletproof, heavily tinted Toyota Landcruiser SUVs peeled out from a private residence in Golf Course Estate and raced away towards the Industrial Estate. The Landcruisers were a custom job with the front area, fortified to serve as a battering ram, should they have to ram their way through vehicles. The tires were run-flat making it possible for them to keep moving even when they have been hit by bullets. The occupants were mainly dressed in police and military uniforms, and had covering identification papers. Those in army uniforms, were armed with Polish sss Mini-Beryl compact assault rifles and Italian Beretta AR70/90, while those in police uniforms had the Gongolan version of Russian AK-47s code named 006. They all had Italian Beretta 92s as side arms. Tanko had obtained the requisite ballistic vests and helmets, to match the uniforms, from his contacts within the Army and Police, who were also beneficiaries to the mission. Three of the occupants of the vehicles wore black suits and carried GDSS identification papers. They were armed with Austrian Glock 19s and IMI Tavor Tar-21s. The team arrived the Industrial Estate before Tanko. They took position at a large hanger, which would be commissioned for storing grain produced from the rice mill. The Landcruisers were positioned for easy getaway. They had obtained documentation, permitting them to park in the area. Tanko arrived a few minutes later and casually inspected the hanger. He had done that the previous day, but he needed to ensure his getaway plan would still work. Everything was as he had planned it. He had also taken the liberty of placing some surprises to cause distraction, at places they wouldn't be detected. The president's motorcade was soon visible, as they approached the industrial estate. The police motorbike outsiders, riding on their BMW R 1200 RT-P Police Edition, with sirens blaring, led the convoy which now consisted of the governor’s motor pool, with the president's motorcade taking the lead. The President rode with the Falls State governor in his Mercedes Benz limousine, while the Vice President, who could not join the President's vehicle, rode directly behind them in the Governor's custom built bulletproof Nigerian made Innoson G80. The Deputy Governor of the state kept him company. Tanko had procured two separate radio equipment for his team. One was tuned to a private frequency for their conversation, while the other monitored the police channels. His men wore ear mold silicone fin earbud ear-mold ear pods for surveillance earpieces two-way radios. That way, he spoke directly into their ear without anybody overhearing them. "Get ready," he said. "The Eagle has landed." The security backup vehicles fell back as black suited GDSS officers surrounded the President's Mercedes and the governor's Nigerian made Innoson. The President stepped out as his orderly, an Army Colonel opened the heavy armoured door of the Mercedes. The Colonel saluted before closing the door then fell in behind the President, as the Governor led the way into the new noodles building. The Vice President had joined them and walked side by side with the President, while the Deputy Governor tagged along behind them. The President was from the Northern part of the country while his Vice was from the South East. He had chosen a South Eastern running mate, after years of marginalization of that part of the country, to foster genuine national unity, after years of division occasioned by the Civil war. The President waved at the cheering crowd as he went by, amidst the human body blanket of GDSS officers shielding him from all sides. Tanko waited at the new hanger. His men blended into the security structure, positioning themselves in very advantageous positions. The President spent about thirty minutes in the new factory, then the Governor led the way to the hanger. Two members of Tanko's team in black suits joined the horde of presidential security trooping into the building. The third person flanked them. The building was surrounded by armed policemen, GDSS operatives and soldiers. Tanko's men took a position slightly behind them, almost flanking them on all sides. Their credentials would pass any check they were put under. The hanger was filled with chairs, well arranged in front of a small podium. Police and GDSS bomb squads, have gone through the entire building before the president's arrival. The President and his Vice sat at the front roll with the governor and other top functionaries from the state, as well as those who accompanied the President from FCT. A master of ceremony was on the stage, making introductions and running through a short program of events. The governor was called to the podium to make a short speech. He explained the projects his government had embarked on, pointing out that the President would be seeing more of those projects before his visit was over. The master of ceremony then invited the President to the podium. The President urged his Vice to follow him. There was clapping and cheering from the crowd as they mounted the stairs. Tanko whispered into the microphone at the wrist button. The podium exploded in gunfire and smoke from smoke grenades, as the President raised his hand to wave at the crowd. Tanko saw him go down. His Vice President also went down, just as smoke enveloped the hanger. There were screams from panicking politicians running for safety. Tanko watched his men g*n down the President's security officials standing near them, creating a route for the three shooters inside the hanger. The engines of the armoured plated SUVs were already running, and the drivers had positioned them for a quick getaway. More soldiers and policemen started running towards the hanger, but were cut down by bullets flying from the smoke. Tanko's men gained the front of the hanger, and engaged the government security men, keeping them pinned down, while they boarded the SUVs. "Move!" The last man fired off some rounds from his Mini-Beryl compact assault rifle, then made to run into the waiting SUV. A well placed round from the IMI Tavor Tar-21 of one of the President's surviving GDSS officials, winged him, throwing him away from the waiting SUV. The remaining soldiers, policemen and GDSS officers opened fire at the SUVs, making it impossible for the occupants to come for their wounded member. "Move, Get out of here!" Uche shouted into the microphone. The drivers gunned the vehicles down the road, ramming through a Toyota Hilux truck parked on the road to block them. Police and GDSS vehicles made to give chase, but a series of explosions on the road stopped them from following. The Italian AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter belonging to the Gongolan Air force, which had been maintaining aerial surveillance of the place, made to follow. Uche opened the top hatch of the SUV he was travelling in, and pointed a Russian 9K38 Igla (SA-24) MANPAD at the helicopter. The pilot saw the threat and attempted to execute evasive maneuvers, but the 1.17kg warhead struck the helicopter in a frontal impact, bursting it into flames. The aircraft came crashing down on the road in a heap of burning metal. Tanko pulled out his Beretta 92, and started moving towards the man who was left behind as he struggled to stand up. GDSS officials pounced on the wounded man, restraining him from take his own life with an M67 fragmentation grenade he had pulled out. Tanko cursed. He couldn't get to him easily. The GDSS officers dragged the captured man to a Toyota Landcruiser SUV, and quickly drove away, with two more vehicles filled with armed operatives following them. Tanko went back to the hanger. The President was alive. His mission had failed. The President was sitting on the podium holding his Vice President who had caught a bullet in the forehead. The President himself, was wounded. His agbada was soaked with blood from where a bullet hit his shoulder. Medical officials attached to the Presidency, tried to pry the President away from his Vice President's body, as they tried to cut away his clothes and get to his injuries. DSS officials and soldiers, formed a human barricade around him; their weapons all drawn and ready to engage. "Maduka," the President called his Vice President. "What will I tell your wife and children my dear friend? What will I tell them? I brought you to your death my dear friend. What will I tell your kinsmen?" Civilian, military and paramilitary bodies littered everywhere. Many of the politicians had been caught in the shooting. The Falls State State Governor was also injured, and his medical team were attending to his wounds. His Deputy was not wounded, and stood over his boss as the medical team from the governor's convoy, attended to the State Chief Executive Officer. Stretchers were being rolled into the hanger as Tanko started leaving the place. He had to get to his men fast. They had to get out of the hotel immediately. He didn't know how long before they get the captured man to talk. Tanko gained his car and started driving away. Some GDSS officials stopped him but his credentials got him past them. He couldn't make a call in the vicinity of the hanger because of the cell jammer activated by the President's security team. He placed a call to Uche's new number immediately he was out of range. "Like flies," he said immediately Uche picked up. "Down low." It was a code ordering them to disperse immediately. The second code instructed them to lay low. Uche cut the call. Tanko threw the mobile phone out of the window of the moving car. He had to get to Las Gidi quickly. The nearest airport was at Ibam State since all air activities in Calaberi had been grounded by the arrival of the President. The GDSS officials drove to a house located at Las Parliamentary Road Extension. The gate was open even before they arrived, and they drove into the compound immediately. The armed guards quickly closed the gates. The GDSS operatives jumped down from the vehicles, dragging the wounded man from the car and into the house. A medical team was already on standby in the first room. The GDSS officials dragged the wounded man into a small, poorly lighted room. There was a single chair in the room sitting in front of a bare table. The chair was bolted to the floor and there were handcuffs attached to it. The wounded man was unceremoniously dumped into the chair, and his wrists were quickly restrained to his sides, preventing him from finding a way to kill himself. "Who are you?" the leader of the GDSS team asked him. "What is your name?" The wounded man spat at him. That earned him a slap from the team leader. "Where is Mbakwe?" the team leader asked one of the men dressed in medical scrubs. "He's en route." "Order them to hurry up," the team leader barked. "Let them use the sirens, clear the way. We need him right now." Twenty minutes later, a Toyota Hilux truck ushered a Mercedes Benz M350 into the compound. A tall slim man dressed in very expensive suits, stepped out from the rear of the Mercedes Benz. He was carrying a small bag with him. "Where is he?" he asked the team leader as they met each other at the entrance to the building. "Follow me." The wounded man stared at the men with defiance. He struggled to free himself, but the handcuffs kept him in place. "No need for the pleasantries yet," the newcomer said as he laid his bag on the table. He turned to the team leader, "Do you want to join us here?" "No," the man didn't have the stomach for what was coming. "Do your thing." The team leader left the room. The newcomer turned back to the wounded man. "My name is Christopher Mbakwe, you probably may have heard of me as I suspect you're military," he said. The injured man had heard of him and knew his reputation. "I would have loved to introduce myself much properly, but you can see you and I are pressed for time. You can make things easier for both of us, by answering some questions I will ask you now so we can skip the pleasantries." The injured man glared at him. Mbakwe opened the bag slowly on the table before the wounded man. It contained medical instruments and glass small bottles and vials, none of which, the injured man could not identify. "What is your name? Where are your colleagues heading to right now? Who...?" The injured man spat at him in defiance. Mbakwe smiled. "Pleasantries it is then." Screams could he heard from the room. The screams went on for several minutes, forcing the team leader to walk out from the building into the compound, where he smoked a cigarette. "Sir," one of his men called him. "You're needed." Mbakwe was walking into the first room. His arms were covered in blood. "Here you go," he handed the team leader a pieces of paper. "You'll find his colleagues there, though I suspect they have left down already." The team leader snatched the paper and started making calls. Mbakwe turned to the medical team. "Clean him up," he said. "Prep him for round two. He hasn't told us the names we want to hear." Vehicles filled with policemen, soldiers and GDSS officials stormed the Intercontinental Metropolitan Hotel, minutes after the team leader made the call. The roads were cordoned off at all sides. GDSS operatives were soon grilling the hotel officials and storming through now vacant rooms. The hit team had vanished. Five vehicles would be found burning in the outskirts of the city. Three of them would be identified as the getaway armoured vehicles used in the attack. It would take the police and fire fighters, a while to get to the vehicles as unused rounds of ammunition and explosives left in the vehicles, kept them at bay. By the time the inferno was over, any evidence they hoped to find, had been totally destroyed. In a dimly lighted room, in a secret GDSS property, a man who had identified himself as Major Ganiyu Okurounmu, groaned in pain as Mbakwe smiled cruelly at him while wiping blood from his hand with a piece of rag. "Let's do this again," he said in his very cultured English Accent. "What is the name of your leader?" 2057hours July 6 Las Gidi State. The taxi driver from the Las Gidi domestic airport, brought the vehicle to a stop in front of his house. Tanko sat inside the car for a moment, and took in the scenery. He didn't see any suspicious movement. There was no suspicious vehicle parked on the street. The street was dark, but his well trained eyes could see very well. The street was safe. "Wait for me," he ordered the driver. He went to the gate and knocked. "Who be that?" one of his guards asked from inside the compound. "Open the gate you fool," he spat angrily and impatiently. "It's me." "Oga, sorry." The soldier opened the gate. Tanko brushed past the man, ignoring his greeting. He rushed into his house and went directly to his safe. He opened it and poured the contents into the small bag he carried into the house with him. They were very important documents he would need to survive as a fugitive. He didn’t know how long the captured man would keep quiet, but he knew it wouldn’t be for long. The DSS would definitely deploy their best interrogators to pry words from his mouth. Tanko knew the man would mention him the moment he cracked. He might not be able to mention any other person. Making sure they didn’t come with their nametags made sure they didn’t know each other’s names. Many of them had not served together before, and he hoped that would be the case with the captured member of his team. He ran out from the house and froze. His men were on their knees with military policemen holding guns at their heads. Tanko started reaching for his pistol, but two men he hadn't noticed before, jumped on him from both sides of the door. They wrestled the pistol from him, and fastened his wrists behind his back with handcuffs. A Major General of the Military Police Corp, led the arrest. He came to Tanko and took the bag from where it had fallen. "Brig. General Tanko Abudullahi," the Major General said. "You are under arrest over allegations of murder and treason. Right now, you have no rights whatsoever. Take him away." "What I did," Tanko spat as he was dragged away. "I did for all of you. One day, you'll all celebrate me." 2100hours July 6 Calaberi. A Gulfstream G550 belonging to the presidential fleet, took off from the Ekpo International Airport Calaberi alongside the President's Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) 737. While the 737 bearing the wounded President and the corpse of the Vice President would take the route towards FCT in an aerial blanket of four Brazilian Embraer MEN 314 Super Tucano attack aircrafts, the Gulfstream headed for Las Gidi where it's sole passenger, Mbakwe, had a date with Brigadier General Tanko Abdullahi. 2300hours July 6 Las Gidi. Christopher Mbakwe walked into the room in the GDSS Field Office along Alfred Rewane Rd, Ikoyi. Tanko was handcuffed to the table, which was bolted to the floor, as was the chair he sat on. He had not spoken a word to anybody since he was taken by military police, and handed over to the GDSS. He looked very calm as he sat there staring into his palms. Tanko knew it was over for him and he accepted it. He also knew what was coming; his exorcism. "Good evening General," Mbakwe said as he walked into the integration room. "My names are Christopher Mbakwe. You may have heard of me. Your colleague did us the honour of introducing you to me in Calaberi. He also introduced me to one of your sponsors. Now, he could help me make other introductions to all your other sponsors, as well as all the members of your team. You seem to run a tight ship, at least, until one slipped. Your team seem not to have the identity of each other. That's good. You'll help us with the identifications we need." "I don't think that would be happening." "Then you don't know me." "And clearly you didn't read my dossier." Mbakwe paused. He didn't have time to read up about Tanko. He probably would have found out that he had been a prisoner of war in Sierra Leone, and suffered untold t*****e in the hands of his captors. "Yes, I didn't read you up," Mbakwe admitted, as he laid his famous bag on the table. "I deduce from what you said, you aren't a stranger to t*****e. The Gongolan government doesn't sanction t*****e either, but with the situation at hand, I've been asked to expedite matter, because of the time constrain we have. I am well studied in t*****e technics. We'll start with the waterboarding, which is kindergarten but helps me warm up. But I assure you, before c**k crows, you'll tell me what I need to know." He brought out a syringe and a hypodermic needle and laid them on the table. He then brought out a small glass medicine bottle. “I guess you’re military intelligence,” Mbakwe said holding up the bottle. “And they probably train you to withstand t*****e. This is different. This is a cocktail of sodium thiopental, sodium amytal and an assortment of psychotropic drugs, to give me a blend that will tear down those walls you’ve been trained to build around your mind. I’ll have you singing like a canary before morning.” By 0730hours the next day, it was a frowning Mbakwe, that left an unconscious Tanko in the room. Mbakwe impatiently waved in the medical team who were on standby, to attend to Tanko. Tanko did not reveal anything. Mbakwe made a mental note to read Tanko's file before their next session, so that he can better understand who he was dealing with. Gun Review FN FAL The FAL (French: Fusil Automatique Léger, English: Light Automatic Rifle) is a battle rifle designed by Belgian small arms designer Dieudonné Saive and manufactured by FN Herstal. FAL A standard FAL made by FN Type Battle rifle Place of origin Belgium Service history In service 1953–present Used by 90+ countries Wars Gongolan Civil War, Boko Haram insurgency Production history Designer Dieudonné Saive Designed 1947–53 Manufacturer FN Herstal Fabricaciones Militares IMBEL Defence Industries Corporation of Gongola Produced 1953–present (Production by FN stopped in 1988) No. built 7,000,000 Specifications (FAL 50) Mass FAL 50.00: 4.25 kg (9.4 lb) FAL 50.61: 4.45 kg (9.8 lb) FAL 50.62: 4.3 kg (9.5 lb) FAL 50.63: 3.75 kg (8.3 lb) FAL 50.64: 3.9 kg (8.6 lb) FAL 50.41: 5.1 kg (11 lb) FAL 50.42: 6 kg (13 lb) Length FAL 50.00 (fixed stock): 1,090 mm (43 in) FAL 50.61 (stock extended): 1,095 mm (43.1 in) FAL 50.61 (stock folded): 845 mm (33.3 in) FAL 50.62 (stock extended): 1,020 mm (40.2 in) FAL 50.62 (stock folded): 770 mm (30.3 in) FAL 50.63 (stock extended): 998 mm (39.3 in) FAL 50.63 (stock folded): 748 mm (29.4 in) FAL 50.41 (fixed stock): 1,125 mm (44.3 in) Barrel length FAL 50.00: 533 mm (21.0 in) FAL 50.61: 533 mm (21.0 in) FAL 50.62: 458 mm (18.0 in) FAL 50.63: 436 mm (17.2 in) FAL 50.41: 533 mm (21.0 in) Cartridge 7.62×51mm NATO, .280 British Action Short-stroke gas piston, tilting breechblock Rate of fire 700 rounds/min (fully automatic), variable (semi-automatic) Muzzle velocity FAL 50.00, FAL 50.61, FAL 50.64, FAL 50.41: 840 m/s (2,755.9 ft/s) FAL 50.63: 810 m/s (2,657.5 ft/s) Effective firing range FAL 50.00, FAL 50.41: 600 m FAL 50.61, FAL 50.62, FAL 50.63, FAL 50.64: 300 m Feed system 20- or 30-round detachable box magazine. 50-round drum magazines are also available. Sights ramped aperture rear sight (adjustable from 200 to 600 m/yd in 100 m/yd increments) post front sight During the Cold War the FAL was adopted by many countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), with the notable exception of the United States. It is one of the most widely used rifles in history, having been used by more than 90 countries. Because of its prevalence and widespread usage among the militaries of many NATO and first world countries during the Cold War, it received the title "The right arm of the Free World". It is chambered for the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge (although originally designed for the .280 British intermediate cartridge). The British Commonwealth variant of the FAL was redesigned from FN's metrical FAL into British imperial units and was produced under licence as the L1A1 Self-Loading Rifle. Gongola Licensed by DICON (Defence Industries Corporation of Gongola) in Gongola as the GR-1.
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