When she reached home, Banke opened the letter. She saw just a small note:
Sorry you are reading this.The truth will be known about my condition later. Just be assured nobody killed me. It may all be clear on 17th April 1993.
She became more baffled. She became worried and she started remembering times before the second year of their marriage. She remembered that at that time she was a part of all Banji’s plan. She knew about his intention, his job and even his past, though not all.That was until they made him a Brigadier-General and the head of the Military negotiating team. He changed then. He changed. He became taciturn and close mouthed. He stopped discussing much with her and started phoning from work to inform her of his not coming home. He started missing home for days, sometimes without reason and then with some reasons that were not tenable. Initially she took it calmly but when it became a recurrent act, she started complaining. She started asking questions. Questions, which remained unanswered. Now almost a year after his death, she receives a cryptic note and stumbles upon a cryptic notation. She sits down in her room and asked herself questions.
Why did Banji change, Lord? Why? What was troubling him that he cannot share?Why the change from that easy – going open – minded individual to the highly strung, excessively secretive individual before he died. Why Lord why? When did he become that?
Banji had been a loving husband and a considerate man. Banke was surprised to find so meek a man within the army. She was more than surprised to find him a Lt. Colonel at the age of 26. It was at one of their outings in the university that Banji explained how he was made a Lt. Colonel. He told his wife- to- be then, his life history. How he found himself in the military school after losing his parents. How he finished the military school in less than five years because of his brilliance. How in the second year at the NDA he topped the class, passed the next class’s final examination and was sent straight to an advanced officer’s course. By the time he came back the war had started. He joined the war and served with the Military Intelligence. It was there that he was promoted to the rank of a Lt. Colonel without being a major because he was next in line to the Colonel who then was heading the unit.The Colonel went through a court martial and he became head of unit. He was a captain almost on the threshold of being made a Major. He must give orders to those who are older and some are his seniors. In order to disentangle the logjam, the military authorities made him a Lt. Colonel. Immediately after the war he changed his unit.The course he came for when they met was part of his retraining. He wanted to become a Military negotiator. At the age of 26 he had become a Lt. Colonel. That was when they met. Though Banke tried to ask more questions about Banji’s family, but it was to no avail. They married. After their marriage he was sent on another course.When he came back he was promoted to a Colonel.As luck would have it there was a coup and he became a Brigadier-General.
Then his work became more and he started travelling. Both within and outside the country. Despite his incessant travels, he played the role of a good husband very well. That was until his promotion. Some few months to their third marriage anniversary. It came to a head one day. On the 10th of April 1992. It happened.Three days earlier Banji had returned from a negotiating discussion for the military at Geneva. He came back morose, listless and highly nervous. Banke tried to coax him and ask about what was wrong. She was not told anything. Then on the 10th, she was coming from work when she saw her husband’s car in front of a beautiful house at FestacTown. She had left the office at Allen Avenue in order to keep a business appointment with a client at Festac. There at the house beside her client’s was her husband’s personal car at the time he is expected to be at work. She went to her client and after her discussion and reading of agreement, she decided to play the spy. She asked for the permission of her client to stay at their veranda and pack her car in their garage. She did and went to their balcony, it was there she saw her husband coming out in mufti with a very beautiful woman. He kissed her and said that he was happy to have met her. He stated clearly to her hearing that his life had changed since she came into it. They hugged and kissed again and the cry of a baby within the house brought someone in from the house who called the woman. The woman rushed inside and her husband drove off by himself.