Three Million Barrels of Blood is a dreary story, a tragicomedy that detailed the plight of a thirteen-year old boy whose parents and only sister in his presence were gruesomely murdered by a mob inspired by the landlord of the house they lived, during the genocide against his tribe in northern Nigeria in Africa. By a hair’s breadth, fortunately he escaped and returned to his ancestral homeland in Eastern Region. The unceasing massacre of his tribe’s people eventually dovetailed to a civil war. As a last resort, he was constrained to enlist in the youth army, did lots of daring exploits; all to avenge the death of his parents, sibling and other compatriots slaughtered during the pogrom.
By a quirk of fate, where prisoners of war were incarcerated in a detention facility he was assigned a guard duty with a fellow soldier. Out of the several detainees under their custody one was their cruel landlord who engineered the mob that lynched his parents and sister. With clear and open eyes, he recognized the man, interrogated him; and the fellow confessed to his crime, but pleaded for mercy and forgiveness. Mulling over this bizarre situation as to how to handle it, he drifted into trance, whereupon three angels appeared to him; but one among them counseled him to unconditionally forgive and even let the prisoner escape from detention where he was held on death row: he should on no account contemplate retaliation. Acceding to the angel’s advice he aided the man’s escape. He and his colleague were labeled saboteurs, traitors and sentenced to death by firing squad by the Biafra military high command for that singular anti-establishment act. Two marksmen on the date and time of their execution were posted from the army headquarters to dispatch them to the great beyond. On unveiling the convicts, one of the shooters was chagrined to discover that the one he was assigned to kill was his direct junior brother and he, Ede resisted the order to shoot Adam. Thus a commotion ensued. The General Officer Commanding the Brigade arrived and halted the execution and directed that the saboteurs be untied and sent to the fiercest battle field. The duo was subsequently deployed to Oguta Sector, the hottest warfront at the time. At the peak of the fighting, they sensed danger and thus deliberately shot themselves on the thigh and upper arm respectively to save their lives in the epic battle. Evacuated and taken out for treatment, they faced imminent starvation in the hospital and resorted to raiding the airport nearby to steal relief materials donated by the International Committee of the Red Cross in order to survive and help other wounded patients. They were arrested and drafted back to the war front. Soon the war ended.
The orphan subsequently enrolled into a secondary school through the instrumentality of his maternal uncle, Joshua, a teacher, but was expelled for using counterfeit money to pay his school fees. He left for the city to eke out a living as a chart pusher. In his place of work, the lady manager, a daughter of the managing director had crush for him, and employed Adam as her office janitor. When eventually the girl formally introduced him to his father as her fiancée, it turned out that the MD was the very heartless landlord who killed Adam’s parents and sister, and who he aided his escape from detention that earned him a death sentence. Full of appreciation the man rewarded his benefactor by giving the hands of his daughter to the orphan in marriage, and consequently bequeathed the ownership of his multi-million dollars company to the couple as a wedding gift. He turned his life to Christ on the strength of God’s mercies upon his life, became a Reverend and General Overseer of a mega church. The father in-law in lieu of Adam’s kindness and forgiveness jettisoned his own religion and converted to Christianity where he claimed and believed the God of forgiveness dwells.
The Three Million Barrels of Blood
A veteran's account of a civil war
Publication date: 01/05/2019
The grim experiences of Igbo civilians during the Nigerian-Biafra civil war
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