A befitting recompense

May Almighty God send the worst of punishments his way. And I hope it reaches him sooner than later.’ I said, putting down the newspaper I was holding on the table.

‘And why would you wish so much evil on someone?’ I heard Tahir ask, even before I could see him from the balcony.

‘Because he deserves it Hubby dearest.’ I replied, looking behind me at his approaching figure. ‘I wasn’t wishing him ill. I was praying for Almighty Allah’s punishment to reach him soonest and that’s because he deserves it.’ I insisted.

‘Still, why would you do that against anyone? Ok, let me guess, he did something wrong which you find unforgivable and in your hard-line stance, you decided that even his Lord and Creator won’t forgive him. But what makes you think you are qualified to speak for Almighty Allah?’ He queried.

‘It’s not what you think Tahir. Just come over and sit.’ I urged, gesturing towards the second chair on my balcony. ‘Pick up this newspaper and read the story on the page you are looking at.’ I added, the moment he took a seat after walking from the sitting room door.

‘Just read the news item that’s facing you and decide whether there’s anything wrong with my prayer.’ I advised. He picked the paper and read in silence then after a few minutes, he put it down and said:

‘This is incredible. So people still harbour tendencies like these?’ he asked, sounding shocked.

‘Yes they do, otherwise, how could he have done it?’ I answered.

‘But I’m talking about unusual times Bint, this is a time when almost the whole world is locked -in, due to the fear of a strange disease. This scourge is ravaging continents and producing death tolls in places where they haven’t seen such before or at least not in a very long time. We are talking about a pandemic that’s totally unprecedented in both it’s reach and ramifications. And yet this man still thinks he has found the perfect opportunity to commit a crime?’ Tahir was incredulous.

‘You know, it wouldn’t be so bad if he was an ordinary member of the community, some people are driven by desperation and possibly hunger to commit such crimes but a whole local government councilor stooping so low as to run away with what was entrusted to him in order to feed others? I haven’t heard of something so disgusting in a long time. This is why I was praying for Almighty Allah’s immediate punishment on him, even if the government is unable to reach him.’ I explained.

‘I’m sure the government too will get him. The news story said he has been declared wanted. So it’s only a matter of time, in Sha Allah. But I totally agree with you Bint. How can anyone be so heartless and selfish? In his position, he should be the one to buy food and feed the people under him but he chose to run away with what the government has provided as palliative for them? What a shame.’ Tahir concluded.

‘A real shame hubby dear, especially if you consider the fact that people who can, are competing to contribute in any way possible to ease the suffering of the common man in this lockdown season.

How can this man aspire only to steal from him? I just hope that the Niger state government will expose this man completely. He should be named and shamed such that in future no one will trust him with any public office.’ I suggested.

‘You are right Bint, a befitting recompense for him will be to be named and shamed. Then after due prosecution he should be jailed appropriately.’ Tahir concurred.

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