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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Who Is He

From afar, when I noticed the crowd, and the open car booth, I shivered. Please not a human head.

My yesterday was eventful. I had to enter a part of Eko I have never heard of.

Igbosere road is behind the Lagos High Court that is on Tafa Balewa Square road. Something like that. My mission there was to meet a printer yesterday morning, then we had to proceed to his operator’s house.

I was busy looking around everywhere. I saw a sign that said that road is Cow Lane, saw another that is Rasak Okoya lane and I derided myself thinking maybe that is where Chief Rasak Okoya and his popular bride, Folasade reside. That was foolish thinking.

I did admit though that I was in the real Eko, not this extension of Opebi or Satellite Town that I shuttle between. Then I remembered Sefi Atta and I remembered her book Everything Good Will Come, and I imagined some of her portrayal of Eko in her book, might be what I saw, since I wasn’t born in the era she framed that award winning book.

That place I went to, is not very far from Obalende, and it actually occurred to me yesterday, that Lagos Island has more one way roads than anywhere else I know in Lagos.

And talking of Obalende, I hate the place. Oshodi I can stomach; it’s a lesser devil. There is a particular part of Obalende that is always flooded 365 days a year, and I’m sure it rains there at night and no one notices. Not the kind of rain we know about - a different kind whose water is black with wonderful scent that will shame Chanel No 5.

Anyway, back to my gist. There was a crowd at one point in Obalende. They were watching a drama unfolding between the men in black uniform and an unfortunate driver who probably didn’t have his particulars, and this is what I imagined must have happened, before the crowd that I met.

Police waves the car to a stop

Driver stops and wait.

Police: vehicle particulars

Driver: take (he produces them)

Police: (after flipping through, sees nothing wrong with them, but he wants something) wetin dey your booth?

Driver: nothing

Police: come open

Driver: it is empty. You have seen my papers.

Police: (looks at him critically and notices driver is nervous. On the back seat of the car are some clothes scattered. Maybe rags. Not sure. He beckons to his colleague and they whisper together. Soon, one policeman turns into four). Get down.

Driver: (he is out of the car) I’m in a hurry. (He tries to squeeze N500 into his hands).

Police: you want to bribe me. Corrupt citizen. (Then with the other cops, the driver is forced to open his booth).

From afar, when I noticed the crowd, and the open car booth, I shivered. Please not a human head.

I saw in the booth, that three legged stand used in the village to hold big pots on fire, while fire woods are arranged underneath. What is it called? I saw, cashew nuts tied the way hawkers do, all scattered around in the booth. I saw plenty and different sizes of Agege bread. I saw a tray. I saw akara, scattered all around in the booth. I saw a piece of clothe that must have balanced the tray on a head.

Everything registered in my memory in less than five seconds. I didn’t stop of cause. But I couldn’t stop thinking. Who is the driver, and how come he has those things in his booth? What I refused to think of definitely is who the real owner/s of those things, is/are and where she/they is/are.

If you come across this, what will you conclude? Who is the driver?


  1. A kidnapper...he kidnapped a young girl selling akara...

    Hmmmm...I'm highly suspicious...

  2. This sends a shiver down my spine. If I saw what you saw, I swear...It would totally play on my mind forever. I already have an overactive imagination so that whole scenario would not help...at all!

    Kidnapping and rituals seem to be on the rise in Naija. The only problem is that there's no data; so the naija government can pretend it is not happening. Everyone else is suffering and smiling as usual.

    BTW cheeky...being first on your own blog.

  3. @ uzezi- how can u be first on ur own blog??? hissssssssssssssssss

    @ Jaycee- that crossed my mind also

    @ najialines- i'm with you. I just hope it was none of the above and that he had an explanation

  4. u thinking he's a kidnapper or a ritualist?

    and puhlease do not suggest that Oshodi is better than Obalende. that is an insult to the disorder that is oshodi! that place puts the fear of God in me!

  5. Uzezi u are not serious. first ke?
    Eko is very tricky. i had the opportunity to understand CMS, Marina and Broad street recently and its amazing how one place links to another

  6. Top ten ! good for mr , i guess he comes across as a kidnapper or maybe has sliced someone and kept her load in his car to dispose later.
    Hmmm some scary ish

  7. first kuh...lmao...

    Hmmm I would have started the mass lynching...

    Is there really any other explanation??? I hope so oh...though I very much doubt...someone has definately been kidnapped...but why would he carry the stuff with him sef...

    I brought more questions than answers I see....

  8. Hmm...all sorts happen in Lagos these days and only God can help. I think the driver is prolly a ritualist or something. Like you said only God knows what those things belong to. Nigeria is too lawless and superstitious to say the least so all sorts happen.

    The other day my man who happens to be in Lagos now said he went about his business when a scuffle broke out between a man and a plain cloth policeman. Next thing the policeman guns him to death. Why? I'm sure in the end the PC will be left off the hook once his people go and beg and of cos bribe. We have a long way to go in that country.

  9. I would have never known, cos i hate anything involving 9ja police or a Lagos crowd, 9ja police are the most inventive criminals. Thank God there are still cities Like Benin and my God given Jos, I HATE LAGOS.

  10. akara...goodness i would love some right now with some ogi!!! i'm a village girl at heart!

    i hope he hadn't hurt anybody...maybe he'd just stolen the car?...hmmm

  11. but where is the akara seller?

    lol @ policeman accusing a 'corrupt citizen'

    lolouder @ uzezi coming 1st on her own blog

  12. lolllll@Chanel No 5.
    so u too notice dat black water ad,
    as per who d driver is: i nor kno o, anything can happen in lagos.

  13. husband to an olopo(women who cook at parties)

  14. oooohhh... i've got goosebumps babe... i hope they checked that backseat? cuz the clothes cattered all over musta been covering sth!

    so u are about done with DLA yea? i beef u.

    i still prefer Obalende to Oshodi o, although i avoid both places like the plague!lol

    u are not serious o, first ko, first ni! mcheew

    so, next time u are going to the Gambia, lemme know k?

  15. my dear I know4get u oo....I know I have been a vry bad friend...lol...but seriously I have been to overwhelmed with responsibilities lately(u might not understand) but I no just too get time for myself again ooo xcept blogging....I'm still down oo n u said you would call me but u r yet to but I will hit you up anywais

  16. Hi gal,
    1st - Jimoh has bought mirror
    2nd - 1st on yr very own blog? Pls!

    The guy kidnapped one akara seller, one bread seller and probably some other people, sold them 4 rituals and was getting away when he got caught...he probably saw you looking at his car with wild eyes...girl...watch your back!

  17. scary. person go fit buy eyes put for back to waka for lagos oh. neva been to oshodi, dont wish for obalende anytym soon. u def have a very active imagination

  18. @ bumight- oshodi vs obalende. who really knows what that guy is? i didn't stay to find out.

    @ doll- yes of course

    @ Jayjazzy- sliced? that is scarier

    @ Afrobabe- I really hope there's another explantion, the person is his wife and they had to rush her to the hospital.

    @ Parakeet- true u talk. very long way to go. unfortunately enough, most bad people always get away with hidious crimes.

    @ Sprezatura- these things happen not only in Lagos. It's God that saves us.

    @ Shubby Doo- lol @ ur ogi. yes o. maybe he stole the car

    @ Jinta- who knows where the seller is

    @ LG- na black water na die.

    @ ibiluv- yes. u r right. why didn't i think of that? but y hestitate and get nervous over the booth?

    @ Esmeralda- covering something? i hope not

    not DLA o, haven't done that. Growth Academy rather.
    u wanna pay my fare to gambia, or go with me, or send for their kind of suya?

    @ wellsbaba- i understand. no wahala

    @ Buki- girlllllllllllllllllllllll. where ve u been? ur number no dey go. i heard the jimoh and mirror gist. i get eyes for back when i enter Lagos streets.

    @ rayo- really scary. oshodi is interesting. a good source of inspiration for award winning short stories.

  19. wow......... def. a kidnapper....
    wonder how many people he kidnapped and what happened to them :(

  20. i'm scareddddddd...guess the things we don't know don't haunt us..you even had 'liver' to go see whats up..hmm

    me i just mind my biz regardless of the spectacle...can't bear to think the driver has done something really inhumane..

    i like to see the good in all..

    tk cre dearie..

    PS: oshodi puts more fear in me than obalende oh.

  21. its hard for the mind not wonder about who the real owner of those things were. and the fact that he tried to bribe the policeman heightens my suspicions the more. personally, i would have let me curiosity get to me and stayed to see the aftermath of this encounter.

    and yeah....obalende sucks during the rainy season (from the little I have experienced)

  22. that's just scary to imagine. I don't even want to think about it.

  23. @ the genius within- na my eyes find trouble o

    @ nneoma- i no stand o. i had enough.

    @ Sting- i understand

  24. Uzezi, how did you manage to be first on your blog?

    What if he is a man that saved the akara woman's life and also had to carry her things for her? The three legged stand means frying must have taken place. Could be his wife's things...

    And since when did policemen start being good?

    Just practising positive-thinking...

  25. I no igbosere street,that place is soo crowded n choked! I still cant makeup anything bout dat driver sha but atleast he was at d scene now didnt u see him?

  26. @ Rita Esuru Okoroafor- i love ur positive thinking

    @ wellsbaba- u know the place well.

  27. wow...i honestly dunno what to think...lets just hope its nothin negative..

  28. I honestly dont know what to think either! But this is why I love 9ja-hobbing with life and inspiration!

  29. @ Buttercup- let's hope

    @ NigerianDramaQueen- real inspiration. seriously.

  30. looks like a ritualist to me,
    scary ......

    hope u had a gr8 weekend dear

  31. Lagos for show!!!

    Hmm u think Oshodi is better than Obalende...hmm i dunno about that one o!

  32. @ Ms. emmotions- weekned was terrific. scary story and i would rather not know the truth and belief he did nothing.

    @ aloted- na only me like oshodi pass obalende?

    @ Olamild- blood of Jesus

  33. Haa...i'll like to go with rita's explanation.
    Maybe the man's wife sells akara.

    Ol gal, are you not coming for the SBR?
    Which ones na?
    the numbers to call are on my blog.
    I have booked a T-shirt for you but you need to get ur payment across to me asap!


  34. @ princesa- like to be positive too.
    SBR- wish i could. i have a wedding that day. keep the shirt for me. will call you about it

  35. I think I took this thing lightly until I saw Linda Ikeji's post on kidnapping in Lagos. I didn't know it was like that...

  36. @ rita- things happen. Only God saves us It's His grace. That we go out in the morning, return at night and see all our loved ones, we should glorify God.

  37. ....sure, me prefer Obalende to Oshodi sha oh.