129: Getting the Area Boys

posted in: Season 2: The Shadow Chase | 0

As the days went by, Maria started visiting me again. Although i made it known to her that there would be no sex. I lied to her that i was on a two months sex fasting and would not break that. It was a divine call, i had told her.
There was the urge to tell her that i was the person who took her money and her phone but it wasn’t clear to me what her reactions was going to be. Therefore i held on to the secret.

One evening, i got a call from Baba. According to him, one of his gang members was planning an attack on me. He was the guy who refused the money i gave them and insisted that i share the money equally.

I asked Baba to send me his number. He did.
In a bid to buy some time, i told Baba that there was aready a Job.
” A friend of mine will bring some money to me. The amount is N120,000. I am going to direct him to a place where the money will be taken from him” i had told Baba.

I called his friend who was planning to attack me.
”Hello, Baba gave me your number. Did he tell you that another job is coming up” i had asked.
He insisted that i must settle the first one before anything else. The dude was tough.
Meanwhile, when i told him the job would yield N120,000, he calmed down. I also told him that he would get the balance of the first job after we pulled the second one.
I believed that right inside his mind, he had planned on how to take the whole N120,000 and gave me nothing.

After talking to the tough guy, i called Jude and told him what i had planned to do. I told him that i needed him to act as the guy who would be bringing me the N120,000 but he refused. He was scared that there could be shoot out and a stray bullet could find its way to his body. I understood him.

After many minutes of thinking, i went downstairs to a bar where i was the day Maria was attacked. There was a Benin boy who i frequently saw there. We were not friends but i had bought atleaset Four bottles of drinks for him in the past weeks.
He wasn’t there when i came and after over two hours of waiting, i left a message with the beer parlour owner. I gave him my number and asked him to tell the boy to call me.

The call came an hour and half later.
His name was Luke. Luke was from Edo state. I had forgotten the name of his town.
We met at a chicken restaurant down the road.

” Some area boys attacked my girlfriend last week and took her money and phone. I tracked them down and want to set them up” i had told Luke.
He wanted to know how that was his business.
While we sipped our JW, i told him that i had been to Germany and that i knew a lot of people over there. Naturaly, he wanted to visit Germany too but knew nobody there and didn’t even have the money to get the visa.
” well you know me now and one day, an opportunity will come out and before you know it, you could be in Germany. I want to set those boys up tomorrow or next. I will find them and tell them to come to a place where police would capture them”
I said.
” I will tell them that somebody is coming to deliver money there and will ask them to take the money from him. This is where you come in. I am going to pay you for this small job. You will go to the Place by 7:30pm. The police will be there before you but they will hide in the corner. I have told them about the plan, so you have nothing to fear” i concluded.

He was scared but when i announced that he would get N10,000 for that, he agreed.

When he left, i walked to a recharge card vendor and bought two sim cards.
The price of sim card had dropped dramatically to N300.
When i got home, i called Baba and told him that the job would be on the night of the following day. I also called his friend later who confirmed that Baba had told him. I tactically haggled on the phone over how the money would be shared. Eventually we agreed that the money would be divided into 4. Three for them and one for me.

I removed the simcard, put the new Glo sim and called the DPO.
I put the phone into a plastic bucket and covered the bucket with a towel, then i spoke inside the bucket while the speakout mode was activated.
Since i had always called the DPO ‘officer’, i changed the name to ‘Master’. I also switched from Queen’s English to pidgin. I had decided to make many mistakes.

” hello, this is the DPO”
” Master, i get a tip of thieves for you. area boys them dey plan to steal money tomorrow for Surulere here”

He asked how i got his number and why i wanted to tip them. I told him that he had locked me up before and that i was a member of the area boys gang but had repented since i was recently released from prison.

He wanted to ask more questions but i switched the phone off.
I removed the simcard and put the previous one back. All those while, i had been calling the DPO, chukwudi, Maria, my friends and relatives with my first MTN number, the sim was on my Motorola razor.
I also had the simcard that was on my Nokia phone that i used to communicate with the area boys. From the moment they slapped me, i knew that it would be better to create their own World for them.

The following day came faster than other days. I met with Luke at the beer Parlour and gave him a small bag containing nothing. Then i went up to the upper Adetola street and located the perfect scene. It was a junction of a street that busted out to Adetola. There was a fence at the north side of the junction that was half fallen. No direct electric light and it was isolated to some extent.
The bike man who took me there told me the name of the bus stop.

When i told Baba where the Job would happen, he said he knew the place. I told them that the money bearer would arrive between 8 and 8:30.
When i bucket-called the police again, i told them to hang around the area between 7 and 7:30. It was a gamble since the police and the area boys could collide before the arrival of the money. But however it happened there was going to be some fight between them.

By 6:30, i drove past the area with a bike, everywhere was calm as if the gods of the area knew that something could happen there soon. Down the road on the left, there was a quiet bar where a few people had gathered to drink. I joined them but sat a few meters away from them where nobody could hear what i was saying.

The Police came first. I saw three of them walked past me on mufti. I recognized them pretty well as they walked past the bar and down to the junction i had told them. Rather than hiding behind the half fallen fence as i had expected, they knocked on a private house across the road opposite the bus stop and entered. I didn’t see any gun with them and i wondered how they were going to capture Baba and his gang with bare hands.

When the police were out of sight, i called the money bag to start coming to the bus stop. I told him to come to the bus stop and stand there as if waiting for somebody.

I called Baba immediately and told him that the money bag was on the way to the bus stop. We talked about the sharing formula once more but he promised me not to fear, he said i will get my share. He was the leader now and was the decider of how we shared out things since i had taken the Maria money alone.

”Don’t move” a voice said behind me. It was from a man who was at the bar before me. He had seen me talking on the phone and suspected that i could be a criminal. I slowly stood up with my hands on my head as he searched me quickly.
I thought he was a criminal until he produced an ID card. He was a police man. The forces had surrounded the area long before my arrival. Luckily for me, he didn’t hear what i had said on the phone. After apologizing to me, i paid for my drink and walked out. A bike took me towards the opposite direction. I heard some gun shots about three minutes later, it was from that area i had just left. I called Maria and drove to her place.

As i sat down, i removed the simcard on the Nokia phone and broke it into pieces. I also broke the simcard that i used in calling the police. I put a new simcard on the phone and searched for the phone numbers. Every Alaye or unregistered number was wiped out, the same happened to the DPO’s number.

I slept with Maria in her Place that night, half expecting my cousin to call and tell me that the area boys or the police had come for me. He didn’t call.
When i called him, he didn’t mention anything about police or area boys.
On my way home that morning, i told the bike to go through Kilo.
As we drove past the area, we saw some police vehicles with a few handcuffed young men. I didn’t know those group but they must have been affliated to the area boys. There was no need to be in a haste. The news would come sooner or later.
I was right. Luke was released from the Police station. He had been taken along with the area boys. He had been interrogated but he didn’t mention me. I didn’t trust him anyway, so i paid him his money and left.

” It is better to be high-spirited even
though one makes more mistakes,
than to be narrow-minded and all too
prudent.”

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