On Monday January 1st 2007, we welcomed and entered a new Year in Abdijan. The good people of Abdijan were friendly and hospitable. They partied all day and night, giving out gifts to foreigners who dared to spend the new year in their country. I had planned to leave the country the next day, therefore, i decided to have fun, mix up with the Ivorians and dance with them. Isabella had been with me for the previous two days and had refused to leave. I had gotten tired of telling her to go and had decided to just watch since she wasn’t demanding for money. As a matter of fact, my money was going down but was till enough. Since i was leaving the following day, i had calculated all my remaining money and stuffed them inside my jean pocket. I wanted to buy some original stuff such as milk in Abdijan before leaving. The quality of milk i saw there was far better than what i had been buying in Lagos. I had planned to travel by air too which meant i didn’t have to suffer carrying large loads. I had worn my jean and sports shoes, my eyeglasses. Inside my pocket was all of my documents which i had been carrying around with me, my phone and nothing else. My bag was still in my hotel room with a pair of Jean, one sports shoe, one pair of sandals, two T shirts, a half bottle of whisky and two singlets.
I took Isabella to the Tai national park where a lot of people had been celebrating new year. After the park, we drove to Cathedrale Saint-Paul, one of the largest Churches i had seen in Africa. There were hundreds of people there at the Church for sight seeing and of course prayers.
There! A familiar face. I had seen it somewhere. He looked Nigerian. My eyes had brushed past him. It was as a result of being vigilante. Then i slowly turned and watched him through the corner of my eyes inside my dark glasses. It was him. He was looking at me while making a call. He was one of the people who had chased and caught me for Sule at the sports bar. He looked 100% Igbo man.
I pulled Isabella’s hand and moved slowly away from him. We were heading for the exit.
”Where are we going, we just got here” Isabella protested.
”We just got here and we are just getting out of here” i said as i dragged her hesitant arm.
”Austin wait, we haven’t even seen the alter i told you about” She said as i looked back and saw the man coming after us.
”Well, go and see the alter, i would be right back” I said as i quickened my pace and rushed to the entrance gate. Some bikes were standing there. I jumped unto one and asked him to move.
The bike man said something in French, i believed he asked where i was going. But when he saw a man running fast towards me, he tried to start his motorcycle. The machine didn’t start, he tried again but it failed. The chaser was very close now. There was no way we could make it any more, therefore, i sprang up from the back seat and jumped on top of him. He fell down heavily from the unexpected attack. People had started looking at
Us as i hit him twice in both eyes and stood up. He had held his eyes with both hands and was shouting. I walked fast down the road and climbed unto another bike.
I pointed to the direction that led inside the city as we drove off. The bike man didn’t understand English a bit therefore i just told him to take me to My hotel. About 200 meters to the hotel, i saw some two Nigerians again. I didn’t recognize their faces but i couldn’t figure out what two Nigerian men were doing there. They didn’t look like tourists. They looked more like the residents of Abdijan city. Therefore , i asked the bikeman to turn around and take me to a bust stop where i could get a bus going to Ghana. As he turned, the two men saw me and got up fast. We had driven past them and had turned and driven past them once more. I guessed they saw me when i drove past initialy but when they saw me turn around with the bike, they started up. As i looked back, i saw them got into a car as we turned to a junction. After a sharp bend, i jumped down from the bike, gave him more than enough money and ran into a small walkway. The bike man drove off. As i stood near a door and watched, i saw the car belonging to the two men drove past me. Sure it was them. They were after me. I walked out to the road again and saw them stopped at a busy junction. They were asking someone some questions.
I walked towards the opposite direction and entered a cab.
”Monami, where can i get a bus to Ghana” i asked the taxi driver.
He understood English.
He took me to Avenue de la Bia where i found a STC bus going to Accra. They said the price was $25 or the equivalent in Cedis or CFA. I paid them in Dollars and waited at a small bar near the entrance of the bus station. I bought a small bottle of whisky and drank from it while i waited for the bus to load up. I was also on the look out for strange suspicious faces. I Saw some Nigerian women and business men loitering around the station, but non of them looked suspicious enough.
At about 6pm, we left Abdijan. We got to a town called ‘Abois So’ where a checkpoint was located. We proceded to Elubo border. We were searched and cleared to go. The custom officers and their drug agents believed that i had gone there to transport cocaine back to Ghana. They had asked for my luggage but were disappointed when i told them i had none. They asked why i went to Abdijan with flight and was returning with bus. I was getting angry due to their slow process and time wasting, therefore i told them that i had the right to use whatever transport system i wanted. After over an hour at the border, they let us go. We got to Sekondi-Takoradi by midnight. We rested there and ate something. There was a busy area where buses stopped. There were a lot of Nigerian business men, especially the Igbo people who were heading to Abdijan and Monrovia via the city of Takoradi. We Nigerians, irrespective of what others think, truly dominated Business in West Africa.