The national union of Okada riders (NUOR) had started to gather. In just a few minutes after the incident, over ten of them had gathered and were predictably siding with the bike man who had slapped me. Surprisingly, non of them saw the incident when it happened. Non of them even bothered to ask me what happened. They had all gathered together to protect their own from the wicked ritualIst; yes, i heard some of them calling me a ritualist who had tried to use one of them to make money. Two of them even pushed me.
”I dey here when it happened, this man no dey at fault” one bike man said in my defence. He was the only man who said the truth. He was even a Yoruba man.
”Mekus, no mind that ritual man. If he mess up here, we go scatter his car glass.” one of them had said to the bike man who slapped me.
‘Mekus’, that was his name. All the while they called me names and rained abuses on me, i was concentrating on cramming his bike registration number. It was proving to be difficult due to lack of concentration but as soon as one of them called him Mekus, i got a little lifeline. The name was a good lead. It was going to help me locate him. I knew the bike men were territorial. He won’t venture far from Ijesha.
I hated to drive with angry mood, therefore i turned the vehicle and returned home. I was visibly angry for the rest of the day.
What kind of country did we live in?
You hit someone’s vehicle from the wrong side and all of a sudden, you turned the whole incident against the vehicle owner because your friends and fellow bikers had come. Was that their own way to determine justice?
The silly Mekus was even an Igbo man. How on earth did he end up being a bike man in a city hundreds of miles away from his home state? How did he hope to make enough money to survive in that city?
Well there could have been so many reasons why Mekus was there as a bike man.
He could have hoped to raise some money to start something else but i believed that if he continued to be silly and arrogant, it would be only a matter of time before he got killed.
The next morning, i took a bike to Ijesha bus stop. I wore a black jean and T shirt, then i covered my face with the peak of my cap. There were some shops along the road down to Ijesha, i entered one of them and faced the road. I watched as Bike men went about their businesses. Mekus was one of them. I had seen him twice before i finished a bottle of Guinness stout. I also saw one of the bike men who had pushed me. He was a tall guy with a wound at the top of his left eye, the wound had blinded his left eye to some extent. He was one of the people who even pushed me and called me all sorts of names simply because i wasn’t a biker. Prior to seeing him, i hadn’t thought of how to deal with Mekus but as soon as i saw the one-eyed man, an idea came to me. A very deadly idea which i had every intention of pursuing.
As i stood up to leave, i saw him; the guy who sided with me the previous day.
After observing the bike men and their mode of operations, i called the guy who sided with me and went home. On my way home, i stopped at the Ijesha market and bought N200 worth of fresh Cameroun pepper which i had no intention of eating.
”What is your name” i had asked the bike man who dropped me.
His name was Ade. He was from somewhere called Remo in Ogun state. After the introduction, i gave him N500 and picked his phone number. The distance he carried me from Ijesha bus stop to Ijesha market was worth just N100 but i gave him N500. I told him that i liked the way he drove me. I didn’t disclose who i was to him.
When i got home, Chinelo was not yet back, therefore i grinded the pepper with pestle, added a little water and red palm oil, then put them inside a nylon bag.
When Chinelo returned in the evening, he asked how my days had been. She said she had adapted to the fast life of Lagos and was even picking up one or two Yoruba words at the shop.
At about 7pm, i called Ade, the friendly bikeman and asked him to come to good day hotel. He came. As we chatted and drank, i told him that i had returned from Spain and that i could give him connection to travel too. After two bottles each, i told him that some bike men abused me at Ijesha bus stop. I told him the story the way he would remember it and he did remember it. He said he was there when it happened. He was surprised at the way coincidence had brought us together; he never knew it was deliberately planned out.
”I want to slap that one who slapped me” i said.
Ade said that he would show him to me anytime i wanted. He also said that he would identify about two other men who also pushed me around at the incident venue.
We scheduled to meet the following day by 5pm.
When i returned home, i knelt down and said some prayers. I never believed that prayers worked, i just said them for the sake of praying. After praying, i slept.
The next morning, i drove to Ifesinachi transport garage near Maza Maza and picked up a parcel that was sent to me from Onitsha. It was the certificate of Incorporation and the Article of Memorandum of our company. Inside the parcel were also some bills of lading which we had gotten from the numerous cars i sent from Germany. It also contained three months Bank statement of our company which had recorded a massive turn over of over N70 million naira.
After picking them up, i drove to Tedi and photocopied them at the Cyber Cafe of Mr James. I wanted to use that opportunity to see how much Amaka had grown. Amaka the little terrorist was there when i got there. She was all over me even while the father was there. She wanted to know where i had been and what i had been doing. She had grown a little bigger and had turned 18. I gave her my new phone number and left. She called while i was still driving and asked where i lived.
”I want to come tomorrow” she had said.
”No, i will tell you when to come” i had said and hung up.
Amaka will come but not then.
” A word to the wise is not necessary, It is the stupid ones that need the advice”