Their headlamps were blazing. They had tried to open the gate but couldn’t succeed. Somehow they had decided to go round the street and cut me off through the other gate.
As soon as i saw them three hundred meters away, i pulled off my red shirt and face cap, then squeezed them tight and held them in my hand. I wanted to throw them inside the gutter but someone could have seen me and got alerted with that unusual act.
I crossed over a small gutter and asked the woman there how much she was selling a head of pineapple i saw on her table. She was telling me the price as the bike squad drove fast past me. I abandoned the pineapple and walked across to Adetola street. There was a a two star bar across the road where i usually went to drink whenever i was bored at home.
I went inside the bar and found a dark corner.
”Give me a bottle of Stout” i said to the bar man. As i opened the drink, i heard more bike horns blazed past the bar down to Emmanuel bus stop and into the street that led to the gate where my Honda bike was seized by the security men.
My nerves had calmed down a bit but there was still danger out in the street. As i sat there, i wondered what must be happening between the security men and the Bikers. They must have discovered what happened and would be regretting why they didn’t delay me a little longer.
Half of Lagos state must have seen or heard the previous news about the pepper treatment.
The second one would be even a bigger news since the news captions would be things like;
”THE PEPPER MAN HAS STRUCT AGAIN”
”THE NIGERIAN POLICE HAS THE WRONG GUY”
”DRAMA AS OKADA MEN GAVE THE PEPPER MAN A CHASE” ”LAGOS OKADA GROUP IN FEAR AS PEPPER MAN STRUCT AGAIN”.
I laughed at the thought of some of the captions. I was sure i would stay indoor for some time but the immediate danger was how to leave the bar.
I called Okey at Jakande estate and told him that i want to go to a club. I convinced him to come to Surulere and he agreed.
As i drank my 4th bottle of Stout, Okey called and said he was in front of my house. I told him to drive up to the bar. When he came, i paid for my drinks and bought him a bottle of Gulder. I needed to waste more time at the bar. It was already getting to 10pm. I believed the Fast and Furious squad had gone to their different homes since the security men in various areas banned them from driving bikes in the night. Time had taken care of that situation.
At a little past 10pm, we drove to my house in the Mercedes 190 and prepared for the club.
Chinelo and Andy said there weren’t going with us.
We drove all the way to Festac and clubbed until the early house of the next day, then we drove to Jakande Estate and slept. I had welcomed anything that would take me away from Surulere for the time being. Despite escaping the irate Okada mobs, i still had Ade to deal with. The bastard knew my face very well. He was even the one who sold me out in the first Place. I switched on the Razor and Called Ade.
He answered after the first ring.
”Where you come run go, why you no wait” he said.
Hold on here!
I was expecting the guy to deny being involved but he was bold enough to accept that he did it.
He was brave. He was my kind of person. If i ever sold out that way, i would be bold enough to accept that i did. The difference between us in that context, was that i wouldn’t sell out that way. I would have adviced the person not to attack or at worst avoid being involved at all. But Ade, who was also part of the first attack, deemed it a good idea to sell me out at the last minute.
It was actually a good thing that he wasn’t clever enough to sell me out while we were still at the Ijesha bus stop. That would have been very disastrous for me.
But if the Okada riders were clever enough, someone was bound to ask Ade how he knew what i wanted to do. Someone was bound to link him up with the attack which could be counter productive for him.
But the Ozoigbondu was never going to rely on what the Okada riders would do to Ade. He had nearly brought me down. One can only imagine what the mobs could have done to me. Those rascals could have gone as far as lynching me before the arrival of any police agents.
I had carefully chosen the junction which was very close to Sanya police post because i hardly trusted anybody 100%. I knew that Ade might sell out. He was a Yoruba man. He wasn’t going to be loyal to anybody from Igboland. The virtual feud between the two mighty nations had been there all along. One can hardly trust a Yoruba man 100% and vice versa. The same went for Hausa-Igbo and Yoruba-Hausa. Nigeria was just a one massive time bomb.
The history of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war was perched somewhere inside the brains of every Adult in Nigeria. The people who told the story, did it in a way that every Igbo blamed Hausa and Yoruba, every Hausa blamed Igbo and Yoruba to some extent and every Yoruba blamed Igbo and also Hausa to some extent.
There was confusion in the air.
Ade had just touched the tail of the tiger. He may not have known the repercussions of his actions but every adult was expected to take responsibility of his or her actions; if you have unprotected sex, prepare for either disease or pregnancy.
Those who lived in a glass house were never expected to throw stones.
Ade lived in a glass house and he had just thrown a stone.
As i rested in Jakande estate, i tried to fight the alcohol in my body to be able to think. It was difficult, therefore, i scrolled down the Razor and found Elizabeth’s number.
”Baby i am in Jakande estate” i said.
She was angry at first but when i explained to her that i left Nigeria for a business trip, she was happy and said she would come in two hours time.
As i waited for her, i flashed back to all the dangerous situations i had managed to got myself into. The worst of them all was the most recent. If not for the fact that there was a gate in Balogun Kuku street, i could have been killed.
“It is impossible to suffer without making someone pay for it; Every complaint already contains revenge”