The first wave pf surprises came three days after arriving in Enugu. I had ventured into the Ogui area alone in the night. There was a small night club located at the O’Connor road junction. I had packed my grey BMW downstairs and walked two floors up to the club hall. The setting wasn’t as good and organized as Europe but it was in Nigeria anyway.
I sat down on a stool near the bar and ordered for stout beer. I drank a bottle and ordered for another one.
The music playing was from Tuface. It seemed that Nigeria had finally abandoned American Rappers.
After the second bottle, I decided to look elsewhere. The club had started to become boring. I approached a young man sitting near me and asked where I could see a better club. He said there was one somewhere near the independence layout.
We went downstairs together. He was driving a 1998 Toyota Rav4 jeep. I asked him to go first while I followed him. We drove through Ogui road down to Otigba Junction and diverted right. Then we Joined the old Bissala road and headed towards Government house. He was moving on a top speed and I had to keep up with him. The driving was made easier by the street lights.
He drove past Okpara Square and headed to an area I was not familiar with.
We left the tared road and entered a dusty one. I followed him until there was no sight of the tared road, then I became suspicious and stopped.
A car was coming behind me with its full light flashing on all my three driving mirrors.
I sensed Danger and called My cousin who was A member of the state house of assembly. He hardly picked calls but I was lucky that night. He picked the call and asked why I was calling him by that time of the night.
”I am in danger and I need some police men” I shouted through my laboured breathing.
He was alerted instantly.
”Where are you now” he asked.
I described the last tared road where we had left and diverted to the dusty one.
He said the place was ‘brown and brown’ road.
The car coming behind me had gotten close to my back and stopped. I had driven to a corner for them to pass but they blocked my back and alighted from the car.
Two mean looking men came to my car, one on each side. They tapped on the glass and asked that I came down from my car.
I had pressed a security button below my dashboard as soon as they stopped behind me. It was installed by my brother and would prevent the car from starting up. It would also trigger an alarm if one tried to start the car three times without deactivating it.
I had switched on my inner light and asked them what the problem was. My side glass was slightly pushed down to a small space that could not enter an adult’s hand.
They pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot through the glass if I didn’t come down, therefore I opened the door and stepped out of the car leaving my keys on the ignition.
One of them stepped inside the car as I saw the Red Toyota Rav4 coming back up towards us. The man who had the gun asked me to lie down on the ground. He placed a foot on my head to make sure my face was squarely on the ground.
The one I had seen at the club had gotten down from his Rav4 and was cursing me.
” Useless boy, you will go to a better club with foot today” he was saying.
I prayed silently as the one who was inside my car had started starting the car. The first attempt made some noise and stopped . He tried the second time and it didn’t start.
He came down and asked why my car was not starting.
I needed to buy more time to see if my cousin sent the police. I knew there were readily available Police and army officers at the state house of assembly quarters but I didn’t know how long it would take for them to reach us if hey even knew where we were.
”Its the battery, it behaves like that sometimes” I said to the one attempting to start my car.
” You need to open the bonnet and make sure the batter-head was properly fixed.
He ordered me to get up and open it myself. I got up and opened the bonnet.
The whole thing was like a movie. I blamed myself for following the red Rav4 up to that area. I wondered what happened to me, if I had been dragged there with charms.
I heard a police siren somewhere from the far and prayed that it was the police coming to rescue me and my car.
After touching the battery head slightly, I asked the man to try starting it again. As soon as he kicked, the alarm went off.
”poo” two of them shouted at the same time.
The alarm also triggered the four warning lights at the same time. My car was yelling for help through alarm, horn and the four yellow lights.
The police was really coming for me. They had either heard the alarm or seen the lights. There were two vehicles approaching us.
The armed robbers all jumped into their cars. The Red jeep had packed beside me, thereby blocking the only road. They needed to turn it around and run down the small hilly road. The other car, a mercedes 230 was packed being my car and could have easily ran down the road if not that the Rav4 blocked its way.
I was still standing in front of my car with the bonnet raised up. I was also anticipating a gun shot at me in retaliation for attracting the cops.
The police vehicle had branched on our road and was less than 100 meters away.
The Rav4 had managed to turn and was galloping down the road. I had ducked under the bonnet as the shooting started.
The thieves had decided to abandon the mercedes and run down behind the Rav4 with legs. The Police was shooting sporadically at them. One of them had shouted and fallen as the others escaped.
One was shouting for the Rav4 to stop for him. The Police had jumped down from their vehicle and had started chasing and shooting them on foot.
The Rav4 managed to bust out of another road and escaped.
One of the Police men had pointed a gun at me and asked me to identify myself.
I had slowly removed myself from under the bonnet and raised my hands up.
”My name is Zuby, I had called for help through my cousin, Honorable ……. At the house of assembly quarters” he slowly put the gun out of my chest and asked what happened.
I was still breathing heavily as I told him how I had gone to a club and how I had asked for a better club.
” Na you get the car” he asked.
I confirmed the car was mine as I saw the other four police men coming up with a badly bruised man. He was the guy who was starting my car a few minutes ago.