In the mediocre society we lived, people believed that every
kind of tricks were divine. Just tell them it was done by god
and they would believe you.
We lived in a society where a Pastor would conspire with his
fellow scammers to cut the break cable of a man’s vehicle,
then prophesy to him that he was going to have an accident if
he didn’t pray hard enough. ”Hard enough” would be his punch
line. No matter how much the man prayed, the breaks would
eventually fail and when it does, the whole congregations
would shout Alleluya, God talks to our pastor.
We lived in a society where a community would claim that
their shrine could track debtors and kill them. People would be
trooping to the shrine to tell a faceless entity about people
who owed them and refused to pay them. The shrine soldiers
would eventually track down the debtor and warn him that the
shrine had given him a time to pay or die.
If the person paid out of fear, the shrine had worked. If the
person didn’t pay, the shrine soldiers would eventually make
sure they killed the man, the shrine had worked too.
Everything, even Physics and Chemistry were attributed to
We lived in a society where students would visit the churches
to pray for divine help to pass exams over subjects they didn’t
read. They believed God was capable of passing the exam for
them rather than reading.
We lived in a society where someone would tell you that God
had revealed a football match result to him but warned that if
a certain team didn’t pray hard, they would lose. The sheeples
would shout Alleluya and spread the news all over the place.
We lived in a society where a pastor would gather Twenty
million Naira from poor masses, then spent two million Naira
to buy rice for poorer masses and spread it all over the TV.
The people would be shouting Alleluya all over the place.
We also lived in a society where Churches, especially the
Catholics would built houses for their priests, bought exotic
cars for them and lived poor themselves. A trait they carried
over from when the white missionaries came. The same
people who enslaved us mentally.
We lived in a society where the government who were
supposed to help the poor masses, engaged themselves in
looting the resources and shipping the money oversees where
other governments used them.
Everything around us was wrong. Everything, except the few
things we had managed to salvage.
Right from begining, I believed there was a big force
controlling the planet earth and other planets. You called it
God but I called it Nature. Whatever it was, we must all agree
that it was a constant. We are the variables. The numerous
religions we had were also variables. The different races we
had on earth were variables.
Therefore the war of ”My God is better than your God” had
started long ago. It was a war of trying to take what you had
after telling you that his or her own Constant had told him or
her something to tell you. The target had always been the
money in your pocket, your land, your resources. As soon as
our people understood all that, we would be emancipated from
mental slavery. ”Anybody who said God told him something to
tell you is lying to you”
Therefore Karma was real in the sense that what goes around
comes around. Karma had its workers on earth too because
misfortune goes to good people and vice versa. Everything
was by chance. Yes, by chance even the Prayers that you
claimed had been answered.
The Karma of Maria losing her phone and money was man
made. If I had not been part of it, I could have believed that it
was Karma of what she tried to do to me in Benin.
”Hello” I said as soon as I picked the call.
It was Baba of the Alaye gang.
He wanted to know when we will share the money. I told him
to get me the entire money and the phone. He promised to
” People have moral standards about what they will do and
will not do.. At the end of the day someone who cheats has
lower moral standard than someone who does not. And they
will cheat in other areas of life as well”
I had told Baba to come alone and he had done that.
The money and the phone sat there on my table. I had also
promised him that there would be more jobs which would
fetch us big money.
”IF you wanted the company of rats, you must buy fishes”
The phone inside my room started ringing. As I went to the
room to get it, i knew who it was. It was Jude. I had told him
to call me in ten minutes time as soon as Baba told me that
he was downstairs. I had also told Jude to cut off the call as
soon as I picked it. I told him that I would explain why later.
I went to the room and picked up the call. Jude cut it off as
soon as he heard my voice. I switched it off because someone
else could call while I was talking to the false call. Then I put
it on my ear and pretended to be talking to someone.
”Hello baby, I found the people who took your money. I called
the police and tracked them down. The police have taken
them to Ikeja for interrogation. We also recovered all the
items they took from you. you are lucky” I said as I sat down
Baba who had heard everything I had said, stood up abruptly.
”Woo, Wetin you think say you dey do, you wan call police for
me” he said as he looked around to see if Police were hidden
anywhere in my place.
”Calm down. I am not calling any police but I am sending the
items back to the owner. She said she would commit suicide
if she didn’t get the things back. I don’t want her to die yet. I
have told the DPO that I was in the area when it happened and
that I knew the people who did that but I will tell him that I
haven’t found them. We will close the case and nobody will
know anything” I had said to Baba.
He complained that his co actors won’t believe him if he didn’t
return with their shares of the money.
“Tell them what happened and tell them that I will settle them
when I get money” I said.
He left my house so disappointed.
There on the table was N50,000. According to Baba, they had
spent N2000 the night they got the money.
Maria’s phone was also on the table. It was worth over
N50,000 in the Nigerian Market. I picked it up and removed
the Simcard, broke it into pieces and flushed it down the
toilet. I inserted one of my old simcard and switched the
phone on. Then, I checked all the numbers, stored in the
phone and wiped them out.
I took the phone and the money and went down to my car.
I drove to Ladipo through toyota bus stop and sold the phone
for N42,000. I knew I could have gotten much more money
from it but it was a stolen phone. I needed to close the deal
as quickly as possible.
In Total, I saw N92,000 on my hand. There was a Diamond
bank at the upper Ladipo street, I drove there.
It was time for Mathematics.
I had spent N39,000 in benin city.
N92,000 minus N39,000 = N53,000.
Kola, Baba and their gang had taken about N40,000 including
I deducted the N40,000 too and came up with N13,000.
I counted N13,000 and stuffed it inside my wallet, Then I paid
in the rest of the money into my account.
I Knew that Baba and his gang would return. They had pulled
the job themselves and if they got nothing, they could
implicate or even attack me.. It was important to cover every
Although I could deny them but it was better to avoid stirring
the problems in the first place.
On my way back, I called Baba.
”Let us meet at the good day hotel in the evening” I had told
He reminded me that the boys were angry. I told him to come
with them. I promised there was another job and also told
them that everything from that new job would go to them.
The jobless Alayes were at the good day before my arrival. I
called Maria to make sure she was not in that vicinity. She
could identify one of them as her attackers and if she did, she
could easily link them with me which would stir trouble.
”I am tired. I can’t make calls, I have lost all the numbers I
don’t have in my Diary. I don’t even have money at home” she
I told her that I will stop by in two hours.
The boys were angry as expected but I told them that jobs
were like that sometimes. I bought them drinks worth N3000
and gave them N5000 in cash to share. I myself refused to
drink, I had taken my money and didn’t want anything to do
with the remaining N13,000.
Two of them were contented except one. I had forgotten his
name. He had refused the money and said that I must share
the money equally. I reminded him that I didn’t call him for
any job. Good day was a large place and there were many
people there that evening. There was nothing he could do.
When it was time to leave, I told them that the next job could
come in a few days.
I drove straight to Maria. She was visibly getting thinner and
uglier. She hadn’t put on any make up since the incident. I
didn’t want to stay at a sorrowful place, therefore, I consoled
her and gave her the remaining N5000 on my way out. It was
her money. The remainder of the money from her phone and
She could now go and do the charm with the money for all I
care. Lets see how she won’t charm herself or Baba and his
gang or the officials of Diamond bank.
… And to all the people who put me into the temptations of
revenge, the blame of my unpleasant and unfavourable actions
was also yours. The evil that men do must not go unpunished
because they would keep doing bad things.
” The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things
complicated but to make complicated things simple”
A few days later, everything began to settle and return to
normal. Based on my own calculations, the only score left to
settle was the slap by the area boys. I had gotten my money
from them, although the money belonged to Maria but it was
the area boys who stole it from her. They worked for the
money and i took it from them.
I picked up my phone and called the DPO.
He and his boys were drinking at an area called Lawanson. I
told him that i wanted to see him urgently. He directed me on
how to get to where he was.
I took a bike and drove to him.
”my boy how are you” he said as soon as i settled on a chair
He was happy to see me since i had made them over N50,000
from the Chukwudi case.
I even did more by buying them more drinks.
” Officer, i was at the good day hotel today and overheard
some boys talking about a job they did. They were drinking
and boasting about snatching one lady’s bag at Adetola street.
I marked one of them’s face and would recognize him
anywhere i see him” i said.
He told me to visit him at the office the next day so we could
discuss it properly.
The following day, i called Maria. She was getting better. I told
her that i would come in an hour or two.
I went to the Police. The DPO was there. I told him everything i
heard about the people who stole a lady’s money. I told him
also that i could recognize one of them anywhere.
He told me to keep looking out for them but warned me to be
careful since if they found out i was snitching on them, i could
be in a lot of mess.
I left the station house on a bike and drove to Ojuelegba. I
bought an Ericsson phone of N48,000 and drove to Maria. She
was cooking when i came.
As if she knew i was going to get her a phone, she had
jumped up at me on seeing the pack of the new phone.
Somehow after buying a new cheap Nokia, Maria had called
me. Surprisingly, she knew my number offhead. She had told
me about the new Nokia worth N6500. According to her, she
had recovered most of her contacts from a diary but not all of
When i received her call, i felt a little guilty over what
happened between us. I was sure she planned something in
maybe i was just being paranoid but it was better to be
paranoid than a victim.
I was angry at myself for destroying her simcard but i was also
trying to protect myself. The mistake was attacking her with
the area boys in the first place. As soon as that happened,
going back to give her all those items would have painted me
black in her eyes. At a stage i had decided to mellow down
and find a way to bring her back to the table. She didn’t have
many friends in Lagos.
I knew that whatever i was going to do with the area boys
could backfire and that could lead to them squealing. They
could confess that i had sent them to attack Maria, therefore it
was important to be in good terms with Maria first.
”cunning is the art of concealing our own defects and
discovering other people’s weaknesses”
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
” 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
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
” 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
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
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
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
”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
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
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
On my way home that morning, i told the bike to go through
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
October 2006, a major police raid had occurred in Surulere
Lagos Nigeria. The targets were the self crowned owners of
the area known as the area boys.
Among the people captured were Kola, a popular gangster
who had terrorized Kilo and its environs, Baba and numerous
others. During the raid which started when the Police rescued
a young man whose bag had been snatched, one of the area
boys had attempted to escape. The police had shot at him,
wounding him on his right leg which rendered him
For many days after the raid, a kind of quietness had
descended on Surulere. Nobody knew how the police got the
tip off where the area boys used as their hideouts. Nobody
knew how the police got the tips on where to ambush the petty
Nobody except Ozoigbondu. I had pictured a situation where
Baba and his two friends would be captured while trying to
take the bag from Luke but it seemed the police had other
plans. Things had escalated beyond control which resulted in
more raids. Perhaps one of the people captured had told the
police where their hideouts were located.
Fear had started to grip me finally and my survival instinct told
me that it was time to move.
From the very moment i returned from Maria’s place to the
following three days, i didn’t leave my apartment. I was
unbelievably scared for the first time. I knew that if any of the
area boys in Police custody talked, i could be rounded up by
the Police any moment.
As a result, i would wake up as early as 4am and stood near
the window, looking out for any slight movement. I was mostly
on the look out for the area boys. They could have also known
that i had a hand in what happened in their little territory.
Four days after, i told my cousin that i was leaving town. The
problem however was that i didn’t know where to run to. I had
ruled out the East because i didn’t want to go down there. I
wanted to stay close to Lagos for visa purposes. I didn’t know
much about Ibadan, i had been there back in 2001 but i knew
nobody there. I had been to Ekiti state as well but that was
way back in 2002. I didn’t know anybody there too.
After careful deliberations, i decided to stay back in Lagos but
that would be in another area. Surulere was already hot for me
and i had the feeling that it was only a matter of time before
the police or the area boys turned to me.
I had packed a few cloths, shoes, toiletries and some other
important items into a large traveling bag and dragged it down
to my vehicle in the night. I was scared to leave at night,
therefore i waited until the early morning. Before 6am, i had
left my house and entered a bike to Cele bus stop along
oshodi-apapa highway. During the long bike ride out of Surulere
to Cele bus stop, i had expected a bullet to hit my back but i
managed to survive those horrible moments.
The previous night, i had called Okey in Jakande estate and
told him to wait in the house for me. When i got to his house,
he asked why i didn’t come with car.
I lied to him that i wasn’t in the mood for the morning driving
and gave him the keys to go and pick it up. He had visited me
once in surulere, therefore he knew the way to my house. He
left to go and get the car while i sat in his parlour.
As i wondered what to do next, i also reflect on the things i
had done in the past few weeks. I had done enough things that
could have gotten me jailed or killed. My plans seemed to
have worked all the time but i also knew that things didn’t
naturally work that way. It was only a matter of time before
one plan go horribly wrong and i would be captured with a net
that i could not be able to wriggle my way out of.
Okey returned with the car after over an hour. When he came
upstairs, i asked him to return down to the car and walk
around the area to check if he had been followed. He wanted
to know why i expected him to be followed but i only told him
that there were not many such BMW models in te area which
meant that he could have been followed.
When he returned, he claimed there was nothing suspicious.
I went down and picked up my bag, then covered the car with
its taupolin. It was time to lay low for a while. I was fast
turning to a runner once more just like back in Portugal.
I called my cousin and told him that i left the house and that i
was in Jakande Estate. I told him to be careful down there in
Surulere. He assured me that nothing would happen to him.
According to him, his God would never allow anything to
happen to him.
Of course faith was required.
” just be careful” i had told him.
I had decided that i would not go out for days but when it was
evening, i got bored and walked out to the cybercafe near the
Jakande estate gate. There was no free space in the cafe,
therefore i walked across the road to eat some food. I was
The Igbo woman who owned the restaurant wasn’t around but
her two beautiful daughters were there. I had instantly picked
on both of them but i needed to make my move on only one at
First things first, i asked what they had.
” we have foofoo, garri, semo and wheat. Bitteleaf, egusi and
vegetable” one of them had said.
Right from my childhood, i was trained to eat anything. I grew
up eating foofoo and garri but at that moment in that
restaurant, in front of those girls, i was not going to touch
foofoo -Akpu. Mbanu!.
How could i eat that smelly food in front of those girls. I was
going to play the Nigeria styled big boy.
” give me wheat and vegetable” i had said.
‘how many meat” the taller one asked.
Her name was Uzoma.
” put four” i said.
I knew that four was above the Nigeria standard. The general
standard in Nigeria was two, irrespective of the sizes.
When the food arrived, the meats were packed in a different
plate. I didn’t know the sizes before requesting. I had thought
that it was the normal small size that costed N50 each but i
was wrong. There on the large plate were four large meats,
each the size of a child’s head.
” uhm Uzoma, this is too much” i said pointing at the meat.
”how did you know my name” she said while smiling.
I told her that i just heard her friend called her.
”she is my sister, not my friend” she protested.
” remove three meats there and give me one” i said.
” you for tell me you no get money naa” she said and laughed.
Apparently it was a joke but i decided to twist it to my
” Na when i come to marry you, you go know if i get money or
not” i said.
”hahahaha, you, come to marry who, i day craze to marry you
abi, you no go go find your level” she said as she took the
plate of meat away.
When she returned, she dropped the plate containing one
meat and left.
Uzoma had made her point. I was not in the same level as
her. She was on a higher level and i could only get to her if i
elevated myself to her level.
I slowly ate my food, washed my hands and paid. I returned to
the cafe and bought a 30 minute voucher.
Inside my yahoo mailbox, numerous new mails were arranged
in the order of their arrivals. As i scrolled down to start from
the first one, my eyes caught Chiamaka from Ojo. I opened it.
She said she had tried calling me but i didn’t answer.
According to her, she had celebrated her 18th birthday two
weeks ago and wanted me to come.
I ignored it.
I read through the other mails. Efuah didn’t send any mail and
so was Agnes. My inbox was full of spam mails. I deleted
them and opened yahoo messenger. Chief Mrs Amaka Eze
”hello, did you see my mail” she sent.
‘happy birthday’ i replied.
She asked where i was and said she would like to see me. I
agreed to see her the upper week but refused to tell her where
When i left the cafe, i called Elizabeth. She was happy to hear
that i was back at jakande. She had gone to buy food stuffs at
Celebrity bus stop and would come when she returned.
I called Rose in Port Harcourt. She said i was wicked and had
stopped answering her calls. I apologized.
I called Liz in Aba. She was happy to hear from me and said
she would like to see me again soon.
Irene said she would come when i wanted.
Daisy said i had changed from me to something else. Call girl
said she won’t have time to leave her business and go
Petrol girl asked who i was.
Stella still had grudges but said she had forgiven what i did to
her because of God.
After placing the calls to my numerous concubines, i watched
the TV until Elizabeth called and said she was at the door.
” An Atheist believes that a hospital
should be built instead of a church.
An atheist believes that deed must be
done instead of prayer said. An
atheist strives for involvement in life
and not escape into death. He wants
disease conquered, poverty vanished,
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