Ok people. “Pages from my diary” is coming back after the long hiatus.
If you are just joining us, you should start the thread from the beginning and catch up. It is not so boring (I hope).
Please leave your comments and Say exactly how you feel. Lets make it interactive.
If you have a story you would like to share you can do that here too. Just send me a DM and we can work out queuing it with the sequence of ongoing stories. It is ok to be anonymous if you choose to.
For now, we would continue with the story of the guy that entered Wahala with the mobile policemen at Ojota…
Inside it was dark save for the slits in the upper part of the van through which slices of sunlight came through. I was in a daze so it took longer for my eyes to adjust to the dimness. There was like a dozen or so of us and it was stuffy. I didn’t know how long they have been there. They looked at me with curious eyes. They must have heard me screaming and struggling. I imagined that females were kept in a separate compartment. I had my other Nokia torchlight phone with my Glo line. I checked my credit balance. N115.66. Thank God! Now, who do I call? I was composing a text to my friend at Akure when the door swung open and a Policeman threw my bag and my left sandal Inside. I was glad. I hadn’t even had time to process the loss of it. It being returned buoyed me and gave a sense of hope. A Slide partition in the iron door opened from outside giving way to a window like view. A guy in civilian clothes with a Mustache came and asked. “Where is the cameraman?” I inched closer to the window “are you the camera guy?” I nodded. “are you a journalist or do you work for any TV station?” I shook my head. "You know you are not allowed to take photos or videos of police activities?”
“The event I was capturing occurred in a public place how is that trespassing?” I replied. He looked intensely at me. I could almost feel the hatred from his eyes. He said “you are still asking questions Abi? Ok.” And he closed the slide.
I sighed. I didn’t know what to do. The man beside me asked to use my phone. I was hesitant. I would need all my resources to get out of this rut. I gave it to him anyway. He pulled out a crumpled sheet from his wallet and dialed the number. It was apparent he didn’t know the receiver very well. He was reintroducing himself. I heard him say “remember me? we drank palm wine together that night under the tree in Ilesha." He was trying to explain his situation and was having a hard time. I was worried he would exhaust my units. I spoke my concern with my body and he read it. He hung up after a few more seconds and murmured a “thank you”.
After about one hour, The iron slide opened and it was Mr. Mustache again. This time there was a smile on his face that did not reach his eyes and I could tell it was feigned.
“There are some people here saying you are part of them,” he said
“they are protesting for your release. do you know these people? Don’t worry if you are part of them we would take you with our car somewhere and release you ehen. Do you know them?”
Something in his tone and the look in his eyes warned me of imminent danger And I thought of Dele Giwa. isn’t that funny? my situation with Dele Giwa is not even remotely related Yet my paranoid mind was associating something with him.
“I don’t know them” I heard myself say. The words tumbled out of my mouth before I could catch them.
Immediately his countenance changed. The smile disappeared replaced by a semblance of a desperate triumph. It was a look of a losing man who suddenly gained an upper hand. “He said he does not know them!!” he shouted at an unseen audience.
He turned to me with glaring eyes. “These people for just put you for trouble” he said. Then he slammed the slide shut.
Shit. I think I fucked up” I thought to myself. “What just happened?” I was trying to make sense of the whole situation. Maybe some people saw me shouting and decided to organize themselves to press for my release. After all I did not cross the highway like the rest of these people. When did it become a crime to record a public event? They must have said I was part of their group to legitimize their demand. I might have just blown my chance of being released.
The people around who previously were curious about my situation were no longer interested. They were nursing their own thoughts.
my phone buzzed in my pocket. It was a message from my Friend. “Call Nigger” it says “he is in Lagos”
Yes! that is it. My friend Akinola aka Nigger just became a Commissioned officer in the Nigerian Army.
It is necessary that I give you a brief background about Nigger. He is that outlaw in your street that people label NFA (No Future Ambition). The dude that naturally gravitates towards trouble. He single handedly fought three police men until they knocked him unconscious. He caused a commotion in his younger sister’s school when he beat up two of their most revered teachers for flogging his sister mercilessly. He has been disowned a couple of times by his father. Bursted by NDLEA for selling weed. He is fondly remembered in Federal Polytechnic Ado for his unforgettable Fela performance. The crowd went wild when he came on stage Clad in just pants. his face coated with chalk and a Fela sized “jumbo” weed burning in his mouth.
Despite the impression he had on most people, Nigger has a good heart and is a dependable friend. There was a time i wanted to go back to school and didn’t have transport money. He Gave me the money for his HND form without battling an eyelid.
When I learnt he was accepted into the defense academy, I had the same incredulous reaction most people probably would. This does not stem from the popular believe that he would make nothing of his life but rather because I have always known him to be somewhat of an anarchist. He feels strongly against the government and every form of organized establishment. His favorite Fela song is Zombi; an unpretentious diss at solders in general…
You get the gist now right? Anyway, I called Nigger. He said he was just about to call me. That Wale (the guy I was going to Visit at Akure ) already sent him a text.i told him the MOPO has my other phone. I gave him a brief rundown of the situation. He asked a few additional question about exact location then told me to sit tight. “I would be there in a few hours” he said. I hung up.
At this time I have been there more than 6 hours. The heat was smoldering. The air was heavy. My armpit was sweating and visible through my shirt. The skin beneath my left toe was deeply lacerated and The torn flesh dangled grotesquely. The bleeding has stopped but now it oozes a clear fluid that sticks to my sandal. The adrenal rush I felt initially wore off . The fear was now replaced by pain and irritation and a deep seething anger.
To be continued.
I just hope his friend could help soon
I just wan know the thing wey him video wey land am for jail.
Wow!!! How did he get into this mess? And I’m just wondering the commotion Nigger is about to cause…
Everyone needs a friend like Nigger!
No need for the hope jare… the stories make too much sense.
You are doing a good job @Bobo.
Better commotion… Let’s wait and read though before our storyteller changes the whole plot to our greatest surprise
Again the slide opened. This time it was a policeman trailed by a recharge card seller. “Make una begin call ya people make dem come bail una. Tell dem make dem carry money o” He said. “If anybody wan buy charge card e de hia”.
Some people purchased card and began calling. He Went away briefly leaving the slide open then came back. “Whey the camera guy?” he asked. I didn’t move from where I was. “How you go take call ya people now? You sabi dia number for ya head?” I did not respond. “where he de sef?” he inched closer to take a good look at me. “ no be you I de follow talk?”
I kept on looking at him. Looking through him into the receding daylight outside the van. I wished he would move his huge head so that more air can come in. I was thinking no one at home would believe I am still in Lagos at this time let alone locked up in a Black Maria.
“ e be like say you no wan commot hia today abi?” He said.
Then he left. Thankfully, he left the slide open. The absence of his head made a big difference.
The man who borrowed my phone earlier tried to make small talks but I was not having it. I was too irritated to keep up any appearance of being courteous. He was trying to find out who was coming for me. I didn’t think he was able to get hold of anybody Plus he didn’t have a phone.
Another two hours passed making it over eight hours I have been locked up. Finally, the big iron door opened.
“Whey the cameraman?” It was the same policeman. “ oya carry ya bag ya broda don come for you.”
I sighed and made an attempt to get up when the man grabbed my hand and said “my name is Edwin. Tell your brother to bail me too.” He must have seen my confused look because he quickly added “don’t worry. Na Spirit. Na Spirit.” He said it with an air of confidence that made me even more confused. What does he mean by ‘na Spirit?’ “ well, I don’t know.” I said. “ we would see”.
I picked up my bag and limped out of the hell hole.
…to be continued…
Phew!!! Finally he got released…!
Outside the sun was almost setting. The air flow in my lungs was lighter. I took in deep breaths and felt the fog clearing from my head. I looked around and saw Nigger at a distance. He seemed completely transformed from the last time I saw him two years ago. He looked evenly toned, healthy and contained.
I looked around again half expecting to see his barracks boys causing commotion somewhere. Nothing.
I have heard stories of the plethora of recruits at his beck tending to his needs.
There was nothing. Instead he was conversing calmly with Mr. Mustache who seems pleasantly excited and making hand gestures as he spoke. As I walked closer towards them, I heard him (Mr. Mustache) say “I already have plans for my son to join the academy too as soon as he finishes school. We need young people like you in the force.”
Nigger nodded softly at me but kept a straight face. He made a show of listening intently to Mr. mustache. This is unlike him and it felt awkward. “…You see outsiders cannot understand the nature of our work.” Mustache continued. “your brother now for example was capturing our activities like we are entertainers in a circus or something even though we are just doing our job.”
I felt a burst of anger at him and his rhetoric and retorted “but it does not grant you the liberty to…”
Nigger gave me a quick side look and said sharply “ma soro o” to me in Yoruba.
Wow! Was I just sushed? He just told me not to talk. It could as well mean shut the hell up. I know he meant well and was just playing tactics. The Ceaser to Ceaser kind of shit But Since when did Nigger become a diplomat? I couldn’t help the sense of deflation that overtook me. With it came an acute awareness of self and of the emotion coursing through me. I remember thinking “this is how it feels like to be embarrassed”. Mustache looked at me now. His face beaming with a mixture of approval and satisfaction. “But why did you run?” He said calmly. “ if you know you have done Nothing wrong, why did you run?”
I was taken aback at the directness of the question. Why did I run? Is it because deep down I believe I have done something wrong? I tried to recall moments before the dissociation.
I remember anticipating the glow I would feel when i show my friends the video as I was bringing out my phone and putting it in record mode. And then the voice of the stranger introducing the notion that I have been caught. “That MOPO don see you.”
It was also the mother fucker that suggested that i RUN and I acted on instinct. Aha I was hypnotized by a stranger.
To be continued.
lol… Na to flee be that…
“Oga ade. You go de snap ékè.” Nigger was teasing me. We were walking down the stairs from the overhead bridge towards the Motor park now. It was dark but there were still streaks of afterglow in the sky.
“You for wait till you reach Yankee now.” he said still smiling mischievously and probably waiting for an equally sarcastic come back that I was notorious for. I was exhausted and my ego too bruised to engage in such banter. I simply grunted.
He became more serious and took a good look at me. “I hope those guys no too rough you o?” He said. I gave an irritated chuckle and managed to tell him that I was fine. If anything, I was glad that my phone was returned to me. After listening to what seems like an eternity of lectures on ethics and ‘minding my business’ from Mr. Mustache, I was asked to unlock the phone and delete the video which I promptly did.
I entered the fourteen seater bus bound for Akure and Sat at the back beside the window. Nigger came around the other side. He took out a pack of Benson and Hedges from his shirt’s front pocket, pulled a stick and lit it. Even though he knew I was going to refuse, he still tilted the pack towards me offering.
I smiled and shook my head.
“Life na cruise” he said. Don’t take it too serious. the fact that you ran automatically translates that you are guilty. That was why they mishandled you the way they did.”
Hmmm. I thought about it some more and still came to the conclusion that my flight was an instinctual response. Can a man walk with his sense of higher self hundred percent of the time? Is it possible to maintain control over our impulses every moment of our waking life? How often does the animal in our human escape its cage and exert itself while we hopelessly stare? is it the same as giving in to sex, or the need to relieve yourself, and the other numerous biological obligations? Is it…
“Don’t overthink it bro”. Nigger said. His voice jolted me out of my reverie. “Its just a shitty day”. He added.
I laughed at myself playing the victim. I just wanted to pin it on somebody. If it is not the Police then it is the faceless stranger. If it is not the Stranger then it has to be the Animal. Right? Yes pin it on the animal. Its a stranger too. Mother fuckers.
The bus was full and ready to move. Nigger and I punched fist and raised it up slightly. The Black Power sign that was an emblem of the Négritudian philosophy we explored back in the day. “Thank you for today.” I said.
He gave a slight shrug and shook his head in the ‘its nothing’ kind of way as he stepped backward.
The vehicle slid into gear and began to move. I reclined on my seat and exhaled loudly finally agreeing with him. What a shitty day.