“Madam enter motor make we go na” “you no o kon open boot maa put load?” “Madam abeg enter with the bag” “driver! ahn ahn! e go better make she put am for…” “enter if you de enter jorey or your pikin go come down maa comot for here” “wait first… wetin de the boot were you no wan open?” “yes! why you no wan open the boot sef” “Small boy oya kon down, go meet your mama” The driver by the wheels of the Toyota Carina E wagon stretched an arm behind and opened the rear passengers door by the right. As the little boy who was already sitted made to get off the vehicle to meet his waiting mum, a passenger who was sitting beside the driver switched off the vehicle, removed the car key and got out of the car as well. “you must show us wetin de that boot were you no want make they open” “oga abeg na, give me my key, i de hurry” just then the rest of the passengers alighted from the vehicle and joined the first passenger “yes! wetin de that boot sef?” “na so una go de carry bomb waka” “kon open am make we see” “Bros abeg, na ice block de my boot” “kon open am make we see joor” the driver now alarmed at the possible crowd these passengers were likely to pull decided to justify their curiosity. He opened the boot from the inside and alighted from his vehicle, wearing a sad look. 2 more passerby had added to the actors of this scenario while the youngest amongst the passengers who was probably going to work for the night shift produced a flash light from his bag. The half a dozen crowd became alert in case of a possible pursuit of the driver and relaxed when the driver lifted the opened trunk of the vehicle. 8 large bars of Iced water laid in the trunk, occupying virtually every available space there was, living everyone disappointed. He gave the passenger who started the hullabaloo a long look of disdain and snatched his car keys from the clutch of a relaxed hand, walked tall to the opened drivers door and colapsed in the sit. He heaved a heavy sigh of relief, started the car and drove away, abandoning the passengers who had boarded the vehicle from Oshodi without demanding a dime for fare.
‘so…. na so these people for mend me?…. inside Eko?…. well, i no blame them sha, na boko haram cause am’ Saheed thought as he drove off. He heard a noise behind his vehicle as he galloped over a pot hole. He turned and discovered he hadn’t shut his trunk properly so he drove to a kerb close to a waiting passenger and parked. He got off the vehicle, went behind and slammed the trunk shut. As he was about to proceed, the waiting passenger asked “where?” “bariga… You de go?” Saheed entered his vehicle and threw the front passenger’s door open. The passenger closed the front door, entered the vehicle through the rear and settled his bulk. “What a day! Thank God you drove by, can you imagine since when I’ve been standing there?” Saheed just drove off without a reply. Absolute silent fell in the vehicle, the passenger examined the vehicle in a quick glance, noticed 2 stickers of Living faith Church on the dashboard and grinned, he checked the time on his wristwatch and reacted in awe “Ah! I’m even late for service…” He brought out a mobile phone from his breast pocket, tapped and slid on the screen and pressed the phone to his right ear. “…. Bayo…. Bayo! Where are you?… Okay, have your sales reached 10k?… Seven?…. Okay… I’m approaching you now, I’m in a cab, Just come out with the money, I will collect it at the gate, Please hurry…. busy? are you the only one on duty?….. What! I’m sacking those stupid girls today, no more queries. Get 200 Naira ready before i get there, I’m almost at the…. no change? Okay… I’m coming” The passenger hung up and started muttering words not audible to the driver. Saheed had drove through Gbagada phase 2 and entered Bariga from the west, escaping the traffic jam at Bariga junction because of the market. He was about to ask the passenger where he intended to alight and inform him that he wasn’t driving beyond the restaurant and bar 2 blocks away when the passenger said “stop me here please”. The passenger made a move to open the door “Oga you never gimi money o” said Saheed “Oh! Sorry, Let me get the fare from my boy in the bar, its two hundred Naira na abi?” “Na so, oya na” The passenger alighted, took 3 steps away towards the entrance of the restaurant, stopped suddenly and made a U turn to the cab “please give me eight hundred Naira, i will send my boy with a thousand Naira now” Saheed thought for a while, opened his pidgeon hole, retrieved 3 rumpled one hundred Naira note, took out his wallet, produced a 500 Naira note, added it to the lot and handed it over to his passenger who pocketed the money and entered the premises of the very busy restaurant and bar. Saheed beckoned at the guard stationed at the entrance who advanced to Saheed in long strides “bros! you get?” “ehn! maa follow back drop am… abeg ehn, no let that man were enter now now comot….. and…. help me tell Egbon Tunde make him kon help me for back abeg” “no lele na” Saheed turned right and drove through a rough path towards the small gate behind the restaurant and bar and killed the engine. He took out a bunch of keys, opened the big padlock on the gate, flung the gate opened and stiffened at what greeted him.
“Ah! Bros!” “Oga!” “ehn… well done o…. i been say maa piss, that’s why i de try open the gate” “see the toilet there, you don pass am” The fat man with a bottle of ‘star’ underarm that had wowed Saheed further squeezed the shirt he had made into a ball and shuffled his feet, not knowing what to do next. “Ehm.. but shey de no de lock this gate before na?” Saheed who had recovered from the shock of finding this fat man trying to open the gate from inside frowned “You don collect the money from your boy were de run my bar?” “Ah! Ba bao! me no know say na you get this place na” “you pay for that bottle so?” The fat man smiled and began to chuckle “Ba bao! You na bad guy, you just lo…..” “Gimi my eight hundred Naira first of all” The fat man still smiling inserted his hands into his pocket and produced the exact money he had collected from Saheed earlier on. Tunde joined them few minutes later, studied the scene for a while and asked Saheed in Yoruba dialect. “Egbon! Shey Ole ni eleyi?” “Fi le… Ore mi ni…. Abeg help me off load those ice, lock the gate when you finish, bring the key for me… bros! Follow me” He held the fat man by the wrist and took him to a small dirty room that served as food store and a locker room. Saheed sat on a bag of rice smiling while the fat man whose face had lost all it’s glamour stood there wondering what’s going to happen to him. “Shey ogbo Yoruba?” “I no understand” “your name?” “Nnamdi…. See Egbon! abeg no vex, actu….” “who tell you make you talk?… trying to Job a gee man na the last thing were you for think of for this life…… First of all, gimi your phone……” Nnamdi reluctantly handed over the phone. “…… pull your shoe, take this slippers make you fold your trouser” “bros abe….” “Shut up! na you go pound all the yams this night then by 3am when we de close, i go help your ministry with half of the money were you been wan steal from me, no complain, shey you get me?” “Ah! Bros! Na da one? we de together na…. how about this fine boy?” Nanmdi asked caressing the bottle of ‘Star’ he was clutching now. “Gimi, when you finish we go discuss that one. I go lock back door, just join those women for kitchen, i de go tell them about you now…. maa no catch your leg for front door o… ehen!… oya comot, your things de hear and i de lock this door too… We go see by 2” Saheed left, leaving Nnamdi with mouth agape, wearing a wry smile. ‘i love this guy’ he thought.