- 1.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (I)
- 2.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (II)
- 3.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (III)
- 4.Mechanics of Yenagoa (IV)
- 5.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (V)
- 6.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (VI)
- 7.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (VII)
- 8.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (VIII)
- 9.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (IX)
- 10.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (X)
- 11.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XI)
- 12.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XII)
- 13.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XIII)
- 14.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XIV)
- 15.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XV)
- 16.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XVI)
- 17.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XVII)
- 18.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XVIII)
- 19.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XIX)
- 20.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XX)
- 21.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – I
- 22.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – II
- 23.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – III
- 24.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – IV
- 25.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – V
- 26.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – VI
- 27.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – VII
- 28.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – VIII
- 29.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – IX
- 30.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – X
- 31.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XI
- 32.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XII
- 33.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XIII
- 34.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XIV
- 35.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XV
- 36.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XVI
- 37.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XVII
- 38.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XVIII
- 39.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XIX
- 40.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XX
My sister Ebiakpo and her husband Benson were at each other’s jugulars again. They’d been quarrelling a lot lately and I didn’t think it was healthy for their boy, Anda who was too quiet and withdrawn for a four-year-old. I knew that all the shouting and drama being acted out in his presence daily by his parents was adding to his acute shyness. Our parents fought all the time too while we were growing up, so I could relate perfectly with the turmoil going on in his head. That was why as often as I could, I asked his mother to allow him spend time with my boys and me in the workshop, and she obliged me every time I asked.
What I wasn’t certain of, though, was whether her eagerness to bring him over to the family house was really because of me or because of Reverend Ebizimor. It was no secret that Ebiakpo idolised the man of God, whose intercession on her behalf she claimed was the reason she even had the boy in the first place. Reverend Ebizimor and the Jerusalem Warriors International Church was her own Shiloh. The pastor only had to say the word and she’d bundle little Anda faster than anyone could say his name and send him off to live with him in the church and serve in the Lord’s vineyard for the rest of his life, just like Hannah made Samuel do in that popular Bible story.
Ebiakpo wasn’t telling me much, but something told me that her never-ending fights with her husband might not be unconnected with her closeness with Reverend Ebizimor. When she came in this morning with her son, I really wasn’t in the mood to listen to her litany of accusations and counter accusations against her husband. I wasn’t ready to have my little nephew follow me around like an appendage stuck to my behind with Velcro either. My head was filled up already with worries about my own troubles I didn’t want to add the small boy’s problems as well to my growing list of katakata.
Even though I was in no good mood, I was happy to see her appear at my doorstep. She couldn’t have chosen a better time to visit. After all I had been through in the last couple of days, I really needed someone that was family to whom I could unbundle, and Ebiakpo was all the family I had in Yenagoa.
Since she choose to appear in Ovom unannounced and uninvited, she seemed the perfect person to conscript for my sudden meeting with Aaron Barnabas-Treatment, that I was almost running late for. His personal assistant had come in about thirty minutes earlier in the company of two armed mobile policemen to retrieve his SUV from the workshop and to inform me that “Oga,” wanted to see me, “now, now, now for Ox-Bow Lake.”
The prospect of meeting with Honourable Aaron was pretty scary to say the least. In the light of what I had just been caught doing with his vehicle, I wasn’t expecting any hugs or backslaps from him. If anything, I expected to get a chiding worse than the one I received from those bad boys on our way to Amassoma yesterday. If he needed two sergeants to come to the workshop to fetch his car, I could only imagine how many more were waiting for me at Ox-Bow Lake.
“So all these happened to you and you couldn’t call to tell me?” That was Ebiakpo’s reaction to the abridged version of my ordeal in the hands of the hired killers sent to take out the former local government chairman. “So if God hadn’t spoken to me to bring Anda here to spend a few hours with you and Reverend, I wouldn’t have known that my only brother almost died?”
“I didn’t want to scare you, Ebiakpo,” I offered a weak defence when I saw how distraught she was by my story. “See how you are even tying and untying your head-tie like Patience Ozokwor, when I haven’t even given you the complete gist.”
“And you say the owner of the car wants you to come and see him?”
“His PA said I should start coming now, now, now and I don’t think I should go and see him alone. That is why I am asking you to follow me.”
“Ebinimi, can you hear yourself at all? Oh ho! So you want me to follow you to go and see an angry man so that they will kill you and me for our dead parents and allow that useless wakawaka man I married to dash my son to his mother, abi?”
“Ebiakpo, I can’t go alone. It won’t be wise.”
“Since you don’t want to go alone, why don’t you go with a man? I don’t think going with a woman is a good idea,” she protested.
“You are not just a woman, you are my elder sister and he would listen to you. Once we get there, we’d just go down on our knees and beg him for forgiveness. If you can cry and make tears come out of your eyes like tap water, all the better for me.” My attempt at lightening the situation fell flat on her.
“I still think we need another man to join us – Reverend Ebiz – ”
“No,” I quickly interrupted her. “That one will just be asking for money as if we dey dig am from ground.”
“Then Benson – ”
“The same husband you just called wakawaka man, abi you want him to put sand in my garri? Please follow me let us just go and meet the man. The worst that can happen is that I will sleep in police cell this night, after all I didn’t steal his car or damage anything inside or even sleep with his wife.”
“And Anda, who will take care of him while we are away?”
“But Broderick, Biodun and Saka can do that very well. You know Anda is quite fond of them and they enjoy having him around.”
Ebiakpo wanted us to drive to Ox-Bow Lake, but I didn’t think it was a good idea, considering I might he headed for the police station from there and she wouldn’t be able to drive my car back home alone if that happened.
We opted to charter a tricycle. The rider was a Hausa man who’s English wasn’t too good, but I would make out N300 as he mouthed it after Ebiakpo asked for the price of the ride. She wanted to haggle but I jumped into the back seat and pulled her inside. I was going to beg for mercy from someone I had offended. The last thing I wanted to do was piss him off by being tardy.
My sister was praying out loud – casting and binding out demons, and howling in tongues all the way to our destination. The instruction from the PA was to meet his boss at the Ox-Bow Lake pavilion. Aaron Barnabas-Treatment wasn’t there when we got there, so we walked into the arena and looked for the most secluded corner in the spectators’ stand to await my fate. We waited for almost an hour and still no sign of Oga Aaron, his PA or any of the policemen that came to the house only a short while before. Still, we waited because we knew it was typical of big men to keep small people like us waiting. It made them feel even more important, I guess.
We were both lost in thought. My sister’s gaze was affixed on the sky, while I was staring at the lone couple on the jetty. From where I sat, I couldn’t tell if they were young, but I could see they were madly in love with each other from the way their bodies stayed glued together all the while they leaned on the aluminium railings on edge of the pier.
From time to time, I took a peak at the digital clock on my phone, and as daylight gave way to darkness my trepidation heightened. I allowed the lovers their privacy and shifted my focus to the entrance into the enclave for any sign of the arrival of the big man.
“Oga said you should meet him in the car.” Ebiakpo and I didn’t hear the footsteps; we only heard the gruff voice commanding us to our feet. My legs began to wobble as I struggled to my feet. It was the moment of truth.