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Bad Market – Episode 3

The holidays were here, after 30-31 days of fast the Muslims had finally sighted the long awaited moon and that was after several adjournments too. This time around the sighting of the moon had caused a stir, especially in Nigeria where we find the light side to every situation no matter how bad it gets.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::Read previous episode here:::::::::::::::::::::::::

There was a bit of controversy as to who and when the moon was sighted. In fact, the final sighting of the moon was inconclusive. Even Professor Patrick Obahiagbon lent his voice on the unfolding drama surrounding the moon’s sighting in Nigeria

In his words, “the anomaly in the crescentic illumina of the moon in the milky way is tantamount to more crinkum crankum and hurly burly.” Even Abubakar Shekau had come out to say that the Boko Haram group had blown off the moon so there was no way it will be sighted in the Nigerian skies. The sarcastic comments about the moon’s appearance were endless.

Albeit the controversy was a personal gain for us because it meant more holidays, God knows I needed a break from work. Though my Dad was born into a Muslim family, he converted while he was in the University of Ibadan and there has been no turning back ever since.

Mum on the other hand was born into a strict Anglican family. I even learnt my grandfather was a long serving organist of the Anglican fraternity but I never saw any trace of strict Christian values in mum, never! She had always been a torn in dad’s wrinkled flesh ever since I gained admission to the University of Lagos to study Law, or was it just me being biased?

Anyways, now that the moon had finally been sighted, it was time for some funfair. We had a staunch Muslim family in my compound and so the celebrations were going to definitely get to us one way or the other. Already we had a meal of Jollof rice in the morning for breakfast to mark the beginning of the celebrations.

I was drafting lease documents for one of Dad’s properties when the caretaker of our property at Amosun Street, Ojota, Mr. Shina came calling. He spoke like an enraged bull whilst he complained bitterly about Timi’s clandestine activities on the property he was mandated to manage.

Ebun had darted into my room to call me to help pacify the middle aged man who had obviously had enough of Timi’s criminal behaviour. I followed my sister into the living room to see to a situation she was in no capacity to handle. Ebun can call you to come and search for the ant that bit her on the bed.

“Good Afternoon sir,” I greeted Mr. Shina as I stepped into the living rooom.

“Barrister it is not you I want to see. I called Daddy’s lines but he is not picking up,” Mr. Shina spoke with his heavy Ibadan accent

“Mr. Shina, Dad is asleep now but I will relate your message to him immediately he wakes up”

Please do o! that your brother is becoming a menace and he will give your dad a bad name if he is not called to order. Abi is he now an agent for your Dad? let us know now o! because I don’t even know how he gets the spare keys to the empty apartments. Please tell your Dad o! he can as well sell the entire building if care is not taken”

Mr. Shina served a note of warning as he left the house. Timi had been bringing prospective tenants to inspect the empty apartments in the property that was put under Mr. Shina’s care without anyone’s knowledge.

Recently, the middle aged man had stumbled on him while taking a lady out on inspection of the same property and had challenged him about his real intent. Timi had called the man’s bluffs and told him that he had no right whatsoever to ask him questions relating to a property that belonged to his father.

Timi stated that his position as first child and son of the Jimoh’s gave him veto power to do whatever he wants or what he chooses to do with any property that belonged to his Dad including the one under Mr. Shina’s supervision

Though this was not the first time Timi was doing illegal activities through the back door, his exploits with Dad’s residential rental property was a new found sport for him.

I couldn’t wait for Dad to wake up from his slumber to break the news to him, albeit on checking the old man in his room, he didn’t look like he was going to wake up anytime soon. As for my wayward brother, Timi, I had not set my eyes on him since sunset the previous day.

While I waited for my Dad to awake, I had to take a nap myself. I had worked all morning on my boss’s client’s case on my laptop and fatigue was gradually setting in. I woke up around 9 pm to the sound of hostilities from within our compound.

While I grappled with full consciousness, my external auditory canal was beginning to process the source of the disturbance. The rancor seemed to be emanating from one of the apartments in our compound and on close examination I realized it was from the frontage of Dad’s supposedly most responsible tenant, Alhaji Kazeem – whose wife had served us breakfast that day as part of the Ramadam Kareem celebrations. The couple who were supposedly celebrating Eid el fitri had turned our compound into a gladiatorial arena

My parents were already outside the house to salvage the situation. My Dad was the leader of the rescue team. Though I once heard the couple having a heated argument on one occasion when I had to return a book Sotonye had borrowed me, this was probably the first time Alhaji Kazeem would be having issues with his wife away from his bedroom.

When I got outside the house I couldn’t come to terms with what was happening before my very eyes. The quiet and reserved Alhaji Kazeem was brandishing a cutlass and threatening to behead anyone who ventured to draw close. A glimpse of his menacing figure from where I stood, the man could have passed for a rampaging Fulani herdsman.

Hajia Fadiga – the man’s beautiful young Fulani wife, on the other hand had hidden behind my father and at the same time she was on her knees pleading with her husband to temper justice with mercy

“Alhaji kazeem what has come over you? I thought you just completed Ramadan or didn’t you fast with your folks?” Dad spoke out loudly but with a bit of caution too.

“That woman there is a cheat and a liar!”  The teblik wearing Alhaji fumed, his eyes shone like Roman candles shooting flaming balls into the skies and his face was red and fiery. He drew closer to Dad while still brandishing the cutlass he held tightly in his right hand like an African Batiatus.

“Alhaji calm down, tell us what the problem is?” Dad was becoming jittery while Mr. Lasetta kept his distance. Ekene, one of the bachelors in our compound was treading carefully behind the tenant turned aspiring assailant.

“Oga Landlord you are the problem,” Alhaji Kazeem bellowed at my dad to the surprise of everyone.

Dad was speechless for a moment but quickly found his voice when Alhaji Kazeem raised the cutlass higher and took a step forward“I beg your pardon?”

“Yes! You are the reason why I’m brandishing this cutlass”

“It’s not possible? I can’t be responsible for your tendency to commit murder”

“Alhaji how do you mean my husband is the reason you are carrying this weapon of mass destruction,” Mum finally had something to say concerning the matter

“Go ask your son, Dele or whatever his name is. He’s been sleeping with my wife?” The compound suddenly went as silent as a graveyard. It had become so quiet that you would hear a pin drop if you put your ears to the ground

“What?” Dad could not believe his ears

“Dele?” Mr Lasetta wasn’t sure he heard the man right

“Yeh! Abomination…” My mum was more like in a state of shock

I froze at the spot where I stood, wondering how my name gained entrance into the ugly drama. If this mad man was accusing me based on my fantasies about his wife, I would willingly own up to my crimes but this…No, this has to be a bad dream!

Bad Market continues next week…

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