A scenic view of arguably the biggest ghetto in Nigeria would lay credence to its notoriety. A place where the quest for survival is at its highest. In Ajegunle the average young girl is expected to become a mother before her 18th birthday.
You can live in ‘AJ’ for free but what happens afterwards can’t be guaranteed. This was the third time in one month mobile police men popularly called ‘AK boys’ will be raiding Ajegunle community and this time around Martins was caught in the web. Martins was lucky to be alive, the near fatal incident that reared its ugly head the previous night would have gone more awry than it did. In a split second he would have been dead, in fact he initially thought he was. He wasn’t even sure which of the scenarios would have suited him most; passing out in no man’s territory after the attack on him or being bundled into the waiting police van which could mean ending in prison for being around a gathering of criminals. They say when faced with two evils, choose the lesser unfortunately that choice wasn’t his that night. Martins was grateful to God that the good Samaritans he had built a bond with during his 5 day stint at the hotel in Ajegunle had come to his rescue. If not for Ekene and Hadiza’s timely intervention, the ghetto boys could have thought him dead and thrown him into the bordering lagoon. That would have been a fatal fate.
After what transpired that night, Martins had no other choice than to leave the ghetto city and he was left with only one alternative; going back to Deji’s house temporarily till his multi-million naira deal pulled through.
A coca cola truck blared his horn dangerously behind the bus Martins boarded, rudely detaching his being from his thoughts. Though coping with the Saturday evening traffic along Ikorodu road was a major challenge, having to endure the noise pollution that had an alliance with the gridlock was way too much to handle. What even numbed Martins’ senses more was enduring all that while seated at the last column of seats in the danfo bus he boarded
Martins was on his way to Leisure mall Surulere to honour his long-awaited date with Aisha but he had to first stop over at Deji’s to drop his bag. He had promised to take Aisha out to celebrate his belated birthday and he was really looking forward to the date. Aisha had done nothing but showed Martins immense affection and had been a source of encouragement to him since they re-united, and sharing dinner with her coupled with a time out at the cinemas was Martins own way of showing appreciation.
The rickety danfo bus Martins travelled in managed to maneuver its way out of the heart-wrenching gridlock, though the bus still stood stiff opposition from a BRT bus and the monstrous coca cola truck. Martins thought the presence of both heavy weight vehicles intimidated their rickety danfo bus and if care was not taken they would probably be taken off the road completely. He couldn’t bear the thought of that happening because that would mean double tragedy. The BRT bus roared its engine as it made reckless swerves along the narrow road. It was its turn to blare his horns which sounded like a cracked audio of a compact disc. As if acting on cue, other vehicles trapped in the traffic followed suit like they were in a horn blaring competition producing a cacophony of deafening sounds. The danfo bus moved slightly in consonance to the horrifying sound as a young female commuter who sat at the far left end of the back seat where Martins was cursed out loudly
“This BRT Man dey mad ni abi which kain gobe be this?” The young lady was obviously at the receiving end of the hooting sound from the BRT and the other vehicles around.
Read also: The BROUHAHA of OGA MARTINS 2.0 | Chapter 6
The Coca cola truck surged forward causing a bit of apprehension among the commuters in the bus then suddenly intensified his momentum as it appeared to be heading on a collision course with the bus this time. The suddenness of the trucks acceleration towards the danfo whipped the commuters including Martins into a state of frenzy, further distorting their senses while nearby hawkers scampered for safety. Tires screeched making ugly marks on the tarred road as the coca cola truck emitted grayish-black exhaust fumes laced with carbon monoxide. It seemed the driver of the truck was having a hard time locating his brakes as his feet further hits the accelerator. The truck comes to a screeching halt just before it was going to make direct impact with the bus. The truck driver’s recklessness attracted verbose attack from commuters from various works of life in the danfo.
“Omo ale jati jati!”
“Chinenke! Which kain animal be dis?”
“Na God go punish you”
Curses and insults rained on the truck driver concurrently with reckless abandon from the passengers in the danfo bus as all concerned finally heave a sigh of relief.
Moments later the danfo had finally scaled through the hurdle posed by the traffic and had begun his final lap on a road of less vehicular movement between Fadeyi and Ojuelegba. All Martins could think about in the commotion that ensued was the 3.5 million naira commission he was bound to earn from the outright sales of 4 acres of land to the Engineer which was almost a done deal and his date with the pretty Aisha. He was happy the accident was averted as he momentarily took his eyes off the happenings in the danfo bus back to the road. He watched with pity as Pedestrians stood helplessly by the pavement adjoining the road like they were awaiting a firing squad. Seeing the agony on their faces offered him a means of distraction from his line of thought. For the remainder of the frustrating ride, Martins had a hard time understanding how easy traffic jam had become a menace in Lagos making itself lord over most roads even on a Saturday. Martins finally arrived at Surulere at about 5:45pm after spending three hours in traffic. He still couldn’t believe he was going back to Deji’s apartment albeit he was confident he wouldn’t be there by the end of the new week.
On getting to Deji’s compound Martins felt a strange uneasiness.
“Where is that strange noise coming from?” he wondered.
As he approached Deji’s door he needed no soothsayer to tell him all wasn’t well within the walls of the apartment. He only needed to knock once when a disturbed and ruffled Deji with blood stains on his hands and T-shirt came to the impact resistant steel door. Martins heart skipped a beat. He was taken aback momentarily by Deji’s appearance while his roving eyes searched for an explanation to the blood stains on his friend.
“Welcome home brother! Thank God you are here.”
Martins thought the man that stood before him didn’t look like a brother, and what he saw behind Deji surely didn’t look like home, however it did explain the blood stains on him.
Deji’s living room was a complete mess! And lying Right at the middle of the expansive living room was a hapless female.
“Oh my God! Deji, what have you done this time?”
The Brouhaha continues next week…