Human beings were naturally ingrained with the instinct to survive, to exonerate self and shelve responsibility when the chips were down. No one wanted to take the fall for another or step up and be liable for other people’s actions. In fact, people didn’t want to be liable for their own actions and would rather shift the blame to someone else if it didn’t make them look good. Only men and women of great character and virtue stood up to the plate and took not just the credit when things were sunny and bright but also the blame when they were dark and cloudy. Unfortunately, none of Martins house mates were men and women of great character and virtue and neither was Martins. The moment the landlord demanded to know who burnt down his house, accusations flew all around.
“Baba landlord na Temisan,” Mama Nkiru pointed accusingly at the girl, glaring at her.
“No be me!” Temisan quickly stated in her defense. “I’m not the one!”
“Na you! Na you no dey off your candle when you wan sleep!”
“Na lie! Na your generator or Fidelis generator start the matter!”
Fidelis stared at Temisan, astounded! “Wetin be my own for the matter? How my generator start fire?”
“Your generator no catch fire?!” Temisan queried, her tone accusing
“E be like say something dey worry you! Who tell you say na my generator catch fire?! Gen wey I no even put on yesterday. How e wan take start the fire now wen I no get fuel? Abi Chris?!
“I no know o!” Chris stated, refusing to corroborate him
Fidelis hissed, upset at his unpatriotic attitude. “No be my gen catch fire, na Rotimi own”
“All of una no serious! My gen catch fire, e kon mean say na me start am? No be when the house don dey burn the gen catch fire? Abi no be all of us run commot for inside compound together when the gen catch fire? Answer me now!”
“So wetin kon start the fire?” Baba Ruka queried
“How you wan make I know,” Rotimi retorted. “No be inside my room I dey when I hear fire fire!”
“Me too!” Martins stated
“So how the fire kon start now?” Chris asked
“Make we ask you!” Fidelis rejoined, a comeback barb at Chris for not supporting him
“Ask me as as how? No be me start the fire so how I wan take know how e start?”
“But na one person first shout fire fire before all of us come out now!” Baba Ruka pointed out
“Una no wan tell me who burn down my house abi?” the landlord stated glaring at them
“I no go say na me do something when no be me now,” Chris said, his voice tinged with sarcasm
“Who kon do am?! Who do am?!” Baba landlord shouted, his voice bordering on hysteria. “Who burn down my house?!”
“Baba landlord cool down. This thing no be rocket science,” Deji stated, finally joining in the conversation. “Me I dey sleep when Martins wake me up say something dey smell. Martins, which person voice you hear?”
“I no hear voice, na smell I hear and when I open door, I see Chris dey shout fire fire!” Martins responded
“Na Temisan kon knock on my door say fire dey burn”
“Me too, na smell I smell am. Na him make me go call Chris!”
“Na lie! Na you start am!” Mama Nkiru accused her
“Eh! This woman take your time o! Take your time! Whether na you start the fire sef, you kon dey look for who to blame!”
“Na me you dey talk to like that?” Mama Nkiru demanded already advancing towards Temisan who began to look around for a weapon “Me?”
“You just dare come near me whether I no go break something for your head. You think say na that one wey you dash me slap abi?” Temisan said, brandishing a big wood from the debris
Chris and Deji quickly stepped in between the two women
“I go beat you, your people no go recognize you!’ Mama Nkiru threatened, trying to push past Deji who was holding her back
“And I go break your head, you go die!” Temisan returned, equally pushing past Chris
“Wetin be all these rubbish sef?!” Rotimi stated, glaring at the parties fighting and those separating. “Abeg make una leave them joor! If they wan break each other head, make them break am! Every time una two go dey fight like say una collect each other husband! Leave them joor!”
“Eh! Eh! Eh! See, all these drama you people are doing, I’m not falling for it o! You people better start talking now, e-ehn!”
“Everybody don talk now! Every man don speak for himself,” Rotimi pointed out. “From everything wey everybody talk now, nobody know who start the fire”
“E-ehn! Una no wan confess abi?! You people want to play me wayo. No worry. All of una dey house arrest until you tell me who burn down my house!”
Martins ears pricked at the mention of house arrest. It was a weekday and that meant he had to be at work.
“Ermmm… Baba Landlord, I no understand”
“No worry, you go soon understand!”
The landlord turned and signaled to the caretaker and two hefty looking guys whose presence they had been oblivious of because of their argument. The caretaker put a padlock on the gate which was still standing and handed the key to one of the guys.
“Now you understand. You people better start confessing.”
The BROUHAHA continues next week…
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