THE BLUE HOUSE
It was a safe trip for me from Lagos to Warri. Every where seem to have changed because I have been away for nearly 10years. After alighting at the Effurun park, immediately I boarded the city bus plying Warri-Sapele road. The conductor in their usual manner started shouting “every body hold your change o, any body wey give me wahala eh I go give am back double, na Warri be this, who do anyhow go see anyhow” he said all of these while loading the bus. I sat quietly because of the attendant stress associated with long journeys, plus I was famished. As we drove along, I discovered the usual hustle of people who are trying to make ends meet have not changed in the city. Some were alighting from the bus while others were boarding at the various bus stops as we got along.
Suddenly, a girl sitting in front turned to me and started, Bros! Bros!! See as you soft like today bread. E be like say you just dey enter AREA o. How yonder na? I reluctantly responded by nodding my head. Then she said again, Bros! See eh, na Aladja I dey go. I need your epp. Nothing gum me again at all. I just need 2H [#200] to reach Aladja when I drop for Enerhen junction. I know say you be correct Bros! Abeg show me love. Without hesitating, I obliged and gave her #200 for her transport to get home.
Before long, we ran into a little traffic jam in Jakpa junction. There you go, our bus was swamped by all the street hawkers around, they all were jostling for our attention with their various items. All I could hear was, buy your bottle water, sweet bread, plantain chips, buy your gala, your cold mineral here and blablabla. I got the shocker of my life when the lady I just gave #200 for transport used the same money to order for a cold Pepsi and two galas and started downloading them in front of me. I opened my mouth wide in surprise and couldn’t utter a word. I have just been scammed with my eyes opened. Warri, why? I said as I shaked my head in negation. At this point, my senses came back and I had to borrow some senses from my ancestors [lols] for me to come to the realisation of were I am.
The road became freer and we drove faster. Then another passenger bus in front of us started traffic indicating to turn right, his conductor also assisting by pointing to the right in a bid to tell other drivers their bus will be making a right turn. But this same bus eventually turned left causing a near-miss accident panic. What kind of driving is this? I shouted. Then some guy replied from the rear. You no know say na Warri be this? Na so then dey drive here o. Driver go traffic indicating right but na left him go turn.
After some minutes, I got to my junction and alighted from the bus. As I walked home, I noticed something unusual. While people in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and other Cities are wearing nose mask to protect themselves from coronavirus, Warri people are wearing nose mask just to pass police. Why is the lifestyle of Warri people different? Someone must answer this question.
Finally, I got home, THE BLUE HOUSE. Our building is called the THE BLUE HOUSE because it is painted all blue, the roof alike. Because of it’s colour, it is popular and known as THE BLUE HOUSE in the street. THE BLUE HOUSE is a one storey building with four units of two-bedroom flats. Flat one is occupied by the landlady popularly known as Madam Landlady. Flat two is occupied by us. Flat three is occupied by Uncle Joe as he is called and flat four is for let.
Few weeks after my arrival, a serious quarrel ensued between Madam Landlady and Uncle Joe. Uncle Joe is allegedly owing Madam Landlady two years rent amounting to #500,000. Madam Landlady threatened to get some soldiers to beat him and lock him up if he refuses to pay up his rent within a stipulated period. Some days later operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad [SARS] stormed our BLUE HOUSE, seized Uncle Joe and started beating him, while some were packing his load into an already waiting truck. No body could dare to ask or interrupt the scene. When Madam Landlady intended, they ask her to keep-off or she will be eaten too. They succeeded in packing everything in Uncle Joe’s apartment and drove away with him to an unknown destination. No body could challenge them. That’s Nigeria for you. People started throwing tantrums at Madam Landlady for making good her threat against Uncle Joe. They called her all kinds of unprintable names. Though she claimed to be innocent but nobody believe her because of her earlier threats.
Two months later, I bumped into Mr. Dike in ShopRite, Delta Mall. He is Uncle Joe’s friend and had visited severally before the ugly incidence. Then I asked if he knows the whereabout of his friend. Mr. Dike laughed at me profusely, I was so ashamed of myself. Then he said, guy forget Uncle Joe. Everything wey happen for that una BLUE HOUSE eh, Na arrangeeee. Uncle Joe no get 500k to pay Madam Landlady. So him give him SARS friend 40k to come pack him load from the house. I shouted, OMG! Warri! With my hand on my head. But Uncle Joe why? I asked rhetorically. So, all that drama that took place in our BLUE HOUSE was actually scripted. It was just a ploy by Uncle Joe to abscond with Madam Landlady’s money. Madam Landlady was actually innocent as she claimed.
Please advise me y’all, when I get home should I tell Madam Landlady everything or I should just keep quiet?
To all my Warri people, I love y’all. We no dey carry last.👍
Thanks for reading.
ODAFE, Austin Johnson
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