Anybody familiar with d ajegunle territory
would understand d ordeals of a fight in
ajegunle.. In 1999 alone, we had over 3
different inter ethnic clashes dat left. A
huge trail of blood and piles and tons of
dead bodies.. First was the OPC vs ijaw..
Dat left every dark colored southerner
/> packing or running away to d village.. We
had to run to navy barracks becos our
house was built by an ijaw man.. Peeps died
plenry, a lotta houses we’re burnt… Infact..
Lemme spare u d gory details.. D 2nd battle
was d OPC vs hausa.. Allegedly ignited by
the slaughtering of a yoruba guy by an
‘obioma’.. Funny tailor clones in hausa
clothing..dat also lead to its own bloodshed
whose details are a story for another day..
The 3rd was d great school fight of d tolu
complex, dat was climaxed on dat day…
As an ajegunle ghetto kid, I was used to
violence.. I had started breaking bottles to
fight @age 11.. Cool ya? My friends drank
and smoked, but I didn’t because of my
sound religious background.. I did av 1
problem tho.. My temper.. I must have
gotten it from my ever travelling dad.. Who
according to my mum had d ‘anang’ anger
of his ancestors..back to my story… As I
walked towards boundary market, I saw dat
most of d stalls we’re closed for d day and
odas dat we’re open we’re cautious of dier
movts.. I don’t know wat gave me d bravery
tho.. But I kept heading in d direction of my
Bottles littered everywhere, blood, a corpse
or 2.. But I kept going.. I raced through
boundary market, took a shortcut to tolu
medical hospital and met d fight first hand…
“Your father” “your papa” “cala ur mamu”
different people roared.. Wielding and
flinging different weapons @ each oda.. I
hid myself in a small kiosk, watching d battle
like an inquisitive journalist.. A cry was
heard.. Indicating. An injury.. Probably a
stab wound.. Den another cry was heard..
This tym feminine..
“My breeast oooo dem don cut my b—-t”
Den clash again.. D sound of d bottles and
cutlass whipping is something I won’t forget
in a hurry.. I swallowed in silence.. “Who
send me come dis kind place na?”
“Exam or no exam, dis fight too serios”
“And na nyt be dis”
“Me I no wan die now o…” “I neva born and I
neva marry” I reasoned.. Knowing fully well
dat in dose fights, der was never an enemy…
As long as u we’re a guy, u either tried to
injure some1 or got injured…
After waiting for wat seemed like an
eternity, I noticed dat der was an eerie
calm…quietness.. I decided to venture into d
darkness and blaze myself home.. I said
some prayers and dashed out into d open..
Walk-running as quickly as my steps could
carry me.. I walked past tolu medical
heading straight to boundary.. Big mistake..
As I got to boundary, I saw a croud.. No, a
mob running bak from boundary market as if
dey had seen a dinousaur.. I turned bak
impulsively and fled.. Running to God knows
where.. I just entered any street.. And
looked for d nearest house to hide..for
where.. To make matters worse, der we’re
harsh looking guys on my trail…
“Stop there” 1 said wielding a plank with
some nails potruding out of it..
“Hold am there” d second and fearful looking
1 said with a native cutlass in hand.. O boi
na me go stop abi? If I hear..
C ronaldo sef no get my speed dat year.. I
ran.. Dey chased..I got to a street dat had a
dead end.. Dey cornered me.. I swallowed
hard.. Was dis. D end? I started confessing
all my sins.. As soon as dey saw d street
was a dead end, d slowed down dier pace..
Probably saving up energy for their
slaughter.. Wat had an innocent, unarmed
boy like me done to them… Till date I don’t
know.. As dey approached, I surveyed my
sorroundings.. Looking for a sweet
alternative route to imminent death.. D
house to my right was..locked and air tight..
“Wicked people” I thought…the 1 on my left
was also locked.. Look again.. No..
Somebody was at the door! Beckoning for
me to come.. At a closer look I recognised
the face… It was d criminal I abandoned 2
days ago!! No it couldn’t be.. How did he
survive it? Well I didn’t wait to find out.. I
bolted towards him with my pursuers
following blindly…till I enterd d house and he
shut d door tight.. I sighed hard and fell
down.. Sweaty, dehydrated and grateful for
God sparing my life..
My pursuers we’re frustrated and after some
efforts to push door down failed, they left.. 1
of their voices tho was familiar.. Like I had
heard dat voice before..
“Make we dey go jhor” he said.. And dey
After dat, I took time to survey my
sorroundings… D compound I was in wasn’t
too different from my own… Only less
populated and neater..my mind drifted from
survey to reality when my helper offered me
“Oboi how u manage enter dis fight na”
“Small boi like u” “wetin u dey do for dis
kind place.. For dis kind time?”.. I looked at
d time.. It was 7:59..yikes.. I wasn’t thinking
of d lesson sef..my getting home was more
important.. From d look of tins, it appeared
d criminal didn’t recognise me or wat I had
done d previous day… I was about to say
something wen another familair voice
“Is that u?”
I turned to see who it was.. And standing
there was the dreaded mrs busayo!!!
I sighed a sigh mixed with relief and
surprise… Relief because even In my
precarious situation, I had found some1 who
knew me and surprise because I didn’t
expect to see mrs busayo.. Least of all in
“What are u doing here?”
I booted.. Speechless and still recovering
from d shock of wat just happened..
” Dem for finish am for here now now”
replied d mysterious criminal..in a rather
husky voice.. “Na me open door for am or
else na cutlass for carry am go heaven”
“Thank u ehechukwu”.. So that was his
name… Ekechukwu.. I wondered y some 1
with such a nice name wud be involved in
something to warrant jungle justice…
“Come with me” mrs busayo ordered… I
followed her obediently… As we walked I
took out time to study d compound.. It was
a 9 room compound.. Wit a general kitchen
and toilet.. With 2 bathrooms.. At d
bakyard.. Mrs busayos room I got to find
out, was d last… She walked quickly and
opened her door.. I looked back at
ekechukwu… I couldn’t see his face in d
dark of d corridor.. But I saw a little red
light appear and dissappear, indicating d
draw of a ciggarette..
Mrs busayo opened her door and ushered
me in..I went in and sat down on 1 of the
sofas in her sitting room.. It was a. Room
and parlour setting mixed together in 1
room.. 3 sofas on 1 side with a tv and a
normal cd player set, partitioned wit a
curtain to demacate d bed..
As we sat down..she looked at me with
those stern eyes of hers.. Looking through
her glasses and asked..
“What really happened?”
I told her everytin.. A little shakily.. But I
didn’t spare any detail.. She listened wit
close and apt attention.. After everyting, she
sighed and shrugged…
“Dats ajegunle for u.. Fights are inevitable”
“Thank God dey didn’t harm u”..
“Yes ma, thank u ma..” I said in
I looked at her wall clock, the time read 9:25
pm..it was so late and d fight had not totally
subsided.. It was as if she read my mind..
” You cannot go home again tonight..”
“Its too late and dangerous”
“I will explain to ur mother tomorrow
knodded and swallowed hard
“Have u had anytin to eat?” She asked..
She sighed, stood up and went out…
D weather was changing… A serious breeze
engulfed d area, promising a subsequent
heavy downpour.. I shivered in her
apartment… And den took time to study it
further.. I saw pictures of a boy, somewhat
abt like 10 yrs of age wen d pic was taken,
a handsome looking man too.. They we’re
arranged neatly all over the wall..
“This must be her husband and son” I said
to myself.. Every body new d story of how
they died.. They left her on a journey to
akure, her husbands home town.. For d
holidays.. And died in a ghastly autocrash..
She escaped the journey by whiskers.. She
had neva been herself since.. Always moody,
angry with every1.. She took to active
religion as a consolation for her loss.. And
was always preaching in school to us.. No..
More like commanding us to repent.. As I
surveyed her things, lost in my thoughts.. I
heard her say bluntly..
“Come and eat”
“After that u take ur bath wit dat hotwater
on d fire and sleep”
“Tomoro is a long day for us”
I turned to see a delicious looking plate of
hot rice.. Steaming wit a creamylooking
completely fried fish.. Wit a cold bottle of
fanta to match..
“Correct” I said to myself..
“Call me wen u are done” she said.. Leaving
me in d sitting partition and entering her
bedroom to sleep..
“Bless dis food o lord for christ’s sake,
amen”.. I quickly dived into d food.. Living in
To be continued…