“Please officer! He is just a boy,” Olamide’s mother pleaded with the policeman. She was crying and she held on firmly to her son.
“We have to uphold the law!” the policeman shouted impatiently. He came up with a handcuff and clasped it round Olamide’s wrists. A small crowd had gathered at the scene and some women were whispering and gossiping in excited voices. The press were having a nice day and they were taking several snapshots.
The policeman and his three colleagues forcefully pried Olamide from his mother’s grip and bundled him into their van popularly known as ‘Black Maria’. Some women held firmly to Olamide’s mother because she was ready to throw herself at the van. The policemen drove off trailed by the loud wailing of Olamide’s mother. The policemen were talking about the forthcoming presidential election and who was likely to be the winner but Olamide wasn’t listening. His mind was far away; he was thinking about the reason why he’d been arrested and what the future holds for him.
He was an only child and as far back as he could remember his parents had always lived together peacefully. Everything changed when his father lost his job about two years prior to Olamide’s arrest. His father suddenly became irritable and he also became a chronic alcoholic. His father started to beat his mother at the slightest provocation. Olamide’s mother tried her best to hide the bruises from friends and family; she always found one excuse or the other.
Olamide had just finished taking his bath when he heard his mother’s loud and piercing screams. He hurriedly got dressed and rushed out of the bathroom to see what was wrong. He got to his parents room and he saw his father trying his best to strangle his mother with his bare hands. Olamide tried to help his mother but his father was far stronger than him.
A next door neighbour was the one who collected a knife which was dripping red with blood from Olamide’s grasp. Olamide hadn’t realized that he was stabbing his father repeatedly until the neighbor collected the knife from him.
“You’re unusually quite today“, observed Olaboye. “What’s up?”
“Nothing! I just don’t feel like talking”, replied Adesola. Olaboye found this funny and he started laughing.
Adesola was one of those set of humans who love talking. He could talk from morning til night without getting tired. Most of his conversations with his friends were usually monologues. The two friends were in their second year at the University and they were at Adesola’s room playing a game of soccer on Xbox. Olaboye was leading by two goals to nil which was unusual because Adesola rarely looses against his friend.
“I hope you have more days like this were you don’t feel like talking,” Olaboye said with a smile on his face. Adesola didn’t reply and they continued playing the game in silence. Olaboye scored another goal but Adesola didn’t even react or say anything. He usually would have said something witty. Olaboye paused the game and studied his friend for sometime.
“Dude! Are you sure you’re okay? Have you impregnated a girl or something?” he asked jokingly. Adesola didn’t answer, he just stood up and headed to the toilet. Olaboye noticed that Adesola was walking slowly and awkwardly.
Olaboye took Adesola’s mobile phone so as to check if he could see any new songs he could send to his own phone. He was still browsing through Adesola’s music list when a message came into the phone. He opened the message and he started reading.
‘Congratulations on your successful initiation to the Scorpion fraternity yesternight. Don’t forget to attend tonight’s meeting. There’ll be consequences if you fail to do so.’ He read the message again twice and stared into space.
Mary woke up and did the first thing she always did, the thing she loved most: she checked her phone.
There wasn’t any new message. She checked again to make sure. Her heart sank and she felt hollow.
It has become something of a daily ritual for Mary to read good morning text messages sent by her friend Tobi.
She met Tobi at the University Library about two years ago and they’ve been good friends since then. Their love for reading brought them together.
While Mary was brushing her teeth she remembered that Tobi had been absent-minded while she was teaching him some arithmetic the previous day. She also sensed that he wanted to tell her something. Tobi doesn’t speak much; he expresses himself more in writing.
A message came in while she was getting dressed and when she saw that it was from Tobi she became excited. She opened the text and started reading.
“Life would be so much easier if we could snap our fingers and get whatever we want. If only I’d seen it coming, I might have braced myself for the impact. But you know what they say ‘you can’t choose who you fall in love with, it just happens.’ I have been in love with you for sometime now but I’ve been trying my best to hide it and I must confess it hasn’t been a walk in the park. I’ve tried to summon the courage to tell you but I always chicken out at the last minute. I’ll like to know if you feel the same way? I’ll respect whatever answer you give me.”
A bright smile had lighted up her face before she finished reading. MARY decided that she will tell him her answer in person when they meet later that day.
“Agnes! Your mother told me that she’s asked you several times but you didn’t answer her. I’m going to ask you once again. Who is responsible for your pregnancy?”, Revd Jesubori asked is teenage daughter with a calm voice.
Although Revd Jesubori was boiling inside and he felt like screaming at Agnes, he controlled his temper. As the General Overseer of The Holy Trinity Ministeries, a very popular church, he was already thinking about how the news of Agnes’ pregnancy was going to affect his public image.
“Chief Ajasin!”, Agnes replied with a barely audible whisper. Agnes continued to stare at her toes. She was shaking like a leaf in spring time.
Revd Jesubori opened his mouth to speak but no words came out. He sank deeper into the sofa he was sitting on and he remembered a meeting that took place at his office about two years earlier.
The meeting was a Church Executive Meeting (EC) which he chaired. The agenda of the meeting was to discuss the issue that Chief Ajasin had impregnated a girl, who was a choir member at the church and the best way to handle the problem.
Two members of the E.C suggested that Chief Ajasin, who was the church Treasurer, should immediately be suspended from carrying out all the church activities he was in charge of for at least six months and after this he will write an apology to the church which he will personally read before the congregation. Chief Ajasin will also be responsible for all financial needs of the girl and her child.
The other members of the church E.C disagreed totally with this suggestion. They pointed out that Chief Ajasin won’t be happy about that decision and that he’ll stop financing the church. As a matter of fact he just donated a large amount of money to be used for the new church project a few days ago. They suggested that the issue be hushed up since few people are privy to it. They also said that Chief Ajasin should give the girl and her family a considerable amount of money in return for their silence.
Revd Jesubori agreed with the second group of the E.C. It was as if they read his mind.
“Ignorance is the biggest and most contagious disease.”
It was around 4AM and I was reading a book about the Biafran war when a text came into my phone.I opened it and started reading.
“Ensure that you, your family and neighbours bath with hot water and salt before daybreak today because of Ebola Virus.You should also add salt to a warm water and drink it.”
I was smiling before I finished reading the text.About five more similar text messages came in before I decided to get some sleep around 5AM.
The percentage of Nigerians that believed and did what the messages said was surprising.
A lot of religion-inspired superstitions control the way of thinking of an average Nigerian.
Salt cures Ebola? This is contrary to scientific research that has confirmed that there is no known cure for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) except the two experimental drugs in the United States.
I am not saying that prayers can’t cure diseases. The person who started this rumour just made Dangote a richer man.