I never actually planned for what happened. I left my residence at Ejigbo that very morning with only five hundred naira (for those who don’t know, Ejigbo’s in Lagos). It’s the only island surrounded by bad roads in this part of the world ….No good road, no light, everybody there is quick to anger. I, Mr. Five, have always said it that, whoever that can survive Ejigbo, can survive hell fire.
Deliverance is done with koboko there; the demons are as stubborn as crazy donkeys. Yet our local govt. chairman regularly wins the best performing chairman awards in Lagos.
The bus I took from Ejigbo needed almost two hours to get to Cele area, because of the usual hold up. When I got down at Cele express, I walked quickly to take another bus going to Mile 2.
But suddenly, I remembered that the conductor of the bus that just brought me from Ejigbo did not give me my balance (change). I looked back at a distance and saw the bus going back to Ejigbo. Quickly, I jumped out of the Mile 2 bus and ran after the Ejigbo bus with all my energy. Apparently because I jumped out from the Mile 2 bus like a rat that hot water was poured into its hole (that uncollected change was the last money I had), a man dressed in a suit, like a lawyer that specializes in adjournment of rape cases, holding a brief case, saw me running and joined me immediately in the race. I actually thought he was helping me to get the bus, even though I never told anyone why I was running, but I noticed that he was more forceful in his race than me, like someone running from a lunatic holding matchet. Honestly not everybody wearing a suit is normal! Another man saw us running and joined the race, before I could turn back to see what was happening, the whole of Cele was in complete disarray as people were running helter-skelter in great panic ; it was like a mad people’s Olympic !
I still didn’t give a damn, because that five hundred was all I had both home and abroad. So I desperately chased after the bus for my change. And the man in suit was also still running after me with all his strength! Unfortunately, the chaos behind me over took me; people behind me were running towards me, those in front of me started running ahead of me without even knowing why they were running. Some people living around that area were running out of the way like goats that sensed dangerously, and instead of running into their houses, some people were running out of their houses.
Vehicles were reversing and driving back to where they come from. I later saw the bus I was chasing, parked at a distance, when I got to the it, all the doors were wide open, nobody was inside. The driver and conductor had vanished and abandoned the bus.
To my surprise even the LASTMA and the police men that were at Cele when I started running to get my change, suddenly overtook me and were running without looking back. One of the policemen removed his shirt as he ran, he even forgot to remove the beret on his head .Traders hawking things threw away their goods, as they ran. A cripple I use to see at Cele, who was always assisted by a little child to beg for alms, suddenly got up and ran more than the child helping him … It was a great miracle, he took steps of faith. nothing built by faith like Osundu. One can jump the widest gutter without knowing! All I was hearing behind me was, “fire fire, fire.”
When I saw a fat woman shouting “fire, fire! “I asked her, “madam did you say fire? Where? where? madam tell me na!”
The woman shouted, “common leave the road if you don’t like your life. Must you see the fire first before you run? This is Lagos o!! Boko Haram don come Cele o!!”
As I heard “fire!fire!” I doubled my efforts. (After all a living private is better than a dead general)
I saw a man park his car and run on foot. As he was running, I thought his tummy would fall down, because it was big (I believe his flat buttock was running differently while his large tummy was running differently (the consequences of excessive Gulder and nkwobi)! He was shouting on his phone in Igbo language, “Mama Nkechi, Mama Nkechi, are you hearing me? Gather the children, there is fire at Cele, it seems Ndi Boko have landed in town o! Pack the things you can carry; stop asking me questions. What do you mean if I saw them? Something that is happening in my presence, many have died in my presence! I am coming.”
At that moment I saw the conductor that I was looking for! I asked him to give me my change there before I change my mind.
The conductor said, “Ahh Oga,don’t you go to church ni!! So you still have the heart to ask for change, upon say Boko Haram don come Cele.”
But when he looked at my eyes he knew that a hungry man is an angry man.
He said, “take your change make you no kill me for night. No be only your grand mama be witch”. As I collected my change and relaxed from the race, the first man, in a suit, who ran after me got to me and was breathing like somebody that’d had marathon sex after taking Viagra. He said: “bros gist me, gist me what happened? Why where you running? I had to follow you when I suspected that you sensed danger, you know say Warri no dey carry last. “
I asked “which danger? I was running after the conductor that wants to eat my change. Thank God I caught him just now.”
The man shouted, “Jesus Christ! Oga, you mean you caused these pandemoniums because of ordinary change? Did you see what you caused in Cele bcos of how much change? I feel like slapping myself for following you.. “
I asked him, “Are you mad? You mean you saw someone running, you never asked why, you joined to run. My brother you need help. Get well soon.”
He said, “But oga see the chaos na. Is it fair? .”
I told him to stay away from me or else I will abuse his sister; what nonsense! I left him before he could say I caused it.
It was later I heard that when we were running a vehicle mistakenly drove over an empty pure water sachet and it made a loud sound that aggravated things. And that was what generated the story that Boko Haram came to Cele. The following day, I saw a guy at Conoil filling station telling people how everything happened in his presence; that he saw twenty people killed by Boko Haram.