It was the time of emergency and the season of kidnappers. The entire country was reeling under the hammer of intrepid kidnappers with the state itself a potential victim. What began as isolated cases of errant militancy in the Niger Delta has now graduated into a national industry requiring a major federal intervention.
Snooper returned from a historic visit to South Africa only to find that he had himself walked into a well-laid domestic ambush. Okon and Baba Lekki had kidnapped the entire house. The only section that was yet to fall into the hands of the rebels was snooper’s bedroom and they had already laid a siege to it with a Kilimanjaro heap of expired leaves of moin-moin and eko which was Baba Lekki’s favourite meal.
Snooper ought to have known that there was trouble ahead as soon as he entered the house only to be assaulted by an overpowering smell of periwinkles, burukutu from Burutu, rotting snails, fermented melons, Hibiscus flower and the peculiar body odour of people living close to the Ebola virus (Ebolies Mauritius Iwuruwuru).
In the far corner of the house was an ethnic Kukuruku woman mouthing unprintable obscenities about the male anatomy. She was eyeing snooper with wild relish. But far more alarming was the fact that while the entire district was well lit, snooper’s domain managed with medieval lanterns and oil lamps.
“What happened to the money I gave you for electricity?” snooper charged at Okon.
“Oga, dem kidnapper don kidnap dat one”, Okon replied with an annoying grin.
“Meaning what?” snooper shrieked almost apoplectic with r “As I wan go buy NEPA na so dem kidnapper come capture me for Magodo. Dem say make I give dem dem handsome money, abi na ransom dem dey call am sef? Naim I come give dem money and naim dem come drop me for Majidun”, Okon croaked. At this point, Baba Lekki who has been snoring on the floor started singing an old Ebenezer Obey classic about Ikija from the depths of slumber.
“I beg if you dey go Okija forest, ask dem priest make him return Orji’s singlet. As he come run go back dem Pikin Dey Piss party, we go need dem singlet for ward regination”, the woman at the corner simpered like an ancient simian.
“Who is this mad woman?” snooper screamed.
“Oga, no be mad woman at all ooo, na Sister Excellency. As kidnappers come overrun dem Aba, naim she come overrun Lagos sam sam”.
“You must be insane”, snooper shouted at the mad boy.
“Oga, I no be in chain again oo. Dem kidnappers dem don liberate obodo country and I don capture dem house be dat”, Okon snorted.
“Which house? I give all of you five minutes or I will call the police”, snooper raved.
“Take us to Lion Building, I wan reach my brother there,” Baba Lekki submitted with a sleepy stare. At this point, the mad woman made a determined bid to grab snooper from behind, screaming “Madu, time don reach for youth service now!!” Snooper fled to his room and quickly locked the door. This was as close to hell as it could get. Snooper could hear Baba Lekki sniggering, “were, were, why don’t you wait for her!!!!”
Amidst the lunatic din that ensued, a voice of calm authority suddenly rang out. “Eku ile mbi ooo”. It was Mama Igosun. Mama Igosun was back. At first, she appeared to have taken a light view of the confusion. “Orisirisi ni colony”, she purred. Then she rounded on Baba lekki who was her old classmate.
“Laminu, with all dem cocoa money dem use to train you as London lawyer, you see your life?” she thundered. Baba Lekki responded by bursting into Fela’s song.
Luku lawyer, he dey run oo
E wo lawyer, he dey run oo
Mama Igosun could no longer abide the nonsense. She suddenly seized a giant broom and charged at the miscreants. “Kini gbogbo palapala yi? Afira yin!!!” she screamed. Everybody fled in different directions with Okon screaming, “dem mother of all dem kidnappers don come ooooo”.
Both articles first published in July, 2010.