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Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Unwritten Rules: Chapter 3


Bright Okopi stood outside Doyle Energies. As usual he was out looking for a job as an engineer with a pay of N 350 000. He had arrived at the company at 6.30 pm in a bid to impress his would-be employers. He sat at the security post as he waited for the start of work.
Okoro and Alice, two security personnel on duty were kind enough to let him sit out the rain at the security post before the employees resumed.

"Fashola no dey try" said Okoro. "Why would he take food out of people's mouth?"

"He has a dream for Lagos," said Bright smartly spouting all that Babatunde Raji Fashola, the current governor of Lagos State had said.

"You don't understand," said Okoro "I think he is overdoing it. He drove the people selling recharge card home"

"...and when they could no longer sustain themselves he deported them back to their villages via luxurious buses" Alice laughed as she adjusted her cap on her head.

"How did I end up in Lagos?" asked Okoro.

Bright looked at him curiously, "What happened to you?"

"I didn't have money to finish my academics and so I came to Lagos to sell 'Okrika' at Yaba market"

"I hear it's a lucrative business"

"It was" Okoro answered Bright "...that was until Fashola's boys levelled my shop when they were changing the face of Yaba market".

"Hmmm" Alice smiled indignantly

"When I got stuck, and I wasn't able to pay my bills. I had to secure this job as a security man so I can pay my bills"

"Do you have plans of completing your education?"

"How?" Okoro asked. "The school fees keep rising and the numbers of people who can't hold on and drop out of college keep increasing"

"Let me tell you what happened in this Victoria Island" he continues without waiting for Bright to answer. "A food seller was constantly been harassed week after week by KAI".

"But they are doing their job, they have to, there are no sentiments when you are doing your job" Bright answered assuredly.

"That is what I thought too. They struck every week threatening her not to sell there again". He paused dramatically "...but instead of throwing the food away, they carted the pot of stew with assorted meat that is associated with local food sellers".

"So...there is nothing she can do" Bright sighed.

"Everyone pitied her but no one could do anything. One day she had the food poisoned and placed them on her sales table and kept some under the table for her customers. After the KAI officers had eaten her food, they dropped dead one by one".

"What?" Bright screamed as he shot of his seat.

He wanted to yell 'that is murder' but he remembered where he was. The two security officers obviously saw it as karma.

"When the other KAI officers turned up and tried to arrest her, the residents gathered and fought to save her".

"Wow" It was difficult to know where to stand in an issue like this, thank God he wasn't a lawyer. He continued with small talk but tried to stay off the gory stories as he awaited his interview hopefully.

***
Gbolahan Dada sat on his seat Sunday evening and watched the Presidential chat. As the president promised to do everything, as long as the parents of the Chibok children cooperate with the Federal Government in helping find their girls.

"This is what he should have done a long time ago"

Bimbo's soft-spoken voice broke into his thoughts. They had not spoken for weeks.
She hadn't been talking to him for weeks. He hid behind his silence because he suspected that his wife had discovered one of the letters from his mistress.

"His advisers are doing as much as they are qualified to do"

"It must be difficult to think when you are being bombarded from all sides by angry Nigerians" cut in his 14-year-old princess, Toke.

She was growing up so fast and a replica of her gorgeous mom.

"You are so smart, I think I must be doing something right" He laughed out loud then spoke to Toke "Get my ipad from the room, darling"

"It is here with me, Dad"

He stood and saw Toke dangling her legs in the air. She was lying behind the sofa on the rug clad floor and tapping unendingly on his iPad.

"Did you finish charging your daddy's iPad" Her mom jutted in.

"Yes mom" She shrugged her shoulders, stood up and held out the iPad to her father. "Here dad, take it".

She got up and headed for the stairs. "I am headed for my room, you two love-birds can stay up late" she yawned and continued upstairs.

"Hmmm" he smiled into his wife's eyes for the first time in weeks "Toke is growing up too fast for my liking"

"Uh huh" Bimbo said noncommittally. "In a year she will be in her final year and off to the university, she's not as young as you see her anymore".

Bimbo was wearing a navy blue bum shorts and an old T-shirt with her hair done in a weave. Gbolahan was in his customary white dashiki.

"I got you something from the presidents' daughter's wedding" he reached into his laptop bag and pulled out the gold plated iPhone.

"Thank you dear" she whispered the endearment she used for everyone.

Gone were the days when she used his special endearment. He remembered the early days of marriage and wondered why women had to hold on to every wrong like a pillow. It was killing the intimacy in their marriage or had succeeded in killing the joy of their marriage and he was trying but had no idea of how to bring back those early days.

"That all?"

"Do you want more?" she enquired. "I am thankful that you had me on your mind during your trip" she shrugged and got up with the package.

He shrugged, opened his laptop and began working on it absentmindedly "I will join you shortly," he shouted after her.

That was a lie. He did not intend to leave his laptop until 2 am when he must have exhausted all the solutions that had come to him. His wife could take care of herself.

Once she had accused him of feeling guilty and instead of apologising, he pulled away. Maybe true. Maybe not. He had lost his enthusiasm for this marriage. No one was trying. He did not feel like trying.
Maybe he should sext with Maryram, the air hostess on the Arik Air flight from PH to Lagos who was fascinated with his white hairs. He smiled as he picked up his HTC phone.

****
Tanya Whitehall was involved in the strikes that were holding. The whole saga of the #BringBackOurGirls wasn't flying over her head like other youth her age. She and her cousin's wife ran an NGO that had as one of its concerns righting the injustice against the female child. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to highlight the good; that her charity organization was doing.

She had collaborated with other groups to bring the ##Chibok girls back home to us. The dress code was a red t-shirt.

"Ughrr" she muttered as she felt the discomfort that accompanies high heels.

She had a field day with every one of the women in politics and business who were her personal heroes standing in front of the State House in Ikeja in a field insisting that the president do something about the Chibok girls. It has been over two weeks and no progress has been reported. It took all of the will power she had not to take selfies with each one of them and post on Facebook.

"Tanya, focus on the main thing now, you need to project professional"

She took professional pictures to post on Facebook, and to use as a portfolio to create a newsletter that got to the heart of the everyday busy individual.

"Thank you so much"

She grinned a popular pastor's wife in Ikeja. Some people were so humble. She prayed she was still humble when she became famous.

She read her last tweet and signed off twitter.

As usual, the media was ablaze with righteous indignation of the youths, at the government and the missing young ladies and how this couldn't happened in America without a retaliation. Silver bird TV just concluded their report on the girls. Tanya switched off the TV as the news ended. She noticed that while the NTA showed how the president had yesterday visited the secondary schools.

The Silver bird TV dwelt on the parents and how they were devastated that their children were in custody of the dreaded Boko Haram men.

"Do you know some silly people are actually saying that no #Chibok girls went missing? They are saying its a scam, read this". Christabel said as she thrust her phone under Tanya's nose.

"The must be from another planet. Why would someone invent something like that? Tanya sniffed as she read the tweets.

"Can you believe it?" Christabel huffed in righteous indignation.

"I don't think we should waste our time/emotions on trivial things, the Chibok girls need us now"

How insensitive could one get? She was going to wait and see for herself because in this country, anything was possible.

Tessa Doghor

She is one of the leading Social Media Managers in Nigeria with the ability to foresee trends and build on it before it becomes commonplace. She is intelligent and strategic. She is also an amazing writer. To get in touch mail her at tessadoghor@gmail.com

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