Who Stole The Meat?

The ‘cringy moluè’ bus finally came to a halt under the huge pedestrian bridge, having dangled for long in isolation. One by one, we trooped out of the rickety bus like prisoners of conscience.


‘Twenty-nine sitting ninety-nine standing…’ Fela’s ‘suffer suffer’ song sneaked into my mind. 


It was a couple of years ago and I was on my way to Computer Village. Of course, Moluè was still trending as the cheapest means of transportation in Lagos. I got off the dilapidated moving dustbin and while still deciding whether to cross the road or use the pedestrian bridge, two KAI officials walked by, jacked-up a guy by the waist, and dragged him into their kangaroo truck. KAI.


I had twice fallen into their traps and the experienced was not a cool one. Twice they had violently dug their stinking fingers into my waist like a criminal wanted by EFCC, lifted, and flung me into their truck just because I ‘mistakenly’ crossed the road and did not use the pedestrian bridge. 


I learned they were ex-area boys and street fighters, so this time around, I consulted my 7th sense and used the pedestrian bridge. 

Afflictions will not rise again in my life.


Wake up, boy. 

This is Ikeja Bus Stop. 

I checked my cell phone, and it was intact. I checked my head. It was still on my neck. Good.


Ikeja Bus Stop along Oshodi-Agege Motor Road is a 24-hour economy, like Ojuelegba, and one of the busiest bus stops in Lagos, probably due to its proximity to the Computer Village; the easy link in and out of Ikeja central; or the quick connection to Alausa hub of power.


Ikeja Bus Stop is a jamboree of human and mechanical structure; a host to molue and danfo buses who are busy ‘picking and dropping’ passengers all over, a swarm of okada doggedly bullying their way into the crowd, and the ‘bend-down-select’ traders displaying their wares on every available space, even on train tracks. 


The aboki shoe shiners were scanning for dirty shoe owners that they can make an extra buck from; the underground men of the State Security were seen mingling with the crowd to sniff out criminals; the Police ‘black maria’ was filled with ‘criminals’ who do not have receipts for their laptops or smartphones, hence, about to be shipped into dungeons. 


Hawkers were busy digging their faces into faces in search of the next ‘commercial victims’, while pure water kids would do a ‘100 meters yard’ to sell a sachet of water. 


I even sighted LASTMA officials shaking up disobedient drivers who’d violated the street code. MC Oluomo’s boys ‘codedly’ doing their weed’ behind the abandoned bus stop building, and even some ‘alayes’ impersonating KAIs were at their own corner, unleashing kangaroo judgment on idiots who do not know that pedestrian bridges are meant to be used. 


No guck am o, pickpocket dey your back, and your phone is their target. 


I descended the bridge and turned to Computer Village, Nigeria’s No1 phone market where ‘òsárá’ boys would steal your phone and sell it back to you. 


Sharp business guys, hustlers, shoppers, 419s, yahoo boys, pickpockets, thieves, hawkers, detectives, jobless graduates, alayes, strayers, wanderers, wanderlusts, bystanders, wakabouts, beggars, honest men, and women…


I tracked on and saw a crowd milling at a stretch of Otigba Street. I waved it off as one of the normal rowdiness associated with Computer Village, then I started hearing the ‘cheer and boo’. 







Then the unpaid referees dishing out instructions from the sidelines.

Oya Chidi, gi am upper cut…

Your fada…

Blow him face

Gi am…gi am


Wow! A street fighting was on. 

Me, Victor Adeyemi, I must watch.

I walked there quickly and saw two guys digging it out fiercely. 

Holyfield vs Tyson. 

I joined the crowd around the boxing ring and was enjoying the bout. 

Perfect entertainment for an imperfect sunny day.

One guy was throwing the punch skillfully and Emeka was taking it, his own ‘igbotic’ punch hitting the air. He kept grunting.

A punch. A grunt.

Punch in the left cheek. Grunt.

On the right. Grunt.

Gbas-gbos. Grunt.

Gbos-gbas! Grunt

Punch harder. Grunt.

And again. 


The guy kept punching until Emeka could not take it anymore. With swollen eyes, bleeding lips, and disfigured face, Emeka staggered a few steps backward, seemed to be looking around for something. Lagosians know that is a warning signal, so they milled backward. 


Emeka sighted a girl hawker in the crowd with a bowl of soft drinks balanced on her head. He staggered in her direction, grabbed a bottle from her head, ran back to the ring, and P-O-A-H! 




Chidi yelped and slumped. 

Immediately, he was covered with blood.

Area scatter. 

The crowd yelled in horror.

It was a real smash. 


Emeka Tyson was glad he did major damage at last and was even ready to do more. With the half-broken bottle in his firm grip, he confidently moved around like an Igbo gladiator, seeking to stab anyone making a come at him. 


‘Wey dem… I say wey dem.. their fada’

We scampered for safety as Emeka suddenly turned terrorist. 

He moved to the bleeding guy and kicked him again.


What a bottle! I thought.

From a vantage point, I stared fixedly at Emeka’s hand to see the weapon of mass destruction, and behold, begging for happiness in his left grip was the world’s No1 brand.



The sun is blazingly hot

A police siren blares 50 meters away

The crowd disperses, quietly

A dark cloud settled over the village. 

Chidi was fighting for his life as his Igbo brethren quickly dragged him away from the spot. 

Emeka with his bottle has disappeared into the crowd.

I kept wondering. 

Between Chukwuemeka or Coke, 

Who really stabbed Chidi?


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Oliver Thief will mean different things to different people.  

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