A Novel Written by: Kolade Segun-Okeowo (KSO)
Labinjo’s wife smiled again and knelt, thanking the pastor and his wife. Thereafter, she faced Labinjo again and began another round of praises…
“Behold my husband…the concubine of some other women
Permit me to take a brief journey to your mother’s lineage…
Your mother was a descendant of Alaafin Ladigbolu
Ladigbolu the fashionable Alaafin of Oyo
Ladigbolu the wealthy one who keeps money in pots
Splendour in honour; Father of Gbadegesin
Oyo, descendant of the Alaafin
Rain must not beat the sekere
Child of Atiba
Offsprings of Abiodun Adegoolu
You urge the creditor to demand his pay
Yet you also urge the hireling debtor to repudiate his debt
So that conflict may ensue
For the benefit of the Prince/Princess
Oyo plants the ‘corn of trouble’
In another man’s backyard
That one must not harvest it
Neither must he weed it off
Child of death who cannot die
Child of pestilence who cannot be tied down by sickness
Child of calamity whom calamity cannot afflict….
Olambinjo, son of Odewehinwa OOOOO!!!!”
Smiling, Labinjo stood, shook his buttocks and walked to the Pastor and his wife. He greeted them for the first time since the couple arrived Onigba-Iwofa.
Another loud noise erupted again.
Morakinyo took permission from Pastor Kalejaye to visit Onigba-Iwofa the weekend after he arrived from Ikeji-Arakeji. He barely managed to stay at home for the one week. The desire to see the church he left behind at Onigba-Iwofa and the brethren had become so strong on him.
Pastor Kalejaiye granted him express permission but requested him to stay only the weekend
The vehicle he boarded from Ojoo end of Ibadan to Shaki had taken off at around 8:30am and was moving toward Moniya when it had a flat tyre. Unfortunately, the vehicle had no extra tyre.
“How could you do this to us…This is a nonsensical speculation!!! Infra- digni tatem!!!” One of the passengers erupted. He was sitting in the front beside the driver, so he saw everything. He saw the frustration on the face of the driver when the tyre went down and had asked him if the extra was intact.
“I have extra tyre Sir” The driver had promptly replied. However, when he had walked to the boot of the car and returned to the flat tyre more than thrice looking askance, the old man knew something was amiss.
He looked inquisitively at the driver and asked him again.
“Don’t postulate to me you don’t have an extra tyre…. No…You must be gravitating towards some gargantuan and highly ferocious insinuations”
At first the driver did not answer, he laid under the car and pretended to be searching for something. The old man continued to erupt in his big vocabularies, sending some of the passengers including Morakinyo into laughter. The old man was offering some form of relief from the tension of the early morning disappointment occasioned by the flat tyre. However, the old man, undaunted continued his eruption of big English.
“This is tantamount to a rape of trust, an abdication of responsibility and a failure of amicably accentuated contractual agreement!!!”
Again, the other passengers’ burst into laughter while hailing the old man.
“You see, that is why I am completely disenchanted with this geographical entity called Nigeria. In sane climes, this hocus pocus cannot but be taken as an aberration of the highest order, a concomitant johijojivar and a sadistic emasculation of the inalienable, protected and sovereign rights of passengers” The laughter continued and took a louder dimension.
After what seemed to be like ages, the driver crawled out from under the 504 Station Wagon and announced remorsefully and apologized that the extra tyre was missing. According to him, the extra tyre was intact when he took the care for some services at the mechanic workshop, the previous day. He claimed the mechanic or one of his boys must be playing some pranks.
When asked for the solution, he pleaded that he be allowed to cross to the other side of the road and wave any vehicle coming from the opposite direction so he could send for another vehicle to come from the park and continue the journey with the stranded passengers while he sorts himself out.
“You see, that is the odyssey of life…The dilemma of mankind. This homo sapiens knows we are completely at his mercy and have been coaxed and bamboozled by the complete bugaboo of his perfidious and repugnant actions. This is completely insalubrious and odoriferous, highly lugubrious and leading us to a sardonic conundrum” The old man continued again.
The other passengers apart from Morakinyo started walking away from the old man. Apparently, he appeared to be the only one who could make some little sense out of what the man was saying. Even as a PhD holder and a former Senior Lecturer, Morakinyo struggled to put together few pieces of information from the speech of the old man.
“I don’t blame him, if not for the economy of this geographical entity called Nigeria that is in a precarious sentenza, why should I find myself in this malodorous mobile coffin called an automobile” The old man seem to be enjoying the attention Morakinyo had given him, so he continued the intensity of his bitter outpour against the driver and the government of the day.
“This country is on a precipice of apocalyptic crepuscule, caused by the braggadocious, megalomaniac, khakistocratic leaders in power. What an anathematous disdain of the citizenry! What a depreciable descent from the sublime to the ridiculous! Who will curb the odoriferous excesses of
this Machiavellian and mephistophelean cabal in the Confederation? The combination of General Buhari and General Babangida have ceaselessly fueled these vagabonds in power whose primus and sadistic purpose has philistinic anchorage in a depreciably mindless crave for vacuous hedonism and ingratiating political megalomania”
“Yes, you are very correct Sir” Morakinyo managed to say something, unsure if his response makes any sense or not.
Although he knew the man was sad and disappointed in the recent turn of events in the country following the introduction of the Structural Adjustment Programme and the devaluation of the naira; he could not fully understand the entire content what the old man was saying.
From the discussion he managed to have with him, the old man was a retired Principal of a Secondary School in Abeokuta who studied Latin and Classics. He was schooled in Edinburgh and had lived most of his adult life in London before he returned to Nigeria after independence to head a mission school. His first major grouse was with the military government of Murtala and Obasanjo whom he accused of the policy of indigenisation which saw schools taken from missionaries and handed over to the government. He predicted a fall of the educational system and opined that the standard of education will be messed up terribly in the next ten years.
Soon, the driver returned and gleefully announced that he had located a fellow driver coming from Oyo and had begged him to ask the authorities of the Ojoo Motor Park to release an empty car to meet up with them at Moniya. He promised the rescue vehicle will join them in less than fifteen minutes.
The spare vehicle did come, but not in fifteen minutes. The passenger had waited another thirty minutes before the vehicle came at around 9:45am. They had lost over one hour.
“Imagine, one hour fifteen minutes wasted because a mendacious automobile operator who is audacious and recumbently refused to act with alacrity but rather obfuscated and led us to this avoidable quagmire. This for me is the terminus of this ill-fated journey…Return me to Ibadan!!! I go to Shaki no more!!!” The old man said with finality as he sat in the front of the new vehicle.
At first, Morakinyo and the other passengers thought the old man was joking, however after almost ten minutes of pleading, it became glaring the old man was dead serious.
“We had a contractual consensus! A voyage from Ibadan to Shaki…That has been subjugated to miasmic and horrendous egregious manipulation from you being a major party to that sanctimonious treatise…I am not interested in proceeding on this ill-fated journey, having lost faith in all automobile species from your God-forsaken auto park !!!” The old man erupted again.
After another round of pleading and the old man remaining adamant, Morakinyo and the other passengers resorted to fate and agreed the old man be returned to Ibadan before they can continue the journey to Shaki. Uneasy silence reigned as the car returned to Ojoo Motor Park where the passengers were first picked.
“If not for the age of this old man, we would ask the driver to drop him at Moniya. He could as well trek from there to Ibadan” One of the passengers at the rear end of the car said under her breath. She spoke vernacular. The old man turned back and looked towards the direction of the woman who spoke and squeezed his face at her.
“Woman…take this as your last warning…and don’t transform yourself into a termagant in order to avoid a ferocious masculine reaction from me” The man said, his aged eyes bulging out of his ringed spectacles as he spoke.
“Sir, don’t mind her Sir. She wasn’t intending to malign you Sir. How could she do that to a highly respectable man like you” Morakinyo quickly stepped in to douse the tension the old man was already creating in the vehicle. They had just entered Shasha and the vehicle was cruising gradually back to Ojoo.
The old man turned back again, now towards Morakinyo and shook his fists at him and spoke. “Young man, I will not subscribe to that polemic encomium and panegyric adulation being showered on my personality!!!”
“Haaa!!!” The woman almost screamed. Another nasty look from the old man sent her into quietness again.
As the vehicle squeezed its way into the ever busy Ojoo Motor park, the passengers heaved a sigh of relief.
“Shaki kan ti o l’eru!!!” (A Shaki-bound passenger with no load!)
The driver shouted as he put the car to a halt and came down hurriedly. He briefly consulted with the driver of the next car on the line for Shaki. A lone passenger was already waiting in the vehicle. After some discussions with the park leaders, the lone passenger was requested to join the vehicle with Morakinyo and others. Morakinyo had taken over the front seat as soon as the old man alighted, picked his bag and walked away. The lone passenger form the empty car joined the ready-to move car and sat where Morakinyo had alighted from.
The lone passenger, a woman immediately greeted everyone in the car. Morakinyo, who sat in the front, merely waved back without looking in her direction. She noticed the weariness in the face of almost everyone, so she asked questions. The woman who had infuriated the old woman was the first to offer information about what transpired in the last one and half hours. She wondered why an old man would be that silly and saucy.
“Only God knows how his children will be coping with him?” The lousy woman asked.
“Children? If he has children at all, they would have run away from him. His wife or wives will abandon him and go to stay with their children hiding under the guise of “Omugwo” A male passenger said.
“Men like that end up dying lonely and bitter…imagine how he wasted our precious time after the silly driver had done his own…Very inconsiderate old man. I wish I don’t meet him again in my life…and he was speaking big big grammars…As if big grammars bring money” Another male passenger lent his opinion.
“In all situations, let us thank God. Who knows what tragedy God used that situation to deliver all of us from. God works in mysterious ways, His wonders too difficult for us to understand. All things work together for good!!! God allows what we hate to accomplish what He loves. And what does God love? For people to enter into relationship with Himself and become more like Him” The lone passenger had started a preaching session.
“Today I have the most wonderful news for everyone in this car, I assure you that in all the things that have happened to you in the past, and also that are happening to you today, and even in what will happen to you in the future, God has been working, and God is working now, and God will be working in everything for your present and eternal good” The woman’s voice rang out in the silent vehicle as it sped past Moniya and continued towards Akinyele, en route Oyo.
Morakinyo, listened attentively as the woman spoke. Something in the woman’s voice sounded familiar. He had a feeling he had heard the voice before. He had not turned to look at the woman since she joined them in the car.
“Our journey today is God-ordained. I believe God wants me to be in this car so that someone can hear the word of life and come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. That is why the old man made way for me”
‘This voice is familiar…!’ Morakinyo said to himself again as the woman continued to share the word of God with everyone in the car. ‘This voice is familiar…!’
“Let me tell you a story to confirm that God works in all situations to bring out what He wants…The best for His own” The woman continued.
“A young boy lived in a village with his parents and siblings, but it was a polygamous family. One day, his half-brothers conspired against him, caught him and sold him into slavery. In the land where he was sold into slavery, he worked hard and had the priviledge of working with one of the highest chiefs of the land and right hand man of the King”
As the woman continued speaking, Morakinyo began to pray in his heart for the ministration. He knew the story the woman was trying to paint.
“Attracted by his handsome looks, the chief’s wife desired to be intimate with him. To her surprise, the young boy continuously refused. One day, when no one was home other than the two of them, the mistress grasped his clothes demanding that he consent. Thinking quickly, he slid out of his clothes and ran outside” The woman continued her story as all the passengers and the driver listened with rapt attention.
“But Chief’s wife turned the tables on him, telling her husband that it was the boy who had tried to entice her. The angry master reacted by sending him to prison”
“Heeeeh!!!! Womeeeen…Women are devils!!!” One of the men in the car said sarcastically.
“Oga stop saying that O!!! Men are bigger devils us…Lets not start something here ooo!!! I know what am saying” The lousy woman retorted almost shouting.
“Please allow us to enjoy the story now…you two can start your own stories after we have all departed at Shaki. Madam please continue jareh!” The driver spoke for the first time since the car left Ojoo motor Park.
“Thank you Sir. Let me continue the story” The woman smiled and continued. “In the prison, the boy continued working hard and very soon the warden appointed him as his right-hand man. Right in the prison, he met another highly placed official of the King who eventually introduced him to the King based on his good characters and skills” There were sighs from the passengers when the story got to that point.
“Impressed by the boy’s wisdom and skill, the King appointed him as his second in command. Not long after, his siblings who sold him to slavery sought help from the Vice King, not knowing that he was their very own brother. Had they not sold him into slavery, he would not have become Vice King in another, land, but thank God that his brother hated him and God allowed all things to work together for good for him…because he loved God and walked according to His plans. That is the end of my story…If we allow God to have His way in our lives, we stand the chance of having all things work for our good…”
Morakinyo could not stand it again, he was completely convinced now that the woman he was hearing her voice was not only familiar but someone very close to her. He turned from his seat in the front beside the driver and looked directly at the woman’s face for the first time since she joined them at the Ojoo Park.
Seated comfortably and preaching confidently on the middle seat close to the right window and directly behind him was Mrs. Aarinola Paseda, Secretary to the Head, Department of Engineering Physics, University of Ibadan!!!