In a competition, someone has to lose
for a winner to emerge. Olusegun Obasanjo’s ‘do or die’ political
sentiment is re-echoing where ‘Baba’ does not have a base, and even
outside political discourse. Some people will stop at nothing to
exploit any and every opportunity to stir up commotion. The spate of
violence, particularly in places that can be described as their
strongholds, leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
Imagine how I felt at the little scene
that played out before my eyes last Thursday at about 6am. I was out on
my occasional walking-jogging exercise from Gaduwa Estate to Games
Village. On my way back to the estate, two cars in a typical movie
chase style were struggling to drive each other off the road. So I
quickly raced off the road. One black car and then the other, a red
one, obviously a ‘kabu-kabu’, stopped a few yards away from me. We were
directly opposite the Oando filling station across the road.
Really, all I wanted to do was to
continue jogging – like the guy across the road whom I had been trying
hard to keep from overtaking me. But I guess my nose for stories
stopped me; or the fact that two men and one lady had stepped out of
the black car and pounced on the driver of the red car, which had also
vomited two skimpily dressed girls, one of whom was curled on the
ground in a fetal position. The other was trying to give some kind of
support to the kabu-kabu driver who was being pummelled by the three
assailants from the black car.
Hesitantly, I approached the scene.
Some young men from the numerous block-moulding sites that lined the
road were already gathering, like vultures drawn to a carcass. The
kabu-kabu driver initially tried to put up a fight, hoping to get
support from the small crowd of about 20 people. He was shouting at the
top of his voice. “I no go leave your shirt! No be you first jam my
motor? We go die hia today!” The driver of the black car, a very fat
middle-aged man, was the one instructing the kabu-kabu driver to
release the shirt of his partner, who was locked in a bear-hug with the
kabu-kabu driver. Occasionally, the fat man would join his partner,
while the lady with them employed hit-and run tactics from a corner.
Much later, one of the skinny girls, who had finally gathered herself,
took on the lady from the black car and reduced the number of attackers
on the kabu-kabu driver from two to one. Her friend, meanwhile, was
still on the floor trying to recover.
I tried to hold the girl in the black
car but she would have none of it. I moved on to the field commander:
the fat man who was threatening thunder and lightning and warning
everybody to steer clear because he was, in his words, “calling my boys
to come and deal with you”. All the boys in the crowd were saying that
it was the black car that was at fault. According to them, they saw
everything when it started from down the road before running to the
Suddenly, the kabu-kabu driver became
subdued but the fat guy started displaying more braggadocio. He
thundered: “If I don’t kill you here today, I am not my father’s son!”
The kabu-kabu driver replied him in a harassed voice, “If you kill me,
my blood go dey for your head”. He had lost the will to continue with
the exchange of insults.
Here’s what I later gathered from all
the exchanges: The men in the black car had an argument with the two
skinny girls and instructed the kabu-kabu driver not to carry them;
that, in fact, one of the two skinny girls was the fat man’s
girlfriend. So, because the driver dared to carry the girls, they had
pursued the driver and tried to block him from moving on. The driver,
in turn, had got angry. Thus the movie-style exchange when they had so
dangerously tried to force each other off the road, like in a scene
from a James Bond movie.
Now, this would not have passed for a
good story if it had ended there. It became necessary for me to
document this event because, while sounding off, I heard the fat man
say: “Let me tell you, I be complete CPC. If you know say you wan die,
enter that your car make I see. Enter ?if I no kill you for here!” At
this point, if it was when I was younger, “I for buy the fight”, as we
used to say.
But I believe Muhammadu Buhari would
disown and denounce miscreants like these. I believe his Congress for
Progressive Change (CPC) was not set up to cause chaos and destruction.
Imagine! A quarrel between a boyfriend and a girlfriend and a concerned
General Buhari and the men and women of dignity in CPC should call
their followers to order ? otherwise people would begin to identify
‘CPC’ with militants, kidnappers, assassins, Boko-Harams and the like.