The relative peace in the neighborhood of Ilegbegbe, which was until recently, regarded as the nexus through which all other neighborhoods in the Abule slum, are connected. has been threatened by the shooting of one of the sons of the Baale of Abule. What unfolds next is a chaotic mix that will culminate in Abule’s Turf War.
Mike-O and Timmy, having passed the rest of the night of the shooting, and much of the weekend thereafter, outside Abule, at a mutual friend, Emmanuel’s place, are up contemplating over a bowl of garri, the implications of returning to Abule so soon after the shootings. Mike-O opined that it would serve them better if they returned to their apartment in Ilegbegbe, even if it was just to pickup some things.
Timmy is however having none of that. He voices his disagreement by saying “Mike-O, you be funny guy o. We nearly died Friday night, and you’re talking about going back?? What if everywhere don red? What if we walk into the middle of a Turf War?? What then?? Bro I’m all my family has now o, and I no fit die for nothing”.
Mike ponders on what Timmy has said for a bit, and suddenly is convinced that it makes sense. He expresses his concurrence as he says “Omo bro na true. These guys fit don scatter everywhere based on say na chief son them drop. There could be some Turf War going on truly, and we could easily walk into a trap. Worse still, Po-Po fit snatch us up say we be suspect sef” to which he got a “Exactly bro!” response.
Emmanuel, who has all this while kept his thoughts to himself, then asks the all important question “So how far? What’s the movement? You guys know I don’t have enough to take care of all three of us, and soon enough, we go need some bands“. The question lingers in the air for what seems like an endless time loop.
Timmy then turns to Emmanuel and asks “Guys around here like to blow trees?” to which Emmanuel answers “Uh…yeah. But what does that-“… Mike-O, already getting the picture, cuts Emmanuel short and says “We sell bro. We got a bag we were supposed to roll from on Friday night, but couldn’t”. Timmy then adds “Yeah, bro, we got a bag big enough to get us a couple thousand naira if we run it right”.
Emmanuel, nodding in his head in sarcastic agreement, then says “Oh right…let’s sell some weed to the boys in the hood,and that way, we fix our cash problem right?”, eliciting a “Yeah bro” response from Timmy. Emmanuel then says, atop his voice “Hell no, man! You’re not going to deal that thing from my apartment bro. I told you about my rule”. Mike then replies “Yeah, but your rule was about not smoking in the room…nothing about not selling..”. This seems to upset Emmanuel even more as he says “Are you still high from Friday?? The rule is a ‘NO WEED’ rule! Can’t believe you even came here with that much!”
The boys go back and forth for a while before Timmy finally reiterates the reality of their situation. He turns to Emmanuel, “Listen bro, I feel you about the no weed rule and stuff, but you need to understand that we’re going to go broke soon. We need a way to be ready to cushion that when it happens. This is easy as ABC: we find your street’s dealer, sell the bag to him, and get paid. It’s one-off bro and nobody gets hurt”.
After considering Timmy’s convincing suggestion, Emmanuel agrees reluctantly to let them do “what they got to do” to make some little cash for the few days they are likely to spend at his place. “Just this one time guys. And nobody comes here to buy. We take it out there to this dealer guy, we get paid, and we return home”. Timmy nods his agreement and with a half smile, says “That’s what I said bro. Let’s do this”. And with that said, the boys drink up what’s left of the bowl of garri in their midst.
******* ********* ******** ********
The Baale of Abule, Chief Oyedele Ogunye, has just returned from the hospital where his son, Oyewale was rushed to after being shot just two days ago. At his residence, the Abule Police Chief, Inspector Jide Afolabi, has been waiting to meet with the Baale, with a view to giving him an update on the investigation into Friday night’s incident.
“Good morning Chief, we have been expecting you sir”. The Baale responds to his greeting with a simple nod. He takes his seat in his chambers and waves the police chief to also sit. “Good morning again, chief. I am truly sorry that we are having this meeting because your son was the victim of a suspected cult attack. But I am here to assure you that my team is on it, and we will get to the root of the matter”.
After a dramatic pause, the Baale responds with what appears to be a cynical question “So it’s not like you have already made any arrests yet? What then is the point of coming by??”. The police chief, careful not to upset the Baale any further, responds saying “Chief, I understand the situation sir. I have come, like I said to give my assurance that we are on the case. We have not yet made any arrests, but information reaching us is that the boys who came to disrupt the peace on Friday night, are likely to be from Ishegun or Alasan and as we speak, we have men on the way there to ask questions”.
The Baale then shakes his head and said, more to himself than to the police chief, “‘Asking questions’. My son was shot and they are ‘asking questions'”. After this, an awkward silence gripped the whole room for what seemed like an eternity, before the Baale spoke again.
“Listen, Jide, These people are asking for trouble. It is obvious they want to frustrate me into leaving this seat, and they want to do so by inciting a turf war. My son is clinging to life, and I pray he survives. But if he doesn’t, rest assured Jide, that I will go down to Alasan and Ishegun with able bodied men, and burn the place down”.
The police chief is flustered upon hearing this, but as a rule, has to maintain his cool. “Sir, we will not lose your son. We will find who did this, and hand them over to the law. However, chief, please be patient with us. This town will descend into chaos if we don’t take things easy. Please sir, let us restrain from any activity that will heighten the tension”.
The Baale then replies to the police chief without turning to look his way, “You have time for now. So, make good use of it. But the moment I hear that my son, Oyewale, has given up, your efforts will cease to be relevant to me. I will take vengeance!”. The Baale stands up soon after this, and retires inside.
It is becoming obvious that the police chief has a lot to worry about, as his investigation is currently yielding no result, and there is very little hope in sight, because the people of Abule never co-operate with the police. Nobody ever wants to give any information, whether they have it or not, to the police. And now, Inspector Jide Afolabi can only hope and pray that Oyewale survives the shooting. He knows all too well, what the Baale is capable of doing if answers do not come in soon.
By Oluwamayowa Akinyemi
Oluwamayowa Akinyemi is a digital and web content developer with experience in web content development and management as well as research and writing. He is an avid reader of random subject matters and a sucker for movies and video games. He is also passionate about youth empowerment and is a global affairs analyst and enthusiast.