Our money was finally paid in the Month of May, I was paid nine Months allowance used in Zaria depot plus five months arrears as a serving Soldier. All the money amounted to twenty thousand naira! In 1991 twenty thousand naira was like twenty million naira today and I really felt like a millionaire back then. In all of my life, I had never thought of owning such amount of money.
I furnished my house sparsely. I bought a giant sized six by six inches mattress, I bought green rug Carpet for the two rooms and placed my mattress on the Rug. I did not make a bed, I bought a medium range electronic set and a twenty one inches coloured Television. My Dad never owned a television or any electronic gadget till he died; even the transistor radio he carried about was given to him by a debtor who could not pay for the palm wine my dad supplied him during new yam festival. So I felt so accomplished when I opened my door and beheld my transformed two room apartment, with every property owned by me. My Mother needs to see this.
I went to Ogete main Market and bought some clothes and Shoes. I bought some Ankara fabric and jewelries for Mama; I bought her hand bags and Shoes too. When I slept at night on my Giant sized mattress, I went to heaven and woke after nine o’clock in the morning when everyone had gone to work. Of course when I got to work at after ten o’clock I was relieved of my Beret, my belt and shoes and marched straight to the Guard room! The only question my RSM asked me was: You dey sick? To which I answered No Sir! March him to the guard room! He ordered the Korofo marshal, the quarter master drilled me to the guard room with his swagger stick cursing and insulting me as if I had issues with him before now. Common move! Oya! Frog jump! Frog jump! He commanded while jabbing me with his stick. silly boy! Idiot! When small money enter una hand, na so una go de do any how! He poked me harder with his stick even though I was obeying his commands and frog jumping to the guard room.
The RSM did not tell him to punish me, he was simply told to march me to the guard room but immediately the RSM was out of sight, he resorted to punishing me.
Yeye boy! He continued: you don go drink, Bleep ashawo forget yourself! No worry, no be this barracks you dey? That your money go soon finish! Oya pull that your wrist watch give me! So you don go buy ‘shine shine’ watch ko? Idiot boy! Barger! Oya commot that chain wey dey your neck! You be woman? silly boy!
In all of the rants I did not utter a word, I knew better, I was released later that night and I went home to freshen up before reporting for night guard duty at the house of my CO.
We played the semi final match against the 244 Recce Battalion of Awkwunanaw and we defeated them on a penalty shoot out , I scored the last and winning penalty shot and I was raised shoulder high at the end of the match. Sergeant Korofo carried me on his shoulder and ran round the barracks while our supporters and team mate ran after him singing and jubilating. We later settled down and the CB mess for drinks and entertainment.
Chike came around when we were rounding up at the mess and called me out for a chat.
Congratulations Ojo! He said
Thank you Oga Chike! I replied
The Car don ready o! Na you I dey wait now! He announced;
You mean am? I asked: which kind of car? How much:
Na Peugeot 504GR and na eight thousand naira: he said.
Haba Chike! He too cost nah! I no get eight thousand naira I beg. I replied.
So na how much you want to pay? He asked
I can’t pay more than Five thousand naira, and I need to see the Motor first, I said.
Oya follow me! He said as he turned and walked briskly towards the tarred road where cars are parked, I followed behind in excitement.
He pointed at a navy blue coloured 504 saloon car and dangled the keys before me, we entered the Car and he started the engine and revved it. The engine sound was superb and the interior very neat and smooth. He said the Car does not have a factory fitted air condition but it can be installed if I care, who cares? I asked him. I love the Car instantly and I agreed to buy it if he is willing. He accepted my offer and the next day I paid him in full and I became the proud owner of a Peugeot 504 GR saloon Car! And that was how I bought trouble with my money!
To Be Continued