THORNS IN MY BOOT 40

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40

I told my Parents my experience at my new Office and we all resolved that I leave the Army for good; after all I have enough money to move on.
By the end of the second week of my leave, we all drove down to Esa-odo, I drove in my Nissan Xterra fully dressed in my Army uniform, mama and Oga Luke drove her Car in turns while Baba Dayo drove in his Nissan path finder, the Kids were with us as they enter any Car of their choice whenever we stopped for refreshment or for biological reasons.

It was in 1991 that I left home when I visited mama after the depot training. That was thirteen years back, I was a private Soldier and we lived in a small mud house. Today I have come back home in my SUV to a duplex that was once a mud house!

Mama and Baba Dayo had sneaked out of the Village in rags with mama going insane and being abandoned by all to lick her wounds alone, but this day, she drove into the Village in the Comfort of her Car, with three healthy looking Kids and gorgeously dressed that our People opened their mouths in awe and reverence.

The popular but Baba Miko poor is now a force to be reckoned with as he had already told the whole Village about what God had done for him in Igbo land and an eye witness had gone to see and confirmed it to the Villagers.

We drove straight to my house and the convoy entered the Compound at exactly 4.00pm. I was impressed by the quality of the edifice that welcomed me home, the butterflies where running around inside my stomach; I took time and walked round the house as Baba Dayo and Mama coordinated the off loading of our Vehicles. There was a Plant in the generator house, there was an empty Dog house, the grasses were well mowed and the flowers well trimmed, I took a look at all of these and the big building and I wondered if they really belonged to me or I was in a dream.

There was no light in the Village so we put on the generator as we put things in place in the House. Baba Dayo had taken time to provide the best wooden furnishing in the house.

I wondered when mama went to sleep that night because we have hardly settled down than her sycophantic friends started pouring in.
I woke up late the next morning, It was the noise from outside the fence that woke me; I opened the door of my room and stepped onto the terrace upstairs to behold the crowd of Villagers that had come to fetch water from my house. They started to cheer at me immediately they saw me; I waved at them and went back inside the house.

Our case was like the proverbial Igbo saying that “Onu kwuru njo, ga ekwu mma” “the mouth that spoke evil shall later speak well”. The Yoruba’s also said that “Owo epo ni aye nba eni la, wan o kin la Owo eje” “ it is the oily palm that the world licks with you, not the bloodied one” that is to say when the going is good, many people will be your friend, but when the going gets tough, they all run away. Our People have no shame! They came in their numbers to gossip with mama, they told different versions of what each person had said against my family at different times and places. The women were busy maligning one another just to gain mama’s friendship. At the end they all left with nylon bag containing Rice, salt and match boxes.

The men were scared of me, they would rather go to Baba Dayo who had told them that I was angry with the whole Men in the village for not rising up to help me when I needed them most, especially the Kabiesi. It was made more obvious by the fact that I refused to go and pay homage to him upon arrival at the Village.
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Mama and Baba Dayo’s traditional marriage was performed at Mama’s family compound, the dowry was fully paid up and every item that needed to be purchased was bought. Prayers were made and the Spirit of my late grandfather was appeased forever. I was avoided by my mother’s family members because it had been like that while I grew up in the Village; I had no friends save for Oga Luke.

The Kabiesi came to my house like Nicodemus at night some days to my departure from the Village, he apologized for his neglect of me and mama, he said he had no body in the Army to go to with my case and his Chiefs advised him to stay off my case so that he does not incur my late grandfather’s wrath. It takes a man of honour to apologize especially a king, so I knelt down in front of him as a mark of respect and acceptance. He offered to give me a chieftaincy title to pacify me but I told him that I was not ready yet.

Very early the next morning he came to my house and we drove with my Parents to the piece of land he gave me and retrieved thirteen years ago, he doubled the portion and returned it back to me. We all thanked him and took pictures on the land with him. Immediately we dropped him off at his house, Baba Dayo called the Surveyor that handled my building project to come over to the house; he came and we instructed him to get land registered in my name immediately and get all necessary documents handy, I then told him to get me the estimate of what it would cost to plant Palm fruit seedlings on the whole of the land, it was about fifteen hectares of land.

I also drove to Ibadan in company of Baba Dayo and Oga Luke to scout for lands to establish a farm and where to build a residential apartment. I had made up my mind to leave the Army and retire home to Ibadan with my family. We finally got a thirty hectare of land along Lagos-Ibadan express way adjacent to the famous Sat guru Maharaja Village, I paid three million naira for the land and I immediately contracted the building of my farms to an Architect introduced to us by a friend of Baba Dayo. He was experienced in designing Farm houses so I told him how I want the thirty plots of land divided. I needed portions for fish pond, Pigs, grass cutter, quills, Ostrich, Chickens, turkey, goats and sheep’s and I needed building for farm house as well as Offices. Baba Dayo, Oga Luke and the Architect have been to very big farms and they assured me that together we shall get it right. I also bought two plots of land for three hundred thousand naira at Eleyele town to build a personal house and Office apartment for my Barrister! With these machineries in place, I resumed back to duty after thirty working days leave.

To Be Continued

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