Inside Nigeria

I spent three days in Lagos and left to Abuja. I enjoyed it. The enjoyment over took the thought of stress on the road from Ghana to Nigeria. Even the experience of the newspaper seller, okada riders and the sound of generators at night were all gone.  My uncle’s wife was a good host. Her conversation was tantamount to a stand-up comedy. The Nigerian love for Ghana knew no bound. She told how a beverage company in Lagos close to their house blasted and was by then drinking a bottle of Guinness after a meal.

In her words “that day, I heard the sound from the brewery kpooooo… na me and my God dey.” As young and religious indoctrinated as I was, I wondered how God could dwell with an alcohol drinking woman. But later when I started taking communion in Anglican then I understood the different uses of alcohol. Till date I am neutral on the subject of alcohol usage particularly in moderate quantities though I remain a teetotaler.

On my forth day in Lagos, my uncle who was in Abuja sent his driver to pick me up to Lagos. He used a Mercedes Benz at the time. The Nigerians have a way of mentioning Mercedes Benz. It was a pride and a delight to use. My cousin had told me earlier how his dad (my uncle) had punished his younger brother by making him board a flight from Abuja to Lagos because he refused to pay attention on the road from Lagos to Abuja.

I wondered how making one board a flight could be a punishment but I understood my uncle’s pride even though it’s a lot of money, he prefer to treat his cherished visitors on road trip from Lagos to Abuja. It was such a great touristic experience. The roads are good and bad just like other African countries. Describing Abuja is like attempting to climb Mountain Kilimanjaro. It’s a tall order. I will not directly attempt it than to say that Abuja is very nice and well planned. One of the things that excited me most was the naming of streets after Ghanaian names. The Nigerian love for Ghana should remain and be allowed to flourish.

My uncle is an Architect. He was undertaking a huge construction works at the time so he had money. I can’t say he has money now. I guessed he over enjoyed and damned old age. I was told his taste for Nigerian women was heightened by his wealth. Something must kill a man. The Nigerian women really killed the man.

During my visit, my uncle ensured I had the best of everything…those were the reigning years of Mr. Biggs and Mama Cass. My first experience of Mr. Biggs was in Abuja long before they came to Ghana. Their jollof and pastry was yummy and tasty. Their specialty was in continental dishes with African touch. Mr. Biggs is not a good business success in Ghana. It is sad how many businesses fail in Africa.

At Mama Cass, a Nigerian homemade restaurant, my uncle met a couple of his friends. His acquired Nigerian accent, dressing and mannerism were a delight to see in the midst of Nigerians. He had told me how his grandma was from Nigeria and showed me where she was buried on the road from Lagos to Abuja. He passionately eulogised her and would always stop at her burial site each time he travelled by road from Lagos to Abuja and vice versa. This gives him a reminiscence of his relationship with his late loving mother.      

On another day at Mama Cass, my uncle and his different group of Nigeria friends had a hearty conversation; a part of the conversation gave a nostalgic remembrance of an incident that happened in Korle Gonno in Accra, Ghana. I had gone to visit a friend and witnessed it the incident.

The owner of two houses away from my friend’s house had engaged the labour of some young men in the neighbourhood to pluck his coconut. One climbed while the other remained on the ground to gather the coconut when plucked and thrown down. In the process, one of the coconuts rolled to the next house because there were no walls dividing the houses. One of the occupants of the house where the coconut rolled into was a hardened “weed” smoker who is feared in the neighbourhood for his fierce aggression when ire after smoking. The owner of the coconut sent one of his hired men to go bring the coconut from the next house. The “wee man” sighted in the corner of his house saw the coconut rolled in. He stood up and walked towards the coconut when he heard the owner’s instruction to his hired labourer. He drew a line beyond the coconut and cautioned the sent labourer to dare cross the line into his house in an attempt to collect the coconut and he will regret it. The owner insisted the labourer should cross the line. He obliged. The “wee man” slapped him and all the man could say to his labourer was to let it be. The man was devious he misled the labourer knowing the aggression of the “wee man”.

We spent three days in Abuja and were to move to Zaria the next day to visit one of the construction sites of my uncle. How much money he will give me on my return to Ghana kept ringing in my mind though I had no idea, was highly expectant though I did not intend to spend it at Papillon like my cousin used to do.


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