It was a fun filled day in Lagos at the African Arts House. Our stage performance was a bomb. The audience were thrilled and we got varying but encouraging comments from everyone. It was a day we always reference even till date. We were five and had agreed to sleep over at Mba’s place in Ijegun. We got there a little late but we were lucky to beat the street security, thanks to our ID cards. Mba made us comfortable. We had enough to eat and drink. We chatted into the night. Chatter from a crowd on the street woke us from sleep the following day. We went out to check what was happening. We saw a young man on the floor. He was tied up like a ram at the slaughter table in front of one of the houses with the most beautiful designs on the street.
The Young man’s Story
The house belonged to a rich man who just came back from overseas. The house had a short fence. The man had just bought two new Porsche cars. The young man and his accomplice had got the intel on the purchase and the huge sum of foreign currency the rich man came with from overseas. So they planned to rob him that night. Unfortunately, the plan was foiled. The young man, who was tied, had jumped over the short fence into the rich man’s compound in the night. He was convinced the man was asleep. He tiptoed to the gate house and saw that the very old security man was asleep. He was happy. He walked with high confidence to the open garage where the new cars were packed. He tried to open one of the doors of one of the new cars with a key from the bunch of keys he held. He was lucky, the door opened. He smiled and almost shouted in celebration. As he turned to go work on the second car, he saw four sparkling eyes. He couldn’t identify who or what. He tried to move a bit backwards but the eyes moved closer. they were animals. They looked wild. They were trained domestic hyenas. He wished the ground would open up for him to hide. A lot ran through his mind. He wanted to shout, he wanted to run too; all at the same time but he couldn’t because he wouldn’t dare to go funny with the hyenas. As he walked to the gate house with his back, the hyenas followed him quietly. He was lucky to get to the old security man, who was sleeping on a mat at the gate, unhurt. He began to stylishly hit the man with his heels in order to wake him. When eventually the old woke up, the young man sighed.
“Baba, please don’t shout. You don catch thief (You have caught a thief)!” He pleaded with tears in his eyes.
“Where is the thief?”
“I am the thief baba. Please don’t shout.” He cried.
The old man laughed. He brought out a cattle horn. It had a red rope tied around it. He licked the rope with the tip of his tongue and whispered some incantations. He commanded the young man to sit. The old man watched him till dawn.
We talked about the experience when we got back to Mba’s apartment. Each one of us had his/her different opinion but the experience reminded me of Mr. Eweje.
Mr. Eweje had just relocated to Nigeria from London. He chose to expend all the proceed he came with on a new business. He had called professionals to work on his construction site. He was going to build a big factory. That was the first day of construction. Mr. Eweje was on ground to see to the tasks at the site. Trucks of varying sizes came in and out of the site to deliver construction materials needed. As he was leaving, he called the site supervisor, Mr. Akin. After discussing about the needful, Mr. Akin asked about the security man to watch over the site.
“Don’t bother yourself about that, Akin.”
“But sir, the loose construction consumables like cement nko?”
“Just make sure everybody leaves the site and be sure no one picks anything that does not belong to him.”
Mr. Akin was confused. He gave up trying to convince him because it was obvious Mr. Eweje had his plan.
The following morning, the site workers got to the site to meet an unusual situation. A truck was parked on the site. Some able-bodied men were loading and offloading bags of cement. They were sweating profusely. People tried to stop them but they didn’t stop. Once the truck got fully loaded, they offloaded again and arranged in the store. Once they arranged the bags of cement in the store, they carried them out again to be reloaded in the truck. That was their routine throughout. Mr. Akin put a call through to Mr. Eweje. An old man was called upon. He was believed to be good with African voodoo. Upon arrival, he made some incantations to the sand he had scooped with his left palm. He blew the sound in the wind.
“They are under a spell” he said to Mr. Akin
“Yes! They came to steal from this site but met their waterloo because this site is being protected by a powerful charm.”
“Oh, no wonder!”
“Until Eweje comes to undo the spell, nobody can.”
So everybody watched on as they continued the loading and offloading. The local security agents were on ground. Mr. Eweje arrived at about noon. He wondered why the site workers did nothing.
“Mr. Akin, let everyone get to work. Leave the thieves.”
“Sir, please. These men could collapse any moment. They’ve been like this even before we arrived.”
Mr. Eweje smiled. He went to speak with the security team leader. Shortly after their chat, the police arrived. After positioning themselves, Mr. Eweje brought out a gourd. He poured the content on a white handkerchief. He chanted some incantations and requested for a broom. He cut one broomstick into 9pieces. And placed on the content on the white handkerchief. He beckoned on a small boy who was standing close by. The boy should be about 6years old. He told the boy to rob his palm with the content. He ordered him to go touch each of the thieves with any of his palms. As soon as he touched them, they collapsed to the floor. The police rushed to them and in a swift, they were handcuffed and matched into the police van.
Everybody was awed!