Good men, Hard men
I saw a strange thing today. Strange is not the word, it’s a funny, bizarre and gory thing to experience and I’m partly still in shock.
For the sake of my non Igbo readers, I’ll translate all the sentences spoken in Igbo to English.
I boarded a mini bus from Control, Owerri heading down to FMC, Amakohia, Owerri.
The driver stopped for a man by the roadside. The man the driver stopped for was a seeming ticket man.
Immediately the driver stopped, he fished out his ticket and took his hand out of the window for the man to see.
The man got to our bus and the driver hailed him, “my brother, my brother. How nah?”
The man snatched the ticket off the driver’s hand and scrutinized it.
The driver asked him, “how nah? This one na today’s ticket.”
The man turned the back of the ticket, unsatisfied. “Wait,” he said to the driver and left. We waited.
The passengers grumbled. As soon as the man returned, he swiftly turned off the vehicle’s ignition and grabbed the keys.
“This ticket is not today’s,” he said.
“How nah? I bought it this morning. See the date here,” our driver pointed as he replied, a placating smile on his face.
“This morning? You haven’t bought the one for this afternoon? You want to run the whole day on the road with one ticket?” The man asked hoarsely.
Our driver smiled widely, “nawa o. When did the rules change?”
“Na me you dey ask? You dey ask me? You dey road and you don’t know what is happening? You never serious. Come down first!” The man yelled angrily and moved away.
“Guy, give me that thing abeg. I’ve been on the road for months and you’re telling me rubbish,” our driver replied, now angry.
“Me, rubbish? Rubbish? In this Owerri? Eh?” The man ran around darting his eyes on the ground. He picked up a log and hit our bus hard. Passengers screamed and rushed down. He continued ranting, “na me you call rubbish. Thunder will fire you.”
Our driver was struggling with something under his seat. I came down with the other passengers. The man hit the lights and they fell. Our driver started screaming, too, threatening to kill him. The man hit the third, fourth and fifth time.
I soon saw what the driver was struggling to bring out from under his seat. It was a knife. The kind Hausas use in selling suya.
The ticket man rushed at the driver, threatening with the stick and about how he was an indigene of the state and how the driver had no right to anything.
He came to face the driver who aimed at his hand and cut. There was shouts and more shouts and more cuts. I saw the man bathed in his own blood and men rushing to the scene before I jumped into a bus and disappeared from the scene.
This is the end of my story but I don’t guarantee that it’s the end of the story. Well, what do you think?