‘What are you waiting for?’ Jaiye spoke impatiently to the driver of the bulldozer, ‘the earlier you commence operation, the better for me.’
Alexander alighted from the excavator and shot his ally a bleak gaze. Yes, he had already received an advance for the job, but he felt a jangling inside his head. Staring at the large expanse of cocoa plantation, he knew the untold calamity and anguish the massive destruction would bring not only to the owner, but to the other beneficiaries.
‘Alexander, are you for me, or against me?’ Jaiye asked, his impatience soaring.
‘For…I’m for you, sir…but…’ the words froze on his lips.
‘But what? Listen, to me, I have zero tolerance for cowards. If you can’t do the job; just say it!’
‘I know the owner of this plantation very well,’ Alexander found his voice, ‘elder Agunbiade, inherited this farm from his father, the great Jagunmolu of the Agunbiade dynasty. The cocoa plantation had remained his only means of livelihood for a long time now, and through this farm, several families have been gainfully employed …’
‘In other words, Alexander, you are already feeling sorry for him, abi? You…’ Jaiye paused at the beeping of his phone.
‘Hello, Otunba!’ Jaiye curtsied, with the phone stuck to his ear.
Alexander stifled laughter. How could someone curtsy even on phone calls? This respect thing is highly overrated, he surmised.
‘Jaiye, a little bird just told me you’re up to something funny,’ the caller responded, ‘is that true?’
‘Otunba, please, allow me do my assignment,’ Jaiye spoke with a tinge of irritation, ‘if you give your grown up child a bowl of food, would you also choose his spoon for him?’
‘Eku ise omo da da!’ Otunba laughed hysterically, ‘keep up with the good job!’
Jaiye sighed as the latter hung up. Then turning to Alexander, he beckoned on him to proceed.
‘May the spirit of the late Jagunmolu pardon my trespasses!’ Alexander murmured as he mounted the bulldozer.
In no short time, the whole plantation was pulled down!
‘Oba, eledumare o!’ a passerby screamed at the sight of the wreckage, ‘how do I earn my daily bread?’
‘Ah! A lion is called a ‘king of beasts’ obviously for a reason!’ Otunba laughed hysterically as he smashed another glass cup against the wall.
‘Number four!’ Kike counted as she ran into the bedroom with her gaze on the remains of the shattered glasses on the floor. Kike shifted a worried gaze on her husband. It was not unusual for Otunba to smash a glass cup whenever he was angry, but smashing four cups in quick succession worried her.
‘Otunba, please, what’s the matter?’ she moved closer to him.
‘Ekilo fomo ode…ko ma rin ni pa odo!’ Otunba sang as he paced about the bedroom.
‘Honey, who are you referring to in that song?’
‘A lion is called a ‘king of beasts’ obviously for a reason!’ Otunba repeated as he revealed a chart to his wife.
‘Study this plan very well and tell me if the tenets therein are exactly what Jaiye is acting on.
Kike sighed as the message dawned on her. No doubt, Jaiye is in trouble for overstepping his boundary. She knew instantly that the young man is headed for a fall if nothing is done about it.
‘So, you can now see the reason for my rage,’ Otunba explained, ‘there is no smoke without fire. It is the mandate of the people that is fuelling my rage. I have no personal grudge with the young man. It is what the people wants that would prevail.’
‘Calm down, my husband’ Kike soothed him, ‘I’m going to talk some sense into his head’
‘Have you heard?’ Nura beckoned on her friend as she passed by.
‘Nura, the village gossip!’ Bimbo stood with arms akimbo, ‘let me hear this latest gist.’
‘I heard that Otunba, has withdrawn his support from Jaiye!’ Nura announced, ‘he has already erased his name from the coronation list!’
‘Ssh! Ogi ri n’eti! The walls have ears o!’ Bimbo cautioned her, ‘where did you get that story from?’
‘It is no longer a secret. Even a deaf man in this village has heard about the news.’
‘You don’t mean it! Who would ever believe that Jaiye of all people can fall out of Otunba’s favour?’
‘O gan o! No condition is permanent.’ Nura continued, ‘Otunba, is a wicked man!’
‘Yes!’ Bimbo concurred.
‘You girls had better talk with facts!’ Enitan intruded.
Enitan, was one of the victims of the wreckage on the Agunbiade plantation farm. The middle-aged man shook his head as he approached the girls.
‘I would advise you both to keep shut if you don’t know the truth,’ he continued.
‘It’s the truth na; Otunba is wicked.’ Nura insisted.
‘Hmmm, now judge between this two scenarios; the man that took your bread from you, and the one that has made himself the kingmaker, who is wicked out of the two?’
‘Baba, we know the story of how you lost your job,’ Nura stressed, ‘but what about other people that benefited through Jaiye?’
‘Do you make progress by removing the ancient landmark?’ Enitan challenged, ‘it is the government of the people that matters.’
The debate continued on and on, and there seems to be no end…
Final Remarks: Although the story sounds like one of those moonlight stories in Nigeria, yet it has a resemblance with a trending story in the country.
The feud involving the Governor of Lagos State, Governor Akinwumi Ambode, and the National Leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has generated several controversies, thus leaving the public with inconclusive opinions.
To get a full scoop of the above story, click here.