By Victor Edegbai
I settled in very quickly in Aba, in fact too quickly that I began to take many things for granted.
I had orientation oh. You remember that someone told me Aba is the senior brother to Ajegule, but with people like Peter and Izu and Chidi, even Uma, I quickly forgot my orientation. That is how I began to eat freely in any Buka my legs took me to.
Omo, I got to work one day, I began to catch feelings for fever. I was shaking gigbi gigbi like heated banana leaves, sweating like a goat that escaped roasting and was unlucky to be brought back to the fire. My eyes began to express itself with red flares. I was sick. And Chidi no send. All I could hear from him was “Vic oya capture thay fixed deposit make I verify”. And as a diligent new staff I no even tell my guy say anything dey do me.
One customer came to me to be attended to. “Boy, please check my balance”. I got the account number, keyed it in and made to tell her the balance “Yoyoyoyoyouur Bababababalaaance iiisss…..” I responded to her with involuntary stammer induced by cold and shivers, even as my chest began to pain me. The air-conditioning in the office wasn’t helping maters at all. The customer thanked me and left. Unknown to me, she went to the manager to pour out her observation. That is how madam OJK came out and shouted for Chidi. “Chidi, can’t you see that this boy is shivering? Release him let him go and get treatment oh, if anything should happen to him, I will hold you responsible”. Chidi laughed that his bad laugh and said “But ma I no hold am na. Vic go and treat your sef, this work na since 1894 e start, e no dey finish”.
That is how I found myself in hospital. Diagnosis was hepatitis (the curable one). Apparently, as I was eating from Buka, that is how I was also eating their dirt (….or dotty). When I got better, I began to observe better hygiene. I started taking note of my environment. Omo, that town dirty shaaa!. And to crown it, the roads were bad. You will be inside keke like this and be raising your legs to the roof so that water will not soak your shoes. The drainage were blocked, you dare not wear white and you always have to pray that no one will say “Kopuo” before your destination.
With this kind of hardship, the devil decided to pollute the minds of some people to start kidnapping. It started like a joke. One business man was taken. A few weeks later another was picked, then it became a weekly thing, then a daily thing. Then the business men abandoned their properties and Gbess to Abuja and Lagos. From Abuja they started calling us the bankers to check their accounts. Those customers who will come to bank, sit in front of you and waste 30 minutes to one hour arguing with you to explain why 10 Naira (SMS ALERT CHARGE THEN ) was deducted from their account, while queues built up, now started spending 2 hours 3 times daily, spending almost 1K on call charges so that you can explain a debit of 10 Naira.
As the business men run commot finish, the kidnappers face doctors. Doctors no many na, and Lawyers no kuku get money , so the next thing dem Face bankers. Egbutu my man, was kidnapped, Nsikan my friend went for his first missionary journey, Elo, then the bank asked us to start DRESSING DOWN, what ever that meant. From bankers the guys begin issue notice. That is how you will wake up and see a notice pasted on your wall. Land Lord, pay N1Million or we kidnap everybody in this building by friday.
Oh boy! You go call your friend say you wan come stay with am and he go tell you sat him landlord got the same notice. Omo, Aba don cast!
The exodus began. In Aba , if Aba women could riot, bankers had to take action. That is how bankers ran away from Aba oh and kuku embarked on the famous Aba bankers strike of 2010.
More to come. But make I read your own comments first before I qwantinu.
Barr. Victor Edegbai AKA Grandpa is a father of many nations, positive thinker, and friend of many. I like trouble, because I be lawyer.