At Ojuelegba Motor Park

by - April 25, 2017



Chroniclesof Paulinus


I was almost melted by the scorching heat of the sun today while I was searching for a bus that would convey me to Ibadan. After a long frustrating search, I saw one deep in the slumps of Ojuelegba; it was a Siena bus and that was exactly what I needed, at least it can allow me to stretch my dislocated leg.


I strode immediately towards the bus. It was in a very noisy park and piles of sachet water littered the ground. Like every typical Naija park, the irritating holler of the conductors kept the surrounding busy. Hawkers were busy flaunting their goods. I saw innocent looking Lebanese children moving from one passenger to the other with their head bent to their right shoulders, begging for alms. Ojuelegba Motor Park is filled with life. I had to take some time to enjoy the fascinating sight of people and their actions.

As I was approaching the park, the conductors saw me and immediately bounced on my bag as though in a bid to scramble and partition the content, without any idea of my destination. The heavy bag on my back was dragging me mercilessly to the ground. So when they took it from me I felt relieved and after twisting my head to release the aches, I jolted to the man carrying my bag. Other conductors where matching at the same pace with me. Some clenched their arms around my wrist and I felt the flow of blood from my hand pacing down. The annoying part of it is the other two guys who mercilessly poured the stench of calamities oozing from their mouth into my nostrils. “Oga where you dey go?” one asked with a pitiable burnt face. I glanced at him and saw his lips darkened by cigarette smoke, his eyes drenched in red. “Abeg I don see the bus I wan enter na this one”, I pointed to the sienna right before me.
“Oga come check this bus na #1000 that sienna na #1400 and it no dey fast”. 
Immediately the driver jerked awake as if bitten by a scorpion and lashed to the conductor “na your family progress wey dey slow idiot”.

I raised my hand to grab my bag from the man carrying it. He made a slight bow allowing his head to give away the bag and I caught on the air with my lips swallowed into my mouth. “Thank you very much oga”, my voice gave a sigh of relief. “Oga, anything?” he drew out his grotesque palm in a gesture of begging, his head tilted to his left shoulder. I was having a #50 note in my breast pocket. It was a change I got when I bought a can of Lacasera drink. I dipped my two fingers into my pocket and gripping it between my fingers, I gave it to him. A flash of smile swelled his face.

I turned to the driver who was standing behind me. As we locked eyes together he grinned in a familiar way that made me liked him.
“Oga how much”, I demanded.
“Ibadan na #500 my brother”, he nodded as if he was reminding me what I already knew.
“I dey stop for Sango, shebi you go fit reach there?”
Eeyaa! No, I go stop you for Ring road and na from there you go get #100 okada wey go fit take you to Sango.” I hated the way he showed me pity but I had no choice but to acquiesce, “okay nah, no wahala.”

I was resting my bag on the bonnet of the car and immediately we settled, the conductor jerked my bag and went straight to arrange it in the bus. I followed him immediately knowing how rough they can be with one’s luggage during ‘loading’. “oga abeg no squeeze am too much I have breakables in there.” There was no breakable but that was the only expression they seem to understand at that very moment. “Don’t worry oga na my job be this, I don dey do this job for years and even if say oil wey dey for water-proof dey inside it no go fit break,” he replied with such annoying plume. His tactless remark piqued me. I walked into the bus. It was filled but the driver drew out something that looked like an armrest and placed it at the centre of the middle row where I sat. “Huugh! Are we going to be three passengers here?” I yelled in revolt not knowing when I used English for the driver. “Na so we dey carry am here bro, fuel no dey and na like this we dey use to make up for the fuel money.” His calm reply stilled my raging argument. There was a noisy silence.

The silence was ripped open by a tiny voice of a lady and the trapped noise spilt out. The passenger, in exasperation, motioned her to enter. “Nne enter it’s almost filled up”, a woman appealed with an Igbo accent as she cocked her head towards the window to peer at the girl. She looked young and fair. She is lanky. There was something about her silky dress that made me think that she was wearing a hair scarf. Her voice was cold. There was a tinge of joy I felt, at least a girl beside me.

I stepped down to let her in. She was carrying a brown handbag but her scent choked me. I imagined her spraying one of these ‘lying-in-state perfume. The scent was very sharp and got me sneezing. My sight immediately caught the hairs in her armpit; it was like the Amazon rainforest. I muttered to myself, “Oh my goodness, why are they always imperfect? I prayed for a perfect journey. I hoped it would go smoothly.

You May Also Like

5 comments

  1. This is superb I can't to see the end

    ReplyDelete
  2. You must not stop; continue you can make a good storyteller

    ReplyDelete
  3. Keep it up but maintain the simplicity of the story, I mean make it simple and short so that readers will not be scared away by long epistles.

    ReplyDelete