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Tuesday, 12 January 2016


It was 6am in the morning when Chinedu got to the small gate that led into the Ayobami Family Compound where he stayed. He had waited behind at the club to help Tunde do some clearing of his sound equipment as well as fraternize with other staff of Chanel 51. Tunde had made sure that Chinedu had enough alcohol in his system to make him forget about his worries temporarily. Chinedu banged hard at the gate, hoping to get an early riser to open up for him. Instead he got the reply of his landlady whom he despised so much. He was soon to regret knocking at the gate.

“Who be that? Ta ni yen?” A frail voice answered from inside the compound.
“Landlady, na me Chinedu.”
“Oloshi, you no go let person sleep jeje.” She cussed him in her native language before walking to the gate to grant him entrance.

She was a frail looking woman who had grey hair depicting her very long stay on earth. She had brown dreamy eyes that must have enchanted men in her youth. But now she moved only with the aid of a walking stick. She was the head of the Market Women Association in the neighbourhood. She was well respected because of her affluence as well as being the wife to the late Chief Durojaye Ayobami. It was rumoured that the Ayobami family had properties scattered over the country and that they even had ties with people in the government. But Chief (Mrs) Abisoye Ayobami had only chosen to stay in the house built in the slum since it reminded her of her childhood. Moreover, she was old and needed some excitement like the one the neighbourhood provided.
She engaged Chinedu in a conversation as soon as she opened the gate.

“Where are you coming from Chinedu?” She inquired.
“Good morning Ma.” He replied stylishly trying to avoid the question she had just asked.
“See as you dey smell like beer parlour.” She remarked with a frown.
“Please can I go inside, I really need to sleep.” He replied
“You went out on a drinking spree and left your sister sleeping outside the door,” she further scowled. “Anyways, thank God for your wife that came to open the door for her,” she added.

Chinedu walked into the compound realizing that the wife his landlady referred to was no other person than Anita. It immediately came back to him that he had given her an extra key to his apartment in case she came around and met his absence. The sole of his shoes were clogged with mud as a result of the mud he had stepped into on his long trek back to his apartment. He knocked on the door of his room while trying to do away with his shoes. He got a response from Anita that she was about to the open the door. The door was open and Anita welcomed him but he walked in without uttering a word and went to sleep. He was too tired for the drama that was looming.
The sun was up and its rays vehemently striking the roofs of houses scattered within the neighbourhood. But it was always dark in Chanel 5 club, probably because of the building’s structure and the choice of lighting employed. There was a meeting at the underground office of the club. In attendance where people that referred to themselves as The Stakeholders. It comprised of six men and four women who were richly dressed. From the ornaments and clothing they had on, one could tell that this group of persons had to be in constant touch with lots of money. In the public’s eyes, they were successful business people whom had been favoured by the heavens to do exploit in life. They were philanthropists though with a threshold and always threw money around to buy favours when need arose. But in secret, they comprised of drug barons, internet fraudsters, human traffickers and sometimes engaged in the prostitution of young girls. They had a large network scattered across the slum and the state at large. They seemed untouchable as a result of holding secrets of people in sensitive positions of power in government.

That afternoon, they seemed to be in a heated argument about the state of their gradually dwindling illicit businesses. They were seated at a round table that had offered light refreshment and some alcohol.

“Do you know I alone lost to that deal 7000 Kilos! 7000 Kilos!” The oldest man spurted.
“The police busted 30 girls I was shipping off to Mali for Ashawo work.” Another woman said.
“Gbanna wey I carry inside rice, customs don seize am because of one person.” The third man spoke.

Everyone seemed to have something to complain about. And while this session of complaints and arguments went on, a man that appeared to be the Leader was attending to a phone call, signing documents and dishing out instructions to those that worked for him and swore allegiance to be trusted with the underground dealings of Chanel 5. He was dressed in a Kenneth Cole suit, wearing a white shirt and red tie beneath the jacket. His Bvlgari wristwatch possessed gems that sparkled even at night as they constantly reflected light rays on the faces of his friends at the table. Finally he spoke.

“In as much as things didn’t turn out the way we expected last month. It didn’t provide the right for anyone to have laid a finger on any member of my staff.”
 A man motioned to speak in opposition to what the Leader had just said but was cut short when a bullet went into the air from the handgun in the left hand of the leader.
“Back to what I was saying. In this business, we do not shed blood unnecessarily. The former logistics manager had done well until last month. We could have found another use for him.”
“Now one of you had him killed and has given us the task of recruiting a new person to fill the void. In this business, we do not offer training like private organizations do, as such the person we will require has to have bad blood already running in his or her veins.” He added.
Another man lifted his hand in a bid to make a suggestion.
“Go on, Chief Bassey.” The leader granting him permission to speak.
“My Leader, don’t you think we should recruit one of your bouncers at the door?” He asked.
“Bassey, my security has been ordered by the King not to have anything to do with our business.”
“Oh okay.” He sighed and kept mum.
“Mrs Ayobami, how about that your tenant you talked about?” The leader inquired.
“Ah Chinedu, he has his issues but he is at a point where he would accept anything. Tunde his friend confirmed that he was interested. Though he has no idea about my involvement with this, we would just have to show him the ropes.” She added.
“Splendid. Do what’s necessary and get back to me during the week.” He told her.
She nodded in agreement. 

The stake holders discussed other pressing matters and left Chanel 5 in different directions for their ordinary day lives.

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