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Tuesday, 14 June 2016


(Image source: www.informationng.com)

“Stop right there,” the voice called to her retreating figure and she actually obeyed, which was quite funny because she hated attitude. She turned and faced the most beautiful woman she had ever seen since she moved to the state. She was a goddess in life form. She couldn’t find the exact word to describe the woman. Her dress was so exquisite and it fitted her slender form excellently, her light skin illuminated the whole room with its fineness and her eyes were so brown that they almost could be mistaken for contacts. For some reason, Yetunde became scared, this woman was a rich young woman. Was she the manager? Considering the executive chair she spun around as she looked her prey angrily.
“Is this how you walk into the office of your boss?” She hissed angrily, obviously looking at the woman and her tattered apparels she had to be a cleaner or something. This made her quite pissed, she knew Calvary was very good natured to his employees and they usually took him for granted. She hated this one standing before her, for many reasons she hated the young and ugly looking lady. She had no class, her clothes definitely were picked from the gutters and those shoes looked ridiculous. Her natural hair definitely had a lot of lice in them. Genevieve felt nauseous at the thought.
“I’m sorry I don’t understand,” she responded feeling there was a mix up somewhere.  This woman had no right to treat her this way even if she was the boss. She could see disdain and mockery in the big brown eyes staring at her with undeniable disgust. But she felt more confident than ever. She would not give in to the beautiful devil who was trying desperately to get her in a bad mood. She sighed and took the seat reserved for the customers.
“Hey, whose kid is that?” Calvary asked walking towards the pretty little girl who was coloring a page. He smiled at her. He loved children a lot and planned on having plenty, if God would bless him with them. Her pretty curls fell on her chubby cheeks and he adjusted her ribbon and bent to see what she was drawing. “My cousin’s…she is a customer and she waits for you as we speak.”  The painting was a bit too perfect for a toddler. She painted a beautiful bowl with fruits which left him astonished at such young talent. “What is your name sweetheart?” He touched her chubby cheeks once again. She didn’t reply but she smiled and lifted her little fingers to pluck his lashes but he avoided it and they both laughed. Something was oddly familiar about this little girl, he had seen her somewhere and he left to see the lucky mother of the precious baby but it was too late as a loud scream emanated from his office.
Yetunde couldn’t hold herself back any longer as she felt herself being dragged by the arrogant lady. Her inner desires gave in as she struck the woman with every ounce of energy in her.  Who was she to order her around? She was quite sure this wasn’t the manager, she had seen the picture before and this painted butterfly couldn’t be fit to work in a bank. She would’ve closed up the business in a short period with her arrogance.
Genevieve felt her cheeks burn with invisible inferno as she let out a loud scream. She knew it. That lady was pure evil. She fell on her knees as she bent to pick up the blue sapphire earrings Calvary had bought for her the night he proposed. Her cheeks were aflame as she picked her mirror and saw the disaster. “You will pay for this! Ugly savage being.”
Yetunde spun on her heel, ready to leave but she felt the door open with force and she stepped back a bit. She couldn’t utter a word. She was speechless. What was he doing here again? Mr. Perfect? She stared into his face and quickly sensed he was angry as he spotted the red mark on the lady’s face.
“What have you done this time?” He asked her angrily walking to his table. “Yetunde, what happened?” Her cousin arrived in time with Naomi to see what happened. She felt confused. Mr. Perfect was obviously the boss. She felt ashamed of her actions, how she had yelled at him and slapped him. She wished she was a butterfly now as she would’ve flown into oblivion with her wings.
“You can’t imagine what this barbarian did to me, Love,” Genevieve began as she wiped the trickles on her cheeks. “I’m sorry sweetheart. I’d do something about it definitely.” He caressed the reddened spot gently while searching for something on his occupied desk.
“Can’t you talk?” He asked angrily. This woman had hit him the other day and now his angel, the woman that he loved very much, his angel who couldn’t hurt a fly. “You are quite arrogant for your economic class. I don’t ever want to see you in my office again!” He flung the file on the ground. “Get out of my office!” He thundered and she walked out weakly.

Monday, 13 June 2016


(Image source: www.informationng.com)

“Meet me later in the office. I have to rush.” Eddie walked briskly to the door as she waved her cousin goodbye. “Okay dear,” she waved back, now facing her toddler who was playing with her cereals. “See momma, it’s blue,” she showed off a coloured chocolate ball. Yetunde sighed. Naomi had been home for almost a week now and her salary hadn’t been paid this month. “Like it could actually do anything,” she huffed. She had prayed that morning again for forgiveness. She strongly believed God was judging her for her past sins. She needed mercy from him and she needed it fast.
As she locked the door and ready to move to the bank with Naomi, she felt something was wrong, something was incomplete. She quickly put her baby down and searched through her bag countless times and discovered her documents were missing. That was going to make the situation all difficult. Then she tried recollecting the places she had been since her meeting with Mr. Bassey. It all dropped back, bit by bit and she remembered she had left it at the bank. Well, that would delay her a bit but she had to speak with the manager first to see if there was hope.
“Momma…..are we going to school?” Naomi sounded excited as she plucked her mother’s eyelashes who in turned winced in pain. But that pain was nothing compared to what she felt when her angel asked that question. She couldn’t reply. “Everything will be fine love” was all she could whisper.
“No, I don’t like that colour, it doesn’t flatter your skin tone,” her mother had tossed five dresses down for the past twenty minutes. Genevieve couldn’t help but feel frustrated. “But mother, it’s just a visit to his office, not a date.” Her mother’s face fell at the girl’s utterance. “Always a visit…you should work harder for Calvary to come see us.” Genevieve sighed, she had tried severally to lure him to start the marriage procedures but he kept saying “Till the lord gives me go ahead.” She loved Calvary Aduga very much and she was quite sure he felt the same way but he was so spiritual, she couldn’t blame him. Most pastors were usually very spiritual and very soon she would be a pastor’s wife. Not just any pastor, she mused as she applied eyeliner to her beautiful brown eyes. She had seen how other sisters in the church looked at her, with envy of course as she had been favored by God to court such a man as Calvary. He was every woman’s dream; god fearing, very handsome, hardworking and kind hearted. “What are you smiling at?” Her mother wondered. “Nothing Mom, just Calvary.” The woman contacted the smile. She couldn’t wait for the day her daughter would be wed to such a fine gentle man.
“Now Mama, pick a dress that is suitable for the future Mrs. Aduga,” and they both laughed as they were sure their plans would work out.
“Are you sure your kid won’t cause any distraction in there?” The security man inquired harshly. Clearly, she wasn’t in the mood for him so she simply nodded and moved on. She missed her car. Though it was old, it helped her save some change that she was currently wasting on public transport. She prayed once again for favour from the new boss as she stepped into the glassy door.
“It took you so long,” Eddie spoke a bit upset. She explained about her documents which seemed to pacify her cousin. “You’re just lucky, he was about going somewhere so just go in there and wait for him.” She grabbed the smiling Naomi into her laps. Yetunde felt a bit nervous as she hadn’t met this new manager before, she had seen his picture and he looked a bit middle aged just like Mr. Bassey. She straitened her old skirt which was thread bare with an ugly ash shade, it was faded. She couldn’t afford the luxury of new clothes and this was what she had for important occasions. She checked her hair quickly and walked confidently towards the office. This was her chance and she was ready to take it. She felt confident as she recited Psalm 27, “The lord is my light and my salvation…” and she forgot to knock as she opened the door. She stood still for few seconds, not knowing the next step to take. She just stood there stunned by the second wonder of her world. Meanwhile the first was seeing Mr. Perfect the other day unexpectedly. How could Eddie not tell her about this? She decided to leave immediately but the voice stopped her. 



Image source: www.oyibosonline.com

I have watched and followed with keen interest as the intrigues in the Niger Delta region continue to playout. Since the start of the 21st century, we’ve seen various gimmicks being employed by different groups, all in a bid to actualize one selfish interest or another. From Niger Delta Militants to Boko Haram to Niger Delta Avengers (I hope they have Captain Nigeria in their ranks). All three groups have one thing in common: they employed violence and the communities from which both groups evolved from had one thing in common: they all did nothing when they should have. They folded their arms till it was too late. To say I’m disappointed when I see our masses support these movements on social media would be an understatement. To say I’m surprised would be a lie though. Nigerians hardly learn from their past.

Violence, just like a forest fire, usually starts small. First, only one tree is on fire and then eventually, the fire spreads to the other trees and before you know it, the whole forest is on fire. This is the one mistake that has been common among the host communities of these various groups. They all failed to contain the outbreak and eventually they were consumed too. Their case was perfectly captured in a quote attributed to Martin Niemoller, a Protestant pastor and an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler during WW2:

 “First they came for the Socialists and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

They always start out like innocent groups, with the interests of the people as their major motivation but as time passes by, the same people for which they often claim to be fighting for, always end up being consumed by their wrath. Boko Haram for example, during the first two years of their operation, it was the churches that bore the scars of their fury. I’ve lost count of the number of churches that were attacked and the number of innocent lives that were lost. However, in subsequent years, every Nigerian became a target; Muslims and Christians alike.

In my personal opinion though, the region has been neglected over time by various administrations and hence they have every right to complain about this neglect but are the Avengers actually fighting for the uplift and development of their community or is it just a case of a group of individuals with personal and greedy interests hiding behind a genuine cry for help, to carry out illicit acts? Again, in my opinion, I most certainly believe it is the later. I remember vividly, the first set of Militants came with the same ‘Liberators of the Niger Delta’ tag but no sooner was amnesty announced, did their leaders begin to show their real agenda; Self Enrichment. As I’m writing this, Asari Dokubo (yes the noisy one), has several infrastructures in Benin but nothing in the Niger Delta region where he comes from. Tompolo is being investigated by the EFCC for none execution of a contract awarded to him by the previous administration. They all go about with security escorts and while the people for which they claimed to be fighting for, are still wallowing in poverty and reside in a heavily polluted environment.

I remember an incident that occurred during my Industrial Training. We had gone to survey a particular road way in a community in Nwaniba, Uyo. But we were fiercely resisted by residents of that community. One even went as far as saying that we were only going to survey the area over his dead body. This was just one of several cases. I have heard a lot more of such cases and it’s troubling to think that these same people would still come out in the future to complain about the underdevelopment of their communities. Just recently, my boss had told me how a project to link the Bonny Island to Rivers mainland via a bridge, was abandoned because the indigenes of the host communities demanded to be paid for any such project to be executed in their community. I can’t really ascertain the authenticity though but I won’t rule it out either. That’s just how ignorance and greed has continued to allow development to elude most of the communities in that region. I won’t rule out the various State governments and Federal governments from alleged complicity in this mess. If they have been doing the right things, there wouldn’t be any avenue for these glorified criminals to use as a cover up for their illegal activities.

On a final note, anybody who is in support of the violence, rather than dialogue, being employed by these Avengers, might want to have a rethink. It’s just a matter of time before they begin to point their weapons in the direction of their indigenes. There was a time the first set of militants used kidnapping expatriates as a means of making their plights known to the world. However, when most expatriates left the region, they started to kidnap the citizens in that region. The Avengers are blowing pipelines now but if they succeed in destroying all of it, do you really think they’ll lay low? Most certainly not. They’ll look for other avenues; it could be destruction of schools, government offices, kidnapping, the list is endless. The violence they perpetrate today may seem insignificant but tomorrow, it’ll definitely grow out of proportion and uncontrollable, if adequate measures are not taken. We should be careful of the things we support and wish for. Bad history shouldn’t repeat itself.

Sunday, 12 June 2016


I was arranging things in the store when a small scene caught my eyes in the lower corner of the room. I dropped what I carried, squatted and pulled out my weapon–my camera phone–to video. It was a fairly small-size spider capturing a long and black, odour-emitting soldier ant. I watched intently as it spun its web with dexterity. At first, I had thought it was striking the ant with its legs but after a close look, I noticed it was using the legs to spin more webs around the big prey, carefully avoiding the mandibles of the ant (claws). I had to endure the defensive foul smell from the ant just to watch a smaller creature do that to one I’d consider its senior. After some minutes, the ant could only wriggle in defense and was wrapped up in silk. I couldn’t stand the smell anymore so I tapped out. I have to say, it was a thrilling experience. I couldn’t help wondering what made the spider such a successful predator and how a big headed ant could fall an easy prey. Let’s unravel some unique features of the amazing spider, and, oh yes, I’ll also tell you how to become a spider man. Finally, Peter Parker will have a sibling. Thank me later.

For those of you with Arachnophobia (the fear of spiders), you're not alone. A celeb as Justin Timberlake is also in that shoe. You'll have to be strong enough to read through this as you'll learn a couple of things. Now, let's get started. Spiders are invertebrates meaning they don’t have backbones, which I’m sure you already know and there are up to 40,000 different species of them! Let me surprise you: spiders are not insects, the bodies of spiders divide into two parts (a fused head and thorax and an abdomen), and spiders have eight legs and eight eyes; they lack antennae and wings. In contrast, the bodies of insects form three parts (head, thorax, and abdomen), and insects have six legs, two eyes, two antennae, and, typically, four wings. Did you see that! Eight eyes. Having six more eyes round your head could be really freaky. Imagine going to the movies with your date and he’s checking out the girl behind, not the screen in front.

Now, this is why you won’t see spiders eating plants in your Mom’s vegetable garden. All spiders are carnivorous (feeding mainly on the flesh of other animals). Spiders eat insects and sometimes other arthropods (invertebrate animals with jointed limbs, segmented bodies, and hard shells known as exoskeletons), including other spiders. Scientists often divide spiders into two types: web spiders and ground spiders. Web spiders produce webs to capture prey, while ground spiders hunt prey directly without using a web. Almost all spiders use poison glands to kill or paralyze their prey or to defend themselves. You can imagine; small but mighty.If spiders were a bit bigger, I think they’d have been competing with lions for the king of the jungle.

Contrary to popular belief, most spider bites are not dangerous to humans. Of the 40,000 species of spiders, only about 30 species produce bites that may cause illness. Spiders rarely attack humans unless they feel threatened, and if they do bite, the wound is rarely serious. There is absolutely no reason to kill any spider or to call an exterminator if you have spiders in your house. As an old English saying goes, “If you want to live and thrive, let a spider run alive!” In other words, if you see a spider on your shirt, don’t scream omg! Just take a quick selfie with two fingers up. 

Now, let’s find out some really interesting facts. When a spider catches its prey, it utilizes a pair of tiny “pocket knives”, located in front of the mouth opening, known as the chelicerae. Each chelicera has a sharp fang that swings out of its resting position to stab into the victim. Near the tip of the fang is a duct opening that comes from a poison gland. The fang acts like a hypodermic needle—it ejects venom from the poison gland and delivers it into the prey. I’m glad I did this research. I was thinking the spider used only its web to capture and weaken that big arse soldier ant. Now, I know it used poison too.

Let’s throw some light on this spider poison. Most spiders have a pair of poison glands that lie within the cephalothorax. Don’t sweat over the big name; it’s just the front body part. I guess you weren’t a big fan of biology. Back to business: each bulb-like poison gland produces and stores toxin. A muscle spirals around the gland. When this muscle contracts, it squeezes poison from the gland through a duct into the fangs of the chelicerae, which then pass the poison into the prey. I think we got a similar muscle too–contract and release. You can only ask me “where?” if you don’t pass out poo. 

And here is what we don’t have in common: unlike human hair, each spider hair found on the legs acts as a sensory organ, sensitive to touch and vibration. More than 30 muscles control the movement of each leg. In addition, some joints of the leg move by the hydraulic action of body fluid. The tips of the legs have two or three small claws that are used for climbing or grasping the spider’s silk thread. Many ground spiders have specialized adhesive hairs beneath their claws, known as claw tufts or scopulae. These claw tufts enable the spiders to walk sure-footedly on smooth, vertical surfaces—even upside down on glass. I have to say, nature took time to bless a small creature with these admirable features. Come to imagine it, if humans could do the upside down walk, then that could have replaced going down on one knee for men, while proposing marriage.

Let’s check out how the sensory organs work in spiders. Most spiders are nocturnal, and as a result they use their other senses more than they use their eyesight, which is not well developed. This must be really sad; all eight eyes and still, poor vision. But there must be other strong points. Let’s find out. In addition to the thousands of hairs found on the palps and legs that are highly sensitive to touch and vibrations, spiders also have hairs on their feet that they use to taste things. Unbelievable! Tasting food with the legs, Mr. Spider you never stop to amaze us.

Most spiders have four pairs of simple eyes (eyes with a single lens) that are located on the front of the cephalothorax. The eyes are usually grouped into two or three rows that form specific patterns in different spider families. Okay, this is worth noting the eyes don’t go round their head as I had imagined. They’re all lazily packed in front. 

I know you’re curious about the whole spider web formation process. I hope you don’t still remain in the dark after this paragraph. Let’s start from the abdomen. The spider’s abdomen is soft and sac-like. On the underside of the tip of the abdomen are three pairs of spinnerets. Each spinneret is studded with many fine, hair-like tubes called spigots, which produce a variety of silk threads. The spigots lead to several large silk glands inside the abdomen. Silk is formed as a liquid inside these abdominal glands. As the silk is drawn out through the spigots, protein molecules within the silk line up parallel to one another, causing the silk to harden and form strong, elastic filaments. The hardening of silk results from the drawing-out process through the spigots, not from exposure to air, as is commonly believed. Several silk threads produced by different spigots may fuse to form a stronger one. Spinnerets are actually shortened limbs. They can move to place silk strands in precise locations when the spider builds a web or wraps prey in silk. That was a bit complex. If you don’t get anything, just remember that errmm…okay, remember that the silk that makes the web comes from silk glands in the abdomen.

Pay close attention here as this will be a big revelation to you. Imagine going on the seat of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire TV Show and you’re asked a question for N5m, “What colour of blood do spiders have?” Right now, I’ll tell you the answer but promise to send me only 10% of the money if it turns out like that. Spider blood, also known as hemolymph, contains many blood cells with oxygen-carrying pigments called hemocyanin, which give the blood a light blue colour. In contrast, the primary components of human blood are red blood cells carrying the red pigment hemoglobin. Spider blood also contains many other types of blood cells that play a role comparable to that of the white blood cells of humans. Among other functions, these cells play a role in blood clotting after an injury. 

Who said spiders don’t have hearts? The spider’s long, tubular heart lies toward the back side of the abdomen. When the heart contracts, it pumps blood forward into the cephalothorax and backward into the abdomen. Blood travels through closed tubes, or arteries, into spaces in the body cavity. From these spaces the blood travels to the book lungs, where it releases carbon dioxide and picks up a fresh supply of oxygen before returning to the heart. So, next time you crush a spider, remember you’ve broken an innocent heart.

You may also have wondered like me, “How do these creatures digest preys much bigger than them?” Spider digestion is unusual in that it begins outside of the spider’s body. When a spider captures an insect or other animal, it uses its chelicerae (remember this name? the pair that looks like pocket knives? Okay, let’s continue…) to pierce the prey and inject poison into the wound to paralyze or kill the animal. The spider then vomits juices containing digestive enzymes into the wound of the victim to break down and liquefy its body tissue. This liquefied tissue is then drawn through the spider’s mouth and into its body by the sucking action of the stomach. Two mechanical filters in the mouth prevent solid food particles from passing into the digestive system. 

From the stomach, food passes into the midgut, which branches throughout the entire body. Enzymes secreted by the midgut further break down the liquefied food into nutrient molecules small enough to pass through the walls of the midgut into the blood. Nutrients can be stored for a long time in the spider’s extensive digestive system, enabling many spiders to go for weeks or even months without the need to catch any prey. Next time, you won’t see spiders as innocent, web-spinning creatures. I like the food-reserving part. That would be really advantageous for some set of people, especially the ones who rely on social ceremonies for their meals.

Humans have brains, so do spiders. A spider’s brain is relatively highly developed, enabling spiders to easily adapt to changes in their environment. Some scientists believe spiders can learn, and some have observed that spiders can remember where in their web they have stored captured prey; if the prey is removed, the spiders will continue searching for it in the same place for hours. Interesting. I know some humans that do same, dwelling too long in the same sad spot instead of moving on. 

Talking about reproduction, spiders do that thing too, just that they don’t cuddle under blankets and turn off the lights like the old school way. Just like us, the mature male has two sperm-producing testes. The female spider also has two egg-producing ovaries. After the male transfers sperm cells into the female’s genital opening located on her abdomen, they are stored, sometimes for months, in tiny receptacles. These sperm cells fertilize the female’s egg cells just before she deposits her eggs into a silky cocoon. 

The life cycle of the spider consists of four stages: egg, larva, young spider, known as a nymph or spiderling, and adult. Like insects, spiders grow only by molting, a process that involves periodically shedding their exoskeleton. In each molting stage, young spiderlings resemble tiny adults, a process known as incomplete metamorphosis. 

Just before wrapping it up, let me shake you up a little. some spiders should actually make you worried. According to Guinness World Records, the Brazilian Wandering Spider is officially the world's most venomous spider. it can deliver venom potent as that of many deadly snake species and the effects are similar. The symptoms include loss of muscle control which leads to breathing problems. In a single case, a single spider was responsible for the death of two children in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Now, there's some new for men who patronize Viagra. The venom can also cause hours of hard on. Yes, it can cause up to four hours of erection, but you 'll have to swallow the pain that comes with it. Hey, don't fret, there's an antivenom for it. We have bigger threats like Boko Haram, Niger Delta Avengers and ISIS to worry about. Besides, it's estimated that throughout the 20th century, spiders were responsible for about 100 deaths globally. 
The Brazilian Wandering Spider

Yeah, that should do for spiders. I’m sure you’ve acquired additional knowledge about the arachnid. Thank me later. Yes, I said I’ll expose the secret of being a spider-man: imagine a world where you can spin webs, climb high buildings, fling yourself many meters above ground level, hang on walls upside down, do whatever you like—it’s possible. Please hold on while I google it. 

*Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.



(Image source: www.informationng.com)

Calvary Aduga flipped through the file before him. He smiled feeling fulfilled. God had been so faithful to him. “Thank you Jesus, you are wonderful,” he whispered as he looked around his new office then back to the file before him. He saw her face on it—the rude young lady that had given him a resounding slap. He read through it and from what he saw, he could understand her reactions the other day.
Frustration was one of the many routes which led to an angry lifestyle. He had often warned his members against it. One should always trust in the Lord to solve all their problems. God was very necessary for the success story of any mortal. He closed the file and tossed it aside. He imagined how much the young woman suffered and wished he could help but she had no property of real value to obtain this loan.
“Sir you have a call,” the new secretary stormed in after knocking loudly twice. “Line three,” she chipped in and strolled towards the coffee machine. He really needed coffee to keep him agile for the meetings he had to attend in the next thirty minutes. “Hello,” he replied to the female voice he was familiar with. He loosened his button and relaxed on the chair; his love was on the line. He smiled as the memories swam across his head. Genevieve was a wonderful woman and they were currently courting. In no time, they would marry and live happily ever after.
“Okay Love, I will be free tomorrow, you could come and I will take you on a tour round Olive Groves,” he smiled sweetly. She made him smile; she was the woman for him and no one else. Genevieve was not only God-fearing and kindhearted but she was extremely beautiful. She complemented him—her flawless light skin to his deep mahogany shade, her average height to his tall frame—he was truly lucky to have such an angel.
Yetunde tucked little Naomi in bed nearby. She was happy to spend some time with her cousin. Since the incidence of her stolen car she had been depressed mostly but with Eddie around, she felt better. She felt so discouraged, even after reporting to the Police, there wasn’t much they could offer instead, they had asked her for some funds to initiate a private investigation. The system was a huge failure.
“So what is the new boss like?” Yetunde inquired as she handed Eddie a mug of hot chocolate. “Nice…very nice,” Eddie responded, savoring the sweet brown liquid in her mug. Yetunde wondered which was nice. “Be serious Edidiong, I need this loan badly. You have seen it yourself. Naomi has been home for days because I can’t pay her fees.” Eddie was silent for a while, she really wished she could help her cousin but she had her siblings to cater for. “Okay, he is nice just don’t get your hopes high. You should try and see him tomorrow before he leaves for the Worldwide Bankers Conference holding in Italy.”

Yetunde smiled and prayed it came to pass. She needed this loan to fix her life. It was going to be a fresh start. She dropped the list she had already written and closed her eyes to fantasy. She saw herself owning a big supermarket and Naomi owning better clothes and shoes. She opened them again and smiled.


(Image source: www.informationng.com)

“What do you mean you have a new boss?” Yetunde shifted uncomfortably on the okrika shoes she had managed to buy from her small savings. Her cousin stared at her confusedly. “What kind of question is that? You have started …you ehn,” she poked yetunde playfully. Yetunde ignored her, this was serious, if Olive Groves Bank had a new manager then all her hopes of getting a loan as quickly as possible where shattered. She ignored the other thought that crept into her mind, remembering the words Mr Bassey had spoken to Mr. Perfect: ‘welcome Boss’. It couldn’t be. She’d been damned to serious poverty as she remembered all the bills she had to pay.
“Do you know this man? The new manager…have you met him before?” she inquired of Eddie, who was quite lost. Had something bad happened to her cousin? She thought. Yetunde was acting really funny and asked too many questions. Well, to put her mind to rest, she pulled out her iPhone which made Yetunde gasp in shock. “Here is his picture.” Yetunde released the breath she was holding, thank god it wasn’t him. She had her confidence back, she even felt like walking back to the office and giving Mr. Perfect another good slap. He really deserved it for putting her through hell, breaking her car light and causing her to have goose bumps.
“Miss Edidiong Gerard, get ready,” a deep male voice called. “Okay Yetunde, we meet at my house, give me your number quickly because I’m next for the interview.” She sighed with relief as her cousin scurried off for the interview. Edidiong definitely had so many gists for her. She imagined what went on with her parents and her other relatives in Lagos and shook her head sadly. Why couldn’t her parents forgive her of just that crime? She prayed Eddie should be picked for the job as her closeness to the new manager would enhance her chances of getting the loan.

As she stepped outside the bank, she walked briskly to the area she parked her Toyota but it was a bit confusing to her. She remembered clearly where she parked it, but it wasn’t there. “God please don’t do this to me.” She paced around. “No, this isn’t happening. God I hope not, I know I complained and I hated that car but it’s all I’ve got to gain a loan….no.” She finally screamed as reality hit her: her car had been stolen.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016


(Image source: www.informationng.com)

She couldn’t believe her eyes. What was he doing here? And why did Mr. Bassey call him ‘Boss’? She was getting the chills right there as she feared the worst. If this man was the new bank manager or that influential from what she had seen, then her hopes of getting the loan were gone with the wind. She tried to walk past the cluster of bankers but they slowed her down, like they had a conference or something. 
Just then, she felt a hand drag her backward, she was so angry  and was ready to punch the offender who was trying to slow her down.  “Yetunde!” the female voice cried happily and she turned and grimaced. Not now, she had just seen her cousin who was a bit spontaneous and she sighed. She wasn’t getting out of this bank soon. She forced a smile. “Eddie,” she was surprised to see the girl there. Since she got abandoned by her parents, Yetunde had cut all ties to her family members. She had taken extra effort by relocating to Oyo, leaving Lagos where most of them settled. She was quite surprised to see her ‘Calabar cousin’. That’s what she always called her. Suddenly, her heart sank as she remembered all she had lost since she got a child of out of wedlock.
“Long time Eddie, what are you doing here? And why is there so much crowd?” Her cousin just smiled and threw her arms all over her. “Goodness! Yetunde, is that all you can ask about after such a long time?” She felt a bit hurt but she didn’t blame her once loving cousin who had gradually turned cold. She stared at her shabby dress and her old shoes, life wasn’t very good to Yetunde. “You know what? Let’s find a place and talk…you know…relax or you could come over to my place later, I just moved to Oyo.” “Wow” was all Yetunde could manage. “And may I ask why?” Edidiong smiled sweetly, she was so happy she had reunited with her cousin once again, they had a lot to talk about. “I got a new job as the secretary to the bank manager.” Yetunde smirked. She imagined her cousin making coffee for that rude Mr Bassey who’d mocked her earlier about her car.

“Well that’s nice, it’s just that Mr. Bassey Ekpeyong is kind of rude…you know,” she trailed off as she saw a glint in Eddie’s eyes, that girl was laughing at her ignorance. “Sorry, which Mr. Bassey? Why do you think there are so many people here today?” She walked closer to her cousin and pinched her pale cheeks. “We have a new boss.”