ANGRY WIVES - Episode 1

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - Prince, took the microphone, the crowd, Ladies and gentlemen, too much grammar, three million Naira, all the eligible voters, penchant, irritating, jovial mannerism, town hall, money, frenzied mood in sycophantic praise, loquacious and hyperactive wife.

An old Volkswagen Beetle with a Mega Phone atop it drove through the streets of Bilia announcing, “Every man, woman, boy or girl, who is old enough to vote is required to make himself or herself available at the town hall tomorrow by 5: 00pm. Prince Jegede and his team will be around for his election campaign. Come with high expectations because Prince Jegede is an apostle of man must wack ideology!”

Before 5: 00pm the next day, the town hall of Bilia was filled to overcapacity and many more others sat outside. To entertain the crowd before Prince Jegede arrived, the DJ played the legendary highlife tune, “Oya make we go.” The crowd raised their voices and sang along with the song, “Oya make we go oh oh! Oya! Oya day don break oh! Because of bele man no go rest oh…!” As the crowd gathered at the town hall gyrated, Prince Jegede and his team arrived and the crowd went into a frenzied mood in sycophantic praise of the politician. A group of area boys offered to lift Prince Jegede from his car into the town hall, but were restrained by his security aides.

When they wouldn’t be allowed to carry the politician, they broke into praise to Prince Jegede, “Tuale, baba agbalagba, orie wa nbe owoti o ni ko le ton loni odi odun ti a o mo. Adun se enu jeje muti adakeje ejabi ejo, afin ija sinu kpete erin afi ibisinu ko ohunje”. (Young millionaire, the money you have will never run dry. It will be there through the years. Young millionaire whose mind is calm when enjoyment is on. Who keeps anger in mind and shows smile in his face. Who keeps evil in mind and rejects his wife’s food. Great you are! Nice is your name! Help, favour and mercy are where you dwell.) Prince Jegede’s aid tossed a few Naira notes in the air and the area boys went after them.

After Prince Jegede and his campaign team had settled in, Mr. Abel took the microphone and addressed the crowd, “The people of Bilia here present, you have no need for me to be very verbose, longwinded, garrulous or effusive with words as to the reason why we have all converged here at this moment…” As Mr. Abel spoke to the crowd which listened quietly, a high pitched feminine voice was heard from behind shouting, “Baba Sanko sow (show) them why is you are the most important learner in Bilia! I am behind you Baba Sanko! I am behind you, fire Inglis (English)! Fire Inglis!” Her words sent the otherwise quiet crowd into a wave of laughter. Mr. Abel continued, “Ehm… before I was interrupted by my loquacious and hyperactive wife, Abike, I was…” “Baba Sanko the words you just used now clearly eluded my understanding seriously, they must be explained when we get home,” Abike interjected.

Mr. Abel continued in spite of his wife’s interjection, “…I was going to invite our son, son of the soil; he was born and bred here in Bilia. Having been taken to great heights since he left Bilia, he has returned to give back to the society he grew up in, by seeking to be elected in the coming elections as the senator representing Bamakah senatorial district. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Prince Jegede!”

The town hall erupted into a loud mix of obsequious shouting, hand clapping and praise singing to Prince Jegede as he stood to address the crowd. At the back of the town hall, Abike leaned toward a friend of hers and said, “He should not bother speaking too much oyinbo to us, Baba Sanko has spoken all the grammar in the dicsionary (dictionary), he should just go straight and tell us how much he is going to give us to vote for him.” Another woman, Iya Iliasu, seating not far away from Abike overheard her and said, “If Prince Jegede speaks like Baba Sanko, I will not vote for him, Baba Sanko’s grammar dey scatter my head.”

Abike took offense at her words and sparked a war of words with Iya Iliasu. “Your vituperation have inflamed my temperament, therefore I am bound to summon Ogun to fire catapult at that imprudent son of yours, Iliasu, who at fifteen years cannot read ABC.” There were a few scattered cackles as Abike invoked curses on Iliasu. Iya Iliasu didn’t want to be outdone so she fired back at Abike, “May Ogun gorge out Sanko’s eyes and wipe the floor with them while he is trying to learn too much grammar.” Abike stood to her feet and pointing her finger at Iya Iliasu, threatened, “Don’t try me Iya Iliasu, because Abike will dismember your medulla oblongata and feed your tongue to dogs…”

The crowd roared and Abike paused to know what Prince Jegede had said which made them shout. “…I am giving three million Naira to all the eligible voters in Bilia…” Prince Jegede repeated himself. The crowd began to sing his name, “Jegede! Jegede! Jegede! Jegede! Jegede! Jegede!” Prince Jegede strenuously managed to get the crowd to calm down and hear him out. When the majority settled a bit, he continued, “… and that is only just the beginning, by the time I win the election, I will make sure that every man and woman in Bilia who is about sixty years old and above will get twenty thousand Naira monthly allowance. I will grant scholarship to every Bilia child to study from nursery school to secondary school level. Students with exceptional academic record will also receive special grant from my office to study at the university level.”

 At that Mr. Donatus who was sitting very close to Mr. Abel said to him, “At least now your wife, Abike, who has half education, can go to school.” “Shut up Donatus. Abike does not fall into that category. Prince Jegede said ‘every child’, Abike is no child.” “I know you my friend; if you want you can squeeze her into that free education programme as a child.” “Look Donatus, this is not the time for your penchant, irritating, jovial mannerism. When we get to Sisi Vokeh’s drink bar, we can play all the crass jokes you want.” Jokingly Mr. Donatus replied, “I am sorry ‘professor’, the monetary incentive being offered to us by Prince Jegede has left an affecting sensation on my vocal organ thereby making it run loosely.” Mr. Abel smiled and turned his attention to Prince Jegede who was just finishing his speech.

Immediately after Prince Jegede and his campaign team left, the men and women of Bilia gathered to know when the money he gave them would be shared. “We are going to adopt an appropriate formula to share the largess given to us by Prince Jegede. We are all to reconvene here by tomorrow evening to get our own share of the bounty,” said Mr. Abel. By evening the next day, the town hall of Bilia was not any less filled with people as it was the previous day. Mr. Donatus was on the podium addressing the crowd, “To fairly put the money from Prince Jegede into the hands of those who labored, cajoled and pressed all the necessary buttons to see that Prince Jegede parted with that much money, we have adopted ‘Derivation Policy’ to share this windfall which goodness has sent the way of the people of Bilia.

“This means that a large percentage of the money will go to the place where it was derived from. That is to the people who worked most to generate it.  Having said that, this is how the money will be shared. The men group will share for themselves 1.5 million, the young men will share 1. million and the young women will share five hundred thousand, and the women group, ehmm… they can follow their husbands home and be content with what their husbands will receive.” “Mr. Donatus or whatever you call yourself, if you do not include the women group in that your cursed revenue sharing formula, there is going to be war in Bilia o! The women will meet and invent their own sharing formula which will erasticate (eradicate) Bilia from the map of the world! I warn you o! You and the men should not step on the viper; it will strike o!” Abike warned. “Women! Let us go home! They have shared Prince Jegede’s money amongst themselves, let them vote for Prince Jegede”, said Sisi Vokeh.  From all corners of the town hall, women were firing angry words at the men group whom they identified as the principal actors behind the unfair formula used in sharing Prince Jegede’s money.

Iya Iliasu did not bother with bandying words with men, she simple went to the stage and grabbed the microphone on the lectern and squeezed it into her handbag and began to leave the hall. Two young men went after her and forcefully took the microphone from her. “You have manhandled a woman that has a husband and children, and for that, tonight I will put witchcraft on the two of you. Forever you will keep grabbing things from people until they beat you to death,” she threatened the boys. The boys wanted to call her bluff and walk away when someone told them, “That is Iya Iliasu, you do not want to mess with her o! If she said she will put witchcraft on you, believe her, because she will. Her husband is from Unusafari.” The young men threw the microphone back at her and prostrated on the floor begging her to forgive them, “Ejabure, fun nkotase fun yin” (please forgive us for what we have done). “Okay o! I forgives (forgive) you. But never again play with Iya Iliasu. They have given you the money meant for us all; make sure you enjoy that money happily o! Do not provoke Iya Iliasu o!” she warned.


Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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ANGRY WIVES - Episode 1
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - Prince, took the microphone, the crowd, Ladies and gentlemen, too much grammar, three million Naira, all the eligible voters, penchant, irritating, jovial mannerism, town hall, money, frenzied mood in sycophantic praise, loquacious and hyperactive wife. An African Literary Blog
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