ANGRY WIVES - Episode 5

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - malevolent witches, full scale civil unrest, witches, men will avoid her restaurant, almost killed their wives, the masquerade festival is around, festival, masquerade, the police inspector, police, on the streets, indiscriminate arrests.

“The situation in the home front is a full scale civil unrest. From the day we shared that money till this moment, I have had to do everything for myself which includes cooking my food and washing my clothes. In fact, I was washing my clothes the other day only for my wife to pass by me and say, ‘Oga well done o’. For some seconds I could not tell myself if she was the same woman I have been living in the house with all these years. She has transformed into a witch,” said Donatus. “No Donatus, she didn’t suddenly transform into a witch. She has been a witch all along…” Abel pointed out. “What are you talking about Abel?” “All women are witches; the only difference is that some are malevolent witches, while others are benign witches. But somehow Abike has turned all of them into malevolent witches lately. Look at Nsonma, she was on the lips of every man in Bilia some months ago as the best woman in Bilia; but just look at Okafor her husband now and you won’t recognize him anymore.” “I heard he bathed himself with hot water trying to prepare Akamu (pap) for himself…”

“Is that all? Nsonma goes to see him at the hospital only once in a day, and sometimes she won’t even be seen at the hospital at all…” “Wait prof., Okafor’s case is different; he was one of the first men in Bilia who almost killed their wives for refusing to give them Joly Joly. Okafor is too violent. In one instance I had to almost fight him to stop him from punching his wife. Have you seen him beating Nsonma? Well, if you do, I know you Mr. Abel, you will shoot him without thinking twice about it. Okafor beats his wife as though she was a warrior. As a matter of fact, I like what his wife is doing to him now. On the other hand, if there is a woman that has shocked me, it is Sisi Vokeh.”

“I heard she is the one who inflated the price of commercial Joly Joly,” said Mr. Abel. “She used to have a heart of gold, but at the moment, she has turned into a monster. All the women are afraid of her and eager to do her bidding, even Sisi Nene is afraid of her,”, said Mr Donatus. “I told you Donatus, they have all turned into malevolent witches. Upkanyan told me that he managed to take Ebiere to Palm Motel to have Joly Joly with her, while they were inside the room, someone came and knocked on the door and shouted ‘Ebiere we don see you o! We go tell Sisi Vokeh’. Do you know what happened?” “Mba (no),” replied Mr. Donatus.

“Ebiere dressed up and fled from the room, even though Ukpanyan was going to pay her very much. The way Ukpanyan sounded when he was narrating this story to me, he would kill Sisi Vokeh the least chance he gets.” “Ukpanyan is not alone in that feeling, Mr. Abel. I seriously fear for Sisi Vokeh. Some angry men may harm her before the election comes. Not even Iya Iliasu and Abike have been able to hurt men in the manner Sisi Vokeh has.” “No they won’t hurt her the way you expect, the police are doubly keeping eyes on men since domestic violence increased in Bilia. After the elections, men will avoid her restaurant. I think that’s how they might want to pay her back. Really she has hurt the men. Most of the men have already exhausted their share of Prince Jegede’s money on food and paying exorbitantly for Joly Joly. It is not only her doing, if the women had not gone on strike many men would not have felt the pinch that much.”

“Mr. Abel, what are we going to do about the inspector who has been arresting our men indiscriminately? I think for him it is now a business venture. Once women accuse a man of even thinking of beating them he comes and arrests the man and then releases him on a bail of N5, 000.” “From what I gathered, Donatus, he is in it together with Alhaji Matamba. Abike came up with the idea to stop Iya Iliasu from using her charm on any man. My source told me the women get a share from every N5, 000 the inspector and Alhaji Matamba collect from men. I understand they want the money we refused to share with them wasted on irrelevant things.  As for the inspector, don’t worry about him, the masquerade festival is around the corner, we will deal with him the old way. I know his drinking joints.” “Shall we send young men to do it for us?”  “Donatus! This is a matter for the men to handle; you and I will do it by ourselves. After we are done with him, he will never lay a finger on a man ever again.”

Days passed and the masquerades festival of came. The town of Bilia was filled with all sorts of masquerades and visitors who came from different parts of the state for the festival.  Crowds thronged every corner of Bilia to watch the masquerades as they paraded through the streets, singing and displaying magic. The festival was so popular that even prominent men like university dons, top politicians and medical doctors would come out on that day lining up behind the masquerades of their choice. The men would come out on such days tying wrapper, bearing machetes and with tender palm tree fronds in their mouths.

This festival was the big deal in Bilia. Sometimes the masquerade groups would clash, resulting in serious machete wounds, and at other times there would be open clash of charms, so much that lives would be lost in the process.  Men and women who stood by road sides to watch the masquerades and their groups would often throw a few coins at them in a show of appreciation for their performance. It was on this day that Mr. Abel and Mr. Donatus chose to deal with Gemade, the police inspector who had been arresting men and making money off them through fraudulent bails.

Once darkness began to fall on every festival of masquerade day, the masquerades would begin to retire to their bases; they seldom paraded late night. So on such days as darkness would begin to settle over Bilia, businesses would open up, especially eateries and drink bars. By such evenings there were booze aplenty and bush meat to go with them. Inspector Gemade had his favourite joint, and on this day was flanked by two ladies he must have ‘hustled’ from Bamakah. He and his babes were seating in the open, flushing down large chunks of bush meat down their throats with gulps of beer. They could see them coming, the two ladies made to run for cover, but Inspector Gemade told them to seat still, assuring them that the masquerades were only heading home. But he was wrong; the two masquerades had not paraded at all the whole day, they had only just come out to pay him a nasty visit.

When they got close to where he and the ladies were sitting, he expected them to ask him for money, so he already had few twenty Naira notes to give them. Instead of asking for money, the two masquerades made a sudden dash toward him; crashing on his skull the fat branches they carried for cane. Inspector Gemade went down heavily to the ground, he tried to stand to his feet to put up a fight, but the masquerades were in no mood to give him such a chance. They beat him up so much that each time they raised their canes to land them on him; chunks of flesh mixed with bloody paste flew into the air and landed on on-lookers and the ground with the sound of rain drop.

On-lookers could do nothing to help him. Masquerades were feared on such days because they carried very potent charms. The masquerades continued to beat Gemade until a woman who could not bear the sight of the torture he was being subjected to, screamed, shouting for the police to help. The two masquerades were jolted into panic when they heard the call for the police and made for the winding streets of Ugbene and disappeared into the shadows of the night.

By the time help came, Inspector Gemade had already passed out. He was taken to Bilia general hospital where doctors quickly treated him. However, it took three days before Inspector Gemade could wake up from coma. That night when Mr. Abel and Mr. Donatus got home, their glee knew no bounds; they had sent the right message to the policeman, and his colleagues, who thought the men of Bilia were cows they could milk at will.  The next day policemen stormed the streets of Bilia, hurling young men into their vans in the hope of forcing them to reveal the identity of the men in the masquerades. After weeks of tormenting the arrested young men and coming up with nothing they released them.

In truth, the arrested young men were only released because Mr. Abel and Mr. Donatus had written a stinging petition to the commissioner of police against Alhaji Matamba and his police division on account of gross abuse of human rights. The identities of the men behind the masquerades were never discovered and that was how Mr. Abel wanted it. After Inspector Gemade was released from the hospital, he was never seen on the streets of Bilia making what some men saw as indiscriminate arrests. After that incidence, attention turned to the coming election. Some of the men who pitched their tent with Prince Jegede believed they were going to win the election; they boastfully alluded to how they nullified Inspector Gemade and claimed that they were going to cancel out Abike and co in the same manner.


                                            CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 4

Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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ANGRY WIVES - Episode 5
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - malevolent witches, full scale civil unrest, witches, men will avoid her restaurant, almost killed their wives, the masquerade festival is around, festival, masquerade, the police inspector, police, on the streets, indiscriminate arrests. An African Literary Blog
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