It was 9:30pm when I woke up from my sleep I immediately remembered that I had to be at babis for the fundraiser. The election was to hold in 6weeks time, though we had campaign posters all over the campuses (mini and main); National was having the upper hand. He had more financial power than Abayomi.
Abayomi came from what I would describe as an average family; his dad was a retired banker while his mum was a civil servant. My dad ran 8 big stores in Alaba international market. He dealt with the importation of Samsung and sharp electronics.
My dad didn’t go to secondary school talk less of a university. He came to Lagos immediately after the Biafran war, worked as a sales boy for Mr koledowo of blessed memory at idumota. Idumota was one of the biggest markets in the 70’s. Things went smoothly for a while until Mr koledowo’s wife died. He never really recovered from the shock. He himself died November 17th, 1979, leaving his store to my dad. Shortly after his demise, his family came to close the store leaving my dad with nothing. My dad had made some friends with some Ghanaians who were regular customers. Mr Antwi allowed my dad stay with his family provided that my dad worked for them for free. As providence would have it, in 1983 the Ghanaians were evicted from Nigeria. Though the government of Nigeria said it was due to economic hardships, my dad always maintained that it was a form of retaliation. In 1969, Nigerians had been evicted from Ghana. Once again, my dad inherited another man’s store. Fast forward to 2007, my 47 year old dad, Chief Dike was a millionaire; my mum was a house wife.
I had supported the elections financially even more than Abayomi, but it wasn’t enough. A lot of freshers adorned tee-shirts with National’s beaming smile on them. Even some girls in my compound had theirs, disloyalty!
I wouldn’t have been able to get to babis on time if I had boarded a taxi, I decided to meet John, my neighbor who had a car and could easily drop me off.
I knocked his door but he didn’t open, I was forced to peep through the window because I could hear music from his one room apartment. Lying in bed was John, with his naked albeit a G-string girlfriend sprawled like an eagle beside him. Cans of sprite and a bottle of Johnny walker were nearby.
I walked to Itamerin bus-stop to get a bike to babis.
Babis was crowded when I got in, it was filled with most of the club guys and girls unwinding from the week long lectures. I skimmed the crowed until I saw Abayomi seated with some people just by the bar. I was squeezing myself for a way through the crowd when a hand pulls me back. Turning back I saw the slim body and apologetic smile of Acho.
Acho: I thought you said you were staying indoors tonight
Me: its really none of your business Acho
Acho: I see you have already forgotten about me
Me: you are kindha smart, now let go of my hand some people are waiting for me.
Acho let go immediately, ‘yahooze’ by olu-maintain was booming in the back-ground as a couple of students flooded the park that stood as the dance floor.
Acho: I will miss you
Me: I bet you will honey.
I continued walking to the area were Abayomi sat. he didn’t see me as he continued arguing fervently with somebody, i didn’t recognize the person nor the other people sitting around the table. It wasn’t long before Abayomi saw me and screamed.
Abayomi: you can be very annoying!, we have been here since 9pm, look at the time you are coming
Me: Ab, is that how to talk to a lady, your mum did a rotten job raising you
Abayomi: your papa left yansh!
Abayomi: come and hug me jor
Me: body odour o….
I quickly scrutinized the people sitting around the table. Dada was at the right hand side of Abayomi, Kofo sat at his left with her fake lashes almost covering her eyes, Uche was holding a bottle of Gulder while Qudus sat at the corner. Seeing Uche there left me with an uneasy feeling, he was one of the boys that was feared in mini-campus where most of the science students of the university received their lectures. Those were the people I recognized, the others were unknown, and maybe they were from the main-campus.
Me: sorry I am late guys
Most people responded by saying don’t worry…its aii…no p…except Uche..he just smiled that wicked…no evil smile.
Uche was about 6’4, very big and hardly spoke. With the clampdown on cult activities by the state government, a lot of students were on the low-key, many denied the different confraternities they once flaunted, I couldn’t fix Uche in a group. I knew he was a computer-science student though.
Abayomi: wetin you go drink madam?
Me: Gordon spark and asun
Abayomi: I said drink not drink and eat, I resemble Acho
Me: oh sharraaaaaaap
After few pleasantries and drinks, we got down to business.
Abayomi: Tana, we have two sponsors that really want to invest in our campaign
Me: oh really…that’s nice..who are they?..
Abayomi: let me allow them speak for themselves…Michaela let her hear you..
I Looked at Michael and remembered him also. He was one of those geeks that had no money in 100L and 200L, but with internet runs, him and his type were all over the place. He still had bad dress sense though, like most geology students did.
Michael: Tana, you are as beautiful as ever…
I almost puked..
Me: oh, thank you dear
Michael: I am glad we would be supporting your campaign..
Me: the pleasure is all mine Mikolo
Michael: you too fine walahi!
Pretending to blush…boys can be dull mehnnn..
Me: Michael I am blushing, what do you have for us?
Michael: going straight to the point, I like that in a lady..you are…
Uche: Michael abi Mikolo you dey waste my time oh, wetin dey worry you sef, you neva see woman before?
I was both happy and uneasy..Michael seemed to swallow saliva.
Michael: we want to support the movement with 500,000naira
Me: wow..thats nice..
In my mind I was thinking he was dumb, what if we lost?..na gulf money be dat oh…come to think of it, I really needed a gulf-car.
Abayomi: it’s really nice and I assure you people, we will win.
Me: Michael, what do you want in return?
They always wanted something in return, some wanted seats in the senate, others wanted academic favours.
Michael: I want to be given the license to build the only Cyber-café in the SUG complex.
Abayomi shot a quick look at me; he wanted to see if I had a problem with it before I even spoke.
Me: That is huge Michael…
Abayomi: for 500,000 naira that is huge.
Michael: we would give the government 10% of the monthly profit..
Me: that is risky Michael, 10% for how long, Till our tenure is over?
Micheal: it will continue with your predecessors
Me: so they will collect 10% without having missed a heartbeat?
Michael: aren’t you doing this for the good of all?
Me: 600,000naira Michael
A couple of students crowded Michael to whisper into in his ears, I guess they were his advisers. He smiled after a while..
Michael: my people and I agree only in the condition that kofo is removed as campaign manager.
I looked at Michael and couldn’t stop myself from smiling.
Kofo: no way! Why do you want to do that…are you interested in my position?
Abayomi was calm, I knew he didn’t want to disappoint his side-chic at the same time we all knew she wasn’t a good campaign manager..
Abayomi: why do you want her off?
Michael: she doesn’t represent what we want to be associated with.
So yahoo boys get reputation too? I thought to myself
Abayomi: And that is?
I laughed and was immediately burnt by Kofo’s blazing eyes.
Michael: let’s just say she is too cheerful and we are serious people. And she has no experience for the position.
Kofo: and who are you to decide that?
Abayomi: kofo, if you don’t have 600,000naira to give us now, I suggest you calm down, we would look for another position for you.
The respect I had for Abayomi quadrupled immediately, kofo sank low..
Me: and do you have a candidate in mind to replace her?
Michael: yes, we want somebody that is experienced, that is loved by all…from main to mini-campus, from ago-iwoye to ijebu-igbo..that has won all the elections he served as campaign manager for..
Me: and who is that?
Michael: we want Timi
I almost collapsed, out of everybody why Timi?..After everything, almost changing school because of him..
I wanted to talk but Abayomi spoke faster..
Abayomi: we agree, I will personally speak to him
Abayomi looked at me and smiled, this was his own way of revenge for the kofo debacle, plus he always liked Timi.
Michael: it’s a deal ladies and gentlemen.