The bus swerved into the park with a suspicious speed and halted to a stop causing dust to roll up in annoyance. The driver was swollen in pride as the young naive Hausa boy kept staring at his feet and hands as they control the Toyota Hiace in an amazing way.
“Driver! Anumanu! Onye ara!” An old woman shouted from the back seat
“Idiot! Is it now that you know how to speed? Mad man!” Another man shouted. Musa shivered even though he wouldn’t understand some things he was hearing while the driver ignored them whistling his favourite Osadebe song that was playing from the set “oso ndi, owe ndi o”
Passengers kept cursing the driver as they alight from the bus one after another and Musa wondered if everyone in this City was hot tempered he enjoyed the ride afterall.
“Is this Anambra?” Musa spoke up, his accent would tell where he really belong
“Hmmm” the driver turned to him staring into his eyes “I thought you were deaf and dumb?”
It has been a 12 hour journey from Kano to Anambra, 12 hours of surprise for the driver and 12 hours of silence for Musa. For the first time in his life he left Kano and at some point he felt he was out of Nigeria. All through the journey, Musa would only stare at the driver showcasing his expertise in driving, he would stare at tall buildings and beautiful malls and sometimes he stare at the signposts to make sure they were still in Nigeria but to the amazement of the driver who Musa shared the front space with, there was simply no communication and no sign of fatique from Musa and he didn’t want to initiate the communication after all, Musa is just an Hausa boy.
“No sir… I… I” Musa stammered trying to fix up words
“Anyway… This is Anambra… Find your way and be careful” the driver said politely and one thing he had noticed about Musa was that he would speak English well not minding the accent that has decided to follow him from his village.
“Please Sir… Where can I find bus to Umkpor?” He mustered courage to ask
“You mean Nkpor?” The driver smiled and murmured “all these Hausa people sef…”
“Yes Sir…. Um… Umkpor…” Musa tried doing away with his accent but an adage says “you don’t learn how to use left hand in old age”
“Once you leave this park… Walk past the flyover and you will see diverse buses going to Nkpor”
Everyone had come down the bus except Musa, he thanked the driver, opened the door and came down. The air was hot, Musa would feel people’s breath as he’ve never seen such a busy place before.
Moving past the flyover, some men rushed him, he had wanted to run but before he could say “Jack Robinson” they had reached him, one was dragging his bag another was dragging him on the leg and the other was pulling his shirt, he held on tight and remembered his father tell him
“Walahi… Onitsha na pine flace but zey get am por criminals”
In a second Musa had thought of a thousand things, he had some money in his bag and he wondered how he would locate his uncle if they ever succeed! To his amazement, police men where there doing nothing, some people were passing freely and never bothered saving him but then he kept hearing a chorus from them
“Old Road, Nkpor Park… Old Road, Nkpor Park… Make we go…”
The tallest told him “only one chance remaining… My bus na that white one”
“Don’t mind this idiot…” Another told him “see my bus, we are already going”
He sighed heavily and left his bag, the strongest overpowered others and moved towards a white bus right before him, Musa ran after him to make sure his bag was safe. When his bag has finally reached the booth of the bus, he rushed into the bus not minding to even ask the price, he was still trying his best to recover from the shock he experienced.
Seconds later, Musa reached for his pocket but something wasn’t just normal. He felt something was missing and then he just remembered… His phone!
“My phone! My phone!” He panicked, his accent was really strong
“Oboy” a young dark man who was sitting beside him said with a tap “make we hear… You never know say na Onitsha you dey so… You never hear Upper Iweka before?”
Musa was sweating by now… How will he locate his Uncle?
WELCOME TO ONITSHA….