Please note: The story and the characters are purely works of fiction. Any resemblance is purely coincidental.
You need to take a tour around Town to see how some houses, looking very weak, rickety, cracked, crumbled and stricken still find the strength to carry four or five satellite dishes.
One of them, among many others was around Sabo area, popularly called ‘Benjee Tempe’. As the elders have rightly predicted, a foretold war does not kill a wise lame man. But as it appeared, the occupants of Benjee Temple seem not only to ready to jettison that popular saying but they were in fact working hard towards seeing the implication of loading the house massively with their different satellite dishes. To them, it was just a display of wealth. Of course, they were totally ignorant that it was illiterate civilization.
The tenants at this beautiful house seemed not to care that the gutter running through their corridor housed dirts and deadly germs that was obviously responsible for their kids getting incessantly sick, and worse still, that the condition was even capable of weakening the foundation of the house thereforecausing havoc to the whole house by crumbling it down suddenly.
Instead of paying attention to this, the people would buy things that would make them look beautiful at parties and other outdoor occasions, and you’ll sometimes marvel when you see the kind of beautiful outfits, those living in Benjee Temple wore, especially young ladies and guys.
Students were not left out too, as you know, students run massively after cheap accommodation – at least for the pleasure of oppressing their friends with the phrase of being “Town Guys” and “Town Babes”.
On several occasions, when I try advising the Temple residents about the condition of their house, the replies I often get are;
‘Noo, I would have packed out of here before this godforsaken house caves in.’ Someof them claimed.
‘Are you kidding me? Do you think I have that time to meet with the care taker?’
‘It will never fall in Jesus Name!’
‘It will never fall InshaAlla!’
‘I don’t have money to be a good samaritan.’
I laughed and laughed, like a prophet foreseeing a great danger, but they never yielded my warnings.
One glorious evening, one of the guys who would always claim not to have money to fund the renovation called me for celebration, he had just bought the common“I-better-pass-my-neighbor” generator. The other tenants grew very jealous, and soon many others got theirs too.
So, whenever I visited Mama Ologi to buy some cakes of white starch at nights. I was constantly blinded by the chocking smokes that emanated from every door entrance. The smoke was not enough demon, but the noise! – It is a hellish scene to be in Benjee Temple at night when there was no light, because one would have to fight his or her way through; avoiding tripping in the gutter that separated the house and fighting the thick dark smoke that filled the air while receiving the heavy noise.
I decided long ago not to visit the house again, until last week Tuesday. It was around 3am, when a loud crashing sound in the area sent shrills down the spines of everyone who heard, followed by the sound of screams and gnashing of teeth. But like myself, many of the residents in Sabo were too afraid to come out; knowing that the tactics of burglars and thieves had no limits. One could get robbed trying to help a neighbor out of his predicament.
We remained silent in our homes, praying silently for divine intervention for them, but none of us was ready to lay down his life and risk saving the victims so that he or she would not be a victim too.
The next day, I wasn’t surprised to see a shattered Temple, all the walls tore like pieces of papers and their beautiful wardrobes scattered wildly over the land, their other valuable items were wastefully destroyed by the collapsing of the building.
‘Hope no one died?’ We asked the only tenant of Benjee Temple, who we saw approaching from a far distance.
While we jubilated that no one died, a tenant who had narrowly escaped been rushed to an hospital after a brief clinical first aid, shouted when he examined the whole landmass. He cried out regretfully; ‘All our satellites have been stolen. There’s God oh!’