David was seated on a concrete pavement in front of the Tafawa Balewa Square, relaxing with a stick of cigarette. He had bought his BRT tickets that will take him all the way to Ketu bus stop, when he gets there, he will decide if to make the rest of the journey to Ikorodu on a bike or endure some more hours in the usual lazy traffic. Anyway, he was sure the earliest he will get home was 11pm and he was not even in any hurry this particular evening.
Ideally, the routine was that, he buys his tickets and joins the long queue of other commuters waiting for their turn to get into the BRT buses, mostly corporate workers like himself. Some days one could wait up to an hour before getting a bus, all depending on the ever unpredictable Lagos system. He had an altercation with his boss that day and had actually voiced his opinion about the issue that caused the face-off unlike many of the other staffs in his organization who cower at the mere cough of the company CEO, David told the boss his piece and was going to throw the file he was holding at his face if not for that last tinge of fear. That fear of survival. His mother and two siblings still in school all depended on him. He had left the CEO’s office, picked his laptop and bag and left the office at about quarter past for o’clock. The most the boss will do anyway was deduct some days pay, David knew he could still get away with indiscipline, since he was key to the company’s business.
He bought a copy of the evening newspaper and browsed through as he lighted another stick, “FG insists on removing fuel subsidy just as toll gates will spring up again come 2012”, read the headlines. He laughed, at himself, at the people on the queue, at Nigeria. He took a drag on his cigarette and puffed out, laughing some more, the women selling all sorts on trays beside him couldn’t help but look at him as if to check if he was alright.
“May I?” She asked. He didn’t notice the slim beauty walk up to seat on the pavement beside him, he looked at her through the smoke from his mouth and nostrils whirling in his face, she asked again with a smile “May I have a look at your paper”.
“Sure, sure” he said, handing over the paper. He continued with his cigarette, spying a look or two at her while she hurriedly read the headlines and some of the stories on the paper. After about ten minutes of silence between them, she said “So are you set for it”, “unh!” he mumbled wondering what she was talking about.
“We are going to bring down this government, don’t be caught by surprise” she said. “Wow! I have been caught by surprise already, having a beautiful lady like you make this kind of statement with so much vigour” David said, “Yes, I know I am beautiful but do you know that your suffering will most likely take away your sense of politeness by this time next year” she replied him, he was taken aback immediately.
“This government has gotten to the height of their irresponsibility, the executive and legislative arms have been like leeches on this country for donkey years and now they want to take away fuel subsidy on the stupid excuse that the nation is losing money, are these guys crazy or what” the lady started, “ Shouldn’t a leader with a pint sized brain know that he is supposed to put cushioning measures on ground before mooting this idea, regardless of whatever benefits the pundits of the idea are presenting. It is just too insensitive, they pay themselves crazy salaries and allowances, they all have privately owned refineries all around the coast of the country and still they want to take the air from our lungs. NO! We will resist it. If that one that calls himself the president thinks he will carry on with his blank looks and tip us into the sea, he has got another thing coming, we will take all of them out. Who is the fool that does not know that when the fuel subsidy is removed, it will end up in their pockets and Swiss accounts. No! It stops now! It all stops now! ” she concluded sharply.
David was at a loss for words, he just could not phantom this goddess of a lady billowing out so much anger about the state of the country like this, he managed to say “But you know it will be hard to mobilize a revolt in Nigeria, people are too busy searching for their daily bread”.
“Mr., you see, I returned to Nigeria from the UK just a few months back, when the revolution in Libya was going to start, two of my classmates who had just the last semester to complete the Masters degree packed their stuff and left for their country. They said, enough was enough and they were going to join the armed struggle to free their people from the stranglehold of Ghadaffi. Someone like you should be burning with fire right now to emancipate your country, if for nothing but for the sake of our unborn children, the time has come my friend” she said calmly.
She returned his newspaper to him and asked for his email address, which she quickly typed into her phone “I will forward some information to your mail box, make sure you also push it to others, the movement has started, do have a good evening” she said and walked away from him.
David was flabbergasted. May be it really was time, if this beautiful young lady that could afford to go and study overseas can come back home and be so fired up towards the future of our country, then it definitely was time. He didn’t even get to ask her name. He stood up and walked towards the BRT bus queue and he could feel a tinge of anger in himself. The revolution was finally here.