As the Center of Excellence, Lagos is considered by many, if not all as a land filled with opportunities. From Berger to Ikorodu, from Isolo to Ikeja, from Ajah to Lekki, from VGC to Banana Island. Lagos is considered the Nigerian version of the land flowing with milk and honey.
The Nigerian Nollywood film industry also corroborates this portrayal of Lagos. Many movie plots have seen the average struggling villager leave the village for Lagos and 6months or a year later, such person return to the village all shades of successful.
Lagos might be the land of opportunity, but just about anywhere in Nigeria could be ‘Lagos’ if the respective state governments reposition their states and commit to a larger internally generated revenue.
When Joel left Onitsha two months ago; he had already successfully completed his training as a dealer in building materials, especially the electrical appliances. Needing a capital of not less than a million naira, he left Anambra state for Lagos to squat with his Cousin, Ikechukwu with the goal of working for a while, save some money, return to Onitsha and start small. With time, growth is bound to happen and then he can finally launch himself into the world of business and merchandizing.
Jolly Enterprise and Merchandize is the name he came up with to give his business.
Two months into his arrival in Lagos, he is yet to get a job. He has moved from the mainland to the Island, combed the nook and cranny, read newspaper, walked into places of business, but while he doesn’t posses a University degree, no one was willing to employ a thirty year old SSCE holder, in other places, there are no vacancy.
“Here’s your change sir.” The waiteress said as she handed out his change to him.
He had just finished eating lunch at a local restaurant. That has been his routine since his arrival, his cousin doesn’t cook. As a matter of fact, there are no foodstuff in his apartment. He(his cousin) either eats out or visit his numerous girlfriends to satisfy his hunger.
While Joel is not planning on staying with his Cousin forever, he plans on moving out soon, get his own apartment, be a part of his son’s life and still save enough money for his business.
He finally left the canteen after he had finished the bottle of fanta he ordered for.
I go trek small, then enter cab. He thought, as a way of saving cost.
After walking for almost fifteen minutes, he was standing in front of the Lagos state high court. He stopped to take a cab home. There and then it hot him.
Aminat, the lawyer he met some few weeks ago. He brought out his wallet to get her complimentary card.
The line rang at the other end thrice before it was answered.
“Hello.” A feminine voice answered.
“Hello, good afternoon.” Joel replied.
“Who is this please?” The voice asked.
“Am I speaking with Aminat? This is Joel, the guy who fixed your car the other day.” He answered.
“Oh! Thanks for the other day. I really appreciate your kindness.”
“It’s nothing….” He had run out of what to talk about. The reason he was calling her, he doesn’t know. The fact that she is a lawyer doesn’t mean she works in the court premises, probably her Chamber is somewhere far off.
“Can I call you back? I am kinda in the middle of something here.”
“Sure.” He replied.
“Thanks for calling.” She said and ended the call.
You be mumu. A voice in his subconscious said to him and as if he was given a mental knock on the head, he felt like throwing his phone away.
Damn! I hope I didn’t sound too needy. He thought.
Natasha was seated in her office watching a video ad on her computer. The office is painted blue, medium sized for an deputy executive director, spacious and a wide window overlooking the busy Victoria Island.
Her vibrating phone caught her attention. “Hey Audrey.” She answered.
“Hey babe. How are you?” Audrey asked on the other end.
“Stop at my place on your way home. There is going to be a program at the church on Sunday, on Mum’s instance. Pick up the invite.”
“Come with Philip and Raymond.” Audrey added before the line went dead.
She dialed Raymond’s number immediately after the call and he picked up immediately.
“Hello baby.” His baritone voice came on.
“Yes darling. How’s been your day?” She asked.
“Boring, without you.” He replied.
The incident of the previous night came playing. How he had complained about Philip. No matter how she tried to downplay its significance, something kept telling her all won’t be well.
“Hope you haven’t forgotten about Sunday?” She asked.
“What’s happening on Sunday?”
“Audrey’s thanksgiving program.” Tasha replied.
“Is it this Sunday?” He asked.
“Yeah. I hope you’ll be chanced?”
“Okay, let’s wait and see.” He replied.
Dr. Ayeni was seated in his office when the door was pushed open and a young lady walked in.
“Good afternoon sir.” She greeted.
“Good afternoon detective.” He answered. “Please sit.” He added pointing to the two chairs opposite his desk.
“Thanks.” She muttered as she settled on one of the two chairs.
“How far?” He asked.
“I found him.” She added, producing an envelope inside which series of pictures were neatly placed and a handwritten note. “Took me a week, but I finally found him. He lives in this apartment and goes out almost everyday but he is back latest by 5pm.” She explained.
“Good job.” Dr. Ayeni praised. “I’ll get back to you with your next line of action.” He added.
“And that reminds me, he lives with his cousin. But except in the night, they are never at home concurrently.”
“Thanks. I’ll get the payment across to the agency.”
The young lady stood up, bowed as she shook hands with the Doc before exiting the office.
Since the news of Joel’s reappearance came to light, Dr. Ayeni has been disturbed, because the arrangement he made eight years ago seemed to be losing its potency. The reason he contracted a private security agency to tail and monitor Joel’s movements.
If nothing at all, but to take care of him once and for all.
To be Continued