Nigeria will work again…
As I walked down the road that day on my way to the office, I noticed some homeless people by the road. Suddenly, I remembered the homeless center I had come across last week Tuesday while I was canvasing a new site for possible prospects. The homeless center had everything anybody could need for a convenient stay while they got their lives back together. I approached the man and woman who were by the roadside.
“Good morning, sir, ma.”
The woman squinted her eyes at me. “Good morning.”
“I’ll like to help. I saw a home just two blocks from here where you are assured of a convenient stay. The name is called ‘come one, come all’. You can’t miss it, it’s just by the road on Ekwe Street.
The woman looked at the man and they exchanged a look. She finally smiled and nodded. “Thank you miss. You do well.”
I dug my hands in my purse and brought out some money. I handed it over to the woman and her smile broadened. “Eh, thank you madam o. God bless you.”
“Thank you.” The man said and nodded in my direction.
I continued on my way with a lightened heart. Soon, my thoughts moved to something else. The current project I was working on is putting up a low cost apartment building for the lower middle class in a semi-respectable part of town. My company was awarded the contract by the Federal Government. The project is progressing nicely but we’ve hit a few snags along the way.
The commodes that were needed have not been supplied by the company that was supposed to here in Nigeria. They contacted me yesterday informing me that they hit a production snag because of the recent power outage due to the storm which happened just last week and that delayed their production process so much so they couldn’t meet up with timelines for delivery. This will in turn delay my work and I will have to work that into the modalities.
I thought back to the power outage that happened last week. I was home when the power suddenly went off. I was confused and thought I had been cut off by some mistake since my bills were paid up. Such had not happened in 20 years and I was ill prepared for it. I had no candles, no lamp and I had to settle for my phone torch. I had to go to bed early that night.
While still thinking of the possible ways to deal with the situation at work, I got to the last corner to my office and waited for the traffic light to hit the stop sign before crossing. As soon as the pedestrian sign came on, I joined the people waiting to cross the road and landed across the street, directly in front of my office.
Linda, my personal assistant was in the office already. She was at the front desk speaking with the receptionist when I walked in. They both looked up and smiled when they saw me.
“Good morning, ma’am.”
“Good morning. How are you this morning?”
“Fine, ma’am.” Linda said and crossed to me to help with my leather satchel.
“Come along to my office, will you?”
We walked the short distance to my office together and sat down as I gave her the bad news from the commode producing company.
“That is only going to delay us for a few days. We can still meet up with delivery.”
“You think so? I wouldn’t want a repeat of the last time.”
“That’s good then.”
“I also wanted to ask about your sister. Has the issues with her husband been resolved?”
Linda’s sister was being physically abused by her husband. She had reached the breaking point and had finally called 611, the police hotline. Few minutes later, the police showed up and she was removed from the situation and moved to one of the centers for abused women in the city of Lagos. What was heartbreaking about the story was that she had been 3 months pregnant. She had lost the baby.
“As soon as the police got to her house and took her away, I felt a lot better. We never knew she was going through such until this happened.”
“That is usually the case. Abuse victims never speak up.”
Linda sighed. “Thank God we finally got to know.”
“Yeah, that’s the thing. Anyway, we need to go out in about an hour’s time to keep the appointment we made with the paint company yesterday. Is there fuel in the company car?”
“Yes, Ibrahim got some when he dropped you off at home yesterday.”
“At what price? It’s been fluctuating recently.”
“He said he got it for #14 per liter.”
“That’s good. A lot better than the #15 he got it for yesterday.”
“Ibidun! Ibidun!! Wake up, it’s time for morning prayers. Get up, unless you want to be late for work today. You know how bad traffic is because of the fuel situation in the country.”
Suddenly, I opened my eyes and found myself on my sitting room sofa. I had slept off last night while reading. I was sad it was only a dream.
I have a dream, that one day, Nigeria will work again.
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