b (2)

By Ndagi Abdullahi

After nine years of marriage to Ya’Nnakaba without a child, my father married my mother, who immediately gave birth to me, a boy. Ya’Nnakaba’s hatred for me knew no bounds.

But Ya’Nnakaba changed in later years and became my closest friend.

At the age of seventeen, my father’s great wealth and Ya’Nnakaba’s great love for me made life so sweet for me.

Despite my father’s riches, however, Ya’Nnakaba’s excessive love for me spoilt me into an impulsive thief.

Many people, including my biological mother, told me to keep away from Ya’Nnakaba – that she was deliberately building me into a hardened thief in order to destroy my life. But I refused to believe that Ya’Nnakaba can wish me bad. 

One day Ya’Nnakaba gave me a magic potion she said will render me invisible whenever I wish.

I took the ege kpaku gin-looking Kpada disappearance potion with me to a bank on 5th Street, Central Business District, Abuja. I stole a large stash of cash and ran out of the bank pursued by the police and securities.

As I stepped onto the ever busy Sani Abacha Way to cross it despite the heavy traffic of cars, I brought out the bottle of the Kpada disappearance potion and took a sip…

 …a car screeched to a halt to avoid hitting me on the main road but another car came and crashed into the first car. There was a serious accident of cars crashing unto one another on the main road and I heard people screaming and shouting that I have been crushed to death by the cars…

But I wasn’t crushed to death. I was simply rendered invisible by the Kpada disappearance potion. I stood there smirking at the police and the crowd that have gathered but couldn’t see me even though I stood right in front of them.

I took the bag of money – it was three and a half million Naira – to Hajiya Chegama’s restaurant, at Maitama, where I treated my three friends – Dangana, Yaba and Nma – to a bash of delicious Chegama-Mokwa cuisine.

After the bash at the Nupe restaurant I headed back home.

But at our family house on Gimbia Street, Area 11, Garki, Abuja, I saw a large crowd gathered mourning my death!

They said I was crushed to death by cars on Sani Abacha Way.

I tried to talk to people but nobody could see me, I was invisible!

So, I rushed into the house amidst the gargantuan crowd and went to Ya’Nnakaba’s room.

I was relieved when Ya’Nnakaba saw me. I wasn’t invisible to her. I told her to get me the right Kpada prescription that will render me visible to the people so that they will know I am not dead.

But, instead, Ya’Nnakaba gave me a very dirty slap and told me with a very angry voice that I am now a Fara ghost – that I am now dead forever. 

She told me that she has hated me all my life and that the Kpada potion she gave me was witchcraft potion to kill and transform me into a Fara ghost. 

Then three hefty men came into the room, beat me and handcuffed me. Then they chained me to a pillar in the main courtyard of the house but the hundreds of mourners gathered in the house could not see me.

My three friends came and shocked the crowd by telling them that I just treated them to a bash at Hajiya’s Chegama restaurant. People began to say that I was killed through Nupe witchcraft, that I was not truly dead!

On the third day the chief Imam from our village, who lead my Sadaka traditional Nupe funeral prayers, came to me where I was chained to the pillar. He gave me food to eat. He was seeing me and was obviously a member of the witchcraft racket that killed me.

But the moment I finished eating that food I saw myself in a totally new environment.

I was one of over a thousand chained and fettered slaves walking in bright daylight along Airport Road from Abuja towards Anagada to Zuba in Niger State.

We were being goaded along by witches who were dressed like Fulani cattle herders. I didn’t know why all the passersby and motorists didn’t show any concern for us until someone stopped the ‘Fulani’ witches and began to price us like cattle. That was when I realized that we have been transformed into cows!

One of us the slaves was a pregnant woman from the village of Evuntagi in Edozhigi ward, Gbako Local Government Area. I didn’t like the manner in which our herders were beating and manhandling her. But anytime I tried to protect her they beat the hell out of me.

That was how we walked day and night in the bush and on the roads from Abuja to the port at Baro. Some of us died along the way due to the suffering and starvation. 

At Baro we were herded into an ancient steamship left at berth by the Lord Lugard colonialists in 1911. 

To my greatest surprise the century-old obsolete steamship came to life and started moving along the River Niger towards the Atlantic.   

The ancient steamship however moved faster than modern aeroplanes and within days we have rounded the Guinea Coast right unto North Africa through the Straits of Gibraltar to the Mediterranean. 

When we were close to Italy I saw the sailor witches beating the pregnant woman badly and, for the umpteenth time, I intervened to protect her. The sailor threw me overboard into the sea for the sharks to devour.

Fortunately no shark came to attack me. 

About an hour later a dinghy illegally carrying some five hundred Black African migrant refugees from Libya to Italy appeared. The refugees and their smugglers pulled me aboard the overcrowded dinghy.

Later on an Italian coast guard ship found us and rescued all of us from the dinghy unto the ship. 

Nobody, neither the refugees nor the Italian coast guards, could believe my story that I am a Fara ghost thrown into the sea by an ancient slave ship from the Baro port. 

We were taken to a migrant reception centre on Lampedusa, Italy’s southernmost island. There they brought a mustachioed pot-bellied psychiatrist who listened to my Fara ghost cum Nupe witchcraft story and concluded that I am a psychiatric case suffering from psychosis.

The psychiatrist became further convinced that I was mad when I told him that many of the migrant refugees from sub-Saharan Black Africa are actually Fara ghosts. Europe, I said, is gradually being overwhelmed by Fara ghosts from KinNupe.

The psychiatrist doctor marked me as a deep case of paranoia psychosis.

That was how I ended up in Bianchi Psychiatric Hospital in Naples. They only released me from the horrible hospital when I stopped insisting that I was a Fara ghost, the victim of Nupe witchcraft.

Upon my release I immediately rushed back to Nigeria.

From the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport I went to our family house at Area 11, Garki, with my face disguised. The house was overcrowded with mourners for my forty days traditional Nupe funeral service. 

I walked into Ya’Nnakaba’s room and remove my facial disguise. The moment Ya’Nnakaba saw me she went mad. The large crowd in our house was thrown into sudden confusion to see me alive and Ya’Nnakaba mad simultaneously.

While people were trying to control Ya’Nnakaba who was removing her clothes as a mad woman, I brought out the Kpada ‘disappearance’ potion she once gave me and started explaining to my parents and the large crowd that it was with that Kpada potion that she transformed me into a Fara ghost some forty days ago.

But a mad Ya’Nnakaba lurched forward from those holding her and grabbed the Kpada potion from me. She drank the potion and instantly fell down dead!

As people started shouting and crying that Ya’Nnakaba is dead I explained to them that she is not dead, that she has simply become a Fara ghost. In fact I could see her standing right there but the crowd couldn’t see her.

The Chief Imam came and immediately went crazy and became a mad man the moment he saw me. 

Then three hefty men came and gave Ya’Nnakaba thorough beating before bundling her away to an unknown destination. Probably on the migrant route to Europe!

I tried to live a normal life but couldn’t because ever since then I could see ghosts.

I became famous throughout Abuja metropolis as ‘Tsulozhin Garki’ or the ‘Garki Resurrect’. Others called me ‘The Garki Lazarus’.

One day I was driving along the Mabushi flyover and saw cattle being herded by Fulani herders. I got a shot of adrenaline down my spine as I recognized Ya’Nnakaba and our village Chief Imam as emaciated Fara ghost slaves herded together with the cattle.  

What goes around do come around indeed!

TAURARUWA