The Buhari Christmas– A Story By Nnaemeka Oruh

By Ikenga Chronicles December 24, 2017

The Buhari Christmas– A Story By Nnaemeka Oruh

“Test the microphone o! Terry G test the microphone oo!”

It was my loud neighbour Effiong returning home from the club at 3am, with the music from his car CD on full blast .I jolted into fitful wakefulness. The knockout bangers were going off everywhere. It seemed too that the neighbourhood had been awake for a while, with the clangs from pots, pans, cooking spoons, and the loud discussion from cooking women all interweaving. Somehow, I had managed to sleep through all the loud noises until Effiong’s car CD woke me up.

“Merry Christmas everybody oo!” Effiong was screaming at the top of his voice.
He was clearly drunk. I raised my body a little, and took a peep through my low window. Effiong had in his hand a half-full bottle of Jack Daniels. He would occasionally take a swig, while going through a motion that looks like a dance.

My head hurt from all the alcohol I had taken yesterday, and my throat was dry. I needed to drink water badly. As I struggled to get out of bed to get water, I realized that I was freezing. The air conditioner had been on all through, as we had had steady light since May. I first turned off the A/C before staggering to the fridge to get water. Damn! The water had frozen! PHED working full time! I made for the store to get a bottle of water from the cartons of water I had suddenly started keeping. It was a new habit, made possible by the affluence that followed an improved economy.

As I made my way back to my room, I could hear Effiong. He was calling on everybody to come out and “enjoy” with him. Other neighbours had joined him, and the drinking, dancing, and eating was beginning in earnest. It was barely 3:30am

“Mehn! Let us have fun. This is the best Christmas ever” Effiong was saying as I hit the bed again. Other neighbours concurred.

I lay in bed, reminiscing. It had indeed been a great second half of the year. Everything had changed since late May. Salaries had doubled; businesses began to flourish; armed robbers had disappeared; power supply which was our major problem had become a thing of the past; while petroleum products had become cheaper than pure water.

This is indeed the best Christmas ever.

* * *

A loud bang on the booth of my car violently cut the beautiful dream short. I turned to see what was happening and saw a young man gesticulating wildly. I wound down the window of my car and peeped out.

“Oga they say Bobby Filling Station no go sell today oo!” the young man said.

“Jesus!” I exclaimed. It was the second night that I and my rickety Corolla were sleeping at the long queue stretching from Bobby Petrol Station to Location Junction Mgbuoba. It was the only way of getting the now scarcer-than-diamonds fuel—one has to be available in case the Petrol Stations suddenly got a small supply of fuel. I needed the fuel badly, not only for my car(which I had turned to a part-time taxi in order to supplement non-existent funds), but also to be able to put on my generator and charge my phone since power supply had disappeared for months.

As I stood by the car thinking of what to do, the young man calmly said “Happy Christmas, oga”, and walked away.

Image Credit: allAfrica.com

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