It was a sunny day in the popular city of Kano. It was only 7am in the morning but the sun was already up. I was bathing in the bathroom that morning. To my ear came my wife’s voice so loud and piercing. Like a church bell, it echod into my ears. She screamed in rabid indignation. I sensed that someone must have angered her.
“You are a fool,” she vituperated. “Do you think I am as daft as you are?”
“You illitrate, dirty looking” she corses
“Madam, my moni i must to pay am for me” Ado reinterated
When I heard Ado’s voice, I sensed what the problem was. Ado was the water supplier whom we all referred to as Mairuwa. He brought us water every day in trucks which he pushed from house to house.
Ado had gone by the time I got outside from the bathroom. My wife was still sulking and grumbling like a child whose favourite toy had been damaged by another.
“What happened?” I threw. “Why were you screaming and rumbling?”
She pointed at the tank. “Do you know that Mairuwa has been cheating us all this while? He said he usually filled the tank with six trucks but I took my time to count this morning and discovered that it was five trucks that filled it up. I gave him one thousand naira but he insisted that he brought six trucks and not five. He began to insult me in Hausa when I pointed it out to him that he brought five trucks and not six. He wanted me to give him one thousand two hundred and when I refused, he raised his voice and flung the money at me.”
I was shocked to hear her say that. I’d always warned her to be careful with people especially those with low IQ but she would never listen.
My wife, Onize was a very beautiful woman but her temper was enough to split a rock. She would quarrel with anyone whom she suspected was trying to cheat her. She would quarrel with commercial motorcyclists and food vendors.
“You will never listen,” I stressed that morning. “How many times have I told you not to argue with anyone over money matters? You keep having issues with one person after another over little amount of money”
That response from me made her face burn with fury.
“So, you want me to fold my hands and watch people steal from me in broad daylight?” she fired back at me.
“If you have so much money to throw away, this is not the way to go about it. Every kobo is important.”
I didn’t know what more to tell her. She was never going to understand how volatile the city of Kano can be.
“You must learn to tolerate people here. Learn to respect everyone and avoid unnecessary argument.” I cautioned her again
“So he came this morning just to steal from me. I can never let him cheat me like that na. Haba!” she spilled agian.
“What is two hundred compared with the malice and hate that you have just planted this morning?” I fired back in anger. All that you would have done was to pay him and get another water supplier next time.”
Minutes later, I was gone to the market where I had a grocery shop. Kano had favoured me so much. I remembered how I came from Okene after my HND to live with a friend of mine years before. Job-hunting yielded no result. Somehow i was introduced to the grocery business.
In less than two years, my business grew rapidly like wild fire. I never envisaged that I was going to be that successful. In 2014, I travelled to the village and met Onize who had just graduated from the University of Abuja and completed her NYSC in Abakiliki. In 2015, I took her with me to Kano.
Because she was not the buying-and-selling type, I decided to set up a cybercafé for her. However, because she had people who worked for her, my wife spent most of her time at home.
We were busy attending to one of our very notable customers when my cell phone rang. It was Adamu, the bricklayer. I thought he was calling to ask if I had a job for him. I let the phone ring thrice without attending to it.
Adamu’s call became persistent. I began to sense that something must be wrong. When I answered it, all that he said agitatedly was;
“Please hurry back home now!!
When I hung up, I quickly dialed my wife’s phone number but there was no response from her. My heart was pounding when I parked the car just outside the house and hopped out of it.
My neighbour, Mr. Bature told me all that I needed to know.
“Oga Omeiza, I am sorry to let you know that your wife has just been attacked a while ago.”
I was told that Onize had been rushed to the hospital. She was stabbed many times and in grave danger. Ado had returned in the afternoon with a truck of water. No one suspected anything until he had gone into my house and people began to hear my wife scream. Neighbours broke in to rescue her but the assailant had already scaled the fence before they could get in.
I drove like a mad man to the hospital. There, I was told my wife was in ICU battling for her life. Pints of blood had been fed into her veins intravenously. I was told that she’d been stabbed in six different places. The assailant wanted her dead.
She was at the hospital for almost two months and survived miraculously.
The law took care of Ado but the experience took a great toll on me.
“If Onize had just let the sleeping dog lie”.
For just two hundred naira only, she would have lost her life.