Today, I should be quoted for saying the greatest threat to humanity is the human that seeks to benefit from its working. We are diverse in configuration – good, bad, crooked, cunning, pathetic, sympathetic, and yes, the hybrid of two or more are no exception. They are worse, the goats who disguise like they’re sheep!
I left work today with a staunch yearn for a well deserved rest. I didn’t expect a diverse drama from the usual: Passengers and conductors trading words, LASTMA illegally doing what is legal, the scramble for bus, having to deal with jumping down from a moving vehicle and the unceasing hooting by the unrepentant Lagos drivers. I remember I had to modify my voice to sound ‘street’ and crazy just to cajole a conductor to give me my deserved change. I am becoming a part of the system. All of us in Lagos are mad, but the justification for my hypothesis deserves a rare seat for the matter at hand.
The bus I joined was halted by the red demand of the traffic light on the independence bridge, just close to the Maryland mall. Lo and behold, I saw him- suited up, holding a black leather bag as he moved in a gait of resignation to fate from the front of one bus to the other. He was turned down by some while others marvelled at the pride with with he was doing his work. I wasn’t sure, but then, he walked towards my vehicle and my doubt was cleared. Abdullahi Olatoye, the windscreen cleaner! For the avoidance of an ineffective chronicle, here is a link to Abdullahi’s story and his road to the fame that was a bar in disguise.
I alighted, walked to Abdullahi and sought an audience which he granted. ‘I thought you were…’ I mumbled some words to express my consternation as to why a windscreen cleaner turned model/tailor became a windscreen cleaner again. ‘It turned out to be a regret, I wish I had not…’ Abdullahi responded and a stare into his eyes gave him out as a victim of our lost humanity. We both walked to a corner as I made enquiries from him. After about 30 minutes, I needed no sorcerer to tell me Abdullahi has had his share of our hypocrisy. The type of promises orphans are acquainted with and the disappointments that are connected.
My piece is not to point fingers, Abdullahi was not ready to cast imputation on the character of anybody or organisation too. I have only come to tell Nigerians and the world: Abdullahi is back to the starting point.
His supposed helper-the outfit entity that picked him up when his story went viral claimed to have enrolled Abdullahi in the National Open University, but Abdullahi told me it was not a true news. He was neither taught any trade nor given any benefit. In fact, he had to sort himself out for transportation anytime he was to meet the bandwagon of Nigerian helpers. For the record, news have been flying around vilifying Abdullahi, he was said to run back to windscreen cleaning work as ‘HE CANNOT DO ANY OTHER THING’. Posts have gone on instagram and other media, but Abdullahi’s version could not be heard as his post to express his side was blocked from Instagram. He was advised by agents of these ‘helpers’ to keep mute as saying anything will tarnish his image. Abdullahi did, but his situation makes a deafening noise.
His helpers had expected that picking him up will mean a boost in their fortune- that some multinational companies would come and their stories will change too, but did Abdullahi assure them of a partnership with Glo or Shell in the first place? How many apparitions of men do we have to run from? Crooked keepers of faith and religion? Bosses and relatives with sinister agenda? Neighbours with negative motives? The fury of the wealthy? The anger of the poor? And the gimmicks of the helper? Maybe Abdullahi was different, but I saw a video interview of the unilag guy where he claimed he was not given accommodation as promised and circulated by the humans of this nation.
Abdullahi sought my help in broadcasting his version and I shall feature his unedited account tonight. I shall consult friends on Instagram and twitter to do same. I have his contacts and links for any Nigerian with the heart of a human. Abdullahi Is not looking for overnight success, he Is only asking for an opportunity to compete. Is that too much to ask for? Or his original crime is being born in Nigeria?
Here are the pictures of Abdullahi I took today.