If love is a crime , I'm willing to be haunted ..... 2face Idibia (2006)
My mind goes back to the unfortunate incident that happened to our "world-famous artiste " - Innocent Idibia (2face) a couple of weeks ago. So many people have questioned the motive behind these attacks. Some have said it was some ex-cult members from his alma mater - IMT Makurdi, others have suggested it could be some of his rival singers. All the above reasons could be plausible, but as I sat to think deeply over the incident, I came to the conclusion that 2Baba was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
How I arrived at this was quite simple. 2Baba was allegedly attacked at the Popular Cele Busstop along Apapa- oshodi Expressway. Apapa- Oshodi expressway is one of the major routes in the Lagos Metropolis and could be second in importance only to the Ikorodu road. There are quite a number of busstops along the road going from Oshodi through Charity, Toyota, 5Star, Iyana Isolo, Hassan,Iyana Itire, Berliet, Cele, Agunlejika, Ijesha , Mile 2 e.t.c All the aforementioned are names anyone who lives along the Apapa- Oshodi route would know. For the purpose of this discourse we would focus on Cele bstop and the few b/stops preceding it.
I spent the earlier part of my stay in Lagos at Isolo, Okota which is generally accessible from Cele b/stop. I must have passed through the b/stop over 400 times. Cele busstop is a place I can make my way through blindfolded. The name "Cele" comes from a Celestial Church which is located across the road from the busstop. However, contrary to the meaning of the word Celestial, there is nothing divine or heavenly about this b/stop. It is a cesspit of dirt, crime and all-round the clock danger. The day usually starts in Cele bstop at about 5.am. with cops rounding off the overnight patrol, Island workers leaving home early in order to join a CMS bus, area boys arriving for their morning shot of Paraga(local gin) and conductors loitering around with chewing sticks in their mouths. At about 7 am, the petty traders resume for the day and start putting out their wares. The council officials resume on the Aguda side of the road to catch those who decide to cross the express road on foot instead of using the Pedestrian Bridge. Plain clothes policemen start stop and search duties looking for individuals with files and folders containing incriminating documents. Such incriminating documents could range from contract papers to Immigration documents. Any arrested individual is usually taken across to the Police station on the Aguda side of Cele Busstop. LASTMA officials resume their duty posts to start directing traffic coming from over 4 different directions at the same time
Cele b/stop is quite unique in its location. It serves as an opening to Okota, Isolo area on one side while it also opens up to Ijesha/lawanson Surulere. Just before getting to the Okota side of Celebustop, lies a Coca-Cola Mini-depot in the form of Container largely used for importation at the Dockyard. Behind this Coca-Cola container is a Large canal overlooked by a pentecostal church. This canal is usually the meeting/hiding place of criminal elements around Cele b/stop. Across the road on the Aguda side is a refuse dump and a minimarket bordering the expressway and Lawanson area. Hoodlums from Surulere and environs usually ,after a hard day's work saunter across the refuse dump to Cele busstop in search of prey. If you escape the Aguda boys on one side, you might come into touch with the Isolo/ ilasa boys on the other side. It could be noted at this point that any bstop in Lagos that has a pedestrian bridge is usually a black spot at night. Cele is no exception to this rule. Commercial busses coming from Oshodi and Airport road usually stop over at Cele bstop to drop/pick passengers. Incessant stopping of these buses coupled with vehicles coming in the opposite direction (popularly called One-way) leads to a traffic snarl for vehicles on the Isolo side of the road. Thus vehicles going from oshodi/ Airport road to Mile 2 could be caught up at Cele bustop for up to 30 mins.
At this point in the discourse, I would go back to the main actor in this film- 2face, Fresh from Yankee/Jand/ wherever he was said to have gone, he was picked up at the airport by his cousins / friends in a vehicle. Some of his associates spilled over into another vehicle. We can safely assume that this convoy made its way from MMIA through 7/8 Busstop, DHL,5Star, Ilasa, Itire and then had to stop in the Cele traffic. If we flash our minds back to the report of the encounter, it was said that a laptop on 2Baba's laps saved his loins from the effect of the bullets. He was said to have been listening to a demo CD on the laptop. Here was 2face and his gang , gisting and joking, talking about girls, music , weed and listening to a CD on his laptop. As they approached Cele, they got stuck in the usual traffic jam. The Aguda/ Isolo/Ilasa boys were perusing the traffic seeking whom to devour. They spotted a car with a couple of guys in which one of them had his laptop screen on. They conclude that these must be a couple of JJCs/ butties who would be easily scared at the sight of a pistol. On approaching 2Baba's car, they shockingly discover that these boys are not butties. Confronted with the sight of hardened Festac boys, they suddenly feel threatened and then let loose. The gun explodes, 2Baba and his crew try to escape while the bad boys disappear into the night. A pure water truck comes around later and helps convey the wounded to a hospital. The Medical Director of Cedar hospital, Festac is summoned to hear that 2Baba is around again. He exclaims "Na only 2face dey this country".
Ladies and Gentlemen, I think of this incident and I realise that it could have been worse. Sometime ago around this same Cele b/stop, a newly wedded couple were stopped on the way from their wedding reception . The bride and groom were made to lie down on the tarred road, while thieves made away with their SUV (jeep). Every other month, an armoured tank is placed at this same b/stop inorder to quell fights between rival factions of the NURTW (otherwise known as Agbero). During one of these fights, I counted nothing less than 80 Area boys armed with various weapons- Ake, UTC, Pana, Lebe e.t.c
Some hundreds of metres away at Iyana Isolo Bstop, The Thisday Columnist - Godwin Agbroko was shot dead in his vehicle.
Oshodi- Apapa expressway is a 20km road network that extends from Iyana Oworo to Apapa without a single street light on. It is indeed a long stretch of darkness. Do not be surprised that 2face was attacked. He is just a name in a long list of victims along that route. As for 2baba, since he has refused to relocate from Nigeria, he could consider moving to another part of Lagos such as Omole Estate. He would be in the good company of his musical peers such as Daddy Showkey, Passuma Wonder, Psquare and Femi Kuti. He could comfortably afford such a move. All the "keeping it real in the Festac hood" might not pay off at the end of the day.
For the rest of us (lesser mortals), the struggle continues