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Regales Of A Lagos Bobo: Episode 3 - Teacher Papi & The Army


Never try to live above your means or life would expose you for the fraud that you are.

Only two people knew I was resuming work as a teacher, but if you saw the way I was dressed you would think I was one big accountant at some big firm earning big money, in fact people either called me "accountant" or "the accountant", that was the dream anyway and a good way to practice "faith".
My first day as a teacher is one event I would never forget even in the next life. There was a staff meeting prior to resumption of official duties and the headmistress introduced me to the other teachers as a new teacher, I noticed something about most of the teachers- they spoke like the headmistress, in that their tenses and sentence structures had serious issues and that had me wondering how such a big school got these type of staff, anyway that wasn't my business, mine was to get paid at the end of 30 days.
 "Uncle, Aunty corper have not come, so do assembly for the shidren". I choked on air and coughed when I heard that, why would you place a recruit who hasn't been trained to the warfront? I asked no one in particular. Pride would not allow me ask someone how assembly was done, so I just went to my classroom to strategize an evasive action, there was no way i was doing the assembly thing. I put my earpeice into my ears without music, held a book in one hand and began writing on the board with the other hand, I intended to do that till the assembly was over.
"Uncle come outside ooo, assembly time will soon reach" The headmistress called out, I pretended like I heard nothing.
"Uncle! Uncle!!" she called again, yet again I ignored like I was deaf to the world. At that moment the bell rang and the headmistress came into the class to drag me out, then she saw the end of my earpiece just dangling about "you're not even hearing anything, oya come and lead". As I stood in front of the pupils, my soul and spirit had already abandoned me to my fate and I instantly felt the urge to empty my bladder, I looked at them and told myself I wasn't going to go down without a fight "Hello Children" I shouted, "Hello Uncle" they responded, I repeated the call again and they responded all in a bid to stall and think up the next thing to do (don't blame me, as a child, I was a perpetual late comer and had a vague idea what an assembly was like, plus I had never imagined I would become a teacher, never!) I was thinking I would do a physical exercise drill next when the Corper walked in, I beckoned her to come take over, she turned her face away like she didn't see me "hello children" I called again "Hello Uncle" they responded yet again, some even added "ahn ahn how many times". The corper had to step in and take over whilst I watched and learned how it was done.
That day I decided to be in charge of the late comers, I felt I had the power to mete out the punishments I always recieved as a child. One particular child came late and gave his excuse as been ill, I remembered how each time I went late to school (which was everytime) 99.9% of my excuses were lies about my being ill, yet the teachers never spared me and I wasn't about to spare this child too, so I told him to begin frog jumps. The child soon began to whimper but I wasn't one to fall for whimperings and crocodile tears.
"If I were you I wouldn't do that" The Corper said to me as she walked past and I thought she was talking to the child "Don't mind him, I'll deal with him, he won't come late again and he won't lie about being sick" I answered, feeling pleased with myself "Oh he told you he was sick and you're still punishing him? I seriously hope you're ready for what's to come" She said as she walked away. I tried to figure out what she meant, but all the worst case scenarios in my head didn't need my being ready for anything to come, in fact there were no worst case scenarios, the child was being punished for late coming, Pronto! I was about to release the child when someone walked up to me to ask "Wetin him do?" I answered without looking at who was asking "He came late and lied that he was sick". "Oh him tell you say him sick sef, okay okay" the person said and walked away. Less than a minute later I heard a man shout "la-ila-ila-lah, punishing a sick child?" as I turned to get a look of who spoke, two resounding slaps knocked me to the ground and I blanked out for a while, by then the headmistress and some other teachers had gathered outside pleading on my behalf.
"I came here to give my son his drugs, only to find this bloody bastard punishing him...no no, I'll deal with this one" Apparently the child's Father, "Oga don't vex, he's new teacher" No doubt that was the headmistress. "Madam, don't get involved" he signalled to the two guys with him and they dragged me out of the school to a military car parked outside, that was when I understood what the corper meant when she said "....I seriously hope you're ready for what's to come" I immediately began to plead and weep "oh you dey cry? time never reach, you dey beat pikin wey dey cry dey tell you say him no well, walahi you wicked and we go deal with you bastard"
If there was anything I dreaded in my life, it was playing into the hands of men of the Nigerian army, I had heard blood curdling stories about them and always prayed to rather encounter a snake than fall prey to the army, well, that day I got it hot, I did all manner of punishments till I passed out. It took me one week to recover and resume work as a teacher again; one thing was certain- I was never punishing or beating someone else's child again.

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