Episode 5

The week has come and gone and madam Jo has a different story to tell, the mason’s tools have still not been retrieved from the land grabbers neither have they received the promised amount for the foundation.

Madam Jo called the Mason to say he should talk with the same grabbers to collect a sum of thirty thousand naira as against the initial sum of forty thousand naira promised. The Mason got angry and refused to interfere, stating that madam Jo should come in person to appeal to the land grabbers with what ever amount she had.

Days later, Somina receives a WhatsApp message

Madam Jo’s voice: Hello, how are you? Hope you’re good? You would help me go to the jungle to see the land grabbers and give them the money promised.

Somina: Baffled at the request says nothing and chooses to ignore the message.
The next day she picks up her phone and calls the Mason

Somina: Hello good afternoon, how’s work and everything? What’s the update?

Mason: Good afternoon, work is fine. Work is fine now, so you can call me after I tried calling you several times and you deliberately refused to pick the calls. You didn’t even know why I was calling you and you refused to answer your calls.

Somina: Oh sorry about that.

Mason: It’s not about being sorry, it was a deliberate act to ignore the calls so don’t apologize. I could have as well decided to ignore your call too.
Anyways I’ve never encountered this calibre of customers in all my years of work.
The land grabbers have seized my equipment for a while now. I asked madam Jo to call Mrs Sidi over the foundation money issue. I don’t even understand what’s going on. Mrs Sidi claims Madam Jo made a promise to pay 50000 and then she also promised to pay 40000 to the boys here.

The whole story is confusing. The boys have not stopped coming to my house daily asking me to give them the said 40000. I have told them to call Madam Jo since they have her number as I’m yet to receive any money from her end.

He rants on as Somina listens quietly

Realising he has been hearing only his voice he pauses and asks. “Can you hear me?”
To which Somina answered, yes I can hear you clearly.

He then rants on…

Actually, I don’t know what kind of person Mrs Sidi is, she herself is also a land grabber and I believe she is the cause of all these confusion because I don’t understand how you will sell land to someone, and then after some years you ask her to go to another virgin land even after she has erected a structure on it. Irrespective of how small the structure erected is, it should be respected.

Somina seeing he was ready to rant on cuts in…

That’s the point exactly! Mrs. Sidi had promised Madam Jo that if she moved away from her initial plot of land, she would not be disturbed by Land grabbers and also encouraged her to work on it.
So to now come forth asking for money is like a stab in the back. I hope you understand now why it seems difficult to pay any sum as foundation money.

Mason: Well I don’t like dealing with Mrs. Sidi because she doesn’t have a straight forward character but all I know is I will be unable to mediate with the land grabbers any further especially as Madam Jo has said the money she promised is no longer up to forty thousand Naira. They will think I have collected the said sum and I’m trying to play a smart one on them.

I’m currently on another site where I’m working at the moment. I had to buy a new set of work tools. That’s really not nice. All I want now is for Madam Jo to come and settle those guys with whatever amount she has with her and then they give me my tools. As a matter of fact when she comes, I will demand that they bring the tools before any money is given to them at all.

Somina: Okay then noted. We will let you know when we decide to come. Thank you.

As though a work of telepathy, few moments after the mason dropped the call, madam Jo calls.

Madam Jo: You didn’t respond to the voice note I sent to you, didn’t you see it?
Somina: I saw it, I had other engagements so I didn’t respond because I knew I would be unavailable for the task on the specified day.
In any case I just got off the phone with the mason a few minutes ago and he spoke for about ten minutes. The larger part of the conversation zeroed on his seized tools and he says he will be unable to mediate with the land grabbers on your behalf.

Madam Jo: So when will you be able to go there with the money?

Somina: (In mind) Me?? Go there?
Wawu! How did we even get here? How am I the one going to face land grabbers in a jungle for goodness me??

Oh madam Jo!
What other surprises can one expect from you?


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