The last fifteen minutes of the voyage to Bonny was the most tempestuous he’d ever been in. Infact he’d never been in one before. He wondered why the current was so much while they were very close to the land.
One of the passengers to the right behind him began wretching, but he had the good sense to direct his head towards the starboard side of the boat and onward into the water to unleash the indigestibles from his bowels. Once again, the passengers in the front seat had to hold down the bow to prevent the boat from flipping over as the driver of the boat further pounded his engine for more power to ride the waves. It seemed like a battle of wits, the waves looking to capsize the boat, and the boat and its occupants fighting to stay put. He was one of the passengers that showed no emotions as the boat trudged on amidst the ensuing turbulence, not because he wasn’t scared but rather because his fear was tempered by his stoic nature, which in the end always rendered him indifferent to adverse circumstances which come upon him. He always wondered why people called upon their gods or uttered certain noises when travelling by public modes of transportation by land, air or like now by water when it seems an accident is about to occur owing to brake failure or unusual turbulence hit the plane owing to bad weather (like that one time, over the Sahara on a Lagos to Cairo flight when the pilot attempted to avoid a sandstorm) or like now. On all of those occasions, he kept his cool reckoning that the unnecessary stress people put themselves through in outwardly expressing their horror at the scary turn of events would most speedily lead to their death than when one is calm enough to reason the way out should an unfortunate incident come to pass. He would rather his body be found in such a restful state than in one showing distress, though he knows he’d fight to keep alive, but once he finds (considering he had time to so do) that his effort will yield no fruit, he’d present himself in the most respectable way possible before giving in to the grim reaper.
He was tapped on his shoulder, back to reality by his escort. They were finally at the shore of this beach that also served as ferry terminals for boats arriving from and leaving to Port Harcourt and other parts of the riverine areas of the Niger Delta. He didn’t have much luggage besides his backpack (which he had sworn to be his least luggage on his way out of Bonny), and his life jacket which he now held in his hand. There were heavily armed soldiers milling around, some sitting on plastic seats away from the beach casually though observing the movements of people, while some of them engaged the locales in one form of discussion or the other.
The Niger Delta at the point had been a hotbed of militant activity (before the declaration of “Amnesty for Militants” by late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua in 2009) from groups such as the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, NDPVF (led by Mujahid Asari Dokubo, a convert to Islam who had received training in Libya under the sponsorship of the now late Muammar Ghaddafi), and Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (whose leader is suspected to be Henry Okah, who is currently serving a twenty-four year jail term in a South African jail after been convicted for the Independence Day bombings in Abuja, Nigeria on October 1, 2010 which put at risk several international dignitaries who’d come to Nigeria to mark the event at the Eagle’s Square of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Before his arrest, detention and conviction in South Africa where he’d fled to possibly seek assylum, he was also thought to be the mouthpiece of the group with the pseudonym, Jomo Gbomo who routinely sent emails detailing their activities of sabotage on Nigeria’s oil and gas infrastructure, as well as warning civilians to steer clear of certain areas they intend to hit in order to reduce civilian casualties, the fact that those messages continued to come after he was neutralized meant he wasn’t same as Jomo or someone else took his place, which appeared rather unlikely as it the tone of the messages remained the same as with when Gideon roamed free). There were other not well recognized and organized groups whose activities were far more notorious than those of the aforementioned. These groups includes the one that killed some security agents in the town of Odi, in Bayelsa State (also in the Niger Delta) following which the then President Olusegun Obasanjo in the early days of the return to democracy in November 1999, ordered the military into the town, which they effectively pillaged, ransacked and levelled in search of the perpetrators of what the government considered a heinous crime (the government was later ordered to pay the sum of =N=37.6Billion compensation for the “massacre” to the people of the town, by a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt).
The grandstanding was still on at the time he came to Bonny to work, and was responsible for the militarization, not just of Bonny, but of the Niger Delta as a whole. His escort flagged down two moped taxis and told them their point of destination. It was a smooth ride, down a stretch of long tarred but narrow road. They stopped in front of a white one storey building along King William Dappa Pepple Road.
It wasn’t much of an imposing building of sorts but it stood out for its simplicity.
The escort paid off the riders and walked towards the gate leading into the house. He followed the escort into the ground floor of the building which was open, into a sort of waiting area or reception, which was empty and then into an adjoining passage from which they accessed another door which opened into two rooms connected by a door. The one furnished like an office, the other equipped with a single dental chair, a periapical X-ray machine and other dental practice paraphernalia. The dental nurse (who had been holding the fort while the search for a dentist was on) was trying to fit-in a denture at the time they walked in. She stopped was she was doing and they both got introduced of the escort, who then proceeded to show him his living quarters in the second part of the ground floor of what now appeared to be a duplex. His apartment consisted of a living room, two bedrooms separated by a bathroom and toilet, and a kitchen. All fully, though not tastefully furnished. He dropped his backpack, thanked his escort, who left him to go see the Dental Surgery Assistant, before heading off back to Port Harcourt.
He slumped unto the cosy bed in the room he’d chosen, and after about ten minutes, knelt down to offer a few mouthfuls of prayer, first in gratitude to the Almighty, then made a plea for the forgiveness of his sins, before asking for mercy for the time he would spend on Bonny Island.
He went to the clinic part of the house afterwards to see the one he’d be working with for the duration of his time in Bonny. He hadn’t looked at her properly when they were introduced, but now he saw every bit of her, buxom, fair (so fair you could see beneath her skin when you focus a source of light on the surface of her skin, he thought), slant eyed, small mouthed and thin lipped. She exemplified pure feminine pulchritude. She had finished with the patient and now turned towards him, then he noticed her bosom, they were one of the biggest he’d ever seen, she must be wearing a size “HH” or the likes he thought. She must’ve noticed him staring at her, and moved to show him some more of her assets. He smacked his lips, recovered from his slip, greeted her with a warm handshake and she went about showing him the parts of what will be his working and living environment for the days to come. Bonny will definitely be interesting from the little he’d seen.