Twice in my life, I have seen angels.
And on both occasions, they came directly from The Godfather to pull me out of serious jagbajantis.
Interestingly, these angels were not in any celestial or white flowery robe as painted in our heads in the formative days. They were also not white-skinned as depicted in my childhood’s ‘My Book of Bible Stories’.
These angels came as a midnight Okada rider and a drunk auto mechanic, who both showed up unexpectedly in the midst of nowhere, delivered the parcel from above and vanished into thin air.
They also did not come to me on the street of Jerusalem nor on my way to Damascus; they came right in the chaotic city of Lagos.
Sometimes in 2017, I had a crazy Sunday evening outing with friends, a guy and a gurl. The hangout was supposed to be a business conversation but it turned out a wild clubbing experience.
It started casually at Café Neo, off Adeola Odeku in Victoria Island over cups of coffee and sausage rolls. After about 3 hours of strategy talk, we agreed to move to Lekki to open our world, and of course, a wilder ideas generation session.
Sailors Lounge was picked.
We settled in and Dami started calling in his Lekki friends to join us. One by one, they trooped in and we had a larger group of 6 or 7.
Alcohol set in.
And other night club elements.
Things became wilder and louder.
It was 11pm.
Time to go home.
Then I remembered I had no fuel in the car.
I’d wanted to buy in the afternoon but was rushing to meet up the Cafe Neo meeting. Then Lekki happened, and it wasn’t over until 11pm. Now, let’s get some fuel.
I picked Terver, a female friend and we left, with the intention of fueling along the way. I drove through Admiralty Way and oooops! All the gas stations had closed.
Oh, its Sunday evening, I sighed.
I drove on, silently praying the car would take me to Surulere and I’ll just pass the night at Tunene Omo Iya’lata’s place near Shitta.
I drove on.
With mixed feelings and anxiety.
Ozumba Mbadiwe – CMS – Apogbon.
Then I got to Carter Bridge, and suddenly, my accelerator-pedal wasn’t responding again, and the car started slowing.
I knew it had started.
The beginning of the end.
I explained the situation to Teri and she froze. Of course, it was past 11pm and Carter Bridge was a dangerous place to be at that period of the night.
I put on the hazard light and moved to the parking lane, as the car kept going slowly and slowly.
Then it stopped!
Teri was livid with fear, and visibly panted. She pulled out her cellphone and ordered for Uber ride. She called her family and fear was boldly plastered in her shaky voice. I was insanely scared too but I never showed it.
Carter Bridge is an area controlled by Isale Eko boys and I knew what they are capable of. Our phones, laptops and the car is at their mercy. That is if they don’t even take our heads.
I came out of the car and started flagging cars. Of course, nobody stopped. I wouldn’t if I were to be in their shoes. Few meters away, we saw two men clothed in black approaching with something that looked like a riffle.
Ko. Ka. Ko. Ka. Ko…
They kept coming and fully came into glare. They turned out to be policemen.
‘Is police coming to rob us?’
We stood and watched them come.
Politely, they greeted and inquired about the situation. They said they saw the hazard light and knew something was wrong, and were here to protect us.
What! Nigerian police to protect?!
I exchanged a surprise glance with Teri who was as well scared to death. We thanked them as they sat few meters away from us.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
The clock was ticking.
And gradually dragging us into midnight.
Cars kept passing.
Shortly, a ragtag Okada man came and parked by the car. After some explanations, he offered to get some fuel for us. I didn’t have cash on me so he offered to use his personal money.
10 minutes later, my Okada man was back, with a 10-litter petrol.
I leapt for joy and hugged him.
Teri’s Uber had come then and she left.
So I poured this fuel, ignited the car and it roared back to life!
Its Toyota men!
No long thing!
I told the Okada to ride in front of me until we get to Ojuelegba where I can use the ATM and reimburse him. So we rode together, me behind him. We passed through National Stadium, Barracks and got to Ojuelegba.
It was few minutes to midnight, and Ojuelegba was still pulsing at that nocturnal hour. I told my Okada to turn into Lawanson Road so I could use any of the many ATMs on that lane.
We got to a UBA ATM opposite Ayilara Street (I think) and stopped, Okada still in front of me. I looked away to pick my ATM card from a compartment and by the time I looked up few seconds later, Okada was not there anymore.
I stepped out of the car and started looking around. No sight of him. I asked few people around me and nobody noticed him. I parked the car and leaned on the body for about 10 minutes, Okada was no where to be found.
My Okada man had vanished.
I waited for another 10 minutes and there was no sight of him. So I left amidst guilt and mixed feelings.
Few days later, I was meditating over that incident and a Word dropped into my heart.
‘He sent from above, He took me, He drew me out of many waters’.
Then I understood that I just had an encounter with an angel!!!