It has always been a general notion in most parts of Nigeria that the ”ember months” (September – December) are the worst kinds of months. In Lagos, this idea is even more intense. It is believed that is the period where the road is hungry. Technically, there are lots of accidents and a whole lot more kidnapping. More and more stories resurface about recent ritual killings and human sacrifices made. One of the worst periods is an ember month during elections or close to them. While I had never had a first-hand experience of this, I had heard experiences shared by distant family members, close ones and friends. Now I will be sharing my personal experience with you.
My Ember Month Story
It was November evening after I was done from work. As an expected Lagos scenario, almost everyone was done from work. We were waiting expectantly for buses. Usually, there are certain places in Lagos where car-owners who are done from work use the opportunity to carry people. Most of the time, they ask for the exact fares buses would ask for. Sometimes, others are just ”good samaritans” who just want to help people if they are living around their side. This time, I enter a car whose driver was going into my exact location. After waiting for over an hour and not finding any bus, it was a great relief for me.
However, I realized too late that it was not a car I would want to enter. The driver had carried another passenger at the backseat. I was seated beside the driver. That was when he started:
Good day breathren, I believe Jesus would touch you today. We are holding a crusade happening on saturday. This is where we pray for the sick, women who are looking for husbands…we bring them together and pray… my brother, my sister… it is a powerpacked experience.
Usually, I have my earphones plugged to my ears. This is whether or not I am listening to music. I adapted to this survival instinct when I started to rebel against greeting every tom dick and harry on the road simply because it was the tradition. With my earphones plugged, I prayed hard that I had not entered one of the “SU” cars but was too tired to think of getting down.
Just A Few Meters
I noticed almost immediately that the driver was driving really slow; technically because he was talking and driving at the same time. The passenger at the back seat opened his mouth to speak.
Driver I will be stopping soon…
He gives his directions but the driver responds:
That’s not where I am going. I am going to the hospital to pray for some students… they had an accident and I am going to pray for them.
Silence. The passenger at the backseat starts to talk
Ha, okay I will drop somewhere close by and take another bus to my route. What do you do sir? Are you a doctor?
Already, I had started to get really stressed out from their endless bickerings.
No I’m a pastor.