The Murderous Chinese and His Lover Girl,
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Eddy Odivwri

Last Friday was a black day for Kano State. It was a day the state lost two of its people (a young man and a young lady) in very bizarre and bloody circumstances. The two were murdered,  one by a friend, the other by a lover. While the man, Sadiq Kabiru Gaya, was murdered in 

Abuja, allegedly by a friend, the lady, Miss Ummu Kulthum, 23, was murdered in Kano by her 47-year-old Chinese lover, Mr Geng Quangrong.

Sadiq is the son of a popular Kano politician, Senator kabiru Gaya, who is representing Kano South senatorial district in the Upper Chamber. Sadiq was said to have been murdered by his friend in an Abuja hotel, after which the sum of N20 million was transferred from his account to the account of his friend, and then the said friend went ahead to dump his body in the pool of the hotel. I am sure the police are digging up everything about that dastardly act.

But unlike the case of Sadiq, Ummu was killed in her own house by her angry lover, Geng.

The story is that the duo had met at Shoprite in Kano, and exchanged telephone numbers. One thing led to the other and they started dating. The amorous tangle got so hot that it led to marriage promises and plans. Ummu had just her mother and siblings, as her father had passed. The immediate family had come to know Geng, who, as the story went, was a frequent visitor in the girl’s home.  But somehow, Ummu got married to some else, as her extended family was said to have disapproved of the marriage between her and the Chinese man, who in anticipation of the marriage, had quickly converted to Islam, as demanded by Ummu and her family. Another account however said he refused to convert to Islam and that was why the family disapproved of the marriage.

Understandably therefore, Geng was distraught at the marriage of Ummu to another man. But as it happened, the marriage did not last as the man filed for divorce, just three months after the marriage. The main reason for the divorce was that Ummu was yet chatting with the Chinese lover, with so much affection and adulation. So, when Ummu got back from the marriage, Geng thought they could resume from the marital interlude and continue from where they stopped. But Ummu did not appear happy enough to continue the relationship with Geng and became snubbish, refusing to take Geng’s many calls, to the pain of Geng.

The Chinese man, who also has a 46-year-old wife and a daughter back in China, felt he had been exploited and scammed by Ummu and her family.

On that fateful Friday, at about 9.30 pm, Geng defied the heavy rain and went to Ummu’s house. The gate was locked. He was desperate and thus climbed the fence and got into the compound. Again, he met a locked door. He began to knock and knock. Soon, the knocking turned to banging. When the banging continued relentlessly, the mother of the girl, decided to open the door and confront the assailant.

Soon as the door was opened, Geng shoved the woman aside, walked straight to Ummu’s room and began to stab her with a long knife. He stabbed her several times so much that Ummu fell, while the mother was screaming for help. But the noise of the rain would not let neighbours hear the cry of a woman in distress. A passer-by who heard her wailing came in and helped to catch the fleeing Geng, while Ummu kept bleeding. By the time she was rushed to the hospital, she had given up the ghost. It was a sad and abrupt end for a young beautiful girl with so many prospects in life.

Well, in accordance with Islamic rites, the young lady was buried the next day. But there are matters arising and lessons for the living.

Mr Geng has claimed that he took the action because he had spent huge money on the girl and her family and so denying him the opportunity of marrying Ummu is like a scam and therefore decided to kill her. It is possible Geng contributed hugely or even sponsored the tertiary education of the girl, who was on her NYSC scheme. But no amount of betrayal or scam would justify the raw murder he committed. As it stands, he has lost his money, his love and now his freedom, if not his life, eventually. The lesson thereof is to always learn how to manage your anger. Anger is just one small letter “d” short of danger. Assuredly, Geng will have his day in court, and let him go explain to the judge that he was jilted hence he had to kill.  The law has a place for such crimes of passion.

The other lesson would be for the likes of Ummu who are still alive. The 24 years’ age gap between the two of them was rather too much to be brushed aside on the banal altar of a so-called fiery love. It is such age disparity that often causes women, especially in the northern part of the country, to resort to heavy doses of kayan mata, a local love potion to boost libido et al, with all the attendant danger.

Ummu fell in love with someone she did not sufficiently understand, perhaps because of the rain of money being showered on her and her family by the Chinese.

And that leads me to the other lesson. Many have blamed Ummu’s mother for tolerating the relationship for so long, apparently because of the monetary benefits she was getting from it. They wanted the man’s money, but did not want a conjugal relationship. As my people would say, what you will not eat, don’t use your teeth to share it. 

When she noticed the relationship was getting toxic and threat-filled, the police should have been called in. Now the worst has happened and the scar would remain for a long time, if not eternally. Only the living can learn lessons.

My Ordeal with Ikeja Electric

Eddy Odivwri

One of the attractions of the private sector is speed of action and efficient service delivery. The assumption is that the public/government businesses are usually plagued by endless protocols and annoying red tapism.

But as the Holy books will say, if salt loses its taste, then it is not good for anything, but to be trod down under the feet of men

So, when the federal government unbundled the PHCN into several/smaller entities, many had assumed that the ancient problem associated with electricity supply in the country was, at least, half-solved. How wrong we were! As the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti once described it, the PHCN, which derived from the notorious NEPA, only became Problem Has Changed Name. The issues were still there. And in the last one month, this has become even more real to me in my daily dealings with  Ikeja Electric, the parent company  (Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company—IKEDC) that is supposed to supply light to my part of Lagos. The experience has both been nasty and bitter. 

I have had two encounters with Ikeja Electric. None of them has been exciting or soothing.

First, it was (and still is) my house issue at Journalists’ Estate, at Arepo, on the outskirts of Lagos. I should even wonder why it is Ikeja Electric that is servicing the estate and not Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) which services Ogun State. Arepo community is under Ogun State. But that is not the issue for today.

This is the second year running that we have been going back-and-forth on the electricity Bill in my house at the estate. I had a tenant who moved out since 2019, before the COVID. He said he had written to IE (Ikeja Electric) informing them of vacating the house. The house was serviced by post-paid meter, where the bill is usually by whimsical estimation. Till date, the house has remained unoccupied. But the electricity Bill, until last month, had faithfully kept coming, even when I had written to the company twice saying that the house was unoccupied. The same IE had once disconnected the house and rolled away the wires connecting the house. Yet, that did not stop the bills from coming. The result is that as at last month when they eventually suspended the Bills, it had accumulated to N1,039, 478.59. I have visited their Arepo outpost and even the Magodo offices of the IE. But the issues remain unresolved. I have challenged them to physically go and confirm if the house was occupied. They have not. The house remains unoccupied. The huge and fictitious Bill has remained an issue for any prospective tenant. Last August 18, the management of IE called a meeting of customers and stakeholders, in the Magodo office, to discuss arising issues. We were there. The issues of the arbitrary and continuous Billing were presented with a request that the fictitious Bills be vacated. More than one month after, nothing has been done. The huge Bill is still hanging on the house. Tenants cannot rent the place because of the humongous electricity Bill.

Our request for a pre-paid meter has remained unattended to.

Then the other case is in my private office, somewhere in Idimu, Lagos. Again, it has to do with the arbitrary Billing from the post-paid meter.  Faithfully, the clerks that compute the bills kept adding ten or more thousand Naira, every month, even when the offices do not open. After so much harassment from the marketers, we eventually paid for a pre-paid meter, mid-July. By August 20, they came to install the pre-paid meter. The three-phase meter came with 100 units. In a few days, the units were exhausted. And for three full weeks now, we have been struggling to recharge the meter to no avail, after they have collected the N20,000 we paid to recharge the meter. They had earlier compelled us to pay N52,000 out of our so-called outstanding bill—the product of the arbitrary bill, before we could recharge. We did.

There is practically nothing we have not done. My staff have, for five full days, gone to the outpost office in Ponle, near Iyana-Ipaja, gone to another outpost office at Orisumbare to see how we can recharge. But nobody seems to understand what has to be done. Several codes and directives have been given. But nothing works. Even the IE officials, these ones who wear branded overall outfits, have climbed the meter several times without being able to recharge. Needless to say, each time they come, we rent a ladder and offer tips. But nothing gets done. So, for three full weeks, we have remained in perpetual darkness with all the concomitant discomfort and difficulties. We are helpless and despondent. We are back to looking for who knows who in IE to help persuade (and even bribe them) to enable us to recharge. What kind of privatization is this? That even with my own money, I cannot enjoy the service I have paid for?

I have written a few e-mails to the Customer Service department, who would reply after days, with plastic courtesy, and pledge to address the issue soon, after giving you an SR number. But nothing gets addressed.

It is worse than dealing with public/government entities. The experience is even worse when you call the Customer Service line (01-7000250). The recorded voice, after taking you round all forms of silly commands and processes of press-this-press-that, will end up telling you what you are asking for has been sent to you, whereas, nothing, yes, nothing has been sent at all.  

Three weeks ago, we yet paid for another pre-paid meter (One phase), for another flank of the office. Ten days ago, they called to ask for the location of my office (as if it’s not in the form I filled). After all the graphic description, we are yet to see any IE official for the installation. And when I called about five days ago, the man on the other end said, “Maybe the meters they have are finished, hence they have not come”. So why did they call for directions if they weren’t ready to come to install the meter? It’s been a bunch of mess on all fronts.

To date, nothing has happened. We are still in darkness. And I begin to think whether there is anger and conspiracy to punish me for migrating from post-paid meter to pre-paid meter, wherein I will no longer be a victim of arbitrary charges. With experiences and acts like this, we can hardly be apostles of the privatization scheme. Truly, the beautiful ones are not yet born!

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