I was so eager to move to the university. I was tired of being referred to as a secondary school student, I wanted to be free, I also wanted to be my own man. I applied to all seven Ivy League federal universities in Nigeria but I was kept on the waiting list for three of the universities while the other four rejected my application because of my poor JAMB score.
On the 23rd of August, I received a letter saying I had gained admission into the University of Benin to study Business Administration and I was to resume immediately. I jumped up in excitement and shouted for joy because I was finally leaving home, I finally secured the first step to freedom and I was finally becoming a man. I packed my bags faster than the speed of light and as God would have it, I was on the first bus to Benin the next day. I finally got to the University of Benin campus after four hours on the road; it was exhausting. I needed to rest but the excitement in me didn’t let me so I rushed down to the administrative building to register as well as get my timetable in order to be able to start classes with immediate effect. While I was registering, my attention was caught by the perfume scent of a beautiful fresher like me who was called Peluola and since I wasn’t the shy type, I walked up to her. I got her phone number and from there we got talking and became friends.
The next morning I dashed off to class and when it was break time I went to the cafeteria to get something to eat then back to class and when classes were over, I went to read with Peluola then back to the hostel. This was the usual routine for the entire semester. After a while Peluola and I started dating, this was basically the best relationship I had ever been in.
The semester was finally over and results were out, I ran to the business center to call maami. “Maami results came out today and I passed all my courses and my CGPA is 4.85,” I echoed in excitement, “maami please I need a new phone, an iPhone 5s to be precise” I added. “Congratulations my boy, but as regard the phone, forget about it, the fact that other people are using the phone doesn’t mean you must use the phone, don’t forget we are not the same,” Maami answered.
“What do you mean we are not the same? I need the phone,” I replied in annoyance as the phone call ended.
Suddenly a guy walked up to me, he introduced himself as Juwon.
“I can get you the phone and many more things all you need to do is come to the back of Mandela hall by 12.30am tomorrow morning,” he said “and be discreet about it,” he added.
I declined the offer and took to my heels; I never heard from or saw the guy again.
One faithful afternoon I had a misunderstanding with Mr. Olumide Idowu, a lecturer in my department about me not having a phone and me not getting the assignment he forwarded to everyone’s email. Mr. Idowu even threatened to fail me if the assignment wasn’t on his table in the next five minutes. While I was running around trying to find a solution, I bumped into juwon.
“What’s wrong?” he asked and I explained him.
“You see, all you need to do is join us and you won’t have this kind of problem,” he said. “in fact I’d talk to him for you,” he added.
To my greatest surprise he actually spoke to Mr. idowu and the entire problem was over.. Mr. Idowu even promised to give me an A in the course even if I don’t write the quizzes, mid-semester test and final examination. I shouted for joy.
The next morning by exactly 12.45am, I was initiated in to the Spider Cult and had to wear a black bandana on my wrist so that other rival cult groups could stay away from me. Not because I wanted to but because I felt I owed it to Juwon, I wore the bandana on my wrist and after a while I got pretty comfortable with the feeling of being a member of the spider gang because we were well feared on campus, we got anything and any girl we wanted, even lecturers were afraid of us.
“Femi what’s going on? You’ve been acting withdrawn from me and what’s with the weird thing on your wrist? Wait are you cheating on me? Peluola asked continuously.
“Nothing is wrong, I’m just stressed out,” I assured her.
The next morning the entire Spider gang and I were walking close to the faculty and we came across Peluola.
“Femi what are you doing with these boys? Don’t you know they are cultists?” she asked quietly but the guys heard her and because of pressure from the guys I slapped her three times and pushed her away.
“Stay away from me you ugly being,” I said.
I knew I had made a terrible mistake but I didn’t want to look like a weakling in front of the gang leader who we referred to as Capo. Peluola never said a word to me after that incident. So basically the Spider group was all I had left. We stole and vandalised properties, terrorised every human being on campus and even killed anyone that dared to challenge our authority.
At the age of seventeen, I was in my second year and had killed eleven rival cult members, eight student council members and four lecturers. Although I was the youngest in the cult group, I was called the devil himself because of my dauntless nature. At eighteen, I murdered the Capo in cold blood and took over as leader of the spider cult group. I was the most feared human being on campus with only one problem.
The problem was my cousin Odunayo. He was the President of the newly elected student body council and he was a greater threat than his predecessors, he hated cultists’ activities with so much passion and so I killed him without remorse. The news of his death and how I was responsible spread like wild fire and it spread so fast that it got to our parents in Lagos. I was disowned and cast out by every member of my family, none of them forgave me. They wanted nothing to do with me because I had betrayed the family and taken the life of someone that was dear to the family as a whole. But because of my nonchalant nature, I wasn’t bothered. I continued with my destructive life.
The Spider group and I were finally rusticated from the university following the death of Odunayo but that didn’t stop us. We moved into the city of Benin where we became a feared 15-man robbery gang for eight months until we finally met our waterloo. We decided to rob the biggest Zenith bank branch in Benin city but to our greatest surprise, their security outweighed our gang by eight extra hefty men. We were caught, beaten stripped naked before finally taken to the police station; we were all over the news.
Three days later we were charged to court where we were found guilty of multiple counts of first degree murder and all sentenced to life imprisonment with maximum hard labour. All my family members were at the court, I was even made to sign a document that forcefully asked me to drop the family and that was when it finally dawned on me that I had been disowned. The most difficult part of the court trial session was when we were being taken out of the court room and I looked at Maami’s face.
“You are a disgrace, I never want to see you again,” she said amidst tears.
After thirty-five years, I received a presidential pardon from the new government administration but I didn’t want to leave because there was no one to go back home to meet since it had been three and a half decades since I last saw or heard the voice of any of member of my family. But I found God and I held on to his grace and hoped for forgiveness from him.
My name is OLUWAFEMI OLUWAGBEMINIJA GBAJAMILA and this is my story.
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