It was a dark night in the port city of Warri , stars twinkled a million miles from the ground , the brightness of the electric bulbs and street lamps, hid the face of the twinkling stars, and the beauty of nature , under a bright white pollution ,common in most urban areas of Africa .

massive church auditorium, filled to the brim in Ijala, an euphony of sweat music , the combination of trumpets , Saxophones , the bass guitar, a beautifully played piano and a drumbeat, with the sonorous voice of an enchanting songstress ringing in the air ,gave the church a heavenly atmosphere, the music had just stopped , a pastor came altar , which was white like heaven’s walls , he stood behind a glass blasting away in tongues , as the church rumbled in prayer . Junior Ezekiel , stood behind the youth pastor , dressed in a badly sewn suit his father had given to him, since it was a church rule , that all leaders must wear suit , the armpits of the black suit that he had become synonymous with , was so tight that his arms hung in the air like bouncers .

Ezekiel’s stomach grumbled in annoyance , as he farted over and over again , he prayed that the smell from his fart , would not reach the nose of his pastor , he couldn’t hold it anymore, he felt pressed he knew , if he stayed another minute he would have pooped on himself , he took advantage of most eyes being closed in prayer, he sneaked from the pulpit , and ran out of the massive auditorium using the back door , He kept on running until he barged info one of the empty male toilets , he couldn’t understand the kind of pepper his mother had put in the Banga soup and starch she has served him that evening.


The interior of the toilet , was so clean and bright one wouldn’t know the difference between night and day , the walls of the was tiled from the ground to the roof ,with white tiles , , his face squeezed into clownish grimace , as he liquid poops made a glugging sound when it landed on the water in the toilet bowl . His stomach still hurt , Ezekiel kept on squeaking as he fought to empty his stomach of the poison his mother had served him that evening , the prayer was still pouring out through the loudspeakers placed near the back of the church ,he could hear two voices talking and laughing in almost whispers , from the back the toilet , which was p0orly lit and rarely visited , he held his mouth to muffle the sound from his mouth , as he fought to empty his bowl , he stretched his ears to hear what the men where discussing while others were praying and cabashing inside the church , the two sons of Belial were talking nonsense, nothing concerning God or the vigil .


“Na Precious I bring come house today , men I f!re her she confess that Jesus is Lord .” Elias Ezekiel’s best friend said chuckling. “Somebody that was claiming saint Mary in the choir , Men only two thousand naira I sent to her account she came to give me food .” Elias crackled.

“I told you all this church girls are faking it Elias , with the proper money and scoping they’ll open it for you , do you know I even knack Efe in the children’s church during one night vigil ?” A voice Ezekiel knew to be that of Tofe a miscreant in the mist of sheeps said.

“Tofe you are a dev!l , Chai you did it even inside the church ? Tufiakwa! God forbid bad thing .” Elias said , Tofe broke into laughter . “Men Na where conji hold me , Na where I do am , she give me I took it .” He said laughing .

“Gloria when the sing and people the catch anointing inside church Na two Pregnancy she done remove for me I swear to God! .” Tofe said in a baritone voice spoke . “Half of the girls in the choir I’ve sampled them , is it Anita ? or Gift ?.” Tofe continued talking , Ezekiel couldn’t believe his ears , Gift that he had a crush on could fall so cheaply , he almost puked, the smell of m@rijuana wafted through the slide window that was left open into the toilet , Ezekiel was almost getting high. “My father will kll me if he finds out I got a girl pregnant, before you talk of abortion , me am being smart oh , I don’t want any girl to get pregnant for me .” Elias said ” If not that one na straight to marriage be that , me when never plan my life ? God no allow am happen to me abeg .”Elias said .

finally Ezekiel emptied his bowl , and felt like fresh and good , he washed himself up and went to the back of the toilet to see the two conspirators and wolves .They were startled to see him, Elias threw the stick of mrijuana which was hanging between his fingers to the ground .”Ahhh Elias did you drop your Indian hemp ? Pick it up and continue smoking , if you’re not afraid of God who am I ?” Ezekiel said with a smirk on his face . Ezekiel was fidgeting .

“So that’s how bad it has gotten ? you’ve joined Tofe to be defiling sisters in the church ?” Ezekiel asked Elias stood like a statue , he couldn’t bring up a word to respond to his friend.”Ahhh I feel like cryng for you Elias , is that the kind of pastor you want to become ?You’re ruining God’s grace on your life with this … this hypocrite ? .” Ezekiel hissed , so angry he felt like knocking off Tofe’s teeth . Elias paced uncomfortably , wondering if Ezekiel would report him to the youth pastor , or the senior pastor . “See Ezekiel let this be between you and me please, don’t tell the pastor,I just said I should try Indian hmp , it helps me relax my nerves .” He said trying to hold Ezekiel’s hand he took his hand away .

“Come on Elias are you scared of him ? Are you without without sin Ezekiel? that’s how you people will be pretending, as if you don’t do this things, but behind you’ll go and do worst in secret!” Tofe barked , Ezekiel smiled ,he shook his head , and decided to ignore him , he turned to Elias “I’ve told you Tofe is influencing you to do evil , how can you leave the altar of God just to come and be smoking marijuana and discussing about the number of ladies you’ve defiled in the church ?” Ezekiel threw his hands in the air a grimace spread across his his face .

“How do you think we get the inspiration to sing and lift the spirits of the people ? Na hemp.” Tofe asked . “When we sing and gyrate , we just need some substance to keep us charged in the spirit, Pastor can you tell me the exact passage in the bible where God condemned weed?” Ezekiel shook his head, he hard no word for a condemned fool , Elias couldn’t say a single word , he stood like a toddler caught red handed ste@ling a meat from the pot .Tofe puffed the white smoke of his marijuana into the Ezekiel’s face , Ezekiel fanned his nose with his palm to chase away the disgusting smell ,the red embers of fire on the head of the wrap of weed shone brightly like a dev!l star with each drag that Tofe took in, while the hemp hung in between Tofe’s fingers , he had no remorse , he finished the wrap of Maijuana before throwing the stomp on the ground and crushing it under his heels .

“Elias I’ll tell you this , if you continue your friendship with Tofe he would lead you to hell!” Ezekiel said , Elias shrugged, the light bathed his body , his white shirt , and blue jeans was visible for a second . “I’ve heard you Ezekiel, I’ll try my best to stop this . Am sorry .” He said

Ezekiel went back into the church , he was heart broken , he and Elias had been best of friends since they first met in the children church , when they were about eleven years old , they had grown in the church, together they went to a theological seminary where upon their graduation they were both confirmed pastors .

Tofe had always been the bad game boys in the church , Ezekiel couldn’t believe it when Elias turned to become his newest best friend , they only stay in church when it was time for playing instruments , they immediately leave the church before the message or prayers and return again when the pastor calls for the music band . He never knew that they had both graduated from being flirtatious around the sisters in the church to becoming smokers who had no fear of God , and could smoke boldly in the church premises .

“I won’t report you Elias , but let me tell you , any friendship with the world is emmity with God ,end your friendship with Tofe .” Ezekiel said before going back into the church and joined the prayers ,Tofe chuckled , and gave Ezekiel a demeaning glare , he made jokes of Ezekiel’s suit , that was handed down to him by his father , that it looked like a starched newspaper. Ezekiel ignored him , he knew so Tofe and his team hated the fact that he was made the assistant youth pastor , a position where he wasn’t paid a dime.

the church was roaring in prayer , it sounded like a war zone , the church was filled to a bursting point , it hosted a none denominational prayer vigil . Elias and Tofe entered the church , to join the rest of the band member , when the pastor called for praises, at about twelve A.M , Tofe grabbed the microphone , while Elias mounted the keyboard, his fingers moved on the black and white keys of the keyboard , like bees moving from nectar to nectar to pollinate them .

Ten minutes later , Tofe was sweating profusely, the veins on his head , protruded out , as he sang at the top of his voice , the people danced praising God with the whole of their hearts, Ezekiel couldn’t participate with the rest of the church , he just stood clapping his hands , he couldn’t take his eyes off Tofe’s body . After the singing and dancing Ezekiel came on the pulpit and took a sermon , it was focused on hypocrisy amongst people in the church .

When he lead the people to prayers , people began to scream , as demon possessed people were thrown to the ground , the sick got their healings. The grace of God on his head brought the love and admiration of the sisters in the church , then hatred and jealousy of the brother , many people rumoured that it was the Ezekiel’s presence that had caused the church numerical explosion, the rumours had put him in the black book of church elders , that he was pompous and proud , so the leadership of Christian Rock Church had refused to place him on salary , he was still on probation ,while the band and other pastors were receiving their salaries. God moved mightily that night when Ezekiel prayed

On a Sunday night Ezekiel was sleeping on a old brown mattress in his room in one of the rooms , in his father’s compound at Igbudu , the mosquitoes were wheezing around his eyes , biting him through his jeans and headbutting him in their attack mood , he hissed and covered himself with a wrapper his mother had given to him . The bed bugs were not relenting , one had snuck into his jeans , it was biting his lap , he got up , and turned on the sucket , the yellow bulb , that had hung there since he could remember , looking so old and dirty like everything in the room , illuminated the room , he saw fresh blod stains on the bed , where he had lay on the bedbugs, others were running as fast as they could to the crevices around the bed , Ezekiel was never merciful unto them , he crushed one by one with his finger , before going back to sleep .

He knew he wouldn’t sleep another ten minutes
, before another barge of an army of those annoying insects would mass around him again . He felt strangely, a presence in his room , he felt he was awake and also felt like a dream , it was an old man , who had no single black hair on his head , he was wearing a white lace caftan and black shoes , he walked up to Ezekiel .

“Ezekiel your test is over , you’ve served God with Humility, even when you live in the midst of sinners , this is an instruction from God , tomorrow morning go to the Delta Appreciate Motorpark at PTI junction , you’ll see a white Toyota Hiace bus heading for Abuja , by eight A.M the bus was supposed to go by seven , but because of you it has been delayed to eight A.M so you can inform your parents before you . You shall go with the bus to Abuja .”

Ezekiel began laugh in his dream . “You mean I should just get up ? go to the park and tell the driver to take me to Abuja ?” he enquired . “Yes don’t go with clothes , you don’t have any money , God will provide for you on the way , a servant who would help your destiny and help you fulfil God’s mission on earth will be waiting for you at Zuba park , don’t you forget, if you miss this opportunity you’ll tarry for long before another will come .” The entity disappeared, Ezekiel jumped up from his bed .

“Jesus Christ? What kind of dream is this ?” Ezekiel checked time of his small dilapidated Nokia torchlight phone ,it was around three A.M , he decided to pray , when he knelt down to pray, he saw a vision in front of him, it was like a television, Jesus appeared unto him . “Ezekiel I’m the Lord Jesus , see were they nailed my hand .” The divine being said .”Your mission in Warri and Delta State is over for now , I have a job for you at Abuja , I’ll turn nations back to me , through you, do according to all the angel told you it shall be well with you . You shall not minister a congregation of thousands , you shall minister to a church of millions , souls shall be turned to God through you .” Suddenly he opened his eyes but couldn’t see anyone . He prayed till about six A.M , he went to take his bath ,then he went to his parents room and knocked .

“Ezekiel come inside .” Mama Fregene said to her son , her husband was on his knees at one corner of the bed , praying silently . “Mama Good morning .” Ezekiel greeted .

“Yes Ezekiel how are you my son ?” the old woman said .”Mama am find oh , mama I want to discuss with you and Papa .” Ezekiel said , while standing up . “Well sidon your father is still praying when he’s done we will talk .” She said , Ezekiel nodded and sat down . “This one you’re dressed like this are you going somewhere ? you wear your Sunday clothes for house ?” She asked .

“Mama am going somewhere .” Ezekiel said , his mother nodded , soon his father elder Endomni sat beside his wife . “Oritsameyiwa how are you doing this morning .” The elder said, the yellow bulb had illuminated the room , he was wearing a faded white singlet , that was almost coffee brown colour. “Dad I am leaving for Abuja .” He said.

“Oritse! Abuja ?” the old man screamed in Itshekiri language , Ezekiel nodded . “To go and do what there oh? who you know in Abuja oh ? all your siblings dey Asaba , Benin and Lagos , waiting want carry you go Abuja ,when your papa leg never touch before ?” He asked with raised eyebrows.

“Papa I was sleeping this night , God said I should go to Abuja ,that he has prepared a helper that will wait for me there , I must go before eight o clock this morning to TPI park , if I miss the white bus for Abuja I’ll miss my destiny helper .” Mrs Felicia sat quietly looking at her last born , the child that had remained with her while all his older ones moved away .

“But how are you going to get a transportation to Abuja Ezekiel , we cannot even buy food .” she asked , Ezekiel too was confused , he knew the revelation sounded crazy but he couldn’t defy God . “He promised that he’ll provide a means of transport,I believe God .” Ezekiel said , Mrs Felicia embraced her son , tears dropping from her eyes .

“Knee make we pray for you .” Elder Endomni said , Ezekiel went on his knees before his parents . “Papa God eh , me I commit this your pikin for your hand oh , Ezekiel Na pikin when you give us for old age , we train am in your way , and Na pikin when the hear you, papa talk say Na you send am go Abuja eh, papa God clear road for am .” Mrs Felicia and Ezekiel echoed “Amen.”

“Papa armed robbers no go see this your pikin for road , Jaguda people no go see am for road .” They responded with an “Amen .”

“Papa Guard am , protect am , Ezekiel no to leave your way .” he prayed .

“Amen!” Mother and son responded . “Papa Ezekiel no go leave your way!” Amen they responded. “Thank you for answering our prayer in Jesus big name we pray eh.”

Ezekiel for up from the ground , Mama Felicia brought a bottle of anointing oil from the corner of her head . ” I anoint you with the father, son and Holyghost!” Ezekiel and his father said “amen .”

“Ezekiel we brought you up in the way of the Lord , hold God tight, he will shine light upon your way .” Mrs Felicia said Ezekiel nodded , she reminded him to remember to to take his certificate . Elder Endomni escorted his son to the main road , and watched him leave Warri a town he had spent all his life to pursue his fortune in a city he knew nothing about


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<!–next : CITY OF FORTUNE : EPISODES 1 – 10 BY SOLOMON ADINYA The TPI Motorpark was a fifteen minutes walk from elder Edonmi’s compound , Ezekiel hurried towards the park , an Okada rider stopped in front of him . “Na where you dey go ?” He asked , Ezekiel looked at him quizzically wondering who asked him to stop for him . “I don’t have money o Oga.” Ezekiel murmured . “Na my problem with una Nigerians, somebody go talk another thing una go respond another , me I ask you of money now now ?” The man asked , Ezekiel shook his head , cars were wheezing by , even the Okada and Keke rider were not left out from the reckless driving. “Oga am going to TPI Motorpark, but I don’t have money .” Ezekiel said . “Just climb let us go , you think everything is about money ? So somebody cannot decide to good ?” The man who seemed to be in his mid Forties quarreled , Ezekiel remained mute . The man also drove recklessly, Ezekiel held tight the iron bars around the seat of the motorcycle,he was praying foe God to take him safely , the man would not slow down for any car. Ezekiel’s heart almost jumped out of his mouth, when the man squeezed in between two trucks , the driver coming towards their direction , flashed his headlamp severally at the Okada man , he ignored the warnings ,the driver honked severally, the man swerved before the last second,and avoided a collision , the truck would have turned them into sausages on the black asphalt road . When they entered the park , the man stopped , Ezekiel jumped down from the motorcycle. “Thank you sir .” Ezekiel said fidgeting, the man smirked , Ezekiel’s legs were trembling, he had never seen a reckless rider , who ignored caution. There were many buses travelling out of Warri that morning ,Ezekiel kept asking for the white bus going to Abuja that morning , he asked around the park , there were over fifty buses parked in the park , many of them were going to Abuja , but the angel had said the white bus . Finally he found the bus . “Oga is this bus going to Abuja ?” Ezekiel asked , the Agboro loading the vehicle nodded . “You dey go Abuja?” He asked Ezekiel nodded . “Okay from Warri to Abuja Na ten thousand , bring your money make we book you , Na only one seat been remain self .” The Agboro man was wearing a torn three quarter jeans ,with patches all over it , and a green basketball singlet ….. ,who had several scars ,that disfigured his face , one extended to his eyes , the particular eye was blnd , shut tight . “Sir I don’t have money …” The one eyed Agboro man couldn’t let him land before he shoved him out of the way . “Abuja ! Abuja Lokoja here! Shebi I look like your playmate abi? I leave my house come this place to come play , yheen yheen yheen , so you don’t have money Na your urine them go use buy fuel for road id!ot,God save you say I dey good mood this morning eh or You for done collect hot slap since yesterday.” The one eyed man snarled . “Monday waiting the happen here ?” the chairman of the garage asked , he knew how tr0ublesome Monday was , there was barely a day he wouldn’t fght a driver or a passenger in the park , they’ve tried to sack him , but his connection with the State chairman of the NURTW twist their hands to their back and brought him back . CITY OF FORTUNE : EPISODES 1 – 10 “Oga see me see this mumu eh, he come dey cap nonsense , he the tell me say he want go Abuja he no carry shishi for transport, Na say I wake on a good side of my bed this morning eh , or I for done flat this mumu for here , chairman tell am make he leave here eh.” Monday said to his boss. “Young man come here .” The chairman said . Ezekiel walked to him , the whole passengers in the bus kept glaring at him . The driver walked up to the chairman , Monday had been sent to call him from the Mama Put joint he was eating a plate of white rice , red beans and stew , with heavy cow head Kpomo , he had to rush through his food . “Chairmo , them say you call for me ?” He asked . “Yes oh Amos , see this young man here , he said God asked him to come to your vehicle , that he’s going to Abuja ,that he doesn’t have transport. You go fit carry am ?” the chairman asked Amos . “For where chairmo Na water I dey take buy fuel ? my motor done full already make him find another driver .” Amos said.”Oga come take the money !”A man wearing a white striped shirt with and a black suit yelled from the backseat of the vehicle . “Driver come and take the money let’s go , with this your delay , we will enter Abuja in the night .” Monday went to the man to collect the money . “You go pay for am ?” the driver asked quizzically. “I’ll Abeg come and let’s start going.” The man in barked ,the driver left the chairman and rushed into the vehicle , Monday had put another person in the space Ezekiel was supposed to stay , he had to get down from the vehicle,after much back and forth, he was reluctant about getting down . “Thank you sir God will bless you abundantly.” Ezekiel said in as he climbed into the bus , he sat on the seat directly opposite the driver’s seat. the man’s face bvried in his android phone, he didn’t acknowledge Ezekiel’s appreciation the first time so he repeated it the second time , a bit louder . “You’re welcome young man .” the elderly man said . Ezekiel was sat next to a light skin girl , she had a long wig on , the lavender perfume , she had used , spread to the last seat of the vehicle, she was wearing a white shirt ,and a faded blue jeans ,She kept staring and smiling at Ezekiel , he turned his attention outside the vehicle, staring at preacher who had been lurking around, waiting like a vulture waiting for a thirsty man in the desert to drop dead . The rude Agboro man blocked his way . “Abeg comot here make I lock door hustler , every time Na so una go dey worry people for this garage up and down!” Monday said . “Monday no allow God vex for you , I tell you he got take vex remove your one remaining eyes , you want Rob this people of their blessing ?” The preacher asked , he was dressed in a blue suit and trousers with a white shirt ,Monday hissed . “You be fake pastor !” Monday said refusing to let the preacher pass , the driver had gotten angry to a boiling point , about the unnecessary delays “Monday will you let the man of God pray! or something dey do you ? why you dey waste my time na! Na Abuja I dey go like this oh! not Asaba or Benin abeg clear road for me eh! I no want enter Abuja for night eh!” the driver yelled. “No wahala Na , my God when I dey do want talk to bad , make you allow am sc@m your passengers Na!” Monday said , he pushed the preacher out of his way , he went to the next bus . “Asaba here ! Asaba Onitsha here!” He paused, and took out a pack of cigrettes from his pocket, a yellow flame popped out of a blue lighter , he had produced from his pocket , His folded palm protected the flame so the wind would not blow it out , Ezekiel focused his attention on one eyed Monday , he relaxed on the side of the car , he dragged the cigarette, then puffed the white cloudy smoke through his nostrils and his mouth into the sky . CITY OF FORTUNE : EPISODES 1 – 10 “Brothers and Sisters , I have shared the word of the Lord with you , we have prayed together , the man of God needs to wash his clothes , the man of God needs to eat , can you please put your hands in your pocket , and bring anything the Lord has laid in your heart to bless my ministry?” He asked , rustling sounds of bags and nylons filled the car , the passengers gave their offerings to the man of God. The man was waiting for Ezekiel to shake his body . “Brother you won’t give anything to the man of God ? support the ministry.” He spoke to Ezekiel , who had been fighting the urge to reply the beggar . “Who is the man of God?” Ezekiel asked glaring at the man . “Me nah! I’m the Oracle of God, the spoke man of the Lord,I am went here on a mission ,to preach and pray for the travellers.” the preacher said , Ezekiel rolled his eyes like a girl would . “Oga please You better go and look for work to do , Paul the Apostle had a job he was a tent maker, Luke was a physician,….????? you don’t want to work , you’re just here disgracing the name of God , you’re a merchandiser , I don’t have one kobo on me , if I did I wouldn’t have still given you .”Ezekiel said and turned away from the man . CITY OF FORTUNE : EPISODES 1 – 10 “God will make your blessings run away from you , God said though shall not touch my anointed one , and do my prophet no h@rm , but you have poured ashes on my head this morning , God will pour ashes on your head !” The preacher said Ezekiel smiled , his smile infuriated the d preacher further . “Is it because you see me in this park that you’re telling me rvbbish ? Chai! God will hide your glory!” the preacher continued laying cvrses on Ezekiel he was not o unmoved. “Oga you’re a fake preacher ,you’re embarrassing yourself here , your cvrse cannot work on me.” Ezekiel said , the angry man pushed him , Ezekiel smiled . “Oga pastor it’s enough Na why are you laying cvrses on the head of this boy, you’re even hitting him , are you not a man of God why are you getting angry easily ?” A woman in the bus said to the pastor. “Madam did I insvlt anyone why will this boy insvlt me! The bible didn’t say I cannot be angry , the bible said Jesus got angry at the temple , In fact the Bible says be angry and sin not , this boy has provoked the Holyghost in me ! I’ll beat the demon in him out of his body!” The preacher said , pulling off his suit. “If not because of God , if not because of humility, who is this rat here to talk to me ? , how old are you ? are you up to the age of my youngest brother ? because you saw me here you talk to me anyhow , you must be mad! you must be very stvpid .” He pulled off his tie and dropped his big Bible on the roof of another car ,Monday stepped in , he pushed the preacher away from the bus. “Oga please you should leave this place , Shebi I told una say this man Na scammer.” Monday said when he returned to the scene, he pushed the preacher away and shut the door , the man continued raining curses on Ezekiel , who didn’t say anything to him , he followed the bus as it drove out of the park insvlting him . “But you who couldn’t afford your own transport money what’s your business with the man of God when you don’t have money to give him .” A woman behind Ezekiel asked ,he decided to remain silent but his spirit kept urging him to speak up . “Madam I didn’t bring myself to this vehicle , I don’t even know where am going to in Abuja, God asked me to come to the park , that I’ll see a white bus going to Abuja , and that I’ll join the bus ,when I asked for transport he said he’ll provide.” Ezekiel said . “Story for the Gods!” A lady chewing gums and popping it loudly at the back seat of the bus snarled. Ezekiel went quiet as the driver drove out into the highway that led out of Warri . One hour into the journey , Ezekiel was uncomfortable were he sat , the lady who was sitting next to him , was causing him discomfort. He kept bending his body away from her , she was looking away from him, her arm crossed his back and held to the door of he bus, she relaxed one of her wedged one of her bbs on him for support , she constantly stbbed him with npples , brushing his arms and his back with her bbs . “You dev!l I ban you in the name of Jesus , you dev!l I bound you in the name of Jesus.” He kept repeating over and over silently , he hated the feeling he was getting in his body , she knew he was uncomfortable , she feigned ignorance , she continued her trick when he couldn’t take it anymore he turned to her , she turned her face from him , to avoid his gaze . “Sister stop it Na I know you know what you’re doing , you’re discomforting me please .” He whispered to her , most of the passengers who were near thought he was trying to be a young man , trying to woo her . “Stop touching me with it .” She was deaf for a minute she continued, Ezekiel looked at her , he had never been harassed in such a way , he knew she was intentionally tormenting him to anger . “Please I don’t like it , don’t touch me with your body .” Ezekiel begged her when she resumed her former position, she didn’t say a word , she moved her body away , but fifteen minutes later she continued, brushing her boobs against his back . “Sister let me warn you , I am not an ordinary man ,God will kill you if you try to touch me with your body again! If you don’t want God to destroy you , don’t touch me with your boobs again!” He snapped , to the hearing of the the whole bus ,the passengers bursted into laughter , the lady moved her body far from him , she felt like the car should stop so she could run into the bush . Hunger attacked him with sharp claws , stabbing his stomach, he yawned nonstop, he didn’t have a dime to buy even groundnut and banana that some traders were hawking along the road . “Ah dear God you didn’t include my feeding arrangement? how will I meet my destiny if I die of hunger Na .” He grumbled , when their car got Ibilo , the passengers ate their snacks in silence nobody looked his direction. The bus got to Lokoja at about two P.M ,the passengers and drivers left the bus , to go and look for food to eat , only Ezekiel remained seated in the bus , yawning over and over , one by one the passengers began to return . “Shift joor!” the lady in white yelled at Ezekiel, he got down for her to get to her seat , she had a white nylon with a take away plate of rice , she handed the food to Ezekiel without saying a word , he collected it from her hand. When he stared at the chicken in the plate , he smiled . “Thank you thank you.” Ezekiel said , he began to rush the food , he finished it and devoured the chicken . “Haha this two are in love, he rejected her love , but accepted her food!” The fat woman behind Ezekiel said . “No matter the embarrassment she still decided to buy food for him .” The lady teased . Ezekiel ignored her and continued with the food , the lady stared at him in disbelief, he had no single shame . “You have bad mouth you don’t have money .” the light skin girl said . “Am sorry making passes at you , I really kinda like you the very moment I first saw you .” She whispered. “I thought I would get your attention if I showed you a sign .” She said ,then she handed him a bottle of water . “Am sorry too for embarrassing you , I’m a pastor .” Ezekiel said the girl giggled . “Why are you laughing?” He asked . “Well you’re looking so young , how can you be a pastor ?” she asked with a smile on her face . “Well I went to pastoral school one year after I finished from secondary school , i did five years there , currently I’m twenty four years old ,I was the assistant youth pastor at Christian Rock Church Warri . “Uhmmm small boy like you.” she said Ezekiel smiled , the discussion continued until they got to Gwagwalada at about six P.M. The lady asked the driver to stop at Kuje junction get down from the car , Ezekiel bade her farewell , one by one the passengers alighted from the bus , Ezekiel was one of the last people who came down at the Zuba park . The sky had become dark , he checked his torchlight phone, he had missed some calls from his mother , he decided not to call her until he found a place to lay his head , he began to wander up and down the express way . At around eight P.M a group of Hausa boys who hung around the Zuba flyover bridge began to follow him, they’d observed that he was a stranger in the place . “Come here!” One who was smoking cgarettes called , Ezekiel turned and began to run , the boys about four or them chased after him , they pinned him down and began to search his body for valuables, when they couldn’t find anything they began to beat him up .”Let’s kll him!” one of them said . “No Hassan the police will know it’s us , some people might have seen us chasing him.” the second a taller man , in his late twenties said . “But he doesn’t have anything we can collect , let us stb him!” Hassan said. “No don’t, Hassan put back the knife!” The taller man shouted , as Ezekiel tried to run away , but he had been cornered to a dark alley , when he saw the dagger coming towards him , he let out a loud scream from his mouth. A flood of light from the headlamp bathed the hoodlums, the police orderly jumped out of the SUV and sh0t his pstol into the air, the h0odlums scampered in all directions the dagger lay on the ground . He remained on the ground , still in shock ,he was still processing what had just happened to him , when a man in his mid fifties stepped out of the SUV , he held him up from the ground. “Are you injured ?” He asked , Ezekiel shook his head , dusting the dirt that had clung to his body from the ground . “Follow me let me take you to the hospital .” the man said . “Thank you sir , I’m not injured ,I’ll find my way around .” Ezekiel said . “Are you not a stranger in Abuja ? Do you have a place to sleep?” the man asked , Ezekiel glared at him suspiciously,he was scared of the man , the police orderly urged him on . “Sir how do you know am a stranger here ?” Ezekiel asked,the man smiled and walked back into the backseat of his tinted Toyota Landcruiser Prado SUV. “You cannot sleep here , those boys will come back , they lurk around this place , looking for a victim to rob.” the police Orderly said , Ezekiel followed them into the car with a wary mind . CITY OF FORTUNE By Solomon Adinya The black SUV drove through the ever busy Kubwa express way , it had gotten so dark , on the floodlights of vehicles flying towards Zuba and those heading to the city centre and the yellow street lights were things Ezekiel could see , the man in a blue suit , was busy , eyes glued to his iPad , the policeman who had sh0t to scare the hoodlums sat in the front seat . He kept praying to God that the man wouldn’t be a ritalist is who wanted to take him home for sacrifice,at about eight P.M the SUV made a U-turn at Bannex fly over and got into Wuse two ,and then took a road to Maitama , the black SuV stopped at well lighted building , an amazing mansion , Ezekiel wondered if the house was a hotel , the fence was painted white , then the electric lamps around it gave it an American look. The driver honked “Phoop phooop ” twice in quick succession at the gate . The gate began to move by itself , slowly, there was no one there pulling the gate , the Mopol men and two private Guards stood aside ,when the gate stopped moving the SUV drove into the compound. “You’re welcome sir .” The men greeted the man ,some stared at Ezekiel wondering who he was , as he stood with his arms crossed his thighs . “You’re all blessed in Jesus name.” The man said , Ezekiel’s tension eased off. “Follow me .” the man instructed Ezekiel did as he was told , the orderly hurried ahead of the man and opened the door, he beckoned on Ezekiel to follow him , the floor of the house had beautiful marbles , and well crafted artworks, hanging on the white sitting room, an eighty feet television stood to a side of the room ,one of the man’s daughter got up from one of the couches in the living room and ran to embrace her father . “Daddy welcome back.” She said staring at her father’s face admiringly. “Praise how are you doing my favourite baby?” he said with a smile buttered on his face . “Well daddy I cannot say I’m fine , I missed you , I came back from school only to be told that you traveled to Benin for a crusade .” She said with a sad puppy eyes . “Oh my baby , you see the work of God must not suffer , they’re souls to be saved , they’re people to be reached . I had to preach at a ministers conference in Benin , God moved mightily. ” The pastor said to his daughter, Beatrice glared at Ezekiel . “Daddy who is he ?” She asked . “Oh I met him at Zuba , he is a stranger in Abuja , we met him when some boys were trying to stab him , Stephen had to shoot in the air to scare them away .”He said , Ezekiel had never felt that sort of shame in his whole years of existence , her caring eyes pierced through to his soul . “Hello I am Beatrice, what’s your name ?” she said extending her hand to Ezekiel , he shyly looked at her and refused to take her hand . “My name… my name is Pas-tor Eze-kiel Endomni.” Ezekiel stammered as he hurriedly said . Beatrice smiled , soon her mother joined them downstairs. “Honey who is this fine but dirty gentleman?” Mrs Patricia asked her husband. She was wearing a big blue flowery Bubu gown , her smooth like eggshell, her husband laughed .”Well he says his name is Pas-tor Eze-kiel.” The pastor Mimicked Ezekiel . “I and Stephen were stopped by a woman at Zuba and told us to help a boy who was chased down by some touts Wielding daggers and other wepons , who got there on time , because one of the assilants already had his knfe in the air to st@b him , but when Stephen sh0t into the air and they all scampered in different directions.” The man said , demonstrating each action as it had happened to his wife . Two of his daughters were walking down from the stair case , when he looked at one of them the smile that had buttered his face disappeared. “Tosan what are you wearing ?” He snarled , Tosan stared at herself she couldn’t see anything wrong with her dressing .”Daddy I don’t see anything wrong with what I am wearing !” she yelled back at her father . CITY OF FORTUNE : EPISODES 1 – 10 “Honey how can you let her wear a skirt so short? what If I had come along with a pastor friend or an important guest, is this the kind of embarrassment that would meet me ?” He asked angrily. “Sweetheart you can only force a horse to the river , you cannot force it to drink , the devil comes in many ways to steal your blessings , I’ve told her today to go and remove that mini skirt, she went up to her room, and cake back in it ,don’t let her spoil your mood .” She said holding her husband’s hand . “Now you go upstairs! and change that rvbbish you’re wearing! I don’t want to see you wear such rvbbish under my roof!” He ordered Tosan, she hissed and climbed up the stairs . “Welcome dad.” Helen the second daughter greeted her dad , he answered her casually. “Please honey show Ezekiel to the guest room .” The pastor said , he climbed to the first floor ,to take his bath and change into his Pajamas .Ezekiel was shown to a big room, with clean sheets ,it felt like a dream to him . “Please pastor Ezekiel, this will be your room , till we talk properly tomorrow morning, there are fresh Pajamas in the wardrobe there , some might be bigger than your size , the bathroom is that way , when you’re done you can come down to join us for dinner .” The pastor’s wife said , Ezekiel smiled . “Thank you ma-am.” Ezekiel stuttered, he peeled off the dirty clothes from his body , he jumped on the bed in his boxers and singlets . “God am I dreaming ? I cannot believe my eyes .” Ezekiel said , he went on his knees and prayed , before going to the wardrobe to get his Pajamas , then straight to the bathroom , he had a cold bath , just then a Maid dressed in a navy blue gown and a white lace apron over the gown knocked on Ezekiel’s door . “Hello sir the daddy and mummy are waiting for you at the dinning room .” She spoke to Ezekiel with so much regard that he felt he had taken a trip to heaven and was back .He was shy walking to the dinning table , the whole family of pastor George Ayebamote were sitting around the dinning table at about eight thirty P.M , they all glared at the stranger except for Helen who wanted to be back in her room ,in front of her laptop . “Let us pray over the food .” Pastor George said ,they all closed their eyes in prayers . “Father God we want to thank you for the hands that prepared it , we say bless them ,we want to pray for all those who don’t have something to eat , please Lord provide for them , we want to also thank you for saving our new son here , Ezekiel from the hands of mvrderers.” The pastor prayed , his wife and daughters opened their eyes and stared at each other with surprise. “Dear Lord as we eat let this food nourish our body in Jesus name we pray.” He prayed they all said “amen.” it was fried rice and chicken, with Doodoo and fried lobsters, and shrimps. It was the best meal Ezekiel had ever had in his life , but he couldn’t enjoy the food when everyone’s eyes were trying to rip him apart , he ate with caution. CITY OF FORTUNE : EPISODES 1 – 10 Then he felt a leg touching his leg from under the table , he stared at Tosan , she smiled at him , he hurriedly took his leg far away from her , he thought it was a mistake , he continued with his food , a short while afterwards, he felt her toes caressing his hairy leg , raising up the trousers of his Pajamas , he froze. “Ezekiel are you okay ?” The pastor asked when he sensed his discomfort , he first looked at Tosan who was smiling then back at the pastor . “I’m , I’m fine sir .” He said the pastor nodded and continued with his meal . Next Tosan touched his lap , while maintaining a straight face over the table ,she ran her hands on his laps , until he had a hard on . “Thank you sir , thank you ma , I need to go to my room now , I’ve not called my parents since I left Delta.” He said .”You can always do that Ezekiel , there’s still time , is the food had ?Don’t you like it ! you’ve not eaten half of your plate ?” Mrs Phoebe pleaded . “No-no ma-am the fo-od is nice , I am okay .” Ezekiel said standing up from the dinning chair , Tosan smirked , the young man wobbled up the stairs . “He’s such a strange one .” Mrs Phoebe said to her husband he smiled . “I think he’s a nice guy I like him dad .” Tosan said ,the pastor ignored her and focused on his food , he blamed himself for letting her be on her own in America , Tosan returned back to Nigeria a different person . Ezekiel had plugged his small Nokia bottom phone on the wall socket , when he was given his room ,the phone had run down during the long journey . Immediately his mother’s call came in . “Ezekiel is it your plan to kll me ?” his mother asked . “No Na mama I am sorry , my phone ran down .” Ezekiel said sitting on the bed . “So if your phone ran down you couldn’t borrow phone to call us to tell us where you are ? what kind of boy are you ?” Mama Fregene asked . “Mama I am sorry , I just entered Abuja no quite long ago .” Ezekiel said to his mother . “So true true you’re in Abuja ? how you take get transport Na ?” She asked in amazement . “Mama Na God did it in his own way o, so I went to the park , I saw a white bus God had showed me in ! Dream , then I entered somebody paid ten thousand naira transport for me .” Ezekiel said . “You don’t mean it Ezekiel , you must be kidding me .” She said . “Mum I kid you not .”Ezekiel said laughing . “Mama just wait let me give you the full gist , mama one girl but food for me in the vehicle, when I had no money .” Ezekiel said .”Oritse!” She called the name of God in Itshekiri language. “But I hope she didn’t try anything funny ? me I know many girls will want to take your glory .” Mama Fregene said . “Actually… mama she did , but I didn’t allow her oh , I shouted when she kept touching me .” Ezekiel said laughing . “Haaa Ezekiel it’s not laughing matter oh , the bible say flee away from temptation , it means you should run! I hope she didn’t take your number after bribing you with a plate of rice ?” she asked her son laughed and rolled on the bed . “Mama we both forgot to take each other’s phone number .” Ezekiel said . “Don’t joke with this oh , that kind of girl will just take you to zero.” Mama Fregene said , there was a soft knock outside Ezekiel’s room , he got up and went to the door , it was the chef , dressed in a white top and trousers, holding a tray of food , with a pack of juice and a tumbler. CITY OF FORTUNE : EPISODES 1 – 10 “Mummy said I should bring this food up to your room .” He said Ezekiel collected the food in and thanked the chef , he had wanted to eat more , he just had to flee from the devl as his mother said . “Which mummy are they talking about ?” Mama Fregene asked , Ezekiel laughed. “Mama are you jealous ? that’s a story for another day , a nice pastor picked me up from the park at Zuba , he brought me to his big mansion where he lives with his wife and three daughters.” Ezekiel said . “My son God will bless that pastor abundantly, who will believe that people can be that God in this current Nigeria?” She asked Ezekiel laughed . “They’re still good people , mama let’s talk tomorrow , they’re showing me sign of low battery.” Ezekiel said , his mother said her byes and hung up . Click 3 below to continue reading

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