Home / Eze Goes To School / EZE GOES TO SCHOOL (Episode 61)

EZE GOES TO SCHOOL (Episode 61)

FOREWORD: Some time ago, last year, it came to my attention that someone was lifting episodes of Eze Goes To School and updating them on his Facebook page, taking the credit of the writer of the story. There was a lot of furor that came when I made my knowledge public on the social media, and the culprit had to give an apology for his indiscretion. Whether he continued his plagiarism of my work or not, I do not know. But I didn’t let that dissuade me from continuing with the telling of the adventures of Eze and his friends.

Until last week, when another friend made me aware of the fact that someone else was committing the exact same crime, updating episodes of Eze Goes To School on his – where else? – Facebook Timeline. I was rattled by this repetition. And it made me wonder if there were others like these two, who haven’t been discovered, who were taking the credit for this work on other forums I do not know of. As at last week, I made up my mind to stop publishing any more episodes of the series. I’d actually vowed that last week’s episode would be the last, until I realized that I left a cliffhanger with that last episode. And then I amended my resolution to be that I would sort out that cliffhanger, and that would be it.

But then, I got an email from a reader of the series, who argued all the merits of my continuation. This person’s argument was witty, it made me laugh, and it weakened my resolve. But taking into cognizance the recent incidence, I still maintain that the end is near for the boys of the secondary school, just not as swiftly as I’d planned. In a few more episodes, I will carry us along until the end of their Junior WAEC exams, and that will be it. I will then concentrate on doing what everyone I know has been telling me to do for so long, finishing the story in a book.

I thank everyone who has remained loyal and an avid reader of this series. It is your dedication that has kept me writing for so long. This appreciation is premature, I know, and I will repeat it again when I’m done. But it just goes to show how much I value your readership.

Thanks again. And now, for today’s feature episode…

*

A quick moment elapsed, just a handful of seconds, before the night was shattered by a new, unfamiliar and earsplitting sound – the menacing bang of a gun.

I jumped in my bed.

Ibuka drew in a sharp, hissing breath.

And pandemonium broke loose in No Man’s Land. As all of us in our dormitory scrambled up from our beds and rushed to the windows facing Dignity House to see what this frightful new development was about, the SS3 boys were shoving at each other in their frantic bid to jump through the bar-less windows. There were other figures we could make out struggling to grab hold of some of the senior students, and those SS3s fought viciously back. Some broke loose from their captors’ holds and joined their mates to dive through the windows. Their bodies tumbled to the grassy ground of the backyard, some on top of the others. There were grunts of pain as they dropped, but no one stopped to investigate his body for possible injuries from the fall. They simply picked themselves back up and scattered in a run in different directions.

“Oh my God!” Joseph gasped. “What was that?!”

“Somebody fired a gun in our school – Chineke mie!” some other boy hollered.

“What if it’s armed robbers?”

“Don’t be silly, we are just students! What will armed robbers come to steal!”

“What should we do – what should we do…!”

“Let us run o! Before they leave Dignity House and come to Peace House…!”

“Run to where, you dey craze?!”

The alarm and confusion was fast hiking up the temperatures in the room.

Just then, our door banged open, and we jumped, some boys giving off startled shrieks. The person who stood in the doorway, illuminated by the moonlight streaming in from outside, was Senior Boma. He was panting loudly and his manner was urgent as he made a beeline for one of the windows to peer out quickly at Dignity House.

“Senior Boma, are you alright?” somebody enquired.

“Eseosa, put on your rechargeable, let’s help hi–”

“Don’t you dare put on any light!” he cut in sharply. His head had swung back around to face us, and his expression was manic. “In fact, everybody, get into your beds immediately! Now!

That last bark propelled us into action, and we scurried back to our beds. Ibuka was about to climb in beside me, when the senior boy said, “Ibuka, is that your bed?”

“No, senior, but –”

“I said, get into your bed before I whooze you a dirty slap!”

Whimpering, Ibuka lifted himself up to the top, and the bunk creaked as he settled on his bedclothes.

“Eze, shift.” I looked up, surprised, at Senior Boma, who had come up to my side and was already getting in the bed beside me. I moved to make some room for him. As he stretched out on the bed, my breathing was drenched with the tangy smell of his sweat and fear. “Look,” he began again in a loud voice as he addressed the room, “if anybody comes inside here and wakes any of you to ask you if any SS3 boy entered this dorm, better say no. I’m not here. Do you hear me?”

“Yes, senior.” The chorused answer came out in a mumble.

“Good. Now, all of you, go to sleep.”

Fat chance of that happening, I thought, resenting the intrusion of the sweat-slick, muscly body. But aloud, I said in a whisper, “Senior Boma…”

I waited, and just when I thought he wasn’t going to answer me, he muttered, “Eze, what is it?”

“Senior, I just wanted to know – I was just wondering if you can tell me what happened in No Man–erm, that Dignity House dormitory. Who are the people that fired that gun?”

For another quick moment, he said nothing in response, merely kept breathing deeply, his chest lifting and falling behind me with each respiration. I could feel Joseph straining to listen in from his bunk. My bunk juddered again as Ibuka moved on his bed.

Senior Boma said then in a low, snarling tone, “Ibuka, if you shake this bunk again, I will come up there and slap sleep into your body.”

“Sorry, senior,” Ibuka murmured with faint insolence.

Then the senior boy began talking to me. “It all happened very fast, I did not recognize them. But there were about six of them. They were big guys, cultists, I think, from the university.” There was a state university situated on the other side of the town’s suburbia, away from our school. “Yesterday, we heard from a reliable source that one of the SS2 day students in whose house most of his mates were staying had connections with a cult group in the university, and that he was making contact with them to come and retaliate against us. But that yesterday, we had not caught Skinner yet, and we were determined to catch him before stopping what we were doing.”

“And so, these guys could be the cultists nau,” I asked.

“Yes.”

“And they have guns, which means they can kill if possible.” My heart was pounding at the notion of death in the school.

Senior Boma seemed to sense my mounting agitation, because he lifted one of his brawny hands to pat me reassuringly on my arm. “Relax, Eze, I don’t think they want to kill anybody. Otherwise, they would have shot at and killed most of us back in Dignity House. I think they just want to capture us, take us back to their side and do to us what we’ve been doing to the SS2s.”

You mean, beat the hell out of you wicked SS3s, I thought acidly. Tit for tat, it would serve you people right.

We lay there in tense silence, as I wracked my head for something else to ask. Outside, the night stretched on, strangely without any more noise. There were no sounds or disturbance coming from Dignity House. It was as though nothing had happened, as though we hadn’t heard the banging report of a gunshot. Where once there had been the din of loud, unrestrained anger and commotion, there was now stillness, as though the night was waiting, with bated breath, for whatever tumultuous ripples that was yet to come. The atmosphere had become so noiseless that I could even hear the faint hoot of an owl from the darkness outside.

“Maybe, they have gone,” I ventured in a whisper.

Senior Boma did not respond. His chest continued to rise and fall in deep breathing behind me. Then he stiffened, arched his head up from the pillow and hissed, “No, they’re still here.”

I saw Joseph lift his head up from the pillow to see what had caught the senior boy’s attention. From where I lay, I could see what he’d seen – the bobbing of several beams of fluorescent lights outside in the Peace House quadrangle. The rays splintered and spilled into our dormitory through the sides of the door and windows facing the pavement. I could also hear the slight thud of footfalls – a chorus of them. It wasn’t a person who had just entered the hostel; it was a group of people.

Senior Boma had tensed, and his next utterance to the room came out in a snarl. “Like I said before, no SS3 boy entered this dorm, you hear? Anybody wey koba me for here go regret the day when them born am.” Perhaps, that threat would have wielded a lot more ominousness if his voice hadn’t quavered so much as he said the words.

He promptly stretched out by my side, trying to shrink his reasonably larger form by curling up against my back. Moments after this, the door of our dormitory was kicked open. My heart jumped at the forceful sound, and fear spasmed in the pit of my belly as footsteps thudded into the room. My eyes were tightly shut, but I could still sense the lights from the torches playing about in the room and over our still bodies.

“Na just junior boys dey hia!” a very male, low-timbred voice growled.

“No think so o,” another voice, just as baleful as the first, countered. “These SS3 boys, them think say they sharp.”

“Many of them go don run go junior hostel,” a third growl rumbled. “Na dia we suppose pursue them go.”

I could feel Senior Boma’s tautened body begin to relax. The reason for his relief was apparent. If these cultists believed their quarries had fled to the junior hostels, a supposition I suspected was correct, then they would soon leave without nabbing him. Secondly, they were strangers to this school; that meant they weren’t familiar with the identities of the students they were hunting.

“No!” the second voice said insistently. “We plenty, we go just share ourselves. Some of us go dey go junior hostel. Others go search all these senior hostels well-well. Wia that boy dey sef – Badmus!

My breath caught. Senior Boma tensed again. And I knew what I’d instantly thought at the call of that name was right. Badmus Nnorom was a day student in SS2, and he was close friends with Skinner. Wherever you saw Skinner’s shiny, barbered pate during school hours, you were bound to see Badmus’ distinctly sharp-featured face not very far behind. The two were peas in a pod, and there was already talk that Badmus intended to start boarding – in Skinner’s dormitory, of course – when the SS2s ascended into power. I suspected he was the day student Senior Boma had mentioned earlier, the person who had ties with the cultists from the university. If he was here with them, then Senior Boma was in danger of being identified.

“Where you dey since?” that second voice snarled.

By now, I’d figured the owner was some sort of gang authority. Overcome by curiosity, I pried my eyelids a little open, a mere inch really, enough to take in the figures hulking about in our room, slightly illuminated by the torchlight. I counted four of them, including Badmus, who was standing before one of the other males. But from the lights flashing about outside on the pavement, I knew there were a lot of them out there.

The cultist was still talking, “Oya, come make we look these boys wey dey sleep – abi them dey form say them dey sleep, make we know whether any of your people dey among them.”

At this time, I thought I could feel the rataplan of Senior Boma’s heartbeat, banging against my back. His body had turned slicker than it was before, as a fresh sheen of cold sweat popped up on his skin, drenching the parts of my body he was pressed up against. His fear was contagious. My heart was hammering as well, and my throat suddenly felt very dry. When I swallowed, I found a lump my saliva could barely navigate through. And I drew in breath with a startling, ragged sound, one that appeared to resonate slightly in the relative stillness of the dormitory.

They heard it.

I saw their lights swinging in my direction and I quickly snapped my eyes shut again. The sensation of the beam falling on me filled my body with a numbness. I began to say a frantic, silent prayer for Senior Boma. I didn’t like the senior boy very much; he was a bully and the most mean-spirited SS3 boy in our dormitory. But then, I didn’t care for these intruders. I didn’t like that they had a gun, and that they’d had the effrontery to barge into our school, underscoring our helplessness.

The lights came closer. I could hear the steps moving nearer to my bed. I felt the beam rest on my face. Pinpoints of light scattered all over the darkness that faced me behind my closed eyelids. I tried to relax, to make my faux slumber appear more natural, but my muscles were too bunched up and my heart triphammered unrelentingly.

This is silly, a part of me thought. I’m not even the one they are looking for.

And then, the lights passed me over, and moved on to settle on my bedmate. Instantly someone drew in a sharp breath and chuckled shortly, nastily. The amused person then spoke, it was Badmus. “Barack, na one of them be that.”

Oh no, I sighed.

“Which one?”

I could imagine Badmus pointing. “That one wey you dey shine torch on top him face now.” Then he barked with uncharacteristic authority, the kind of tone he’d never use on any SS3 boy on a good day, “Boma Adagbor, comon stand up from there! You think say I no go know you?!”

I felt movement behind me as Senior Boma sighed and began to slowly stretch and get up from my bed. I blinked my eyes slightly open in time to see the cultist standing beside Badmus rush forward. He snatched at Senior Boma’s head, his fingers clamping down on his neck. The senior boy yelped in pain. The cultist shoved him forward, released him and his hand streaked through the air in a backhand blow that struck Senior Boma across the face with a smacking loudness. Senior Boma yelped again, and reeled backward, his hands flailing up to shield against further assault to his face.

But his face wasn’t where the next blow struck. One of the other cultists standing behind him swung his hand. It held a cutlass in it, and its flat surface slapped against Senior Boma’s back. The sound of metal against skin made me cringe. Senior Boma shrieked, and his body arched forward, flinching away from the source of the pain. He staggered forward, and into the knuckled fist his first attacker had sent flying toward his face. The blow connected, the knuckles smashed against his nose. Something squished, and Senior Boma’s scream turned into a gurgle. He dropped to the floor, his hands over his face as he cried so loudly the sound of his anguish appeared to reverberate past the walls of the room and into the night.

“You dey cry, ehn?” the one Badmus had called Barack sneered. “I think say una strong, una be macho man. Don’t worry, all of una go hear am this night. Tiga, carry am, make we dey go.”

The one with the cutlass reached for Senior Boma and yanked him up by his arm. He staggered to his feet, still sobbing and trying to stanch the blood that was now dribbling from his nose. And the party walked out of our dormitory.

The silence remained in their wake. We stayed put in our beds, speechless, slowly digesting the violence we’d just witnessed.

And for the next several minutes, we listened to the intruders as they raided our hostel for the other SS3 boys they sought, who were hiding amongst their juniors. Senior Boma wasn’t the only one who fled from Dignity House to Peace House to hide. The pained cries of other senior boys Badmus fingered out to the cultists rent the air as the same vicious treatment Senior Boma received was meted out on them.

“I no follow – Abeg, I no follow nau –!”

“Badmus, you see my face for town? Why you talk say I follow…!”

“Ask Skinner…I no follow beat am –!”

Their entreaties fell on deaf ears. The cultists responded with their fists and cutlasses, lashing out at their victims with a savagery that was reminiscent of the SS3s’ earlier wrath. Eventually, the entire group, captors and captives, moved out of our hostel, and trundled on to another hostel. Their lights and the lamentations of their detainees faded slowly the further away they marched.

And that was when the excited buzz all across the eight dormitories of Peace House broke out. I could hear the chatter coming through the closed adjoining door that connected my dormitory with the next. Sleep was going to be a long way from coming to all of us.

“Serves them right,” Leke spat from his bed. “I like what they did to Senior Boma. They should also catch Senior Maduka, wherever he is, and beat him thunder and lightning.” Both SS3 boys had sent him on so many errands that he missed lunch this afternoon. And when he whined in protest, Senior Boma made him lie down under his bunk for so long, he missed dinner as well.

“Leke, will you shut up!” Chike, an SS1 boy seethed at him. “If you say another word, I’ll transfer everything you say to Senior Boma. Abi you think they won’t ever come back?”

“Don’t mind the bagger,” Joseph sniggered. “Na me go even first report am sef.”

“Amebo,” hissed Leke.

“It’s your mother that is amebo,” returned Joseph.

“That’s enough,” Chike commanded as Leke bristled. “The two of you should behave yourselves. We don’t need your nonsense this night.”

“What should we even do?” I intoned then.

“What should we do about what?” Chike asked. Some of my other dorm-mates turned to me.

“What should we do about these cultists nau?” I said impatiently.

There was a collective intake of sharp breaths in the room. Eseosa said from his bed, “Who said they are cultists?”

“Senior Boma, I asked him and that’s what he told me. It was Badmus that brought them here.”

“Well, if they are cultists, there’s nothing we can do,” Chike dismissed.

“Are you crazy?” I burst out, rising from my bed.

“Watch your tongue, Eze,” he warned.

“We have to do something…something to let the whole school know that we have dangerous intruders inside the school compound…something, something to – to –”

“Something like what?” Eseosa sneered. “You can like to talk. Oya now, what is the something you propose we should do, since you now want to become James Bond.” A few snickers from the others came after his taunt.

“We can ring the school bell,” Ibuka interjected.

All eyes swiveled to him.

“You mean, we should go out there n’abalia, this night, to go and ring the school bell?” Obieze choked out, his voice questioning Ibuka’s sanity.

“Yes,” Ibuka said.

“Are you well at all? Those cultists could still be out there.”

“They are surely out there,” Joseph cut in. “But we can sneak to the school bell. They won’t see us, they won’t even know to look for anyone heading in that direction.” Looking at him, I could see the familiar daredevil glint in his eyes.

“See me o, aka m adiro,” Obieze exclaimed. “I’m not following anyone to go out this night. My life is too precious to me bikokwa.”

“You too dey fear, eh Obieze,” Joseph teased.

“Why won’t he fear?” Leke snapped. “Is it his battle to fight?”

“Why won’t you just shut up, you this idiotic Yoruba boy,” Joseph rounded on him.

“Don’t you dare insult me –”

“Enough with you two – Haba!” Chike barked. The two boys settled for glaring at each other. Chike divided a look between Ibuka and me. “So, who will go and ring the bell?”

The words were uttered, and the question hung, suspended by our silence. It didn’t last long; Ibuka jumped down from his bed, and grunted, “Me and Eze and Joseph will go.”

Of course, it had to be the three of us, I thought, shaking my head with slight amusement and wondering at my friend’s uncharacteristic valiance. Under the incredulous stare of our dorm-mates, the three of us slipped out of the dormitory. Outside, as we darted across the courtyard and let ourselves out through the gate, the night breathed around us. The night wind was soft and warm, whispering its way through the atmosphere as we walked. The school bell was situated on a slightly elevated corner of the assembly ground which faced the classrooms and administrative block of the school. It wasn’t a bell per se; just a slab of huge, misshapen, steely chamber, mounted on two stout poles; tucked away inside the hollow center of the chamber was a small, metallic truncheon which the bell-ringer struck against the chamber to produce the reverberant clanging which informed the length and breadth of the school of an imminent school activity.

But this was midnight, and there no school activities at such a late hour. We hoped that the ringing of the bell would alert the entire school, including its security positioned at different points of the premises, to the presence of something alarming in the school.

My heart was pounding as we moved stealthily away from the hostel area, keeping away from the major road as we navigated our way toward the school bell. The gust of wind that blew over me lifted horripilations of dread on my skin as we slithered past shrubbery and darted through trees. There was no one outside, even though we caught snatches of conversations coming from the windows of the dormitories we passed. Peace House, apparently, wasn’t the only House who wouldn’t be sleeping early tonight.

Ibuka was in the lead, and Joseph brought up the rear; in a matter of minutes, we had gotten to the spot where the bell was positioned. As I opened my mouth to ask who would ring the bell, Ibuka pulled out the truncheon. He’d lifted his hand to strike when Joseph whispered fiercely, “Wait…”

We turned to him.

“Are we sure we want to do this?”

“We have to warn everybody,” Ibuka replied. “This is the only way.”

Joseph nodded. I did too. And Ibuka struck the chamber with a sweeping force that produced a clang which exploded around us, filling my ears with an insistent echo. Ibuka struck the bell again and again, and the clangor ricocheted into the night, filling the atmosphere with our desperate message of alarm.

Joseph had made himself a sentry, peering around for any sign of movement, and he suddenly gasped, “Ibu, Eze! They are coming!”

Ibuka stopped ringing the bell, and the two of us followed Joseph’s pointing arm. True, the lights were bobbing in the distance that was the direction of the junior hostels. And they were drifting toward us. We could also hear shouts, angry yelling. They were coming.

“Let’s go!” I said, before whirling around to run.

Joseph was already sprinting ahead of me.

“Wait for me!” Ibuka shouted, as he smashed the rod against the bell one more time, before dropping it and fleeing.

We panted as we ran, and my heartbeat roared, fanning my fright each time I swung a quick look behind me to see the lights becoming bolder and the furious yells inching closer.

“Wait for me, please…” Ibuka heaved from behind, and I turned to see him clutching at his chest with one hand. I lessened my speed, just as Joseph sped back to him, grabbed his hand and pulled him forward as he turned to run again. If we could just get back into our hostel, into our dormitory, and into our beds, then the cultists wouldn’t be able to tell who had rung the bell. If only –

We turned a corner, and we collided into a body that was bulkier than us. A pair of brawny arms snatched at us. My heart plummeted as I realized that the cultists must have left one of their men behind in the senior hostel. We fought fiercely to break the hold of our assailant as he struggled to grab us close to him.

“You rascals!” the man panted angrily. “So, you’re the ones disturbing the school at this unholy hour… God don catch una…!”

I recognized the voice in that moment. “Oga Johnny, Oga Johnny…!” I gasped as I stopped struggling. “We had to do it. Listen to us.” Ibuka and Joseph stopped struggling too, and we stared urgently up at the security officer’s weathered face. He stared back with some distrust, his hands now clamped over our wrists. I continued talking in a rush, “Oga Johnny, look behind us… We have intruders in our school…”

“Cultists… they are attacking SS3s…”

“You need to see the way they beat Senior Boma…”

“They caught some seniors here and are going to junior hostel to catch others…”

“And now they are chasing us because we rang the bell to warn everybody…”

The three of us were talking at once, and our alarm was stark before the security man. Our urgency communicated itself to him, and he swept a look behind us, stiffening when he saw the lights and heard the voices in the distance.

“Cultists, you say,” he rasped as he released us.

“Yes…”

He nodded, before lifting a whistle to his mouth. He pressed it against his lips and blew. A shrill, high-pitched sound cut into the air; he blew again for a rapid number of times, and in the near distance, other whistling sounds responded. He’d alerted his fellow security to the presence of danger. A sigh of relief trembled its way through my mouth as he turned to us.

“What are your names?”

“I’m Eze…”

“Ibuka…”

“And my name is Joseph…”

“What class?”

“JSS3…” we chorused.

“What House?”

“Peace House,” came the chorus answer.

He nodded. “You have done your part,” he said. “Now get back quickly to your hostel, and leave the rest for the security to handle.” The man shoved us gently in the direction of our hostel before leaping forward, still blasting away at his whistle and suddenly hefting a weapon I couldn’t make out in the darkness.

I didn’t care anyway; I’d suddenly become very tired. As the rush of adrenaline through my body trickled to a stop and my heartbeat returned to a mild thrum, on our trek back to our hostel, exhaustion crept in, pervading my insides and filling me with a heaviness that begged for the release only sleep provided.

“Omo mehn, see war film that will soon happen…”

“Security men versus cultists, who do you think will win…”

My friends chattered away as we approached our dormitory, and basked under the awed attention of our dorm-mates when we got inside. I climbed into my bed without acknowledging anyone. I dropped my head on my pillow and my eyes drifted shut against the buzz of excitement in the room. Tomorrow would be here soon enough for me to worry about being a hero.

***

The remaining days of the week went by, with events that saw to the resolution of the turmoil in the school. None of the cultists were captured that night, because the moment they realized that the people they were up against were the able-bodied men of the school’s security, they fled. By Thursday morning, the principal had set up an inquiry into the incidences of the past three days which led to the distasteful culmination the previous night. The student body was not privy to any of the proceedings, but everyone gossiped about what was going on. Speculations were rampart, and side glances were heavy on the SS3 and SS2 boys involved.

On Friday, my friends and I were summoned from our classroom to the principal’s office. It was my first time inside the large, well-appointed office. Oga Johnny was in the office too, as well as Mrs. Ihejirika, the Vice Principal Admin. We sat stiffly in the chairs facing Mr. Iheukwumere as he leaned over his desk, his paunch straining against the edge of the table, his fingers steepled in front of him, during the monologue he gave which was a commendation to us of our heroic efforts that night.

Then Monday dawned. And moments after breakfast, the assembly ground was packed full of staff and students, everyone anxious to know the resolution the administration had come to. Suppositions were whispered back and forth as we observed the grave mien on the faces of the principal and his two lieutenants.

Finally, it was time for Mr. Iheukwumere to speak, and his words came with an indignation and anger that was liquid and righteous as he uttered them. “For years, I have governed this school, taking pride in the fact that I was helping fashion young minds into something greater for the future. And for years, this school has turned out some of the best citizens of this country, whom every one of you should aspire to. We have an alumni filled with governors, doctors, lawyers – men and women stationed in reputable positions in the society. Why, just last month, Ahamefula Umeh, who passed out from here a few years back, called me to inform me that he was the only graduating Nigerian with a first class in one of the Ivy League schools in America.”

He paused to sweep an icy look over the assembly before saying, “Men, women, who years ago were like you lot, studying hard and being the best they could be, simply because they understood the importance of their existence to the society. And the fact that they graduated from here make me proud of this school. Proud. Pleased. Boastful even. But never once have I felt shame for this school, until this past week. Never!” The word came as a whiplash, and I flinched. The man’s ire was gathering steam.

“I feel very ashamed of the group of students we call seniors. Except they are seniors, and they most certainly aren’t students. They are hooligans, ruffians, troublemakers” – he stabbed a stubby forefinger furiously into the air, an accompaniment of each word – “touts, not worthy to be called students” – his voice teetered up a few decibels of outrage – “and their fates have been decided as such!”

My breath hitched. Here it comes – the verdict.

“Since they have decided not to buckle down over their books and study for their upcoming external exams, the school has decided to help them on their way to their chosen career, as an aberration to the society.” Mr. Iheukwumere salted his words with big English whenever he was angry, and he was spitting mad now.

“And for the persons who took it upon themselves to invade this institution with a vagrant authority that has no business being in here at all, an equally dire fate has been decided for them as well.” He turned his flinty stare to the ranks of the SS2s, and I could imagine Badmus quailing wherever he stood.

The principal was done generalizing. He barked, “Badmus Nnorom!” A few moments passed, during which the SS2s made way for the doomed boy to step out into the mortifying glare of the school. Mr. Iheukwumere continued waspishly, “This student has forthwith been placed on an indefinite suspension from the school. He will discontinue with his studies, pending a time when the administration deems it fit for him to return. If” – he dropped a heavy stress on the word – “we deem it fit for him to return.”

Badmus’ head sank miserably into his chest.

“And for the rest of these names,” the principal said as he consulted the piece of paper in his hand for the first time, “all of them belonging to SS3 students, they have been summarily expelled from this school.”

A shocked gasp rippled across the student body. Expulsion?! And just weeks away from their Senior WAEC exams… I felt a wave of empathy for whichever name was on that paper.

The principal began, “Edozie Onyema…”

“Who is that?” Joseph queried beside me.

“So you don’t even know Negrito’s name,” Ibuka said sneeringly to him.

The three of us chuckled.

“Alanna Ajoku…”

“Let me guess,” I said, “that’s Alaska’s name, shey?”

Ibuka nodded. “I wonder why boys like answering ridiculous names, when they can just stick to their baptismal, God-given names.”

“So you won’t take on a nickname?” Joseph said, staring with mock-horror at Ibuka. “You with a name like Chukwuibuka, are you absolutely sure you don’t want to replace that with a nickname?”

My body shook with the beginnings of a seizure of giggles.

“Well, not all of us have the luxury of having English names we can answer to,” retorted Ibuka, “to replace such Igbotic names we have like Nkemakolam.” He enunciated every syllable on Joseph’s native name, in such a heavily mocking manner that I clapped a hand over my mouth to stifle the wave of my mirth.

“Gerraway joor,” Joseph said with a good-natured smile. “Even with my English name sef, I’ll still answer a nickname, one I’ll choose by the time we enter SS1.”

“Of course you will,” Ibuka said.

“What nickname is that?” I asked.

He thought for a short moment.

“Mustapha Alli…” the principal’s voice boomed.

Then Joseph said, “My own nickname will be Tiggaman.” His eyes were bright with the prospects of his future with the moniker.

“Tiggaman,” Ibuka repeated. “Yes, how original, such an intelligent name.”

His sarcasm bounced off Joseph as he smirked, “Of course, I’m a very intelligent boy nah.”

“What are we using to measure your intelligence abeg,” Ibuka went for the kill, “your report card or your ability to pick out nicknames…”

And we dissolved into smothered laughter as Joseph swung an equable fist at Ibuka.

I am @Walt_Shakes on twitter

About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

Check Also

EZE RETURNS TO SCHOOL (EPISODE 20)

“I pity some boys sha, for when we will graduate from secondary school,” Joseph said ...

55 comments

  1. Wow, i really had a laff and i commend the boys heroic display to quell the trouble dat went down dat nite. Dey r d three muskeeters. Am however sad dat my beloved Eze goes to school wud be coming to an end tnks to d plaigiarists, my God will jugde dem, *sniff *sniff, Nice one as always Walter.

  2. Don’t stop!!!!! :'( you can report to Facebook and they will take down the story.

    Great job so far! I’ll be sad to see this go 🙁

  3. Well, what can one really say… I’ve enjoyed this piece though I started late, but with the shameful acts still happening, I wouldn’t want to be selfish to say continue just because I enjoy it. Things like this are really hard to take. Keep on writing – in a book of course.

  4. Hehehehe..d 3 bravest boys ever liveth.
    Uncle Walter bia…we knw u r hurt for d facebook-theieving-story-robbers (allow me) buh don’t deprive we ur loyalists and zionists (allow me) of the Monday stories na…serzly u can do wat @moskedadapages does…send the posts to our emails if that would be better
    Tank u
    Gracias

  5. Wow Walter,

    I have been refreshing Eze’s page since 7.00am and finally another episode comes on and I read the sad news. You have every right to close this but please let the book come out quick ooo… meanwhile let me continue to enjoy the junior episiodes while it lasts.

    Eze, Nkem (Joeseph) & Ibuka.. you done well!

  6. Walter please don’t stop this series, I am grovelling, crying, begging, shouting. Please, Biko, Joor

  7. Walter,I am in love..so in love infact drunk in love…not with you..but with this amazing masterpiece you always render.If you choose to stop writing online that is fine but for every page of this book you write,I want to get a copy.Don’t torture me by making me wait till u finish writing,editing,binding andall the rest.Oshe

  8. HEROES!!! Eze, Ibu and Jo. you do well. nice one walter. very good read and very long too. *grinnin* Make the book no too long to come out o. good job.

  9. Haaabaaaa…..fipple r thievin sha …..Walter plu-ease ooooo……oya complete d book fast fast so dt we cn have it….Ma bi nu…..

  10. Undeniably my best series yet.. *sobs* if you do stop Walt, like someone said, please don’t take too long bringing out the book. You really have onlyjust a lil idea as to how much people love your story.

  11. I can’t see anytin in this episode Oooo… Just blank page #crying# do sumtin abt it walt

  12. What’s wrong with people and the copy-copy mentality? Awesome episode!!! Got adrenaline bursting thru me alongside the three musketeers. @Walter what am I going to look forward to on Mondays ehn? It is all well tho,pls don’t take forever to be done with the book biko? Thanx

  13. Waltz, chai, it’s bad that someone did this, really bad! But please hurry up with the book and while you’re at it, kindly ping me subsequent senior episodes, at least that way you’ll know who stole your work if at all, eh Waltz biko nu…

  14. Hi walter, I honestly wasn’t expecting an episode today, your tweet on that decision sounded so final. Thanks for this. Do quick and write the book. Will definitely buy. Good job as always.

  15. Wow!!!! Wow!!!! Wow!!!!!!
    As a writer, I can boldly say WALTER YOU BETTER PASS SHAKESPEARE…
    Am proud u r a writer…
    Ur work is like a breath of fresh air every monday… This episode is just wow…
    So long u made up for dat week u dint write one…
    But m using my ability as a girl to bribe u into making me number one recipient when its officially published in hard copy 😉 😀
    Thanks

  16. I pray u, wen d book cum out, let me b d first holder of d book

  17. That @moskedapages idea sounds great.
    I cant imagine life without my weekly dose of Eze Goes To School
    Walter please nau

  18. Walter!! Walter!! Walter!! This episode is just something else..really wonderful, if I haven’t said this before, I say it now “thank you so very much, God bless you-your hand, heart, mind, brain, everything…I duff my hat Walt”.
    As for those #mofos stealing EG2S God will punish them in multiple fold, whatever you decide to do is totally fine but please note, if it’s still the book you’d wanna finish, please help a sister in need and finish it fast….there’s also the idea of @moskedapages, I believe it’s a good one…thanks for always making our Mondays better. We love you.

    Association of Witc…sorry Eze readers. *wink*

  19. Ummm this is just too good. Speechless

  20. Wow! I’m so sorry…i feel sad knowing dis series is coming to an end soon……however, i dont even think i can beg u not to take it down when some idiotd somewhere are taking d credit for it….chai…anyways, walter, thanks and God bless you always….and when u release d book, pls let it reach ibadan..

  21. I’ve followed this series from the first episode, eagerly waiting for the latest every Monday. It has been a wonderful experience. I even got copies on okadabooks. One thing I love about this series is that it kind of fulfilled a dream for me about a story that never ends. I had hoped that it would remain so but I’ll make sure to get a copy of the book. My children must read it. Thanks so much, Walter, for deciding to pick up a pen and write. God bless you. Finish the book fast fast o

  22. It took me so long to actually come up with the apt words to put in this box. The idea of EGTS stopping soonest is one I’m finding so difficult to incorporate into my system; addicted to this drug, my system already is.

    I so understand your need to stop this (and I’m really tempted to start a 3days curse crusade for the culprits), but please biko nu, put us readers into consideration and help us somehow. The moskeda-style, quick compilation of EGTS in a book, or something else.

    Nice piece, as always.

    I almost forgot, I wish someone had said something like this:

    “Senior Boma! Is that your bed?” 🙂

    • shakespeareanwalter

      Hehehee… Well, I’m sure he thought, he that hideth in the secret place of the junior one shall abide in the safety away from the cultists… 😀

  23. Nice piece. Feel so sorry 4 wot dos guys did wit ur work. Bt hw I go get d book 4 jos nau?

  24. *wailing uncontrollably* Waltttt :'( please don’t do this to meeeeee. What am I gonna look forward to on mondays? Mondays used to be my worst day of the week 🙁 until EGTS. I promise never to threaten you again if u don’t stop posting 😀 & I wee be a good girl. That being said, I think there’s a way you can do it that people won’t be able to copy from ur page. All dey’ll be able to do is post ur link instead & dat will automatically lead back here and you get ur due credit. Or do d moskeda pages thingy (tho I have no idea what it’s about). Anythingggg. Just don’t stop. 🙁

  25. Just how low can people get????I’m so angry,I’m beginning to hyperventilate.Imagine the impunity.Walter darling,do what you must even though we your faithful readers might hurt for a bit.Just do us a huge favour by completing the book fast cos me can’t wait to have the book.Thanks for making my mondays look like strawberries,ice cream and cotton candy.I’ll really miss the series.Might just have to start reading all over again.BTW,my guys are heroes and I’m so proud of our chickeny Ibuka today.See courage.

  26. Am so sad, I wish I can change your mind but your mind is already mind up but if you can only reconsider, you will make me the happiest person

  27. I feel your pain and angst. I have had similar experience…

    I don’t think you should stop the series though. Firstly, I think adapting it into a book will limit the possibilities of the plot. With each new episode, I see the story having so many sub-plots that you can easily write a thousand episodes. This will not be accommodated in a book.

    Secondly, the series is more than a story now, it’s has come to be a defining moment for your readers and it’s has become a part of their lives. …it’s like a connection they have to you. Stopping it because of the actions of a few doesn’t seem fair.

    Thirdly, writing the series have been a steady outlet for you creative prowess, you keep besting yourself wt each episode and I read successive episodes with awe. Like, ‘oh my God! The master has gone and upgraded himself’. You have more stories inside you on EGTS than a book can afford. Unless of course you do the J.K Rowling style, writing 6 books.

    This episode 60 is just on another level…don’t let some miscreants take that away from you or your readers…please do have a rethink

    Also, packing up gives those guys the upper hand. You shouldn’t let them dictate what you do, engaging in something you love and giving thousands of people joy too. They are stealing the work and taking all the glory cos they want to be like you…they wish they were you, without the hard work and dedication that is. don’t give them the satisfaction…

    In conclusion, I hope with these few points of mine I have been able to convince and not confuse you that EGTS should remain a series and not be taken down. Thank you.

  28. This is the first I’m hearing of a stolen story. Nawa ooo…we even get spammers for stories. All I can say is, never stop writing and don’t let the inhuman exhibitions of such clueless fellows daunt your writing spirit. I actually think there is a way this issue can be resolved. You just have to meet a programmer or preferably, your site engineer to disable the right-clicking and copy features. Its very simple.

    This episode was intriguing.

  29. *sighs* Privacy, plagiarism and all the usual suspects will take some getting used to! How a person will up and steal someone else’s work and then sleep easy at night beats me silly! Not gonna dwell on that, its just a total waste of ma time! Walter, you’ve more than proved your mettle, my verdict: YOU’RE INDISPUTABLY AN AWESOME WRITER CUM POET! You never cease to bedazzle your fans, everytime and all of the time! You know where the shoe pinches, so do the needful, whatever that is! So long as you’re following your heart and it works just fine for you, by all means; do whatever seemeth right on to you. Will miss the series if its taken down, obviously; but if its gonna be to your disadvantage, please; find what works for you! It will be well and you’d be mighty fine; you’ll see! Its just a minor setback, pick yourself up and take some prompt actions, brainstorm with IT experts, legal officials, anyone who can help out! I wish you all the best in all of your endeavours and as always; I’ll be rooting for you, all the way to the finished line! You’d find me right there, waiting, cheering you to your assured victory! You go Walter, you’ve got it!

    This episode though is ‘BOOM SHAK-A-TAK! Evil triumphs when good men keep mute! Glad the boys woke up to the challenge and took it heads on! Hilarious, and very adrenaline-pumping! The writing, top notch; in true Walt Shakes fashion! Kudos to you and plenty twale! Respect!

  30. Yea I can now, tanx….Great masterpiece…. Bt as 4 stopin d series, mondays would be so boring without EG2S,I’m very happy wen monday is close by, cus I get to read anoda great piece by u, I can’t imagine mondays without EG2S…. plsssssssss don’t stop walt, bt if u av to, I beta b d 1st person to get it Oooooo…..once again,nice piece….kudos

  31. Wow! I have been silently following this story religiously and now I am forced to speak out. It hurts that you have to take it down but we all wish it wasn’t so. This episode was just perfect! We wait for the book,Wally. We love you. #fanforlife

  32. All this people tiffing Walters work and sharing it bon facebook and deir blogs… Dia ris God o , dia ris God……
    Na only una waka come dis blog??? I come too but I no tiff odas come too dey no tiff now u come and be tiffing. Dia ris God…
    This is d first time am reading an episode twice.. Walter, u are good…

  33. Wow! This episode just makes me want to beat the daylights ou of whoever has been plagiarising this fantastic series. (courtesy of he morale my boys just injected me with), the fact that there might be others out there is so sad. But, oga walt, when the book finally hits the shelves, i’ll own a copy. Thank U lord for creating such a talented mind as walter

  34. Awesome as always!
    Walter,May you live long and may your ink dry!

  35. It’s sad that people do feel comfortable passing on other people’s works as theirs.

    Eze Goes to School has been awesome and I’ll definitely miss it but…..

    This episode is the BEST ever for me. I was at the edge of my seat to the very end.

    God bless u Walter!

  36. It’s been a nice run Walt. And yep, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. If your readers like the story so much, I’m sure they won’t mind buying the book (too much oshofree is bad for the health).

    Heck, make it a series of three books sef, one for each senior class.

  37. Very long. Felt good reading it…and heart wrending knowing someone’s effort, instead of being commended and encouraged, could be stolen and frustrated. I’ve suffered this once, and I can’t tell you how demoralising it really could be.
    Well done, man. Even if you do quit now, I believe it is understandable that you already have made a beautiful mark.

  38. Walter plssssssssssss don’t stop,I have been an ardent and silent reader of EGTS since u started,but in as much as your decision is final,I guess we have to come to terms with it..Please listen to Topazo,u can device another means for this superb series not to b lifted..taking it down will hurt your fans.I wonder why some people can’t just sit back and enjoy reading it,they must have a lot of time on their hands to be lifting people’s work sha,mtcheewww.
    Walt o jare,….jor,biko,Da’Allah,mbok,pls have a reconsideration..I promise u something in return *wink*..Thnks in anticipation.

  39. Topazo spoke my mind exactly! I took this long to say anytin cos I was hurt! Do u knw ow many people I’v invited to ur blog cos of EGTS? I was also invited ere cos of it,if u stop now..*nd who says those twerps can’t photocopy ur book n sell cheaply?u’ll hurt a lot of people if u stop EGTS,pls reconsider,BDW this episode was BOMBASTIC!,sighs* Walter I love u but love EGTS more(whatever dt means)lol,don’t break my heart,I’v been a silent ardent follower of this blog,and alwys look forward to this series can’t wait for d boys to be in senior class,cos I don’t knw ow to get d book since I don’t live in lagos anymore..and I also belive like topazo said a book wld limit ur plot n writing on EGTS,enuf said..God wld judge those stealing ur work and taking d credit for it!

    • shakespeareanwalter

      Annie, as much as it crushes me to do this, every thing has an ending. I was always going to end the series, just not so soon. This incident however simply made it imperative for me to do so

  40. awesome episode.. I beg you in the name of God to not end this series so soon please!!.. *sobs*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: