a picture of the akodi orisa


The first report (summer 2018)

Yesterday, July 5, 2018.


I was arrested by the Nigerian Police yesterday.

To be fair to them, they were angry with my new building, the ÀKÒDÌ ÒRÌṢÀ, in Ile Ife. The police landed in trucks, arms, uniforms, and plain clothes to storm the construction site. There were about ten workers at the site when the police came. The previous day when the police arrived the workers fled into the surrounding bushes, abandoning their tools, unused building materials and the entire construction area.

“Who is the owner of the house,” one of the plain-clothed officers barked at the cowering plumbing workers, the master bricklayers, carpenters and laborers at various positions around the building.

But this time the workers did not flee. Sticking to their plan, they carried their union ids with which they could identify themselves if required. Yet they were all scared of the police presence.

The chief builder, Baba Ila, stepped forward. A short thin man in his late 60s, he said, “I am in charge of the project. Everybody here works under me.”

The police officer scowled hard and down at Baba Ila. “Is this your house?” he asked Baba Ila.

“No, I work as the head of the bricklayers here. I am a mason.”

“Who hired you for this work?”

“A doctor from the university and a professor from the United States.”

“What are you building here?”

“We are constructing a unique building, but I do not know its purpose. My duty is to build whatever the draughtsman drew.”

“Do you have the numbers of those who hired you?”

“I have the number of one of them, the doctor. But not the number of the prof from the United States.”

“What is the name of the doctor?”

“Dr. Seyi.”

“And the name of the prof from America? You don’t have his number?”

“Professor Moyo. No, I don’t have his number.”

“Fine. We will take you away to the police station,” said the officer to Baba Ila, “and you can call the doctor to come and bail you out.”

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