In 1994, an 87-year-old man passed on in a village close to Amai, Kwale, Delta State.
The late man’s grandson, Ubaka (26 years old and fairly educated), was given some money and asked to travel to Agbor to buy a fine casket for his grand pa’s burial.
Ubaka left the base early and arrived Agbor in good time to purchase the casket and make the return journey same day.
He was fortunate to get an open back white coloured Peugeot 404 pickup heading for Amai.
He, however, had to ride in the back of the pickup with the casket because two market women travelling to Amai were already seated in front with the driver.
On their journey, they ran into a heavy rainstorm close to Uronigbe and Ubaka quickly opened the casket, “laid himself nicely in the well-padded interior,” covered the lid and used the folded newspaper he had with him to leave a small opening between the lid and the main body of the white casket to ensure adequate ventilation.
The interior of the casket was very comfortable and Ubaka soon fell into a very deep sleep.
The rain had subsided at the time the pickup van arrived at Umutu and during a brief stop, two men travelling to Amai boarded the vehicle at the back and the same happened at Ubiaruku where a man and a woman travelling also to Amai entered the vehicle.
All this while, Ubaka was enjoying his ‘lovely sleep’ inside the Casket completely unaware of the new passengers who boarded at Umutu and Ubiaruku.
The pickup van arrived Amai just after 5 pm and the driver, who was now very hungry, stopped in front of a busy bukataria to have a quick bite before proceeding onto the next village.
The sudden stoppage and reviving of the pickup’s engine woke Ubaka who then opened the lid of the casket and rose up.
The trouble began when he woke up from his deep sleep!
The passengers in the back of the pickup jumped out of the vehicle from various points and took to their heels in various directions.
The people eating in the buka (including the mama-put and her service girls) who saw the white casket opened, and a “ghost” stepped out, ran off all over the places some with balls of eba and akpu in their hands.
Ubaka, seeing people running ‘helter-skelter’ was convinced that armed robbers were operating and decided to take-off in the direction of three of the passengers.
When the three passengers realised that Ubaka was running towards their direction, they increased their speed and shouted “ghost! ghost! ghost!!! and, to further worsen the situation, Ubaka was dressed in white “up and down” with a pair of ‘white shoe’ to match that day.
With the shouting of ‘ghost!!!!!!!!!!!’ other people in their homes came out to see what was going on and on seeing people running at high speed all over the places, they joined in the race for their dear life and the number just swelled.
The driver and the two market women were the only people who knew what was going on and they had a hell of time calming the people down and explaining that he merely needed shelter, while it was raining.
I am very sure you are still laughing, well this is how a lot of us keep running for no reason and mostly do things because someone is doing it.
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