The event was held on Friday of the following week. So, on Tuesday, by 4:20 a.m. exactly, we left Ojulegba, Lagos on a luxury bus for Abuja. By 11p.m. the night of that same day, we were in Abuja.
Our escort took the seven of us to a not-too- big, but comfortable hotel at Wuse to lodge for the few days we were to remain in the Federal capital. A large room was given to us (the ladies), and a smaller room for the two guys.
Too tired from the long-distant journey, we all lay on our beds and slept off.
The next morning, we assembled at the conference hall of that hotel. When we entered the hotel, to our chagrin, we saw another lady, who was not Bella. The lady had two tall, huge bodyguards that stood over her.
We asked her about Bella, and she responded that Bella had to remain in Lagos to oversee things there.
She introduced herself as Lady T. She gave each of us white envelopes, and told us that the envelopes contained money, which was part payment for our job. She advised us to use the money to take care of ourselves. “Buy new clothes and shoes, change your hairdo and do manicure,” she counseled all. We were told that for the ladies, we were to get a short black fitting gown that radiated style and elegance and any color of high-heeled shoes, while for the guys, they were to get white shirt with blazers and a pair of trousers and red bow ties, with black shoes, to show how classic they were.
After giving us the instructions, she waved us away, and we left the conference room. Two escorts were assigned to take us to boutiques, salons, and any other place of relevance we wished to go to.
Inside each envelope was N20,000. I was really excited by this, and decided that I would use the money wisely. Luckily for me, I had packed a black gown and a pair of black high-heeled shoes before travelling to Abuja. So, the only thing remaining for me was to do manicure and change my hairdo. Manicure and hairdo alone was N5,000. So, N15,000 was left for me.
Most of the girls had used almost all their money, buying expensive gowns and shoes, and making hair worth N10,000-N12,000, with the hope that they would replace the money when they got the remaining after the job.
“Wow, I can’t believe it o. Out of N20,000 I was given as an advance payment, only N2,000 was remaining right now. I only hope that we will be paid the remaining after the work, or I will be stranded,” Thelma, one of my colleagues exclaimed.
All the ladies were back to the room, as we all admired our new hairdos and dresses.
“You see this gown?” Jennifer another of my colleagues, held up a short, black gown that has an X-shape at the back. “I will use this to seduce one rich Alhaji who will pay me a huge amount of money for a night.”
We all stared at her in shock. She noticed our reaction and threw her head back and laughed out loud.
“Silly you, I was just joking. I don’t even like Alhajis. I heard that some of them use girls for rituals to make money. I only got this type of gown because it was what Lady T requested us to get.” We all breathed a sigh of relief.
We all chatted and got to know more about ourselves. We had to sleep early to wake up to prepare for the event which was taking place the next day.
We said prayers as a group and dozed off early.
To be continued