A place to rave, a place to rant, to commend and recommend, mostly a place to vent...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My neighbours from hell...

HELP!!! My neighbours are driving me crazy. Every night, I say a prayer to the God of Oil Companies to transfer Mr Oil & Gas (O & G) back to PortHarcourt. Please join me in this prayer. It is for a most important cause; my sanity. Let me start from the beginning. Our family moved from Kano to Abuja in August (although I moved in January). My husband found a nice four bedroom flat in a secluded part of Wuse. The flat was in a block of four (Block A), with another block of four (Block B) in the same compound. Our flat on the second floor is opposite that of a couple which for this piece I will call O & G which incidently are their initials. When I finally joined the family in January, my husband and I went around all eight flats introducing our family and so I met O & G formally. By this time, my nine year old son and their nine year old, Daminabo, were best friends. It did concern me that their two sons (9 & 7 yrs) were in my house every freaking day immediately after school until about 6.30pm. They intrude on us even on Saturdays. I understand the addiction of my kids Nintendo WII video games and other toys in my house but I came to realise that I had in essence become their baby sitter. The kids would come straight to my house IN THEIR SCHOOL UNIFORMS and their housemaid would follow them in with their lunch. I soon put a stop to that. I insisted that they go home, change, eat lunch and do their homework first. Another inkling I had that things might become uncomfortable is when my son said that Tonye the younger son said my whole family will go to hell because we were muslims. He told my son that his mother said so. The couple are staunch members of the 'church of mountain, fire and brimstone' or something of that nature. I did not say anything but filed the incident under 'hmmm?'
About two weeks after that, their second car was involved in a crash and was a total right-off. The driver survived, thank God. Since my childrens school is near their childrens school, we offered our driver to drop off their kids and then mine and at the close of school, pick up my kids then theirs. That was early February. We naively thought that they will quickly make other arrangements. We were still doing school runs for them three months later and not once, did they ever offer to fuel our car or even give our driver a tip. I finally put my foot down when my kids midterm did not coincide with that of her kids and she still expected my driver to ferry her kids. That morning when she realised that my children were not going to school and that my driver was out on an errand, she had the audacity to say to me, 'a'ah I will be late for work if I take them to school now and who will pick them up?'. As Madonna sings (amazing, I am quoting Madonna), 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions'. I suddenly realised that the line had been drawn in the sand. I calmly told her that it really was not my concern and also told her that they have to make alternative arrangements for their school runs. She looked amazed but left. After work, my husband told me that O, the husband called him to tell him what I said. Imagine, they reported me to my husband! This was a couple who constantly and relentlessly called my husband on the Saturday that I was rushed to the hospital, to complain that they wanted to go out and were still waiting for my husband to pick up my kids from their house ( the first time since I moved to Abuja). My husband left me in the hospital, picked up the kids and took them to another family in Block B.
Now the final straw! They suddenly started hosting noisy night vigils in their home Friday nights. Singing, clapping, spewing in tongues and shouting. I honestly respect everyones right to freedom of religion but I believe with rights come responsibilities. 'Your right to swing your arm stops where my nose starts'. Our parking lot would be filled with about 25 cars, right onto the street. The tenants would not even find spaces to park. The landlord did not allocate parking because there is ample parking spaces. After the second vigil, the three other tenants in Block A agreed that a representation would be made to them to complain. Mrs Adegoke and I volunteered to talk to G but the men insisted on handling it. So the three husbands (Buttri, Indian muslim, Adegoke, Yoruba muslim and my better half, Hausa muslim) went to see them. I only mention the religion and tribe to put what happenned in the proper context. O & G, mostly G, blew up. They accused the three of 'religious persecution' and ganging up to run them out of the flats. They said that even before moving to Abuja, they had been told that all Northerners wanted to destroy Christianity. I wish I has been there to see the priceless look of shock on the faces of Buttri and Adegoke accused of being part of the Northern conspiracy. Adegoke, perhaps if one squints, closes one eye and looks through a blindfold, just might pass, by the skin of his teeth, for a Sokoto man (that is if you disregard his tribal marks) but Buttri, no stretch of the imagination can make him pass. He is the most indian looking Indian I have ever seen. If you look in Websters dictionary, under Indian, you will find Buttri's picture. G then brought up the fact that no one had complained about the Muslim call to prayer that can be heard faintly in the background in the neighbourhood disregarding the fact that (1) it is not on the property in question (2) it comes from somewhere way behind the property (3) if they feel so strongly, the onus is on them to find the mosque and complain accordingly!!!(...they would NOT dare, I'm willing to bet the family farm). Anyway, needless to say, the meeting was not productive at all and the next Friday night, they were even louder and it went on later that usual. The good thing about Abuja, is that there is a noise ordinance and it is usually adhered to. Without telling my husband, I wrote a complaint letter and personally delivered it on Monday to the Abuja Environmental Protection Agency (AEPB). I was extra polite to the Asst. Director and he promised to take it up immediately. On Wednesday, O & G were served with the AEPB equivilent of a cease and desist letter. Their kids still came to our flat to play. On Thursday, we met outside. I said Good Morning, O replied but G glared at me, then ignored me. However, their kids still came to play. And so they did on Friday. Then came Friday night. SILENCE!!! Victory!!! My husband still believes that O & G must have had a change of heart after their conversation. He said 'y'know, people mostly make the right decision after they have had a chance to calm down and think'. I smiled and nodded. I will just let him live in that world while I live in the real 'dog-eat-dog' world of surviving by the flexing of official muscles to get people to do the right thing.

33 comments:

UndaCovaSista said...

First!! Ha ha!!!

Lol! (i'll stop using exclamation marks after this one!). The audacity of people, eh? I love the way you handled the matter...talk about taking advantage (sorry, i cant resist one more)!

ijebuman said...

ahh the good old neighbours from hell, you've done the right thing by getting the authorities to contact them. I had to deal with similar 'neighbours from hell' next door to "Ijebuman's mansions", they had 3 dogs that would start barking at 4.30am in the morning, then their visitors would block my drive way with their cars etc, anyhoo it got to a point where they actually claimed i was harassing them because they got a letter from the council and the RSPCA (regarding the dogs lol), it's typical of NFHs to turn the tables and claim they are the "victims".
One of the other neighbours sold his house and moved away because of them. Me, I was going nowhere and eventually they left the area when they realised i was not going to back down and tolerate their behaviour.

bumight said...

you handled the matter quite well and with a lot of maturity, i must say (i'm taking notes for future reference, lol!)

Religious persecution indeed!

NigerianDramaQueen said...

Gosh your neighbours sound like a pain! People like that give Christians a bad name. Kar ki ji haushi kin gi?
Have you thought about moving to my neck of the woods? Good ol' Asokoro:-)
PS: Yarmama is listening to 4 minutes ke? LOL

Chxta said...

Neighbours from hell...

I turned into one briefly when my flatmate and his girl took to having noisy intercourse every night. Then I developed a sudden taste for Metallica...

On a more serious note, people have to learn to respect every other person's rights. Then and only then can we have anything vaguely resembling world peace. I'm glad you handled it in the right manner, and I'm pleased that children are so innocent, and their own kids exposed them for the kind of bigots that they are. Utter rubbish...

Parakeet said...

I dont mean this to upset anyone but I maintain that the three factors causing problems in the world to day is politics, religion and race. Every intolerance and unrest seem to stem from these three and am afraid we won't have a chaos free world until something is done about them.

I am a xtian but I hate the way Christians in Nigeria make other people's lives hell in the name of serving God or trying to impress their own religious beliefs on others.

O&G cant even live in this country, they'll suffer if they cant manage their affairs.

Naija Babe said...

I've been lurking on your blog for quite a while...I love your writing voice.

Meanwhile, isn't it sad how so many of us, use our faith like a free pass as if its supposed to excuse us from acting with common courtesy. Faith is supposed to transform us...yet we are still human. As for MFMer's well...to each his own but quietly I beg...I can't stand the shouting and therefore the intrusion.

I do however love that there are official channels in Abuja and that they work with a minimum of fuss.

Standtall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Standtall said...

You couldnt have used a better caption!!! I hate inconsiderate people. Can't stand them for the life of me. Haba. WHo is now starting a religion war? Too much for this MFM people. You have done the right thing. Friendship no be by force!

I pray God answers ur prayer for them to relocate as I prayed to God to lock a car engine in my area cos they honk the horn without consideration day and night, but God is yet to answer my prayer (lol)

30+ said...

"I will just let him live in that world while I live in the real 'dog-eat-dog' world"

Allowing your husband to believe his way works - Priceless

ibiluv said...

i am soooooooooo in love with you
i love to put people in their proper place.........

and i do mind very much noise
i dont care if it is prayer
noise is noise

in my opinion
if someone isnt about to die
God aiint deaf!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and allowing ur husband to think his way worked.......
and the diplomacy of ur actions.......priceless!!!!!!!

OluwaDee said...

I must compliment you 4 taking a strong stand against Mr & Mrs oil & Gas.

If u didn't, they will so ride on you. N when u need their help they will tell u how busy they are.

Well done girl.
Am really curious to know how ur hubby would react if he know u actually reported O&G

Anthony Arojojoye said...

It's worthy to note that people have the ability to display o & G style characteristic, irrespective of their race, religion or ethnicity.
I'm impressed with the way you handled the issue without unnecessary altercation.
Nicely put too.

Jarrai said...

Lol...hahahahah

I shouldn't be laughing but lord...this life makes you see and hear things that just shocks you.

Mr and Mrs O&G just take the cake, medal and trophy for the most inconsiderate neighbours!!! Imagine her making you a baby sitter, driving her kids to school and still she doesn't even have the courtesy to speak to god quietly within her own four walls...she even brings people to help her shout...oops i mean pray!!! lol

People never cease to amaze me...but you handled her with care and style...and hubby thinks it's all his handiwork. What can i say...you are a pro!!!

NikkiSab said...

Its amazing people forget the we serve n worship d same God, d only difference is we call Him by different names. Glad dere is a law dat protects people now. I do apologise as a christian wat dat lady said about muslims. takia of u dear

Naapali said...

Yarmama, yet again you confirm your spine and liver, with a dash of class.

LG said...

lol@...church of mountain, fire and brimstone'

i so luv d way u write, i can even paint mr & mrs O&G's face, lol
yeah, u r dat good!!!
Thank God, they ve stoped d vigil sha, me too cant stand it o, lets jus pray d silence is 4 real abi?

*ehen, i'm yet to see ur comment on my blog o, lol!!

Mommy said...

"My husband still believes that O & G must have had a change of heart after their conversation. He said 'y'know, people mostly make the right decision after they have had a chance to calm down and think'. I smiled and nodded. I will just let him live in that world while I live in the real 'dog-eat-dog' world of surviving"...teheheeheehe..I just had to laugh.

Please tell me the city you so detaste is not Kano state? I have lived there like forever and truely, same opinion here.

Nice blog.

rethots said...

...couldn't have been better resolved.
It beats me though why we just can't be (religious/ethic) tolerant of one another.

Sometimes....'tis best to use the instrument of the law.

In My Own Words said...

"My husband still believes that O & G must have had a change of heart after their conversation. He said 'y'know, people mostly make the right decision after they have had a chance to calm down and think'. I smiled and nodded. I will just let him live in that world while I live in the real 'dog-eat-dog' world of surviving"

Full of wisdom and tact!

theicequeen said...

LOL! who sent those kind of neighbours your way? its still too shocking to realize that people can act like that..abi una sign contract? mchew..

have i mentioned that i looooove your blog?

Nine said...

Let's just say I'm not fond of any religious denomination with crusade grounds along the Ibadan-Lagos highway and leave it at that.

As for your neighbours...self-centered AND stupid is a particularly obnoxious combo.Love the way you handled it.

DiAmOnD hawk said...

im curious yarmama... (based on the boy's conversation) what the outlook is in islam re: other religions and their eventual destination...

i loved... LOVED... the way you handled it. Im glad some sort of order exists like that in abuja... good for you...

Parakeet said...

Your neighbour keeping you away from blogville?

'Yar Mama said...

@NDQ, we cant afford Asokoro, the Beverly Hills of Abuja
@Naapali, I really am a coward at heart, non confrontational. In my mind I take on all transgressors and trouble makers, but in reality, I timidly sneak to report to the approriate authorities. I am not brave at all...However, it is said that it is from the house of a coward that you point to where a brave man ONCE lived...
@Ig, I dey lurk for una blog oh
@mommy, you wan put me for trouble oh, my state will withdraw my 'statezenship' with dispatch if I confirm your guess. I will however give you a clue, the city has the largest population in Nigeria, they are rabid muslims, there used to be pyramids of groundnuts and you find the following letters in the name N,K,O,A...
@diamondhawk, your question started me thinking. Will post in detail about my feelings on eternal life, hell or heaven
@parakeet, I am job hunting oh but Insha Allah, it seems successful so watch out for regular posting

Jinta said...

"the younger son said my whole family will go to hell because we were muslims". lmao! my girlfriend is a devout muslim and it does not seem to be a problem. only the ignorant use religion as weapons

i like the fact that an asbo (anti-social behaviour order) was served on them. only wish we could have that in the other parts of the country

tobenna said...

Grrr!
I so hate neighbours like that.
Good thing you made it clear where you stood with the wife.
Stranger things have been done in the name of God.

ablackjamesbond said...

lol @ 'Your right to swing your arm stops where my nose starts'
Apt!

BacktoNaija said...

You seriously crack me up! I love the way you write. Nicely nicely handled. Is hubby in on the real dealn now? How are the neighbours now?

KemiMamaLopes said...

Well done for being so calm. I would have been foaming at the mouth but I also hate confrontation and oftenn feel taken for granted. God really is not deaf but saying that I do like a good jump up and down prayer session but in church. Hope all is going well in Lagos. Almost over.

Toks- Boy said...

A ha (as in eureka rather than the yoruba aha?). I have long had a suspicion that Iyawo is quielty sorting things out behind my back whilkst I go around blustering and generally making a nuisance of myself. This post only confirms it.

Rather than "My husband still believes that O & G must have had a change of heart after their conversation. He said 'y'know, people mostly make the right decision after they have had a chance to calm down and think' I would have been thinking someting along the lines of - mehn those people did not know who they were messign with. Now that thye have felt the force of my vocieferousness thye have changed their ways and fallen into line." It is only now I understand the wry smile and the pitying look on her face on these occassions.

Great post. Please gist us about your time in Lagos. I am keen to get your impression as I have several friends in Abuja who refuse to even consider coming for a visit in this "bush place" as they call it.

pamela said...

hmmm...after laughing... I asked myself, "why didn't mommy, daddy and other Christians within the community put an end to the loud noise blowing from the loud speaker at the mosque every day at 6 am in my old neighborhood - after all, most of us within the community were Christian".

In Nigeria, you have to coexist particularly when it comes to Nigeria. Both Muslims and Christians do a lot of CRAP and GET AWAY WITH IT because of their religion.

c'est tout on my end..

:d

pink gloves said...

Gotta love women. We get stuff done.
I hate it when pple are doing wrong and then try to hide behind religion. i Admire what u did.