IBUSA IS A DEN OF INIQUITY (A Near-Kito Story)

IBUSA IS A DEN OF INIQUITY (A Near-Kito Story)

In light of the news about the apprehension of Asaba kito scum, a development which has led to everyone rehashing all the ways Asaba is the kito capital of Nigeria, I felt that as a native of Delta State, I should contribute my story to the conversation.

This story happened three years ago, when I was in school in Abraka. I met Mike in Grindr. He had a very nice profile picture and a very nice bio. My only reservation at the time was that his profile stated his age to be 24. And for some reason I’m yet to explore, I’m very skeptical about hooking up with guys in their early twenties. As we chatted, he told me he was Top and I told him I’m Versatile. We exchanged pics, and expectedly, the pic he sent wasn’t the same as the one that was his profile pic. Even so, the young man in the picture he sent looked too good and I had my doubts about it being really him. Maybe it was because I didn’t send my actual picture to him; maybe it was because the image I’d built up of him in my mind from our conversations so far didn’t fit with the man in the photo. Either way, that should have been my first trigger that this wasn’t a hookup to entertain.

But I still went on with our chatversation. We exchanged contacts. I told him I was in school in DELSU. He told me he was residing in Asaba. And because I stay around Asaba, I was more receptive to the idea of hooking up with him. I figured that whenever I return home from school, we would get to see. I told him this and he was cool with it.

However, in the days that followed, he began pestering me with calls, wanting to know when we’ll see. I kept telling him that school was in session and I had no plans of up and coming to Asaba just for a random hookup. He constantly brushed aside my excuses, insisting that he would like to see me. His persistence eventually wore me down and I decided to go to Asaba just to pay him a visit.

That fateful morning, I left my place in school at about 9 AM, got on a bus and embarked on the 2-hour journey to Asaba. Like I said, I don’t stay in Asaba; I stay in Ibusa, a town that has sustained, even then, the reputation of being a kito den. In addition to this – and more well-known – are other social vices that have come to be associated with the town, such as cyber theft, yahoo scams and ritual killings. It has become so prevalent that these crimes have sort of become normalized in my town. I’d say it’s been something of a miracle that as a gay man growing up in Ibusa, I hadn’t had any kito experience, but that is largely because I am very closeted and generally avoid any hookups in the town whenever I am home.

And so, if Mike had told me in the beginning of our acquaintanceship on Grindr that he was from Ibusa, I wouldn’t have bothered carrying on with him. Ibusa is a place where I was born, raised and where my parents live; I have determined never to have any queer interactions with anyone there.

But Mike told me he was from Asaba. Even though I live in Ibusa, I am very familiar with Asaba, as I have my social life there.

On getting to Asaba, the bus that brought me from Abraka dropped me at Coker Junction. I crossed over to the other side of the expressway and got into a vehicle going into town to meet Mike at Okpanam Road, where we’d earlier scheduled to meet. In the vehicle, I called him. He told me he wasn’t inside Asaba, that he went for a wedding at Ogwashi Uku, a place that is about two towns away from Asaba. When he asked me to meet him there, I resisted, letting him know that I wouldn’t do that. That wasn’t our arrangement. He said okay, that he was already on his way back but he has to stop at Ibusa to see someone, that I should please come there instead for us to see.

I was exasperated. What sort of mess is this? I thought angrily to myself.

I eventually acquiesced because, well, I live in Ibusa. I know the town. I am familiar with it. In a way, despite my reservations about having hookups in Ibusa, I figured that it being my area made it a better place to see him anyway. So, I made the decision to go see him there and got on a bus headed there.

Because this was not a planned trip, I didn’t tell anyone at home that I’d be in Ibusa that day, so I had to be mindful of any possible encounters with my family members or anyone who knows me and could get word back to my family that I came into town. My plan was simply to see Mike and then return to Abraka the same day with as much unobtrusiveness as I could manage.

When I got down at a junction in Ibusa, I called Mike to know where he was. And he had another story to tell; he said he couldn’t come out from where he was because he was in the middle of a meeting. He said that a friend of his would come and pick me up. This didn’t trigger any suspicions in me, because at this time in 2017, I wasn’t familiar with how kito works and what one should look out for. So, I said okay.

Some minutes later, a man riding a bike pulled up next to me. He was wiry and dark-skinned, and he looked rugged, the way a bikeman typically looks. He stopped beside me and asked if I was the person Mike was expecting.

I said, “Yes. Are you his bikeman or something?”

“No, I’m his friend,” he replied.

I was mildly surprised by this; the man in the photo from Grindr didn’t look like someone who would be friends with a man that looked like this.

“He said I should pick you,” he said.

I shrugged and got on the bike. And he drove off. He drove through parts of the town that I was familiar with, and then over to a section of the town that I was quite uncomfortable being in on a good day. Then he took a turn down a slightly bushy area; I didn’t protest because my discomfort didn’t stem from any knowledge that any harm related to this hookup might come to me. No. I was just generally uncomfortable because I would never come to this part of Ibusa on a normal circumstance.

And then, as the bikeman began to slow down, it happened. Some guys leaped out of the surrounding bush and descended on us.

“Hey, stop there!” they were all shouting. “Shey na you! Na you wan come fuck man!”

They pulled me from the bike and began harassing me, shoving me this way and that. I felt terror explode inside me as I realized that I was about to become a kito victim. The stories I’d heard of other people was about to become my fate.

However, just then, a man who seemed to be their leader emerged, and upon setting his eyes on me, got a stricken expression on his face.

“Oh no, no, no,” he began protesting, waving his hands for his gang members to stop harassing me. “You guys should stop. Stop, stop…”

His voice registered. This was the person I’d been talking to on the phone, the ‘Mike’ I got to know on Grindr, who I’d come here to see. Except this person looked nothing like the guy in the photo. (Big surprise!)

“Bloody fuck!” he was cussing as he inserted himself between me and the other guys. “You guys should stop abeg! Behave! Mehn, fuck this!”

I was confused by this. I was terrified of course, but not as much as I should be, because there was this sense of assurance that came with knowing that this was happening in my town; I knew that whatever happened, I would figure a way out of it. In fact, more of my terror came from the thought that this could blow up to the level that would out me to my family. But I was also confused by what was now going on.

I tried to mask my riotous emotions with a calmness I didn’t feel, and in that calmness, I took a good look at ‘Mike’ – and that was when I recognized him. His name is actually Kelvin Okobi, and he is my neighbour back at home. His place is situated a few houses behind my father’s house. I even went to Primary School with two of his younger siblings.

His objection to my harassment now made sense. He had recognized me immediately as someone he knew.

As his guys fell back, he took my hand and began talking to me, “Come on, dude. Why are you doing this? It shouldn’t be. Not you. You shouldn’t be like this.”

I didn’t say anything in response. My mind was still a whirlpool.

He took me to the bike and drove us to another area, where he stopped and we settled down somewhere because it was clear he wanted to talk to me.

“Why should you be engaging in this na?” he started, looking earnestly at me. “This thing is bad. It is against God. It’s against our culture. You can’t be doing homo, it’s bad.”

And on and on he went with his homophobic spiel of an advice. And I sat there, looking on incredulously at him. I couldn’t believe this guy. What exactly was his aim here – to change my mind about who I am or really to divert my focus from him as a villain and instigator of something bad that almost happened to me? And how could he talk to me about who I am being bad and against God and culture, when he was clearly behind something as evil as attacking and robbing other people?

I was also curious, wondering to myself in he was actually gay and doing this because of his unexamined self loathing or simply a heterosexual piece of scum who makes up the society of hypocritical Nigerians who won’t live and let live?

As though he could see the accusations in my eyes, he began talking about how he isn’t gay, but is just on Grindr to catch those who are gay and teach them a lesson that will make them change.

Well, good for you, sir, I thought sardonically. You must be very proud of yourself over your humanitarian efforts to fix this society, one faggot at a time.

And then, just when I thought I’d heard it all, he started trying to convince me to be part of his operation. “Clearly, you’ve been doing this for a long time,” he said of my homosexuality as if it is an operation I’m the mastermind of. “So you must know others who are into it, the rich and famous, those who are well-connected or come from rich families. Why not join us? Assist us in setting these guys up?”

I stared at him, nonplussed. So which is it to be, oga – am I to quit being gay because God and culture, or am I to continue being gay for the sake of helping your ministry?

All I could say to him was, “I’ve heard you. May God be with you. I’m going to go back to school now.”

He didn’t try to stop me, and I was soon on a bus bound for Abraka. After that day, I began to comb through what I knew about this guy, Kelvin Okobi, some information which I already knew and some which I gleaned from people I know who know him. When he finished school, he actually went to Lagos to try and make a living. But his hustle didn’t pay off and after a few years of the Lagos grind, he returned to Delta with a determination to make it by any means necessary. Because cyber theft and yahoo scam had become a normalized way of life here, he of course identified to anyone who cared to know that this was how he was making a living. But that near-kito experience led me to start questioning the validity of that front. It was becoming apparent to me that these guys actually set up gay guys for a living. That was what they did, their bread and butter, not internet scam.

I remember engaging with him days later, when I wanted to be certain what he was: queer and kito scum or straight and kito scum. And he basically admitted that there were some guys he gets chatting with, who he likes and ends up having sex with instead of setting them up. This, according to him, he only allows to happened especially when his account balance is looking good and as a group, they’re not in any urgent need of money. Then he can permit himself to fuck instead of kito.

I was at once disgusted and disappointed by this. I also got to learn that he is a cultist, and I wondered about the extent of his crimes. I wondered if in addition to setting gay guys up, he had crossed the line into ritual killings. Like I earlier said, Ibusa had become known for many vices, which include the abduction and killing of people, mostly women. Women, especially those who go to the farm, are kidnapped and eventually found dead and disemboweled, dispossessed of their wombs and intestines. This caused an increasing fear, among women, of going to the farms or plying lonely paths.

Yahoo-yahoo is, I believe, a front, a mask of “legitimacy” for their blood money, for the ritual killings and the payment they get from beating up and victimizing gay men. In fact, that experience with Kelvin opened my eyes so much that I noticed the growing trend of gay bashers posing on Grindr, looking for their own payday from the enterprise called kito. At some point, I even encountered on Grindr at least three different guys I recognized from Ibusa who I could swear are straight. And yet, there they were, seeking gay hookups on Grindr.

One or two of these guys are even people I know. I’d be somewhere where they are, and I would see them open Grindr or Badoo or even Gay Romeo, and I’d be like: “Ah! I’ve seen this app at so-and-so time. What are you doing there?” And they’d be like: “I am using it to track homos. to target these guys dey pay serious money.”

Wow.

When I started reading on both Kito Diaries and on Grindr about some disreputable places in Nigeria that homosexuals should stay away from, and I saw Ibusa, I wanted to feel bad that my town had been flagged so internationally. But then, I remembered my experience with ‘Mike’, and if that was true for me, fortunate as I was, then it was most likely true for someone else, with an even worse outcome.

Someone like the guy whose kito experience in Ibusa that I was witness to.

TO BE CONTINUED

Written by Hausdorff Space El

Previous Kito Alert: Faces of Kito Scum in Delta
Next Kito Alert: Not Every Straight Man Who Agrees To Have Transactional Sex With You Means You Well

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10 Comments

  1. Samwizzy
    September 09, 15:16 Reply

    Ibusa hmm I also had my first kito experience there

  2. Thor
    September 09, 15:28 Reply

    Gossssh! Allow me to digress a bit. You write so well and… Thank God for your life too. ♥️

  3. Six
    September 09, 16:53 Reply

    Beautifully written.

  4. Peaches
    September 10, 00:34 Reply

    “…if that was true for me, fortunate as I was, then it was most likely true for someone else, with an even worse outcome.”
    This right here melted me, the acceptance of what is, an eye opener for anyone who hears and is still in doubt about this bastard twist of events. “Homo is not our culture“ but they enjoy sex with men when their accounts are heavy. Are there genuine straight men in Nigeria? We may never know. Only recently, I got to find out about a guy that had made me feel insecure by my soft nature was sexually attracted to macho Marys his defense was “ Fucking femmes is gay, I am not gay, but fucking with masc men with money and favours was just a deal. Many men do it. And it doesn’t get out cos they are not gay”
    @Pink Panther @Delle @Mitch you people omitted that kind of sexuality in your intelligent discussions and I have ended up becoming even more confused at the kind of shock ‘straight men’ issue these days.
    Nice one darling.
    He who has ears will hear.

  5. trystham
    September 10, 01:36 Reply

    I’m amused. You didn’t send your actual picture to him, not so? Please, what kind is your own catfish? Smoked? Because all this pontificating and crying and making noise about being a victim.
    Y’all are one and the same in my books. Pathetic liars and thieves.

    • Pink Panther
      September 10, 08:15 Reply

      Your comment sounds like the anger of someone who’s had a not-so-nice experience with a catfish, but please do not mock or dismiss someone’s kito experience simply because you are pissed at people who sent you the wrong picture. He has every right to talk about his experience as a victim of kito scum, because catfish or not, he meant no harm to the other person. After all, he spent his own money to go see ‘Mike’. So please, curb your derision. He may have lied about his identity, but that in no way compares to the people who would have harmed him, had he not been recognized by their leader. A little empathy despite your feelings will not hurt you.

    • Net
      September 10, 08:22 Reply

      So everything he wrote about the only thing your little brain picked is that he didn’t send his own pictures too??

      • trystham
        September 10, 08:47 Reply

        Are you the moron who sent this in? Is that why you are peeved?

        @pinky Thankfully, I haven’t had any reason to be catfished…yet. But my dear, I am angry. Na from clap dance dey start. I mean almost every kito story sent here has at its core a fake picture sent. The writer needs watching sef if u ask me.

        • Pink Panther
          September 10, 10:22 Reply

          So someone who sends pictures that are not his on Grindr is a potential kitoer?

          Lol. This reach is unbelievable. And your scorn is very amusing. You might as well label a hefty amount of the gay community kito if that’s the yardstick you’re working with.

          Somebody came here to contribute his story for awareness, and your reaction is suspicion and asking for him to be watched. Very poor attitude, trystham. Really poor.

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