“Life after power is sour like yoghourt. It is not as sweet as fresh palm wine”
Is this Ita Eko or Ita Oko? What is this? Look at me, a whole me spending two nights with ordinary wetin-you-carry, street urchins, pickpockets and other petty felons. What an insult! If it's not because of the rain, you don't pack chickens and pigeons together. Do you? That’s an abomination! Now it's raining cats and dogs and heaven is let loose on innocent pigeons like me. What have I done to warrant this humiliation? I did not do anything to disgrace our House. Did I? But I know. Everybody knows. Now that they have got me, they don't even need to go on with the trial any more. They have achieved their aim. I, Sabainah, the VIP daughter of the VIP-in-chief, remanded in custody? It’s all photo trick. I know their game plan. It's not me they have remanded, it's their olodi. Yes. I know it. I can see daddy with my inner eye as he ponders along the corridor, trying to temper his angry nerves.
Poor daddy! I now see why he didn't want to leave Mr Langbodo the other day. It is the same reason why Mugabe, Kibaki, Campaore and Gaddafi don't want to leave. Life after power is sour like yoghourt. It's not as sweet as fresh palm wine. Sergeant Doe tasted it and refused to let go. He told Nancy, his wife, “only death can take us out of this mansion. This thing called power is sweet". That's what daddy threw away just like that, like the proverbial Alaatan who threw away his beefy ration. Was he afraid of a Yormie Johnson or a Jerry Rawlings knocking on our door with bayonets? Now, see where his 'patriotic' decision has thrown me, Sabainah, his daughter! A whole me languishing in police jail and all these rugbe rugbe (riff-raff) wetin-you-carry recruits twisting my tail and groping me in the dark. No thanks to NEPA. No thanks to EFCC, daddy’s frankenstein’s monster. When we are down with a major problem, the little ones set our bodies up for a game of hop-step-and-jump!. O ma bloody se o! What a pity! If daddy had had his way with a third bite at the apple, I wouldn't be here today. But see poor me rubbing shoulders with area boys and these unkempt things in custody! How are the mighty fallen…!
But come to think of it, why are they doing this to me and Baba’s disciples? Why is the Demolition Party, our party, doing this to fellow members? Is it every foe and friend that our "caterpillar" must destroy even without an election in view? Or is it a case of the falcon not hearing the falconer again? If gold rusts, what will iron do? What would have happened if the Air Conditioning (AC) party had been in power? Freeze me and daddy to death? God forbid! But I don't blame them. If there's no opening in the wall, a snake cannot gatecrash into the bedroom in the middle of the night to put asunder what God has put together. Eewo! Taboo! See what my brother did to my daddy. See what daddy did to my mummy. See what mummy did to daddy. See what my sister-in-law did to my brother. See what my brother did to our daddy-in-law. See what daddy did to... See me, see trouble o! How many teeth are we really going to count in the mouth of a person with double denture? They are legion! We have done very bad things to ourselves and, now, outsiders are cashing in to do worse.
Nobody has sympathy for us. Is this what they call nemesis? Where are my baba’s friends? Are they just summer friends? Or are they friends at all? Are we that bad? We pressed buttons as usual, but the buttons are stiff and the response very cold. It's no longer business as usual. This one is worse than daddy. He is ready to step on any toe no matter how sacred. He is even ready to crush the toe of the person who bought him the executive iron shoe he is wearing. The other day, we begged him to intervene but he said his hands were tied. You kuku know my daddy. God bless him. He asked him pointedly who tied his executive hands. He had no answer to that question. He was just looking booooh… murmuring and murmuring and murmuring like some distant waters without a soul. What are you murmuring?” daddy demanded to know. He was incoherent. All we could hear were "roll of law", "dew process", "feace and sucurity", "stability" and whatever. Then he started gazing at daddy. Come and see cinema for inside Aso Hall. Daddy roused him back to life with a shout, "Ocee, are you there?!" He jumped up and started murmuring again, "I zee zomezing! I zee zomezing!" I seeee. Is this the “zomezing” he saw? I, Sabainah, omo baba mukomuko, (the direct descendant of the one who drinks eko for breakfast every day), rubbing buttocks with hardened criminals in the junior version of Ita Oko (detention centre)?! O Nina and Frederick! “Time Changes Everything…” O la la!!
Look at this one looking at me as if I'm Lagbaja, omo Lakasegbe. They don't have to stare at me like that?! My own Lagbaja is not wearing masks. My face is in all newspapers across the length and breadth of Niagara and on the internet. It's even on YouTube! Good things, after all, do come out of evil. Don't they? All these yeye rugbe, dane-gun-carrying wetin-you-carry can never be 'famous' like me. Some drugs can only be like Panadol; they can't be Panadol. Lai lai! But come o! What has popularity got to do with it? Are these people really telling me that the law is no respecter of anybody? In our own farm, all animals are equal but some are more equal than the others. If these “things” think I'm lying, they should find time to visit our farm, a micro world for this quintessential animal called man.
*First published in TELL August 25, 2007.