Sunday, July 18, 2010

M’God! They Have Kidnapped the President!

“At the rate things are going on today, we may all wake up tomorrow to discover that the country, itself, has been kidnapped!”

Gentlemen of the Press, it is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of sorrow that I announce the sudden kidnap of Mr President in the early hours of today. Eye-witness accounts reveal that His Excellency was waylaid between the mosque and the villa shortly after performing his early morning prayer. We learnt that his ADC and personal physician were also abducted by the dare-devil gunmen believed to be “next door” criminals and not the ultra-fearsome Niger-Benue Confluence militants opposed to the dredging of the River Niger. Immediately the Zuma Police Command was informed of this criminal act, we swung into action. Our men have been posted to all the nooks and crannies of Zuma to cordon off the getaway routes of the suicide kidnappers. Our men have also been posted to rooftops and treetops, armed with binoculars, telescopes and night goggles with which to locate the kidnappers and their hideouts. So far our efforts have started to yield apples, mangoes and oranges. In the last couple of hours, for instance, we have been able to establish contact with the kidnappers and I am happy to inform you that the President is hale and hearty. However, the kidnappers' demands are too many and outrageous. They want the government to deposit 100,000 megawatts of electricity at the NEPA Headquarters within the next two days. Haba! They also want billions of drums of drinking water to be fetched and deposited in all the hospitals in major towns and cities in the country. In addition to that, they are demanding that the government must dig millions of boreholes in all villages and other rural communities in the federation. They did not stop there. They are also demanding that the First Lady should surrender all the money for her Cancer Project to the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital where there is an established national centre for cancer research and treatment for proper naira diagnosis and management. They also want 1,000 first-class diagnostic centres and heart institutes built in the country within the next few days before the President can be released. The mother of all demands is the one asking that all corrupt officials in the cabinet be fired with immediate effect, if we want to see the President alive. These Oliver Twists would not just stop asking for more.

Gentlemen of the press, can you see our dilemma now? Yes, the country is rich enough to provide electricity, water, shelter, free health care and free education for all with immediate effect but it cannot afford to fire all corrupt men. Will they not be identified first, arrested, tried and convicted before firing them under Mr. President's rule of law mantra? This is impossible! It is the most wicked and most outrageous demand. I can tell you on authority that the Minister of Injustice and the Anthony General is personally cross with this demand of the godless kidnappers who have kidnapped the most gentle, most God-fearing and most loved leader we have ever had in this most lucky, in fact most luckiest, nation on earth. In fact, if all corrupt men and women were fired to appease the angry gods of the kidnappers, who else would be left to negotiate with them? This is the question we are waiting for them to answer. To us in the Police Force, this is treason through the back door. The kidnappers want to topple a legitimately, democratically elected African government by acts of kidnapping and brigandage, which are prejudicial to good governance and the corporate existence of this God's own, one indivisible country.

For your information, we, the police, are awake and alive to our responsibility of maintaining law and order. No stone will be left unturned in our effort to flush out all kidnappers and would-be abductors of the national will. Let me repeat, for the avoidance of any doubt, that the Niagara Police shall and will not allow kidnappers to dominate our national life and damage our public image as armed robbers, assassins and 419ners have done. No way! We just cannot allow unscrupulous, disgruntled, “unpatriotic saboteurs”(!) to kidnap our destiny before we call them to order.

In view of the above, the Niagara police command has met and decided to take the bull by the horns and strangle it to death through the following steps and action. First, we have sent our men to Israel and Iran to learn how to counter ordinary terror with nuclear terror but, in our own peculiar case, with a human face. Henceforth, policemen are to shoot kidnappers "on sight" and not "at sight" as we used to. Second, we have asked the Accountant-General of the Federation, through the Police Service Commission, to release the sum of $100 billion for us to buy new equipment to combat this new threat to the peace and stability of Zuma Rock Villa. For instance, we need to purchase new surveillance satellites, fighter drones, RPGs (rocket propelled grenades), robots, scud barracks-to-hideouts missiles, and native air-force equipment like AK-47-calibre charms, high grade Otumokpo, et cetera.

I want to assure you all that we are combat ready to face these cowards who kidnap children, women, retired generals, tired permanent secretaries, old local government chairmen, lame leaders and other innocent people for ransom. Let me, at this juncture, further assure all law-abiding citizens that they have nothing to fear. But in case they are kidnapped, they should just remain calm and not struggle with their abductors. The police are always there to rescue you. If you are in doubt, just allow yourself to be kidnapped and see whether we shall rescue you within 24 hours or not. The family of the kidnapped secretary to the state government in Kaduna can attest to that. We are always at your service. We fought house burglars to a standstill and they ran away, only to regroup and rob banks. We fought the Internet robbers hands down and they absconded from cyberspace now to be duping people face-to-face. Now we have fought the kidnappers and chased them to a blind alley only for them to beat a retreat to the inner sanctuary of governance and cause panic in the corridors of power. We shall continue to fight them on land, in the air and even inside water because at the rate things are going on today, we may all wake up tomorrow to discover that the country, itself, has been kidnapped!

Note: This Opilogue was first published in TELL, October, 12, 2009

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Our Son, Obama bin Abamo!

"Your Excellency, we would want you to order that no Afrikan needs to apply for visa again to enter America. Anybody that wants to come and carry load, wash toilets, bathe corpses and ‘do gateman’ with masters and Ph.Ds should be free to do so"


Your Excellency, we, the representatives of your original ancestors, bear good tidings from the Mallam-in-chief and people of the Prodigal Republic of Afrika. We also bring unbridled joy, undiluted happiness and audacious hope for you and the entire Abamo family in America and the diaspora. You may be wondering, sir, whether we have any locus standi to lead a delegation to this beautiful city on one of the Great Lakes. Yes, we do. We have the mandate of the Mallam-in-chief to let you know of your authentic ancestry.

Your great great-grandfather actually migrated from the west of our great republic to present-day Kenya. He was known and called Pa Kasumu. He migrated a couple of centuries ago to that land of the Massai people in search of greener pastures. Being an adventurer extraordinaire he settled in a virgin area which he named after himself, Kasumu. This was later corrupted by the natives as 'Kisumu'. His first son, whom he named Ayokunnu, soon had his name Kenyanised to become Nyokno. For quite some time things were not going smoothly for Pa Kasumu and he started regretting his foray into the new world in Kisumu. Feelings of nostalgia started creeping in. It was at this time that Nyokno had a child and Pa Kasumu did not hesitate to name him Abamo (a matter of regret), a name that was also corrupted to Obama by the natives. Obama was barely three years old when his father went to settle in Nyangoma. As we always say, the rest is history. Your Excellency, you will see that we, the Prodigals, even have a greater claim to you than the Kenyans but we are ready to allow them to share in the glory of the moment. After all, if the Japanese can lay claim to him, why not fellow Afrikans like the Kenyans?

It is in view of the above that the Mallam-in-chief has sent us, the council of elders, here to share with you our vision, ideas and experience so that you can rule successfully like we, Afrikans. The first thing you have to do is this, and it is urgent. We learnt that Bushman said he and Lara, his wife, were ready to welcome you and Musili (please, your wife is Musilli, not Michele) to the White House. Please don't go until we have spiritually fumigated the place. The bush men and the Ku Klux Klan might have laced the threshold of the White House with magun (Don't Enter). Be warned! You are too young to somersault to death when you are not a drunken Chinese gymnast. Make sure the fumigation is done before you pack in because of the evil machinations of white witches. For your information, white witches don't like black men especially now that we are in the Oval Office where we shall be calling the shots and they will be answering the bullets. Change the colour of the White House to black to reflect the fact that a black man is in power. And, of course, change the name to BLACK HOUSE! Black is beautiful!! That's to show the true meaning of change, your campaign slogan.

Within your first 100 days, make sure you make the whole world sit on the edge of a sword with your revolutionary actions. Probe Bush for all his bush policies, especially in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. Set up an American EFCC to probe McCain on how he spent his election subvention in order to discredit his party. In Afrika, vendetta is the name of the game. The opposition must be destroyed to pave the way for democracy. Even CNN must be probed for practising voodoo with technology when it used egbe (magic carpet) to transport a reporter in Chicago to its New York studios to do analysis. That’s too hologrammatical for change. It’s unacceptable. A news media house is not expected to use Hollywood magic to create surreal effects to bamboozle the electorate, nay the observers from outer Mongolia.

Your Excellency, as we say in Afrika, nothing is free, not even in Freetown. We have a short list of what you can do for us now that an Afrikan son of the soil is in charge. This is our opportunity. We would want you to order that no Afrikan needs to apply for visa again to enter America. Anybody that wants to come and carry load, wash toilets, bathe corpses and "do gateman" with masters and Ph.Ds should be free to do so. No airline should weigh our luggage again. We should be allowed to carry and swallow anything we like. After all, we are the owners of our stomachs.

And this is a special request from the Mallam-in-chief himself. He has advised that when you want people to fill certain positions, the Prodigals are capable of doing anything. We know how to handle money, so we would like one of the executive governors who managed Mallam’s campaign funds in 2007 to be appointed as minister of finance or treasury secretary, as you call it here. He also wants our men to handle your juicy portfolios for you. Thus we are ready to second tested potbellied paramilitary officers to take charge of your police, customs and immigration. Our Mallam-in-chief is even ready to lend you his wife in order to train Musili on how to be an effective First Lady. He urges that you allow her set up a parallel government in the Black House by dividing the Oval Office “into twice” (apology Zebrudaya).

Your Excellency, the Prodigals are never known to be greedy or selfish. Hence we are suggesting that you take care of yourself too by starting your own war since the bush men and the Hottentots have cornered all the contracts for the prosecution of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fight Iran, fight Pakistan. Provoke Kim Sung II to war in North Korea and you will get in return a lot of body bags ripping of dollars. Yes, you can!.

We learnt you've been talking of how to revamp the Yankee economy. Here is a warning. Don't tax the rich to bring succour to the poor. That will not be in the true spirit of the Afrikan way of bringing the greatest good to the smallest number. Remember you are an Afrikan first and foremost. So you should tax the poor to further enrich the rich. That's how it is done back at home. And that's why those poor things remain poor. It has to be so because, in Afrika, from Kisumu to Kigali, from Kogelo to Kontagora, and from Kano to Cairo, the existence of the wretched of the earth is a necessary condition for the emergence of another Obama bin Mubarak to mobilise our people for our own inevitable CHANGE, Insha Allah!

*First published in TELL January 26, 2009

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Parlez-vous Esperanto? - Mozambique

Obladi, oblada! Or is it obligo, oblago? I’m sure it’s obla — something…
Hey Jeed! What the hell are you saying?
Carlos, I have asked you never to call me Jeed again. I’m not Jeed. My name is Jide…
No way! You either bear John or Joseph. You can’t be bearing Jeeddah here. This is Mozambique, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.
I don’t give a damn whether this is Mozambique or Matabeleland. I don’t even give a damn whether it is Pearl of the Indian Ocean or Coconut of the Limpopo River. Just let me say thank you to the waitress in the language she understands.
Ahaa! Is that why you were trying to obladi-oblada me? What exactly were you trying to say? Maybe I can help you.
I was trying to say thank you. Is it not obladi, oblada?
No, it’s obrigado…
I don’t want this obrigado business. It sounds like desperado. How about something in her native tongue? Something African, something very authentic.
That’s asking for the impossible because I don’t know which ethnic group she belongs to. As small as they are, they have about 10 different languages.
How many are they?
I think they are about 18 million divided into about 10 different ethnic groups. There are the Makua from the north, the Tsonga in the south, the Chope, the Shona, the Sena, the Nyanja, the Nyangue, the Chuabo, the Yao, the Ndau, and the Makonde…
That’s even manageable. Do you know that tiny Gabon, with a population of less than two million, is made up of about 40 ethnic groups and each having its own language?
Wao! Then the giant itself, I mean Niagara, must have up to 100 languages…
Hundred what?! You must be joking! With a population of 140 million, we already have over 250 ethnic groups and languages. And that’s tentative. They may soon discover new Niagarans, like the Koma were accidentally discovered by some evangelists in the jungle.
Who are the comma?
Well, the KOMA, not comma, people were discovered sometime ago to be Niagarans. And this is no joke. Through aerial surveys and new imaging techniques, more ethnic groups and more languages are bound to be discovered going by the Wakama census conducted last year.
That’s the problem of Africa.
What’s that?
The continent is a babel of tongues. We do not understand one another. Can’t we, for a moment, leave politics aside and decide which one out of our many languages we should choose as our lingua franca?
Never! It’s not possible.
Why do you say so?
Nobody will want to surrender his mother tongue to another, no matter the need to attain mutual intelligibility for the common good.
Indeed, that’s the bane of African unity. For many decades, there have been calls for Africans to come together to fashion a common means of communication among the more than 2,000 ethnic groups and languages in the continent. In North Africa, Arabic is the lingua franca but it is not original to Africa. In Southern and Eastern Africa, the common lingua franca is Swahili, while in the West African sub-region, Hausa is the most widely spoken. Both Hausa and Swahili are two African languages on both BBC and the Voice of America. In 1977, there was a gathering of eggheads at the Festival of Arts and Culture, called FESTAC ’77, to brainstorm on the possibility of adopting a common language as Africa’s lingua franca to ease understanding among Africans and give us a sense of pride. As usual, the evil combination of unhealthy rivalry and unnecessary politicisation made sure that the colloquium did not matter much to the political leaders and its recommendations, like the often much-touted African unity, were thrown into the pending tray where they have been ever since.
You can’t blame our leaders for that. Even the United Nations, UN, has not been able to adopt one of the five languages of the super powers as the official language as well as lingua franca among all nations. So, that’s what Africa copied and what countries like Niagara copied by having no local lingua franca. Instead they adopt foreign languages, vestiges of colonisation, as both their official language and lingua franca. What a shame!
I think the UN should be more ashamed because I learnt that some linguistic experts once suggested that the UN should adopt a neutral language as the world’s lingua franca some years back, but the idea was shot down in mid-trajectory…
Is there any language that is neutral?
Yes. In 1887, an artificial language called ESPERANTO was invented by one Dr. Ludwik Zamenh aka Dr. Esperanto (a Polish physician) to facilitate global mutual intelligibility but the idea was left to die…
No. I think we need to do something like that for Mother Africa. Swahili is already one language that is an aggregation of many south and east African languages plus, even, Arabic woven together in a sort of creative linguistic tapestry that is easy to learn and is acceptable to all and sundry. Can’t we have something like that for the rest of Africa? Esperanto, where are you? Come and rescue us.
Perhaps, we shall all be saved the embarrassment of communication with one another through alien languages.
Parlez-vous Esperanto?



Ki ne ko o o!

Yes, the Jubilani War is over and it’s time to do a post-war analysis. Over to you, once again, Chief Ademoyega.

Thank you. Actually there isn’t much to say other than to let you have some snippets about what has made this 2010 World Cup a very interesting and unforgetable event. My intention is to take you on a roller coaster ride down the Table Mountain and see how the different teams had fared and to show one or two lessons accruing from the 30-day fiesta. However, I want to digress a little to go down memory lane. First and foremost I want to congratulate the Zulu and the Xhosa for waging the jabulani war otherwise known as the 2010 Woza World Cup. Azania, their ancestral home, had been the theatre of war for 30 days and many elephants had trampled on their sacred turf causing a lot of direct and collateral damage. Within this war they successfully fought the war of nomenclature — whether the ball’s name should be spelt jabulani or jubilani or jebalawin. Can you imagine? But so liberal are they that they gave their nod for any one chosen, be it jabulani or jubilani or jebalawin or, even, jagunlabi or whatever. Hence the confusionist theories of nomenclature which pervaded media reports right from Cape Town to Cape Kennedy and from Port Elizabeth to Port Said. Second is the fight over the origin and use of vuvuzela, the noise making device, supposedly native to the South Africans. This was very interesting and, as a FIFA archivist, I had to dig deep into this high decibel controversy. My findings show that different groups lay claim to the copyright. The Zulu, for instance, say vuvuzela is a descendant of their traditional kudu horn, a type of instrument created from the horn of a kudu antelope which they used to communicate with one another in those days when human eyes were located on knees! Members of the Shembe Church also known as Nazareth Baptist Church of South Africa also claim the vuvuzela was introduced in 1910 by one of them, Prophet Isiah Shembe (founder of the church), to play alongside African drums when they dance and worship. It was a way of indigenising and enlivening the somewhat plastic, frigid lithurgy of the orthodox religions. It was a musical fusion that worked like magic on depressed souls. The third group are the Chinese who lay claim to having a similar bugle which their forebears used to drive away locusts on their farms, something akin to a scarecrow. Today, they have perfected the art of making about 200,000 plastic vuvuzelas per day. And they are, as Niagarans would say, smiling to the banks. By the way, who cries to the bank? Many of the vuvuzelas you saw on television were made in China. But neither the noise making nor the exhibitionist show of faith by most African teams at the beginning, middle and end of matches won games for them.

Ki ne e ko!

Yes, it’s time but the race is not always for the swiftest (Usain Bolt must not hear that). If it were, Uruguay, the weakest of the six South American teams would not have been the only semifinalist where Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Honduras were expected to hold sway. But they all fell like mortally wounded elephants. Among the African teams Ivory Coast was adjudged the best before the World Cup started but it could not survive in the group of death. Ghana was equally in a dangerous zone but it survived. As fate would have it, Ghana was the first country to be awarded a penalty kick which it utilised to beat Serbia. Yet it was a penalty shootout that put paid to its ambition to become the first African nation to reach the semi-final. Thus, the Osagyefo boys ended their journey the way they started. Penalty in, penalty out. However FIFA has noted that those countries that invested in youth performed exceptionally well. Rewind the tape and see how both Ghana and Germany went on the rampage chasing their opponents all over the field like drunken bulls. Indeed, the future of soccer is in the legs of genuinely young players not fabricated youths with surplus overaged gangling (read dangling) legs that have sired many football heroes before the Woza World Cup. But the Germans overshot the runway in their bid to win the cup the fourth time. They relied too much on superstition. Like Macbeth and the three witches, they seemed to have had their destiny locked up in the crystal ball of Paul, the octopus, who doubled as their “babalawo” with an unusual psychic power. He had predicted that Spain, their semi-final opponents, would defeat them though they (the Germans) had a seemingly unstoppable machine against any foe. Alas, the fear of failure rendered them impotent on the day that mattered most. It was a cagey, unusually ultra-defensive German team that faced the extremely mobile Spaniards in that encounter. They (the Spaniards) did not stay back like matadors taunting drunken bulls in Madrid. Instead they charged like battering rams at the Germans who, uncharacteristically, refused to come out smoking and firing on all cylinders as they did against Australia, Ghana, England and Argentina. Rather, they came out with their tails tucked between their legs. Their eight-legged “voodoo priest” had instilled fear in their brain! Even their coach was also caught up in the psychic “go slow” drama. He would not change his “magic” blue sweater even if it was smelling of stale cologne! The “sea prophet”, no doubt, had turned every German into “mumu” (prisoner of superstition). They were too “octopussy” for my liking.

Ki ne e ko!

Yes, it’s time to look further away from the octopoid psychic saga that is as surreal as James Bond’s Octopussy or Goldfinger or Dr. No. The most talked about stars were no where to be found. Rooney was just roaming the field like a blind man in a blind alley. Ronaldo had a goal dry-spell and could only use his back to smuggle a goal in against the North Koreans who may have ended up in jail for disgracing “The Leader,” Kim Sung II, for conceding a tsunami of goals in the competition. And how about Messi? The poor boy thoroughy messed up himself with his unprofitable mesmerising moves on the periphery of the 18-yard box. No thanks to Enyeama, the super goalie of the super flop eagles, who “stole” his confidence when they met on June 12. How’re the mighty fallen! But it was not Messi alone that messed up... We also messed up. One day NFF was killed and buried. The second day ghosts sauntered out, a la Michael Jackson’s Thriller, to sack some of the killed and buried executives. The third day government unburied and unkilled the already killed and buried NFF. And FIFA, same day, returned the red card to its breast pocket. No more sanctions. And everybody smiled. Government magic! Fela must be laughing in his grave.

Ki ne e ko!

Yes, it’s time to shout. Viva Blatter! Fifa Jonathan! The more we look, the less we see.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Your Excellency, Your Macbeth Has Murdered Sleep


‘We Africans love to fight one another until death do us part because it’s in our genes to be aggressive, wicked and homicidal…’

‘If your army engaged in a real progrom, call it a mere programme for the emancipation, not pacification, of the primitive tribesmen of the lower Sahel. That is what the international community wants to hear’

Bashiru, it is true that you have suddenly become another dancing African leader?

What's wrong with that? We, Africans, are known for our dancing culture. Aren’t we?

You mean you are no longer an Arab? Ah, thanks to the indictment. But come o, can you really dance from the heart like Zuma, the Dancing Zulu of Soweto, or Jonathan, the late Dancing Chief of Lesotho?

It means you didn't see me on CNN. Did you? I really got down to it. You needed to be there to see me in a hail of dust as I danced to spite them and their indictment.

Can you really call the bluff of The Hague?

Yes, we are ready to confront the plague of injustice and international conspiracy to recolonise Africa by the "lawlords" who think they can intimidate courageous "warlords" like me. Tell me, Mr. President, is this not interference in the affairs of an independent African nation? Those vultures! They always hover around our rich landscape of bloated corpses and swollen carcasses.

I hope you are not getting things wrong. In Rwanda, when the Hutus took on the Tutsis and massacred them in their thousands, the International Court of Justice sitting in Arusha, Tanzania tried the ring leaders for genocide and crimes against humanity. Right now, the former President of Liberia is undergoing trial abroad for war crimes. So, this is not a strange phenomenon in Africa.

Yaah, it may not be a strange phenomenon, but what I hate is the usual Western propaganda. They accused me of assisting the janjaweed in attacking Darfur which is a lie. We did not provide any logistic support other than air cover by our air force, and intelligence by our secret service. They also accused the militias of raping, torturing and killing over 300,000 within a period of five years. Let me debunk those allegations one by one. No decent Arab will rape those dirty, dark things in dust-laden skirts. Two, the militias were trained not to torture or kill anybody, but to kill to defend themselves because attack is the best form of defence. Three, it is a blatant lie to claim that over 300,000 people have been killed since "Operation Darfur" started. No, I disagree. Those killed so far cannot be more than 295,000 by our own estimation. Can't you see that those Western media can exaggerate too much?

Yes, I know. At times they are so stupid that they don't know that there is a difference between six and half a dozen!

Thank you, Mr President. Those foreign things don't know that this is just a brotherly fight. We Africans love to fight one another until death do us part because it's in our genes to be aggressive, wicked and homicidal in thoughts and deeds.

Bashiru, so you can now call yourself African. I thought you were Arab?

Yes, geographically, we are Africans, while, genetically, we are Arabs. But recent studies have shown that Arabs, indeed, have the same genes as Africans, so we are Africans, too.

Is that why Darfur is such a man-made humanitarian tragedy, a sort of slaughter slab for fellow dark-skinned citizens? Yet you have natural disasters like dust storms and droughts staring you in the face every minute. You have River Nile passing through your vast country, the largest in Africa, yet, you do not have a sound irrigation scheme that could aid agriculture throughout the year and turn the sand dunes into oases of affluence. Are you trying to fast-forward the creeping revolution in the South?

Excuse me, sir. I appreciate the fact that my country is the largest in Africa, two and a half times the size of Niagara, your country, and slightly more than one quarter the size of Obama’s America. I just hope this is not the case of the kettle calling the pot black.

What do you mean?

Mr. President, the fact remains that your country is the most populous and one of the richest in Africa. Yet, you are also battling with internal strife and hunger every minute. You suffer from periodic religious and political crises. You have your own Darfur in the southern part of your country where you equally have your own janjaweed militias holding tight to the jugular of the nation. Up north, your people, without provocation, have often killed one another at the drop of a rosary; yet, no Niagaran leader has been indicted for crime against humanity. Why should it be me? Those criminals are just being partial.

How many have we killed?

Bashiru, it's your fault. You do not seem to have experience in the art of eating and wiping your mouth clean like our politicians.

Sorry, I do not understand that. This is no eating business.

I mean you should never leave any tell-tale signs in the killing fields. If your army engaged in a real progrom, call it a mere programme for the emancipation, not pacification, of the primitive tribesmen of the lower Sahel. That's what the international community wants to hear. It’s a question of semantics and packaging. Honestly, you made a mistake. And a costly one at that.

What could I have done in the circumstance other than cursing those things in Arabic? This their English is irregular and confusing.

You should have got in touch with us and we could have given you the "Kenabacha" antidote against international indictment.

What is that?

While your soldiers and the militias were busy doing “environmental sanitation” in Darfur, you should have arrested or kidnapped many Darfur activists. Arraign them before a kangaroo court, try them and have them sentenced to death. The entire world would be too busy appealing for clemency to be thinking of indicting you for crime against womanity or whatever. The Butcher of Abuja did it successfully here. He killed at will. He would not take prisoners except as bargaining chips. He even had his cake and ate it. He used Ken Saro-Wiwa as a chip and still went ahead to crunch him with his deadly molars. Can't you remember he roped me also in a phantom coup d'etat at a time the entire mankind rose up against his bloody regime? He used me to shake off pressure from the human rights communities. It’s the most effective antidote against ‘the plague of The Hague’, to quote you.

Everybody has his own strategy. Yours is to prevent the indictment, mine is to make a joke of it by dancing Makoussa dance on the grave of the victims.

Bashiru, I’m sorry for me. Your Macbeth has murdered sleep…

*First published in TELL April 6, 2009.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Affidavit Written in a City Courtyard

pix *

“I have made this declaration in good faith believing same to be true and correct in all materials particular in accordance with the statutory declaration of Egin State law of Oaths and Affidavits of 1958”

I, Obaluwaye Adelana, Ologbo Ijakadi II, the Oriade of Kobomoje, male, Chrislam traditionalist, ruler and pencil, Niagaran citizen, residing at No 1, Aafin Edidare Street, Enuowa, Kobomoje, do solemnly swear and declare as follows:

That as the second in command to the gods I can do and undo. I can kiss. I can kill. I can love. I can hurt. I can put my foot on the bosom of any woman that catches my fancy and marry her on the spot;

That I'm not mad. Neither is mad madding me. I'm far from the madding crowd;
That, because of the aforesaid, I accepted to become the king of Kobomoje because of the premordial powers kingship thrusts on the incumbent;

That the recent allegations against my person that I unlawfully assaulted a woman believed to be my wife are baseless, null, void and of no consequence;

That the woman parading herself as the First Ayaba and victim of an alleged battery and assault by my royal self is a fake, pirated copy of the original "tear rubber" ayaba (king's wife);

That the fake First Ayaba has no locus standi in my palace;

That, in fact, the so called ayaba was born and bred in Taiwan, so she is the one that should be sent back to her mother in Taipei as “fairly used tokunbo engine”, not me;

That on the day of the so-called ritual combat that has become the talk of the town I was not the one that led the commando unit that raided her hideout;

That, rather, I was in the control room in my multi-purpose humvee while the royal commandos and chiefs were "doing etutu" (performing sacrifice) on her body;

That it was not cocaine that was poured on her but coke brewed and bottled in Colombia;

That such a liquid substance cannot peel anybody's skin except the skin of an "ajebutter", pepperless, gravy-leaking woman;

That I'm a modern, progressive, forward-looking king who admires and loves his wives equally and would not do anything to brew unhealthy rivalry and jealousy in the royal court;

That I am a firm believer in domestic democracy and that's why my wives have equal rights and claims to my fountain of goodies where they drink to their satisfaction;
That I only sow my seeds where I can reap a bountiful harvest after nine months of rainfall and sunshine;

That as far as I know all my wives have diplomatic relations with one another and none of them needs to be dean of the "diplovematic" corps to enter the royal bed;

That I am a victim of circumstance and I have the following facts to prove my case:

*Fellow kings do worse than what I am alleged to have done. They pronounce wicked judgements in their palaces and order extra-judicial punishments on civil matters involving their subjects. They jail the poor and let go the rich while government pretends not to see them except innocent king like me.

*People in higher authorities do worse too. I know of a former chairman of the nation's unlimited liability company who caned a gateman publicly while on an inspection tour of the company's factories.

*I know of a damaging director who almost damaged his wife chasing her down the road and giving her the beating of her life for daring to fight his mistress after catching both of them "red-legged" on their matrimonial bed. No director raised a finger.

*I know a judge who engaged a litigant in fisticuffs right on the road for only God knows what. He was punished but not sent to Siberia like me.

*I know of a king who is also a pastor who beat up his mistress, a member of his congregation, poured petrol on her and set her ablaze in a fit of jealousy and anger. They punished him but nobody removed his "bearded crown", yet they have snatched my own "beaded crown" for a lesser offence.

Furthermore, I solemnly and respectfully declare:

That I have been wrongfully accused and put in the same dock as ordinary criminals;

That, yes, I'm wild but it's for a reason. It is not with "ojuboro" (ease) that you snatch the children of palm kernel from their mother;

That one is an endangered species if one doesn't have money, doesn't have "gbekude" (spiritual protection) and doesn't have eyes that are perpetually red like "oju amugbo" ( the eyes of pot smokers)? What will one use to frighten "omo araye" (people)?;

That it's a lie that I beat my wife;

That it's she that behaved like a female "ajantala" (enfant terrible) and attacked me by removing my crown, wrapping my "agbada" round my face and dumping me in the ditch --- crown, beads and horsetail. Come and see Oriade panting in the gutter!;

That she is the one that should be restricted to a remote area. It's wrong to snatch my crown and ask me to leave town. Thus, I submit that my transfer to Igbobini is malicious, ultra vires, anti-culture and anti-status of a first class oba;

That Igbobini, the hometown of my "ajantala" wife, is too remote for my status. If Oriade should be restricted at all I'd opt for Igbotako or Oke Igbo or Igbokoda but if it is compulsory I must be restricted to one bush (igbo) or the other why not Igbo Olodumare or Igbo Irunmole or Igbo Elegbeje where I can have free daily access to fellow demons? I appeal.

I have made this declaration in good faith believing same to be true and correct in all materials particular in accordance with the statutory declaration of Egin State Law of Oaths and Affidavits of 1958.

Signed (Ologbo Ijakadi II)


Sworn to at the Adesina Court Registry, Kobomoje, Akure, Egin State, this 15th day of June, 1986.


Bolanle Oluwasesan Tenibegiloju

Note: This Opilogue first appeared in TELL, June 21, 2010.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kudos to the Kaitastrophic Eagles!

Pix* Daylife

I have come here today not to bury the Super Eagles but to praise them. They may not have won the cup but they have won our hearts for their acts of valour in the thick of battle. They fought the battle of consistency and they won hands down. It is those who do not know history that will fail to see the achievement of these great heroes who crossed many rivers and mountains to reach Zululand to play and dance to the rhythm of jubilani. They went, they fought and they conquered. Why should we not praise God for His mercies on these wonderful gladiators?

Watiii! Who are you? You just stood up and started bamboozling us about your Super Eagles and their imaginary success.

I don’t know what is paining you. Is it the fact that you don’t know me or that you don’t know that the Super Eagles did not lose anything, rather they won all the laurels available except the cup, a replica of which we can easily make with the assistance of the Benin bronze casters. And if we are in a hurry we can just dash to Felix Idubor arts gallery in Benin and pick a ready-made World Cup or just any of those shops on Eweka Road. So we don’t need to sulk over any imaginary loss. Do we?

You have not answered my question. Who are you?

Well, I am Chief Ademoyega Onipanlade, FIFA instructor and archivist. I have been commissioned by FIFA to give this talk about the Eagles’ performance and to let you know that you have nothing to be ashamed of. The national team has been very consistent in its performance and FIFA thinks that it is the best team of the tournament...

Sorry to cut you short. You mean we are the best team despite the fact that we didn’t go beyond the first round?

Yes, we are the most consistent. Record shows that we have made four appearances in the World Cup (1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010) and have continued to show a consistent pattern of performance. Mark you, FIFA has scored the national team high only as far as consistency is concerned. For instance, in 1994, we scored six points to get out of the group (won two matches, beating Bulgaria 3-0 and Greece 2-0, lost one to Argentina). In 1998 we scored six points again (won two, beating Spain 3-2 and Bulgaria 1-0, lost one to Paraguay) to top the table and move to the next round. In 2002 we managed to get one point and a knockout. In 2010 we succeeded in securing another one-point hammer blow that sent us crashing on the green canvas. But that is not the real consistency we are talking about. In the World Cup we have consistently maintained a cosy relationship with our ‘best friend,’ Argentina. In 1994 they beat us 2-1. In 2002 they knocked us out with just one devastating upper cut (1-0) and again in the first round of South Africa World Cup tournament they hit us again in the solar plexus with one dangerous blow (1-0) that made nonsense of our soccer room strategies and permutations.

I want to believe that with a friend like Argentina, honestly, we don’t need enemies again. By the way is that all about the Eagles’ consistent inconsistencies?

Just wait. It’s you calling them “inconsistencies”. You haven’t heard anything yet. Now listen carefully to this mother of all analyses. Like I have already told you, we only managed to secure one point each in the first round (2002 and 2010) and went down crashing like a pack of drunkards. This is how it worked out consistencywise.
For 2002 World Cup we lost our opening match with Argentina by 1-0. In 2010 we also lost our opening match to the same Argentina 1-0. In 2002 we played against Sweden in our second match and we lost 2-1 despite the fact that we opened scoring first. In 2010 we equally lost our second match to Greece (2-1) though we scored first. Our third and last game in 2002 was against England. It was a 0-0 draw. Same with the final match with South Korea in 2010 that ended in a 2-2 draw. In each tournament the Eagles were coached by an emergency, cash-and-carry technical manager while the sacked coach was in the stands bemoaning his loss and praying either for a miracle or disaster...

My God! And there was a disaster!

What happened?

The “Isa Kaitastrophy” during the Super Eagles-Greece match.

No, it wasn’t a disaster or a ‘kaitastrophy’, as you call it. Rather it was a blessing in disguise. The red card the BBC grammarian got actually fetched us the FIFA fair play award for the first round...

‘Xcuse me, why did you call the kaita boy a BBC grammarian?

Because murder he wrote when he spoke with the BBC sports correspondent on the kaitastrophic fiasco between him and the Greek gladiator. For the simple question, “Why did you kick your opponent like that?” his response nearly caused an earthquake in Buckingham Palace.

Ha ... ah ... What did he say?

It was a grammatical explosion! “I doesn’t kick am,” he said twice. Wayo Allah! It’s a lie!

I’m sure the tape of that interview is still in Bush House. In fact FIFA has called for it to see whether Kaita should not be given another red card for kicking and committing a “fowl”(?) in the penalty box of Her Majesty’s Queen’s English. Unknown to the world Kaita’s gaffe is a metaphor of the consistent bungling of sports administration in Niagara. No shame to Kaita but kudos for showing to the world that Niagara knows how to muddle up things at the critical moment. But the best award received by the Eagles is that of the Golden Boot presented to Yakubu for scoring the most spectacular miss of the tournament. Nobody will forget him in a hurry for that miss, an opportunity which the commentator said his 83-year-old grandmother could never miss! And to add insult upon injury Yakubu was captutured on camera smiling and chewing gum like a psychedelic goat after failing to put the damn thing (jubilani) inside the damn hole (net) in front of him.

By Jove, why was he smiling?!

Maybe excess joy weeps, excess sorrow laughs.

I think he must be Escobar-red!

No, we must learn to forgive and forget. Both ‘Yakaita” and ‘Isagbeni’ should be forgiven. This is not Latin America where two neighbouring countries go to war, a la Honduras and El-Salvador, because of football.

God forbid!