‘I trust our baba who art in Minna… He spends like there is no tomorrow because his philosophy of life is eat and let’s eat’
On behalf of the Elders Ernestly Ask for Baba Movement, EEABM, a.k.a Project 007, I, Chief Alex Ekimogun, the Ogidi Omo of Ondoland, hereby assert that the only way by which Niagara can move forward is by handing the baton of power back to our father, come 2007. I am singularly happy, pleased and grateful to God that I had the unrivalled honour, pleasure, privilege and luck to have served Baba before, in the capacity of a Public Megaphone. For reasons that I will soon enumerate, you will agree with me that Baba is our best bet under the prevailing political conditions. He is a consummate general, a master strategist and an extremely cunning politician. He is, indeed, a fox extraordinaire. It is such a person we need inside the Rock when Baba Iyaboh vacates the place. Somebody who will say ‘what a rainy day!’ and we shall have to consult the weatherman for confirmation, not somebody who will say ‘good morning’ and we shall all be scrambling for the breakfast table.
Fellow elders and the youths who are old at heart, this is our time. Let’s get rid of those who are pretending to be working. We want a new set of practical and realistic politicians like Baba. Not people who will turn us to football and be kicking us around. We need an Okocha or a Maradona to run rings on the periphery of our consciousness and score hand-of-God goals from all angles. Our baba is the man. He is a goal-getter any day. Do you remember how he used his god-fatherly figure in 1985 to save drug couriers from untimely deaths, after Bartholomew Owoh and co had already been executed by Buhari and Idiagbon? Our father saved other young aspiring drug couriers who would have met the same kind of death. In fact, this is the kind of saviour we elders earnestly ask for. Baba used his messianic touch, also, to stop further dismissal of decently corrupt civil servants and premature retirement of erring army officers. Our father can also be very resolute in fighting for the fundamental rights of his citizens. When Dele Giwa, the founding editor-in-chief of Newswatch, was killed in 1986 by unknown assailants, who used the novel weapon of a parcel bomb to achieve their aim, he stood up firmly in support of every effort to unravel the cold-blooded murder. He even encouraged my town’s man, Gani Fawehinmi, to pursue the case independently by jailing him in order to have free access to his client. Niagarans need such a concerned, considerate man to come back to power, a man who, even out of power, still continued to fight for the interest of murder victims. At the Oputa panel, for instance, he did everything possible to exhume the bones of Giwa for further forensic analysis but, alas, he had no digging implements. If he comes back to power, you can be sure that the case would be finally consigned to where it should belong.
Today, everybody is talking about corruption but nobody seems to know what to do. My father, our father, knows exactly what to do. During his first coming, he abolished corruption by simply erasing the word from all the dictionaries in the country and replaced it with ‘settlement’. It was a master stroke. Everybody was, thereafter, settled fifty-fifty, no cheating. And corruption disappeared from our sub-conscious. When Baba introduced the Structural Adjustment Programme, SAP, people thought he was being unfair to the masses. No, baba was just being pragmatic. Every government needs SAP to sap the energy of stubborn activists like Beko, Falana, Gani, Sani and their equally stubborn followers. After all, if you don’t have food in your stomach, where will you get the energy with which to shout “Aluta!” on the streets? Not to talk of shouting, “Baba Must Go!” For his native intelligence, we need such a man back in the saddle of power. He is a man who can dance out of trouble any day. When all the armed forces chiefs were appointed from the same geographical zone and from the same religious background, baba explained it away matter-of-factly, and I want to quote him: “In the military, there is no north or south, neither is there Muslim or Christian. Appointment is simply by merit.” Every fool was disarmed. The current Baba cannot be that logical. When there was a stalemate after the June 12, 1993 presidential election, my father, our father, was at his best. “You want a president?” he asked the nation as he looked into his crystal ball. “I’ll give you one.” True, true, he gave us a lame duck, Ernest Showboy. And the one who turned out to be the Commander-in-Thief of the Armed Robbers. Baba achieved what others could not achieve for decades. He conducted the fairest, freest and most peaceful election in modern Niagaran history though the Chief Electoral Officer swallowed the official result ink, line and paper. Fellow Niagarans, give baba another chance to do another June 12 and he will force the erring electoral officer out of hiding to come and vomit the result kia kia. It gives me, therefore, immeasurable pleasure, unparalleled joy and unqualified privilege to recommend our baba in Minna to succeed your Baba in Aso Rock. He is the only person who can sustain the status quo in the villa as it is today. He is more liberal than the Sharia man who will refuse to be sworn in (if elected) as president until the unwanted and unwarranted chapel in Aso Rock had been uprooted.
I trust our baba who art in Minna. He will give everybody his daily bread because he is not tight-fisted like the Egba farmer in the Rock. He spends like there is no tomorrow because his philosophy of life is eat and let’s eat. Many people like me seized the opportunity to make hay while he was in power. This is why he was able to make millionaires of his friends and those who can genuflect and dobale like me. Thus, I am imploring all who aspire to be billionaires to join the league of Baba’s friends clamouring for his second coming. Let me warn you, however, that he is not a magician but he has a creative mind of the Luciferian school of thought. During his first coming, he created new parties, one a little to the right, the other a little to the left. The rhythm of his creative imagination was good enough to win a Grammy Award for Niagara. And for each party, he created new members and officers and also the party secretariats in each local government. I heard that some people are already bellyaching, asking why is it that only generals are supposed to be ruling us even under a democratic dispensation? Why not? We, full-fledged bloody civilians, cannot do it. The soldiers are our husbands and our fathers. We must continue to recycle them. We have already started with General Baba Iyaboh. Now is the turn of our father in Minna, the people’s general. He is a tested officer and gentleman who has learnt never to step aside again. Once beaten, thrice shy. His experience will perfect our future. Check it out.
With him in power, Niagara will be totally free of corruption, assassinations, drug trafficking, 419, premature retirement, incoherent policies, unfocused political activism, ill-advised revolutions of the Gideon Orkar School of Artillery Thought, annulment of elections, wasteful spending and wastage by letter bombs. But mark you, fair is foul; foul is fair. That’s his new old philosophy. Vote for the general to safeguard the future of democracy in Niagara. He did it in 1993. He can do it again. He is a genius! He is a personification of experience. Above all, he is indispensable and infallible.
*This Opilogue was first published in TELL on January 5, 2004.