Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Children, Too, Want to Be Governor

"Government money is our money and no Jupiter can query us on how we spend it. Those who don't like it can go and 'suicide' themselves"

Alao! … Alao!! … yes, I say Alao! … hmmm… you say there’s no any Alao there… Is that what you are saying? Look at you! Who says he wants to talk to Alao? I’m just greeting you the alakowe way. Alao! Alao!! (Hallo, Hallo) Who’s there? I say who’s speaking? What?! Akalamagbo, so, it’s you… you mean you cannot recognise my voice again. It’s true I have always summoned you to my palace any time I want to talk to you but you should be able to recognise my voice on the phone … Haba! Alao! Alao!! Alao!!!… What has happened? I can hear something falling… Akalamagbo, hope nothing…? Yes, yes… what? You fell down? O! You mean you fell while trying to apologise to me… That’s alright… that’s alright… stand up. Thank you… no, no… no, that’s not why I’m calling you…

Ngbo, what happened between you and Igbakeji? I learnt you are doing 'two fighting' in the office. Sebi, I have told you to be careful or you want me to flog the two of you inside the Government House? Yes… yes… Shurrrup! You children of nowadays are too stubborn. Sebi I told the two of you that any time you want to cough or sneeze or even vomit, you must let me know… Shurrrup! I say shurrrup!… listen… Akalamagbo, abi you want to see the red of my eyes? Why are you behaving like a thug? If the two of you had listened to me, your boys will not be exchanging blows in Agodi over chickenfeed. If you want to eat frog, at least you must choose a fat, juicy one for supper… Alao!… Alao!… can you hear me? Alao! Alao!!… Thank God you are still there. I don’t know what’s wrong with all these GSM phones.

Can you hear me now? Good… I was saying that if you want to fight, fight over millions and billions, not over chickenfeed. Don’t disgrace our great party. The two of you are my sons, if you don’t know, and I did not put you there to be doing what you like. You hear? Alao!… Alao!!… can you still hear me? Okay. Yes… yes… yes… that’s alright. But wait. The N50 million you sent last time was not enough for the number of cars I wanted to buy for the lawbreakers. You had forgotten that I needed to buy, also, patrol vehicles for our local ‘police’ and bodyguards. In fact, I needed an extra N300 million to buy boats and canoes for some of our guests who will like to cruise around in the Premier Motel swimming pool any time they come for the convention of our great party.

And that reminds me, Akalamagbo, I learnt you said you, too, want to continue licking soup beyond 2007. You must be joking. Even if we are spraying political posts like confetti, not a single flake will drop on your lap. Nibo? For where? If not because Aare Latosa did not play ball according to my rules, would you have ever smelt that seat? Our people have said it, “Nobody will ride a horse and not gallop”. Akalamagbo, you are galloping… o nma ga (you are overdoing it). Take it easy o, I’m warning you. Impeachment is two for a kobo here and if you don’t mind, it is the money I have that I am lending you… What? What did you say? Ah, you say I am speaking Yoruba-English? Wonderful! Wetin you speak, Your Excellency? Is it not olopa (police) English you are speaking? Look at His Excellency! Let me remind you, the koboko (horsewhip) used to beat sense into the senior wife’s head is still hanging in the ceiling… Yes… remember what happened to Aare Latosa. After dealing with him, he could only order for pounded yam. Did you see him wait for the soup? The matter became, for him and his supporters, a case of if the rat cannot make a quick getaway, it should make way for the tortoise. That’s how they disappeared from Agodi one by one because it’s what we tell ogbo that ogbo will hear… When a child sees Fear he must run. Beeni.

Yes… yes… of course, that’s a warning for you. A foretold war does not catch the cripple unawares, but that depends on how clever your own cripple is. Just as wrestling is the favourite pastime of the Offa people, so is civil unrest our own hobby in Ebaodan. I know you are a young calf trying to cut his teeth in the politics of this city but let me warn you that Oluyole doesn’t take nonsense from any premier, or gomina (governor). Ask Akintola. Ask Ige. No past non-native civilian ruler left this city alive. We killed them right inside their bedrooms except Baba Layinka. You can prove me wrong. And… Akalamagbo, if you don’t want to die suddenly in your bedroom now or later, I think that’s a timely warning for you. So, this your “third time” ambition will not work. Drop it. My own children are also warming up for aksion. I am tired of doing ijagboro (street fighting) on account of somebody else’s children… What? Oh, sorry, Akalamagbo. I don’t mean it that way. You are all my children but as we say it here, "A father knows who his real children are…" Yeesi o! A nursing mother should be able to feed herself also as she breastfeeds her baby. Afterall, the child is not the only hungry mouth in the family. My children are also coming! You hear? You had better do. I don’t want you to do like all of them who don’t know when to say goodnight to ayo game. And that reminds me, you must not spend all the money in the treasury. You hear? But don’t forget to send the usual N10 million weekly security vote for me to police our area here. Remember also to send the N20 million for entertainment for this week. You may add something on top because I will be receiving more visitors from Oyo and Abeokuta. Sebi you know, these are the real amala people. While the Oyo take amala dudu, the Egba (Abeokuta) are fond of amala funfun with abula to match. And lest I forget… if there is another controversy over the money voted for my ‘office’ and ‘palace’, you must clear from me before talking to the press. I don’t like the way you handled the N50 million car gifts that I dished out like amala the other time. Government money is our money and no Jupiter can query us on how we spend it. Those who don’t like it can go and 'suicide' themselves in Igbo Agala… Yeesi o! Greet Her Excellency, your wife, for me. Greet also His Excellency Jnr, I mean your son. I hope he is drinking milk well, wellahaa … you are laughing? Hmmm… Okunrin meta (three-men-in-one)! When should I be expecting the Accountant-General? Yes… hmmm… Before I go for Jumat? Your head is correct! I know you are a good boy, any day.

Note: This Opilogue was first published in TELL, June 19, 2006

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