Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Many Sins of Oko mi Adio

My friend, I’ve come again to let you know about the albatross I call a husband. Actually, he is no longer a burden but an embarrassment of the worst order. My husband, alias Oko mi Adio, has not changed from his ways though he promised long time ago that he would try his best to turn a new leaf. He remains his old self — an unmitigated disaster.

You mean Adio, your husband, has not changed at all?

For where? Instead of things being better for the itinerant porter, his head has started getting bald like a vulture’s. Since Oko mi Adio became the Sole Administrator of our local government area, he has turned the whole place upside down, inside out.

Wait. Who appointed Jimoh Omi Adio, your spouse, as a sole administrator?! Don’t they know that he is a crude, rustic farmer?

How do you mean?

Your husband is a bona fide member of the local farmers’ congress otherwise known as agbekoya which literally translates – farmers reject poverty. Don’t you know?

And so what? Are you telling me that you know Osho more than Osho’s mother? Impossicant! Oko mi Adio, for your information, prefers to be known and referred to as a native, intelligent farmer and born-again soja. He cherishes his past military exploits, especially his tour of duty with the marines during the Civil War. I remember when he came back home from the front, he was a different kind of person. His eyes were bloodshot while he wore a ‘wicked moustache’ like that of the Nazi king. One night, he just woke up from sleep, took his gun and started marching up and down the barracks shouting: lefu rete, rete lefu, lefu rete, (left, right, right, left), standa high! (stand erect) praition! (attention) ajuwaya! (as you were before). It took the combined efforts of the military police and stern-looking provost marshals to overpower and disarm him. From that day, I knew Oko mi Adio was destined to become famous! Now, he is the Sole Administrator of Wazobia LGA, the biggest council in the country, first, against his will and personal desire, but now with his personal and wilful manipulation. But he has not changed a bit. He talks like an agbekoya and acts like aloku soja (veteran soldier) that he is.

What has he done to warrant this mud-stained testimonial?

My friend, life has not been the same since we packed into the Rocky Mansion. The first thing Oko mi Adio did was to erect a mosque in the compound, the first of its kind since the council was created. The only place of worship before he came to power had always been a church. Oko mi Adio said he wanted to tamper with the status quo and, like an Islamic fundamentalist that he is, he started uprooting dead woods everywhere and planting new seeds and young tendrils to distort the political landscape. And you know my husband, the farmer that he is, he unwittingly stepped on some sacred cows in the process of rebuilding the council’s looted ranch, saying he cared no hoot. I advised him against this but he said I should pocket my advice in my bra. He even boasted that his official advisers do not mean much to him. Many of the domestic staff are already complaining that life is no longer at ease since Oko mi Adio took charge. They say his style of governance is too unorthodox for them.

What exactly are they driving at?

For instance, they say even inside the Rocky Mansion, they don’t ‘feel’ his presence unlike the vice-chairman who gives ‘welfare’ regularly. True, Oko mi Adio, can be very stingy. To worsen the situation, he has an endowed belly which does not allow him ‘shake body’ like his vice who is accustomed to spending money yanfuyanfu like a drunken millionaire. Even ordinary allowances for foreign trips, Oko mi Adio will not give as if governance is the art of keeping money and doing osomaalo (usury) like the Merchant of Jankara.

But I’m surprised that the workers could think like this. Did a former head of state not warn us generally that it would no longer be business as usual once people like your Oko mi Adio came to power in any local government?

And so what? Is that why he even denied me on national television that I’d not be First Lady like the other chairman’s wives before me? You kuku know me before that I’d not agree. I’m not Madam Konigba for nothing. Before he finished running his basketmouth on television, I had prepared Obokun (fish) with pounded yam plus egusi soup, well-seasoned tokunbo turkey and home-bred okporoko for him. After downing the whole thing in a pool of fresh palm wine in his now famous belly, I took him on a merry-go-round on our water bed, whispered sweet nothings in his ears, rubbed his belly, with his favourite oil and massaged his ego to no end. In a moment of unguarded sentiments and emotions, Oko mi Adio exploded, like Ikeja Cantonment bombs, into tiny fragments of yes, yes, I do, I do, yes, yes to all my demands. I know my husband in and out. Just massage his ego a little to the left and a little to the right, and he is all yours. All those complaining about him do not know how to handle him and if I may tell you one secret, the only person who understands him like me is his vice-chairman. My husband’s major problem, however, is his lack of patience and tolerance. One day, he dialled the president of the Local Government Area Association for the Deaf, Otunba J. V. Clinton, and the following conversation ensued —
My husband: Hello, Otunba Clinton, this is Jimoh Omi Adio.
Clinton: Ehn? I can’t hear you!
My husband: I say this is Jimoh, your friend.
Clinton: Hmm? Come again! You are who?
My husband: Jimoh! Jimoh! J for Joseph, I for Ignorance, M for
Muhammed, O for Obasanjo and H for High-handedness. 
Clinton: I know all of you guys, but which of you is talking to me?

My husband was off his handle cursing and abusing the partially deaf man. It took the managerial skill of a protocol officer to rescue the receiver from Oko mi Adio. As usual, he had blown a fuse and he was charging at the hapless man like a battering ram.

Once a soja, always a soja. Hmmm! Only God can save him.

The Many Sins of Oko mi Adio first appeared in TELL, February 2, 2004, under the title The Many Sins of Mr Chairman.

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