Prof. Wole Soyinka : Kindly Go Ahead


Loud Whispers

I am waiting with bated breath for the appointed date. That is the date the highly respected but I suspect the ‘getting tired’ Prof of Literature and international personality anointed as the date he will tear his American Green Card. Me I do not know what the problem is with these Abeokuta people with tearing documents. The other day, his kinsman had publicly asked his friend to tear his PDP membership card and now this full haired man is also threatening to tear his own simply because someone else in another country very far from his hilly village in Southern Nigeria has won an election freely contested and freely won. An election fought based on ideas, values and policies and not our usual primordial and shallow charade that we call elections here. I wonder why he has not been tearing things throughout all the funny things we call elections ever since in Nigeria. He should be patient and wait for 2019 because by that time, if he is really serious he would not only tear his Green Card if he would still have it but also his birth certificate, Waec certificate, drivers Licence and NEPA bills. I think by this statement, we should start advocating for even amongst human rights activists. I think there should be retirement age so that Baba can go rest in his very beautiful enclave within the forest of Abeokuta, incidentally where I married from. Wetin concern me with his Green Card? How will tearing it change anything about the American elections. Or better still, will tearing it bring down the price of garri in the market?  Has the professor not heard that inflation is now inching up to the 20% mark. Please sir, don’t we have a rehearsal to attend?
Nasir El-Rufai vs Atiku : Who Do I Support Now?
This Baba Atiku sef can look for trouble o. This is what the great Fela meant when he said, ‘when trouble sleep, Nyanga go wake am’ His Excellency has really gone to wake up trouble by attacking two of the best fighters in our political terrain OBJ and El Rufai. While awaiting OBJ’s response which I have learnt is on the way, El-Rufai has fired back o. Immediately I read Atiku’s remarks I  knew that this was war and as a peace-loving Nigerian I placed a call to His Excellency El-Rufai pleading for patience and understanding, considering the fact that we needed peace and stability especially with the recent  smooth transition of power in Edo State and the continuous confusion in Ondo State. My call met the Kaduna State Governor in the gym, he was warming and gearing up for the fight. His trainer had taken the phone to him and placed him on video call so that he can continue his warm up while speaking to me. Kai, you should have seen the size of his shorts, it was below his knees. He topped it up with a T-shirt the colour of the rising sun of ‘Biafra’. He was jumping as we spoke. His breath laboured and sweat pouring out, I suspect he had not done this in a long while and I feared for his safety. He refused my plea as he told me that he had been waiting for this opportunity ‘ Joseffffffff – that’s what he calls me – did you not read my book fa? Did you not see all I wrote about him, and he still had the audacity to abuse me again? If he had granted the interview to NTA, I would not have minded but to EFCC magazine! Kai, minini EFCC fa. Do you know what that means, shege I will tear his birth certificate?” The El-Rufai I saw that day was a different person o. You should see the way he ran around the gym, panting with his oversized shorts and sneakers doing press ups and rolling on the floor all the while shouting Atikuuuuuuu, Kai, Atikuuuu. Well, for me this is a dilemma because I count both men as my friends. Atiku has been my friend for sometime now ever since I saw him at the Abuja Airport toilet where we both took a pee beside each other. I greeted him that day, he did not answer me o. But the fact that we stood side by side peeing made him my friend and this has put me in a quagmire for I cannot take sides but to stand aside and watch this unfolding drama with fear and excitement at the same time. Meanwhile, once Baba OBJ who is still having his siesta wakes up, you can be sure that this matter will become even more exciting. Where is T.B Joshua in all this? We need his prayers.
Heritage Bank: On Ifie and Mary I Stand
This bank and indeed these two during the week were the targets of an imbecilic attack from an online platform that pulls no punches. All sorts were said about the bank and its promoters. You see my take is so simple, why not at least give the people an opportunity to defend themselves before rushing to publish weighty allegations as the ones published by this platform? The write up was so annoyingly one-sided that you begin to ask yourself what is really happening in our country? The fact that we are dealing with people’s lives and reputation, billions of hard-working Nigerians’ funds and the confidence of the public in the financial system should lead to some measure of restraint before rushing to press with unsubstantiated innuendoes and beer parlour stories. These two, apart from the fact that I have known them for sometime now and have interacted with them, have taken over an establishment from the throes of death and built an institution that has not only regained vigour but even recently acquired another faltering bank. It may be possible that like every other business in these tough times the bank may be going through its own challenges but that does not mean it would be labelled as ‘distressed’ and thrown to the dogs. I really plead for restraint if not for Heritage but for the system. What these purveyors of bile and traders in the gory do not know is the fact that the banking system is a domino and a loss of trust and confidence in one will certainly have a contagious effect on all and the system and that is why you see the CBN always fight strenuously to make sure no bank fails. For me, I sense Heritage Bank under the leadership of Ifie and Mary, is far from what was written and would still evolve into an institution that we all would be proud of. So my people, on Ifie and Mary I stand. I am heading to their Adeniyi Jones Branch to open an account as a show of confidence and also to see once again the receptionist in the branch. Kai.
Airtel : My Thanks
My attention was recently drawn to the new Airtel commercial  in which I had earlier protested with all my might against. They seem to have listened to the voice of reason and reworked the visuals. Now we see my kinsman seated on the table and being ‘part of the family’ although still a cook. This is a far cry from the initial depiction which was quite derogatory. They have tried and we must say well done to them. We will however continue to watch and see that they will maintain this good behavior. Well done sirs.
Donald Trump : A Messiah Foretold
You see we Nigerians like to dwell on frivolities. We mostly supported the candidacy of Hillary Clinton simply because ‘she is a woman, we love her husband, it is history, a first woman president’ reasons very far from very serious issues like how her presidency would affect our national interest. See the history of the Obama Presidency being the first black man and how it has affected our economy. The docility that pervaded the Obama presidency and his policies led to our loss of America as a major buyer of our oil while also leading to the oil glut which has inadvertently killed the oil price and thrown us into the depth of recession. We all forgot about how they blocked us from buying weapons to truly face the various insurgency in the country and even up to this week have blocked us from buying weapons from Brazil. We forgot all that and pushed our weight behind Hilary who would at best ensure a continuation of this wicked policies against us simply because ‘she is a woman’. I tire o. Me I supported Trump because I believe his inexperience and gragra will lead to global instability and insecurity which would in turn drive up oil prices and better position us as we attempt to rebuild our economy.  That is my take and that is why I supported Trump simply because of my belief that the Obama regime did nothing for us and a continuation would have most likely led to our extinction with the way the oil price is going down.
Jide Ezeofor and James Etonirun : Designers to Watch
I walked into this showroom on Awolowo Road in Ikoyi with  my mouth agape. These boys or should I call them men are doing wonders with traditional clothes. If you see the designs and attention to detail you will be gobsmacked. They have turned tailoring into fine art and I hear most of their customers are well heeled and sophisticated. I have begged for them to open a ‘poor man’s range’ for someone like me to buy their clothes. Their customised ostrich skin shoes come highly recommended. Made locally in Enugu, you will begin to ask what we are doing spending dollars buying shoes abroad when we are getting the same quality if not better at home? Well done, guys.