The Igbo Question and Fidelis Anosike


Loud Whispers

So I walk into the exquisite lobby of the Eko Signature suites to meet my new friend Fidelis Anosike who is the Publisher of Daily Times. A fine young man with a clear head. I met him through my Chairman, Chike Ogeah who himself is a fine-not-too young man. By the way Oga Chike ‘’where you see that perfume you wear come my office the other day? Na wa o’’.. Well you know I can digress while telling a story. Kai. So I sat with Mr. Anosike over drinks, he drinking Tea and me drinking my favourite drink – won’t mention it. Don tire to dey give coca cola people free endorsement dem never one day call me to ask if I need anything. The discussion as usual with me when I meet any serious Igbo person went straight towards the Igbo question.

Let me just say this that I have never met a young Igbo man so clear in his thoughts as to the position of the Igbo Nation in a united Nigeria. He spoke so passionately on his belief in one Nigeria, latching on to the economic angle and stating very clearly that the issue of IPOB or the so-called Igbo agitation was an economic issue and that if we could get robust and concise socio-economic development into Igbo land, it will mute all these agitations. From the discussions, we both agreed to leverage on the iconic pedigree of Daily Times which he publishes today to organise a National conference on the issue where key Ndigbo leaders of thought and other right-thinking prominent Nigerians will discuss not only this issue but also the Nigerian situation within the context of the interplay of national ethnic agitations as we move towards better cohesion in the country. Well, as I stood up to leave, I looked back at that conversation and felt for a long time at ease with the fact that even in this madness we can still get some level of sanity.

Ibe Kachikwu: Hope No Problem?
No wonder Ibe has been calling me for the last four days. Not that I refused to take his calls but his timing has been quite awry. He is either calling me while in the other room, or calling me trying to jump into any of these Ambode’s BRT buses but anyway, when I saw the newsfeed about his leaked memo to the President I realised why he has been frantically calling. I guess maybe he wanted me to assist in writing the purported memo reporting the NNPC GMD to the President. You see, like I always say, my fear for FAKE NEWS is palpable so I am careful to comment on an issue if I am not sure of its authenticity but then again this particular one was so irresistible that I am willing to take a risk. As I write I have still not been able to confirm if it is real, although I have seen a feed from a national daily showing a response on the leakage from his Ministry. But let us even just agree it happened with no risk of being castrated for commenting on a fictitious story, what advice would I have given Ibe if I had taken his calls. Well, it is simple, when I worked in Habib I had one subordinate too, Shehu like that who used to be insubordinate. Making appointments and even appropriating the petty cash without my knowledge. I was very patient o, but when he now fired my office crush who was the very dutiful receptionist without recourse to due process, he had hit me in the wrong place and I knew I had to respond and fight back.

I mean how could he sack the lady who had only just started responding to me after over six months of continued agitation, and not only that, replaced her with a middle-aged woman who was breast feeding. Kai, Shehu had gone too far and I must act. The fact that I headed a committee whose sole task was to approve employments and resignations did not stop him from carrying out such a nationally devastating act. I only just walked into the office one wet morning looking forward to my full frontal hug which only just started two days earlier only to be confronted with a matronly woman breast-feeding at the front desk.. Upon enquiry she said she was the new receptionist and wanted to know if I was Mr. Edgar that she was told that as part of her duty she would be giving me a full frontal hug every morning I came into the office.

She wanted me to be a little bit patient that as soon as she finished with the baby, she would come give me the hug. I almost fainted, rushed into my office ad locked the door. I did not come out the whole day while plotting my revenge. My brother, these kind things, no be memo. You take action with your own hands. In this case, I simply banned all those who brought kunu to the office. So no more kunu during office hours. You know kunu, the local drink that some of our northern brothers can swear by. Shehu loved kunu to a fault so this ban hit him in a very bad place. I followed that by recruiting a second receptionist who sat beside the madam and did all the work including hugging me while madam kept feeding her baby on the side. So my brother if this story na true, which I no believe, act like a Minister, memo na long story. Just walk up to the Baru, shebi that is his name, make sure there is a major frown on your face, don’t eat before you get there so that your anger level would be at its highest. Don’t knock, just barge into his office, walk straight to his table and looking at him squarely in the eyes without flinching, ask him in the softest of voices for a nice explanation to his actions. I am sure he would explain to you in a gentlemanly fashion why he has chosen this path. Whatever he tells you, just agree, hug him and go back to your office. This kind fight no be wetin you dey see for front you dey fight o. Something dey give am the power and I suspect you no go fit withstand that power o, or better still, take it all to the Lord in prayers. I have Father Mbaka’s numbers if you need them or would you prefer Sat Guru Maharaji. Abeg leave me o, I dey go chop no be this one be our problem.

Aliko Dangote and Tales of the Unexpected
I first heard this story on the radio. Nigerians were calling in and saying all sorts about the purported 10-year tax waiver as reward for his offer to reconstruct the Apapa Oshodi expressway.  Well, my people as I write, I am seeing a statement from the Dangote people denying being offered any tax break. You see, for me on this issue I remain confused. For the first time in my wrestling career I find myself not being able to take a position. Seeing how strategic that road is and the purported billions they say we lose daily as a result of its poor state and one man suddenly decide to assist us in repairing the road what could be wrong in trying to reward him for this selfless work? But another school now says, that his trucks and those of his friends are the major cause of the situation with the reckless way they ply the road and risk people’s lives and as such he is just paying back what he has taken. For me, while I am still thinking of which position to take, I will beg Aliko to start work, I am sure that by the time the road is finished, we would have made up our minds as to what kind of reward to send your way. For now, let the construction begin. God bless you bro.

Prince (Aremo) Oniru: Congrats and Welldone
You see Amara Nwadike who is the beautiful daughter of my friend, Mrs. Nwadike Obiaku – I had to write the name in full because I know Mrs. Nwadike very well o. She will hit my head with her handbag and in that her shrill voice will scream, “Edgarrrrrrr how many times have I told you to do the right thing always? If you are going to put my name in the newspaper why not spell it in full, Edgarrrrrrrr?’’ So madam, that is it o. So Amara calls and said she was sending me two VIP tickets to the Independence concert her boss Prince Oniru was organising which would be featuring my crush, Tiwa Savage, on stage. This was an offer I could not pass on. Let me shamefully state here that when this damsel that is Tiwa was going through a tiff with her bobo I had secretly written her a letter offering my shoulder for her to cry on and implicitly offering her a role in Shomolu as my new wife. Either she did not get that letter or was ill-advised by the plenty people around. Anyway, I did not get a response so I guess she had missed the opportunity to be with me in paradise. So, when I got the invites and I saw her lovely face I knew I had to be there. That night I jumped into my designer shorts, Mudi had created something for me with mosquito net and it was well, let me just keep quiet. Na so I saunter into the expansive Eko Hotel Hall with dark goggles and feeling like Shina Peters. Shock o, my VIP ticket no be real VIP o. This Amara gave me fake VIP ticket.

Our own side, no drinks, no tables just sitting down outside a fence cubicle and be looking at the real VIP people the way Obalende people look at Ikoyi people. Me, Duke of Shomolu to sit in the popular side, how would Tiwa see me from here? As I sat there vexing, I saw the kind of drinks that were distributed in the real VIP seat. How can this girl marginalise me like this?  I had to do something to change my circumstances. This one, no be Wole Soyinka type of English because those bouncers looked very fierce. Well, my people, that is how when they switched off the lights for the show to start, I just jumped the little fence and entered the real VIP and immediately saw my man Demola Aofoloju who I can swear he too must have jumped in. That guy no fit buy that ticket, he too tight hand. Well, I sat there and enjoyed the show thoroughly. It was well put together and my Tiwa was a marvel even though Olamide stole the show. I did not understand a word of what he said and his face was ashen and wooden he still put on the most exciting performance on the day. For Shina Peters, I will keep my comment before they will say I am a tribalist. So my dear Prince, well done and congratulations on this wonderful show. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Keep the flag flying and next time please let me come and collect my ticket personally o, so I will be sure it is the real VIP, not that marginalised VIP Amara sent to me. Well done guys, you people did well.

Alibaba on the Prowl
It is no longer news that I owe legendary comic Alibaba. He played the lead in my first play two years ago and since then I have not been able to complete the payment of his fees. All explanations to him that we fell into  recession immediately after, and that some of my accounts have been frozen simply because I once took a selfie with Deziani when I saw her at the airport in Ikeja have fallen on Ali’s deaf ears. Well I stumbled on him at the last Command secondary school gala night marking the school’s 40th. Yes, we went to the same school and yes he wore a bow tie to the event. I think he came specifically for me, since I have carefully made sure that I find myself at the other part of the country anytime I hear he is in one part. Like five people came to me saying, ‘Edgar, wetin you do Ali, he dey look for you’. After spending the better part of the evening hiding under tables and crawling around I gave up and went to him to ask for debt forgiveness. After all, the Paris Club forgave Nigeria and even returned some of the excess we paid which led to some governors allegedly going into the hospitality business with the proceeds so why Ali no fit forgive me? As I explained to him how the activities of IPOB has led to my inability to pay and how also the latest NNPC appointments is also hampering my ability to get contracts from them, Ali was just looking at me.

Meanwhile, our colleagues seeing two legends standing together kept asking for pictures. ‘Senior Edgar and Senior Atuyota – that was his name – can we take picture?” Ali would just smile like the statues you see when you want to enter Lagos and I would smile like RMD and they kept coming. Anyway, I was able to interest Ali with a new project that will see him take on Nollywood in a Christmas special. We are still cooking so I cannot talk too much about it. But as I left, the Warri man warned me that if I did not pay his money, he would send Magu after me. So Nigerians, I hereby launch an appeal to all well-meaning Nigerians to come to my aid. I don’t want cash o, just call him to give me small time, that as soon as my candidate emerges in 2019, I will be in a better position to pay him. Kai, where this Fayose go hide again o, we must win this election o by all means, no be for this age I go dey struggle with Magu o, you see the guy head?