Chike Ogeah: Asaba man in Hollywood


Loud Whispers

Well, I have been looking for an opportunity to yab this tall, slim and handsome paddy for some time now. The occasion of his 56th birthday party which held during the week has given me the perfect platform.

You see, my first contact with this perfect gentleman was with a picture of him and his bosom friend, the iconic actor, Richard Mofe Damijo taken on the red carpet at the Grammies one of those years. My very good friend Ibukun sent me the picture from America as proof that indeed she could take people to the Grammies. As I stared at the picture, surprisingly it was Chike that caught my attention and not RMD.

He was trying so hard to look and feel like a Hollywood star. He was decked out in a perfect suit, with dark sunglasses and shiny patented black shoes. But what caught my attention was the pose. His wife, the very delectable Funke Ogeah would have called him that morning just before he left his hotel room, to ‘remember the son of who you are’. She must have continued by saying to her husband of many years, ‘remember you carry the hopes and aspirations of all Asaba men on that red carpet and that you are my knight in shining armour, so make me proud’.  You can now imagine Chike’s state of mind as he woke up that morning. As he jumped into the shower, the first song that came to his mind was to sing Oliver de Coque’s’ Funny funny identity’, but as he made to word the lyrics he suddenly remembered that he was in Los Angeles and not downtown Asaba. He did not want to be kicked out of the Hotel, so he started singing the only song that could come into his head, James Brown’s ‘I’m black and proud’.

The walk on the red carpet was something else for chike. As he swaggered along, he quickly put one hand in his pocket and the other permanently on the dark goggles. He must show these Americans how they do this thing. The walk that captured his darling F unke in Ibadan must be replicated on the world stage. It was a slow walk with a lot of attitude, shoulders bent to the right and a slight bounce each time the left leg was moving forward. It was Pastor Ighodalo that taught him the walk and he would be forever grateful to the amiable Pastor or how he for do for Grammy without the walk. Finally by the time it was time to enter the hall, MC Chike don tire from all the swag and posing that he promptly slept off missing most parts of the show. Anyway, the most important thing be say at least he go and he walk the red carpet. That singular honour gave him the only chieftaincy title he has today bestowed on him by the grateful people of Asaba.
Chike is today my oga and I have nothing but gratitude to him for accepting to mentor me at a particularly difficult time in my life. He has been much more than a mentor but an elder brother to Lami and me as we struggle to keep our heads above water in these turbulent times. As he celebrates his 56th birthday, I want to wish him all that he wishes himself and his lovely family. I pray for eternal bliss and a wonderful and fulfilling life. Sir, have you however considered the possibility of making me your son-in-law at all….. Kai, I can actually see bros throwing that shoe at me. Happy birthday sir and greetings to madam – I still savour the taste of that rice and stew last time we came to the house. Can I come next week Tuesday for more to break my fast?

Maina : Buhari, Watch Your Back!
You see, whether I like Mr. Buhari or not is not the point here. In fact, I still have an axe to grind with him. He made me suffer while in Command Secondary School for nothing. They said he was coming to visit the school, and they made us cut grass for two weeks on a daily basis in a bid to keep the school clean for his visit. Come and see blisters all over my palms and I hated this Buhari person. Why would I have to suffer like that because he was coming? What was he even coming to do sef? Didn’t he have enough work on his table? As I cut the grass in tears, I swore for him and promised to deal with him whenever I had the opportunity. And then Buhari came looking very handsome and smart in his starched uniform.

I looked at this lanky and very handsome gap-toothed officer, and a funny way of speaking English, I forgave him for all the trouble he had caused me. Well, till today, he has not told me sorry for all that grass I cut, hence, my small grudge. But I will not say because I hold him responsible for my teenage suffering, I should sit down and not say anything especially when I see bad things coming towards him. If for nothing else, the fact that he did not wait to eat that day thereby giving us enough to eat at dinner is enough reason to have his back. When this Maina thing broke, I decided to look deeper than most. So I did what I normally do to clear my head, I went straight to my toilet seat and sat down there to think well and hard. At the end of my deep reflection aided by seamless bowel movement, I had a eureka moment. It never fails me, you guys should auction this my toilet bowl when I pass away because the kind of ideas that come from it are just crazy. This was where I wrote that my Majek Fashek story which led to his rehabilitation; this was where I wrote my letter of resignation from Aquila Asset and this was also where I wrote my powerful letter of apology to my wife when she caught me…….. Well back to Buhari, Maina and the rest.

You see I want to believe that all this incompetence and blatant attempt to slap 180m people by a tiny cabal – that is what they have called them, cannot just be the drunken dance of a tiny group of incompetent people. I want to believe that there is more to it, just maybe there is a fifth columnist at work here to discredit Mr. Buhari, rubbish his legacy thereby reducing his second term chances if he even dares try. Otherwise, how can you explain this Maina issue and the kind of people with big positions and sensitive roles in our system working to bring back this thief? Documents have been flying, counter accusations and denials have been going all over the place but this still does not remove the fact that somebody at a very high level of government could even think about this scheme in a government whose legitimacy is hinged on an outright war against corruption and thievery will now recall someone who has been alleged to have stolen with so much brazen boldness and now give him a position in a ministry as sensitive as the one we have heard. Aghhhhhh Buhari, Buhari, Buhari how many times have I called you o. Shine your eyes o, my bobo, something is not right o? Listen to your darling Aisha. These things are not normal o. She has been screaming about these things and I don’t think you are taking her seriously o. I am in a panic on your behalf as my late father would say, ‘how many times will something do you before you stand up’. From DSS versus Magu at the Senate, to grass cutter, from  Oke to Ibe and Baru and now Dambazau and the Head of Service in this Maina macabre dance, something is just not right.

Why I pity you is simply because everybody knows you are forthright, disciplined and totally incorruptible and as such do not deserve all this childish chicanery around you. We need to pray o. We need to do something to remove the invisible cloth blinding you from seeing your closest confidants in their true colours. Some people are trying to rubbish you sir. Well, from Shomolu here the only thing I can do is to say some MFM prayers for you. Oya, wherever you are now kneel down, let me say a small prayer for you. Ooooooooo!!!!!! Oga come out of the other room na, this is not time for bend, bend sleep, we have a national emergency on our hands. Oya hold Aisha’s hands and say after me with the loudest voice you can muster. Wait let’s call in  Osinbajo,  he is honest and ok. Oya  repeat: all those within my government who want to disgrace me and make me a laughing stock like Donald Trump, fall down and dieeeeeeeeeeee!!! oya shoutttttttt it. Jump up and down and as you are screaming . Die!!!, die!!!!!!! Die!!!!!!!. Be shaking your head as you are jumping. They will all die, don’t worry sir. I will continue the prayer for you. Can I send my BVN number?

Jonathan in Court?
You see what I used to tell my editor that I should be submitting my stories on Thursdays, but he will never agree. You see, I hear that it’s looking like Jonathan may appear in court on this Olisa Metuh matter and I cannot wait to see what he will wear to the session  if he would appear at all. As I have to meet the deadline for submission, I have to write without seeing GEJ today.  My dear Jonathan, if it is true that you are appearing in court today, please do not forget to say your prayers before you leave your house. Read Psalm 23 and try not to drink anything else but coffee so you have a clear head. As you walk into the court do not stop to take any pictures as this is not time for any selfies and try not to shake hands with Olisa because as a loyal aide he no for involve you for him matter.

Well, remember that in court the judge is king o, so you must not forget to start every sentence with ‘’My lord’’ and end same with the same phrase o, cos if you forget I no get power to bring food come meet you wherever they will put you for contempt. Remember we are not sure if there is still immunity for former presidents. Well, I don’t believe you will show  if that small Kanu can disappear why not you? After all, we have speeches to deliver internationally and Kenyan elections to monitor. Anyway you will be ok, just don’t forget to put on your bowler hat and carry an extra one for Olisa, shey you see he is getting bald. My prayers are with you; have fun.

Loudwhispers – The Book and Abubakar Shiedu
Every year, I compile these articles into book form and sell to pay school fees. You see my people the amount we are paying as school fees can now be compared to the budget of some local government councils o. These schools will just be throwing the fees, not taking into consideration the fact that incomes are not jumping at the same pace. As no one will give me grass-cutting contract and I no fit steal so I do the next-best thing which is to use my Shomolu sense to raise money. So this year while I was compiling the articles, it’s usually a  chore because I would have to drop some and it’s usually arduous to decide which ones to choose, I got a text from my new friend Abubakar Sheidu. Now Abubakar is a great guy and brilliant lawyer.

Only just met him this year and since then we have been kinda like good friends. He had in his text informed me of how he enjoyed the Fela article that I did last week. The one the Fela people abused my grandfather over while also wishing that I came down with Ebola.  He ended the text by telling me just how much he enjoys the column. I thanked him and informed him of the coming book and he immediately booked for the first six copies and actually sent his money. Now, you see why Abubakar should replace Bello as the Governor of his Kogi State. So let me announce to the world that a compilation of all these articles would be coming out in a new book to be titled, “ …just because”. Yes that is the title and please don’t ask me why that kind of title, na my papa give me for dream. So you can begin to book your copies now and like Abubakar, can also pay o. Harry Ebohon , Chike, Lami and Gabriel Ogbechie please take note especially the paying part. Ciao