Alex Ekwueme: Shomolu Prays For You


I was in Accra over the weekend when the initial rumours started circulating. I was worried and placed calls trying to confirm the news. Thankfully, your family has come out to proclaim your continued existence. Sir, you remain an icon to those of us in Shomolu who have followed your emergence as the Vice President during the second republic and the continued role you are playing in our national development. You see, people like you have remained moderate, calm and very didactic in your approach to issues. You have shown what we can do as a nation if we could rise above the primordial divisions that continue to limit our growth and cohesion as a people. You have paved the way for the young ones to follow in the spirit of co-existence and mutual trust. So you see why we in Shomolu are not taking this your situation lightly.

We have completed plans to carry out serious prayers and fasting for your health. We would shut down all beer parlours in Shomolu by 6pm daily for five days so that everybody would have enough time to join the fellowships. We have designated the UNA Primary school as the praying ground for all faith, as we jointly send supplication to the God we worship for His guidance and protection. As the devil is wont to do, we had a small confusion with positioning. The Muslims wanted a particular part of the field so that they could face the East while the Orisa people needed the same place because their masqueraders needed the space to stretch their legs after running and walking round the whole of Shomolu with your portraits.

The good thing about us is our belief in dialogue, so we got the three leaders, the Islamic head, the Christian head and the orisha of the igbogunnu shrine and over bottles of you know what, we settled amicably and everybody was happy. So we have your portrait at the centre of the field guarded by seven virgins and then we have the Christians to the northern side of the field, the Muslims on the eastern side and the orishas to the west. Furthermore, the beer parlours are located just outside the fence because we may not have enough energy to walk to the bars to re-energise after such a long time, fasting and praying. As soon as we finish the prayers we would just jump in and refuel. So my lord, God is in control, we are with you for you are a good man. The Lord’s wish will be done in your life as we send a tripartite of prayers to the heavens in supplication for your continued good health. We wish you well, Shomolu prays for you.

Hameed Ali and The Ghost of PDP
If for nothing else, I really pity this PDP people because they have been so maligned that you begin to wonder what else they haven’t done. Lay every blame from the weather, to the inability to perform in the other room on their doorstep. The PDP is the source and the continued cause of our problems. They have made our children turn to drugs, turned our wives into harlots and have even turned our pastors to thieving vagabonds.

This same PDP has rendered the government ineffective with the way they have cornered governance and put their people in strategic places, thereby rendering all attempts by the government to fight and put us out of the economic doldrums ineffective. Come on now, this song is so stale that it is now becoming irritating. The statement by Mr. Ali, a man I have such tremendous respect for with his actions at the customs was just the icing on the cake and for me quite annoying. Labelling incompetence and ineffectiveness within the government as agents of PDP is to say the least infantile.

In my mind’s eye, this government is doing relatively well especially in curbing excessive government spending, blocking some leakages, and seemingly taming inflation but in general, we are still in the woods and with this continuous blame game that does not seem to end, it is beginning to dawn on Nigerians that just maybe, the second stanza would be a song of hopelessness. Please, the PDP as we know them are not in government and as such do not have the powers to cause all these problems. We voted for APC and we expect them to work. Truly we are really getting tired of this PDP song and if they are the ones causing all these wahala, let them kuku come back na and then we know who or what we are facing. My lord, let’s seek solutions and redirect our energies rather than spending so much time and effort in labelling our problems. Sir, our problem is not PDP and the sooner we realise that, the better for us. I have said my own.

EFCC vs DSS : Let’s Have this Fight
Well, we have just been told that some DSS operatives are refusing to honour invitations by the EFCC, who are investigating something. Well, in this battle I find it very difficult to take sides as both of them are my friends. Look, I have been a guest of the EFCC and I really enjoyed myself the days I spent with them. Their officers are courteous and professional. They even bought Chicken Republic food for me and when my tears were no longer controllable they hugged me and encouraged me to stop crying. I still remember the face of the agent as he told me ‘that this is what makes a man; travails like these will strengthen you.”

But I looked at him and with tears in my eyes, I asked, why this kind of travail, why not the travail of choosing between the Senator Ben Bruce most beautiful girl and Fidelis Anosike’s Miss Nigeria, that is the kind of travail I deserve, not this kind. He looked at me with his kind eyes and smiled. They loved me and treated me well, making me even want to look forward to another opportunity. That is the EFCC I know. On the other hand the DSS are another wonderful people.

I have been their guest too at the Shangisha office when my madam was involved in a minor road mishap with one of their cars. They took us inside and were very nice and courteous. Although they did not give us food which is very hard to forgive, they still treated us with respect and at the end of the day, we laughed over the whole thing. So you see why it is very difficult for me to take sides in this fight because I have been compromised. This wahala between these two organisations reached its peak when it was alleged – note I am using the word “alleged” because I know some people will be reading this article with a toothpick, looking for what to use to catch me. I don’t even know why I am looking for trouble like this, but as the EFCC man told me, a man must be a man. So I continue, ALLEGED to have written a report against the confirmation of Ibrahm Magu at the Senate. Ever since I do not think there has been any love lost between the two agencies. For me, this thing can be resolved easily.

I think we should have a national debate, televised live, between the two organisations on the topic, Charly boy – a hero or national nuisance. This I believe will resolve the matter once and for all. Seriously, I think it is not healthy for this cold war betweenDSS and EFCC. The need for them to work harmoniously cannot be overemphasised if we are going to achieve anything in this administration. Enough of the pettiness, let’s shake hands and build mutual trust for the benefit of all Nigerians. So by this, I am challenging both parties to honour this my request, let’s go live on TV and have this debate. English should not be the problem. Let’s do this guys.

A Soldier’s Tale
You know when you see some things online you have to be very careful as you assimilate it especially when you are writing this kind of very important column. Yes o, my column is very important o. You will not believe. The other day, I went to the newstand at Shomolu and immediately I got there, all the free readers jumped up and screamed, “loud whispers baba’’, who you go yab next week? Abeg help us yab Ambode, leave am abeg, yab Osinbajo. But why you never yab Buratai before? “Loud whispers, baba oya buy us kparaga make we enjoy your money small.” So this kind of adulation from this very prominent Nigerians puts a lot of responsibility on my shoulders. A burden of proof, objectivity and a strong reliance on facts as I write. So you can imagine my thought process when I read this soldier’s story on the sufferings they are going through on the battle ground. The story was pungent and highly touching and almost drove me to tears.

But even as I query its authenticity, I am reluctant to believe its veracity. But the question kept dogging me throughout the night. Are our soldiers going through these kinds of harrowing experiences, are they being so neglected to the point that they are left with no option than to go borrow monies from civilians? I dread and fear the answers? I pray this is not true, I pray this letter is fake and does not carry the truth regarding the lives of our heroes. Kai, I pray someone will come out and dispel these allegations and not just feed us with the usual official position that would flower the issue, dodging the truth. God, our soldiers should be treated like the heroes that they are. They should be rewarded for laying down their lives to protect the integrity of our nation. Can someone come out and tell me that this is all a ruse? pleaseeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

A Dirge for an Apology – to you the Knight
How do you say sorry for a cry for help? How do you feel apologetic when you have been wronged at so many levels with no recompense, no warm hug? How do you stare at yourself after you have been bullied to show respect for one that already has your respect but will not lift a finger to pull you out of the cesspit of pity? As you sit in the corner of the dingy hole, your loyalty and hard work have thrown you in, your mind wonders to the eagerness to make a difference as you handshake he that you have taken as a father at the beginning of the journey. Your loneliness and apparent stupidity hit you like a ton of concrete and you suddenly realise that you remain the lone soldier in this battle you never knew the beginning. You feel used and dumped.

You see the cockroach creep towards you and with a smirk on its blind face, it laughs at you and queries your loyalty in the face of a beholden treachery. But you smile back and remind the castrated cockroach that loyalty is what you were born with, and cemented with the pseudo-military training you received at Command. I respect and love my leader the Knight. I fear and remain loyal to him and would be the last to turn my back. As I work in bowed head, tears cascading my blurry eyes, wishing that things could be different, I am left alone in my melancholy, too weak to even contemplate a face-off, reluctant to stand before my lord in defiance, for I remain your boy, your servant, your soldier and a platform you will continually use to achieve your goals in life. I remain your boy and humble servant. Fear not. I love you sir, my Knight and my Gucci-wearing oga. All this can be resolved if you could just buy me a bottle of Coca Cola sir, na beg.