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Loud Whispers with Joseph Edgar

Loud Whispers with Joseph Edgar

Dele Alake: ‘Pinocchio’ on TV

For those of you who do not know, Pinocchio is a fictional character of a wooden boy whose nose would grow longer each time he lies. Mr. Dele Alake’s nose grew so long in this interview that if it had continued, it would have grown longer than the Third Mainland Bridge. My egbon did not do well at all.

I refused to watch this interview initially, because I expected nothing less. But the massive negative feedback from the public rushed me towards it. When I finished watching it, I just shook my head and went to the toilet because the thing gave me a bad case of diarrhea.

This Tinubu thing has demystified people we thought were very brilliant. From Keyamo through Sam Omatseye and down to this Dele person, brilliant people have been falling flat on their faces in a lame attempt at defending, supporting and selling this candidacy.

Alake started strong. Bobbed and weaved like Mohammed Ali, made strong statements, took strong positions and engaged brilliantly. His voice quality was strong. He jumped up and smashed. He was happy with himself. Then the thing started going towards ownership of Alpha Beta and education and the voice started shaking. Confidence left and he started looking and sounding like a Muppet.

By this time, it was clear Seun had gotten him in the corner. Seun started throwing punches and all Dele had to do was to cover his face with the hope that his growing nose would not be bloodied. He tried to throw in convoluting expressions like – he grew the IGR, he weeded out ghost workers. But Seun had gotten him – how would you not want to know the ownership of a company as strategic as Alpha Beta- and Dele countered looking sillier – what concerns me, especially seeing that they are performing?

The whole thing was like American wrestling, where someone will be in the ring and be beaten to a pulp, his partner will tag him and jump in and will also be beaten up, their manager will jump in and be beaten and it goes on and on.

That was a terrible outing. Emotive, light on facts and logic often leading to bouts of frustration while showing a clear disbelief in what he himself was saying. His body language gave him out. He didn’t show conviction and ended up worsening the state of the campaign. He should have just stayed out of the whole drama.

If Tinubu fails to clinch the Presidency, lay it firmly on Dele Alake. He killed it with that showing. Kai!

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu: Sell It Like Trump

I have been watching this candidate with keen interest. He is the forerunner hence the huge spotlight on him. His background, antecedents and all also throw him up for more scrutiny than all the other candidates put together. Too many moving shady parts. No real firm on any critical part of his life but he comes with a larger-than-life characterisation and a firm push towards the presidency.

So, how do you sell this candidate? Me, I can sell him o. I am very confident that I can sell Tinubu if given the opportunity.

Let me state it here. All his handlers are missing it. You cannot be coming from the point of ‘good’ with a candidate that has an education qualification problem with a candidate that has no visible source of income but is one of the wealthiest in all of Africa and with a candidate that has had all those things we have heard about life in America.

Coming with an anti-corruption stance, a morally just fighter and all that puritanical positioning will not work and it is not working. This is not a Buhari. Buhari was a real poor man, he looked it and sounded it. His frail, skinny and long necked gaunt look went with the narrative. When he said, “I will fight corruption,” you believe it because he truly looked like someone whom corruption had dealt with.

But with Tinubu, the same cannot be said. A bullion van was driven into his compound and when asked, he said, “Is it your money?”

This candidate cannot be sold the way his people are selling him and this is why it is not succeeding and people like Keyamo and Alake are looking like spent clowns all over the place.

Me, Joseph Edgar, I will sell Tinubu like Trump. Brash, bold and care-free. When Trump was outed for saying things about women, he owned it. Pushed harder on the narrative and positioned himself as a strong ‘devil may care’ purist white crusader coming to take back America and make it great again.

What Tinubu’s handlers are doing is trying to sell his candidacy to the papacy. We are not looking for a Pope. This is Nigeria, this is hell, we need ‘agbero’ as President who will take hard decisions and who will move very aggressively not caring whose ox is gored as long as things get done.

With Alpha Beta, Chicago, the fake Bishops, Amoda and all that, Tinubu is the best candidate for this jungle called Nigeria. A country where a few people have stolen 80% of our oil straight from the pumps, where insecurity is the order of the day and where we have been adjudged fantastically corrupt, then we need a ‘Jaguda-Jagaban’ type president if we are going to have any hope’. Fair and simple.

Obi is too weak, where will he start from? Does he even understand the real issues? Nigeria is not an economic class. He should go and vie to be President of the Lagos Business School. Atiku will be decimated by Wike. Wike will finish that candidacy unless a miracle happens. So, we are left with Tinubu.

I will support him, if he comes out boldly and says, “Guys, I am what you need. You guys are all very corrupt and I understand it and will move aggressively against all of these things because I have been there, done it and lived it.” You will now begin to see how things will change dramatically.

Try it, Mr. Tinubu. Try it. Don’t let fear catch you. Just remove the toga of purity they have tried to grab you with that is not working and stand naked in front of us and just say, “this is me. Deal with it.” If you don’t win, I will join Bode George to leave this country. That’s how confident I am.

Seyi Makinde: A Judas in the House

I used to sha like this bobo. Tall, good-looking and calm. Emerging as Governor of Oyo State under PDP in the South-west threw up his reputation to the high heavens. He has performed creditably well and I must say remains a shiny example of what youth and vigour can bring to the table.

But on this Ayu matter, I beg to disagree with him and his gang. So, Ayu was ok before the primaries. He was a respected Chairman during the primaries but immediately turned weeping child- Wike lost, Ayu suddenly became leprous.

I really do not understand the issues around this matter but the timing of it all especially so close to the start of campaigns is making me feel like the PDP just may be dealing with traitors within.

They seem to be looking at a tree and forgetting the full forest in view. The fact that this fight will not give them enough time to regroup and build cohesion to face the general elections seems lost on them. This na the real Brutus wey stab Julius Caesar. I expected much more strategic thinking from Makinde since he is not positioned as a cry baby like his brother Wike.

I cannot imagine that these ones are fighting for chairmanship of a party when the presidency is staring at them. Funny.

Wike, Amaechi, Allow Alabo to Rest

Last weekend was the final burial rites for the very respected Alabo Graham-Douglas and our combatants still took the fight to the place. Amaechi who is the former Transport Minister and an APC stalwart had observed that the Wike government did not send any representative to the burial. He felt it was a slight on the memory and legacy of the great man.

Wike in true fashion came back blasting that Amaechi was a total failure, also asking where was Amarachi when Alabo was ill? You see the kind of people we call leaders. People who can go to each other anywhere and at any time including the sacred burial rites of such a dignified and highly peaceful Alabo.

I am sure Alabo would be turning in his grave seeing how these gladiators turned his grave site into a boxing duel.

Let me state here however that it was very wrong for a state that had produced such a distinguished Nigerian who had contributed so much to the country and Rivers State specifically to have been ignored by the state no matter who was the governor or no matter what the situation was.

So in this case, Amaechi was right to have berated Mr. Wike. Now, instead of that one to address the issue specifically, he goes into a tirade like an unruly market woman. Where Amaechi has become a huge failure in this matter eludes me. Amaechi not being able to enter Aso Rock is beside the point abeg.

I am beginning to get irritated with Emperor Wike and certainly cannot wait for his tenure to be over so he can ride steadily into the political sunset like a castrated cowboy. Na wa.

Zelensky: Short, Stout and Brave

When they say he was a comedian, someone will be thinking it is them Alibaba and AY type of comedians o. This one is a comedian with a difference. A man who has kept faith with his country all in a green t-shirt. I have the same type of t-shirt and I wore it to give a talk to bankers at their last conference in Abuja. They were all looking at me, and one of them, Ade Adefeko, was bold enough to ask why I was wearing a green t-shirt at such an auspicious moment. I told him “I be Zelensky.”

It just dawned on me the other day that Russia has not been able to finish this fight o. I asked someone recently “Russia still dey struggle for this matter? “And the reply I got was amazing:  they are not only struggling but Ukraine is even reclaiming land and that Putin has run to China to seek aid.

How can a huge super power like Russia not be able to neutralise a tiny country led by ,, a comedian in a green t-shirt? My people, this is a mystery o. Before this fight, the way we used to fear Russia was out of this world. Some people in Shomolu used to even argue that it will not take Russia more than five minutes to finish America.

My people, from what we are seeing today, even Nigeria can put eye in Russia’s eye. I am telling you the way they are going, even Boko Haram can be ambitious and try them. This is what happens with bullies who go around beating their chest and thinking they can just stamp on everybody and everything.

Watching my guy Zelensky in the green t-shirt last night on TV, I beamed with pride. As he emerged in the reclaimed city in his green t-shirt, I rushed to wear my own and stood to salute my brother. He refused to run away, he refused to take the bullying and with such a tiny army, stood and defended his homeland.

No matter what happens going forward he has made a point and has shown the world that it is not only to be shouting ‘Emilokan’ all over the place but it is the conviction of true pride and passion for the country that a leader makes.

Oludare Alaba: A Curious Case of a Certificate Return

The video has gone viral. The video of this young man trying to return his certificate and ask for his money back. In a video interview with a leading national newspaper, he specifically asked for his tuition fees back citing that the certificate is of no use to him.

Suffering from years of unemployment with its attendant debilitating trauma that comes with it, his mindset now dictates to him that the best recourse is to attempt a return of the certificate and cause a huge PR nightmare not only for the school but also for the educational system in the country as a whole.

You see, Nigerians have taken this video to heart. They have debated on it citing it as just another example of the crashed systems and values of the country. But I see this differently.

A full graduate with certification but with no real-life skills to navigate the meandering nature of life after campus. His inability to apply himself being dropped squarely at the feet of the system that produced him. Not only him, but millions have found it very convenient to drop the blame of their inability to find a footing on the system.

You see, what we all lack most are life skills. We give up too easily and we become lazy and be waiting for government and where that fails, we rail and attempt something as stupid as this one.

I failed out of secondary school. I have done mechanics and have been sacked three times by various banks. I have been arrested and put in custody for a weekend, I have lost money, made money and I have tried to run over five companies, all failed. I even ran two magazines’ that failed fantastically.

I could have gone back to give Universities of Ibadan and Lagos their degrees. I did no such stupid thing because I realised that the system does not owe me nothing. All they owe me is the security of my life. Not even an opportunity. I will find my opportunity; I will struggle and I will not give up. I will fight, struggle and build a future for myself and that is why I am the Duke of Shomolu.

I will not humour this person and join him in his pity party. He is lazy and those of us who are pitying him are not helping him or the millions who are waiting for a hapless government or a warped system to get a job or eke a living.

‘Smart hard work’ pays and that is what you should teach yourself and apply the academics you learn in school. So, this person has missed it and has failed woefully. He should take his ‘yeye’ certificate and go and use it to sell groundnut cos his failure is his and not the school.

There are people in that school, who went through the same tutelage with him who are successful. So what gives?

Abeg, he should go and sit down. A joker.

Tope Fasoranti: A Well-deserved Shout Out

The other day, someone called me and said, “Duke, when will you do a shout out for me on your column?” I told him when Jesus comes back. You see in Nigeria, we have to continue to put on a pedestal those ones who despite everything are impacting our lives.

Fasoranti is one such person. An Executive Director at Zenith Bank, he continues to blaze a trail with his exemplary life, his professionalism and his general outlook. Mentoring youths and providing leadership in one of the biggest and soundest financial institutions in Africa making him attain an iconic status can only be applauded.

Happy birthday bro. I called him the other day and said, “Bro, where is my Afang?” and he said, “name the place and time.”  I told him to “start saving o.”

This is just to wish one of the most brilliant Nigerians that I have ever come across, a huge birthday celebration. God bless you, my brother.

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