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Loud Whispers with Joseph Edgar

Loud Whispers with Joseph Edgar

Is Festus Keyamo Doing Well or Bad?

My friend, Praise, reached out to me last night, “Edgar, did you watch Keyamo’s interview just now?” I said no oooo, wetin happen again? “I only thank God that my daughter did not watch Uncle Festus this night,” he contended.  I asked him “but why you want demystify your Uncle Festus for your beautiful daughter eye?” He shook his head and said, “Edgar, shame is catching me.”

Me, I have passed shame and have gone to a state of elongated limbo when it comes to Mr. Keyamo in this his new role. Bros is just tearing all the books, rushing along like a truck with no brakes and scattering everything in his path. He is very lucky that ‘na stomach infrastructure’ that will end it all last, last, because if it was in saner climes where issues and these kinds of communications matter, Keyamo would have been the death of Tinubu’s aspirations.

When you take a lawyer and a very garrulous and combative one at that to be a spokesman for such a complex campaign with so many unanswered questions, this is what you get: total carnage.

Spraying Nigerians with the spit of legalese is not communication. This is not a courtroom where the dissecting of facts is the main weapon. This is the court of public opinion where softer issues and mannerisms sway public positioning. So, sitting down there in starched brocade and ‘ponbe’ hairstyle and shouting “the dictionary meaning of forfeiture is different from legal meaning,” is an exercise in utter stupidity. I’m s

It is a clear lack of understanding of what communication is all about. It reeks of a roguish attempt to discolour the facts, a bullish and pedestrian attempt to batter your way through it all. Even if you wanted to engage at the level of legalese, give us some credit na. We are not all that stupid na.

A forfeiture is what it is. If he was as ‘pure as snow’ as Keyamo has claimed, there would be no need for a forfeiture no matter the meaning – dictionary or legal. Abi, why would you forfeit anything at all. Will I forfeit my house if not that I am negotiating myself out of something.

Na this same man say, ‘great men did not use to go to primary school in the past.’ He must really think we are fufu brained.

What we are fighting for here is not a criminal conviction but a test of character and integrity. The question we are trying to answer is if Tinubu has the character and standing to be our president and not if he was criminally convicted by any court.

If you ask me, I think Keyamo is doing a lot of damage to the campaign and he should stand down. His other colleague, the old man, Bayo is doing worse. Calling the allegation dead as a dodo just shows that this one should be in one village drinking fermented palm wine instead of headlining a very important campaign.

On the other hand, Tinubu is making giant strides in what he knows best – reaching the people, engaging with them, cutting deals, building alliances with strong results, cementing him as the front leader.

But these two, they are just doing all their best to rubbish these efforts with these kinds of engagements. If you ask me, Dino is doing far better on the other side.

Na wa.

Peter Obi Needs a Pacifier

A pacifier is that little thing ‘you chook in a baby’s mouth’ when he or she is crying and you just need it to shut him or her up. My brother, Peter Obi looked quite pitiable at the last ARISE News Channel’s debate in Abuja that I felt like ‘chooking’ a pacifier in his mouth to keep him quiet.

Whining that, ‘Dino, you always troll me’ was a very weak move. Threw him up as touchy and overly sensitive. It was obvious that Dino was goading him and he fell like a sack of potatoes and with his tiny voice, he really sounded and looked like a baby crying for breast milk.  Dino saw this and put in the screws with a video where he mocked his credentials, querying, “if this one can be Commander-in-chief and will be whining like this.

Mr Obi’s popularity is waning and his inexperience at that level is becoming apparent. Complaining that he will no longer be debating running mates if the principals don’t show is another classic case of inexperience. His inability to defeat even the so-called running mates at the debate is very scary. Okowa trashed him. One would have expected that he would ‘shine’ at the weak field but he fell flat and instead started whining that he would not debate again except the principals come out.

My brother, the principals are showing better experience. They are pacing themselves and moving strategically. They know debate is not their strong forte and they avoid it – nothing wrong with that — and concentrate in areas that they have strength – Owambe parties and weddings in Ife. Since you say you want to represent Nigeria in the Olympics in the noble art of debates, they will send their strongest team to you and you are floored. That is politics, my brother. Na strategy.

The Presidency is much more than going around churches and TV stations and spewing out data that an entry level consultant at KPMG already knows. This is not how to push for the presidency of a country like this.

I think we should start considering an alliance with either of the big two, otherwise you just might be the ‘death’ of one of them, since I don’t need an Apostle to tell me that we may be going back to trading sooner than we know. Let’s get serious bro.

Kola Abiola’s Superb Outing

Nigerians saw what some of us already know. Mr. Abiola is as sound as they come. His grasp of the issues and his strong understanding of the noble art of public speaking won him many admirers at the debate. I have had personal and private encounters with him, on the back of his ambition and have always come out of those engagements highly impressed at his grasp.

Let me confess, I slept off and did not really finish watching the debates – my egbon Dr. Abati did not help matters as he kept ringing out like the Village Headmaster.  “Quiet over there,” he bellowed. “No noise,” he shouted, making the whole thing boring and one kain.

Anyway, the little I watched, saw Mr. Abiola taking the fight to his other opponents. Quietly and calmly engaging, taking up the issues with the mastery of a statesman and refusing to be flustered in all. Feedback from all and sundry came in very positively.

I reached out after the debates to congratulate him and he said, “Edgar, you have not seen anything.” I believe.

Ifeanyi Okowa was a Wonderful Surprise

Me, I used to look at this baba as one ‘efico’. I have met him once and even went to his house sef. It was Mudi, the great Fashion designer, who, having built a roundabout in Ughelli, invited me to join him at the opening.

When his Excellency arrived, he looked like Uche. Mbok, Uche was the most brilliant student at the famous Independence Hall in UI that year. He was a medical student and stupendously brilliant but an ‘ajebutter’. He could not fight, play local football or struggle for anything. All he knew was his books and we used to just laugh at him.

So here was Okowa looking and sounding like Uche at this ceremony. He even spoke like Uche and I laughed. But it was a different ‘Uche’ I saw at the debates. This Okowa was bold, confident and tasted like well fermented wine. He delivered his positions soundly and got all the cues right. His facts neatly prepared and his delivery like that of a calculating statesman. I loved him, I loved his presentation and also loved his refusal to be dragged into the mud. He tried.

Well-done Bro. Okowa. Well-done. I will give you a pass mark for this one. Well-done.

Akan Udofia – A Redemption Song

PDP in my state, Akwa Ibom have all gone mad o. So, the APC candidate, Mr Akan Udofia who seems to have fired the imagination of the state especially the youths, has drawn the worst from them.

So, he was invited to an event and when he got there, the musicians went mad with excitement and started playing a melodious tune which got not only Akan but the whole crowd bursting into a frenzy of dance moves. Now if you know Akan very well, you will understand his zest for life, his affectious energy which is very combustible and ignites the fire of joy around him.

Unfortunately for the PDP, the lyrics of the song were caustic. The musician was asking a simple question o. That since their candidate claims to have attended University of Uyo, that he should send his certificate. My people, Akan’s sin is dancing to the melodious tune o. It was not only Akan that danced to it o. So, many Akwa Ibomites danced to it and millions have been dancing to it, even me sef, when I am taking my bath, I dance to it.

But today, as a result of Akan’s marvelous dance steps, they have released a statement calling him all sorts of names. They even referred to him as a sexual pervert and all manner of unprintable names. All because of dancing to a song, wey no be him compose. The attack has been vicious and unrelenting. Caution has been thrown to the winds and vile and bile are being thrown at him.

Akan has remained stoic and calm and not responded to the bile and this is why his foot soldiers have decided to take the fight to the ‘enemy’ to defend his honour. Akan is a father of three lovely daughters that he dotes on. He will never be part of whatever despicable claims the PDP have thrown at him in that statement. He went to verifiable schools and has the legitimate certification to show for it very unlike his opponent. He has shown tremendous capacity as a major private sector operative now wanting to push those principles that enabled him build an enduring business capacity to the public sector and much more importantly, he has been able to win the hearts of the vast majority of forward thinking Akwa Ibomite.

Pressure is now on the other side, to show the certificates and stop fiddling with vacuous press statements when their homes are burning.

 Mbok, I am rushing into the bathroom to dance to the wonderful song – nko abo ke ama ka Uniyo, mbok sio Certificate 0—   translation, shebi you say you went to Uniuyo, show certificate o. Mad.

Abdulkadir Manko is My Kind of Candidate

Ok, I stumbled on a video on YouTube. It was this candidate speaking to a crowd somewhere in Kwara.  He looked very debonair and neat. He spoke in implacable English and connected with the crowd. His charisma showed through and I began to pay more attention to what he was saying.

He was speaking against violence and he said something that struck a chord, “It is not a do or die, look into my chairman’s eyes and you will see that we are peaceful people and will not support violence.”

 Wow, I fell in love with him at that moment. Not only because of what he was saying but the sincerity that I could glean from his utterances.

I dug some more and found out that he is a private sector person trying to give back to his people in the area of leadership.  As Chief Executive Officer of White Waters Marine Services, I found out that he has built tremendous capacity in that space, employing Nigerians and playing a very powerful role in that very critical sector. I have also seen that his philanthropic activities have also been quite robust.

I hope to meet with him one of these days to better understand his outlook and better understand his mission and why he wants to go to the Senate on the platform of the SDP, but for now, let me just say, he is really looking like my kind of candidate.

Tobe Okigbo, Please, Ignore Fidelis Anosike

 Tobe is the brilliant egghead that heads regulatory or something like that at MTN. He is one of those Nigerians that remain steadfast and committed to the prospect that is Nigeria. His outlook is quite principled and it is no wonder that he remains a critical figure within the telecommunications firm.

It was his 55th birthday the other day and his lovely wife, the very elegant Chioma sent me an invite. Their parties are usually very close and exquisite. The only problem there is that they never serve Afang and you know what that does to me. Anyway, this time, I went to the party making it a point to head up to Mama Bakassi to indulge in Afang after eating all the Chinese and intercontinental food that Chioma used to lay out.

As I walked in, I hugged Tobe and he announced – Duke, there is Afang. People na two plates I eat o. The Afang came with periwinkle, what we Ibibios call – mphi. They must have challenged their cook that Duke was coming o. It was served with Fufu. Mbok Afang and Fufu is far better than sex any day, I tell you.

Well, as we were eating, the great Fidelis Anosike, the husband of Nollywood diva Rita Dominic waltzed in. He was looking like a Hollywood Czar in all white. He went straight to the table and collected Atama and Fufu, another Akwa Ibom delicacy. He is my friend, brother and general overseer and as it wont to be, any time, I run into him, na politics o. We discuss politics and his positions remain as illuminating as ever.

Tobe joined us and Fidelis goes, “Tobe, how is 60? I hope you are enjoying getting to 60?” Tobe screamed o, “Duke don’t mind him o, I am just 55.”

 Kai. Wetin concern me, you can be Pa Fasoranti’s age mate as long as he no disturb the crayfish in this delicious Afang.

I replied, “Tobe ignore Fidelis, na exchange rate dey do am. You know say his white wedding is in London in a few weeks and when he proposed to Rita pound na N300, when she agree na N500, by the time he print invite na 700 l. Now that we are off to London na N1,000 he dey look.”

Tobe laughed and almost choked.

Here is wishing one of the most brilliant people I have ever met, a happy birthday and long life and continued prosperity. Chioma, mbok , the Afang still remain?

For Ike Ekweremadu, When It Rains, It Pours

The recent announcement that the EFCC got an injunction to seize over 40 of Ike Ekweremadu’s properties globally hit me with mixed reactions. Mbok, when it rains, it pours. Na wa.

In trying to save his daughter’s life, he has run into a major problem with the British who have thrown the books at him. While this is going on, this court ruling came. Now, what this court ruling does is that it severally diminishes his capacity to fight for his freedom.

Much as I try to look at the ‘crime’, I cannot go past the humanitarian angle – trying to save his daughter’s life. Every parent in that shoe will do the same and if not more. I am not trying to engage on the legality or otherwise of his actions but looking at it purely from the prism of a father of five children.

This is just so sad and unfortunate. I can only pray for all involved, the Lord always has a way of intervening in these things. My prayers to all involved.

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