Latest Headlines

Loud Whispers with JOSEPH EDGAR

Loud Whispers with JOSEPH EDGAR

Tinubu and the Republic of ‘Hulla Ballu’

I have been abused in my life, but the one I received when I dropped an article on the possible victory of the APC candidate on social media remains a watershed in my life. I had looked very critically at the political situation and had come to the conclusion after speaking with some very credible analysts that we just might be seeing a Tinubu Presidency.

The conclusion was reached following the great inroad the APC candidate was making in some major voter clusters, the support of the incumbent government, the dithering in PDP especially the continued activities of Nyesom Wike and Atiku Abubakar’s inability to rein him in, and lastly, the current strength of Labour Party’s Peter Obi, especially its effect on PDP and its inability to share the APC lead.

My people, I received abuse o. My head full. I even start to cry at some point. They finished me o. The thing came in torrents. I tell you for the first time in my life, I thought about retirement from this work. Who send me o.

One person said, “Edgar, your chase for sponsorship for your plays have blinded you.”Even the Tinubu people join abuse me o. One called me a shameless hypocrite because I reported my conversation with one big Yoruba man who said that Yoruba Intelligentsia supporting Tinubu despite all the shady things, were doing so for three reasons – tribal considerations, crass material benefits and joblessness.

“Edgar, you are a foolish sellout” – this one came from a very beautiful girl. One big APC man called, “Edgar, did you write that rubbish? I just wanted to be sure?” I answered back:  “Mbok, no ask me any question, abuse me your own and dey go, I don tire.”

This politics matter is now so emotive. People are not even ready to look at the issues dispassionately. If you support Tinubu, Obi and Atiku people will abuse you. If you support Obi, Tinubu’s people will call you ‘aje okuta ma mo mi’.

I don tire. Please I no get candidate, I just dey do my self-appointed olofofo work for the matter.  It is now looking like I am finally getting Nigerians to unite. They have now united in abusing me. Imagine, see my life. Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa/Fulani people have come together to abuse small me o, because of one tiny article on Hulla bulla. Na wa.

Jimi Agbaje, Should I Say Sorry?

I was on my couch sometime last week, when my phone started buzzing. “What did you do to Uncle Jimi? He has yabbed you on Twitter and Facebook.”

Uncle Jimi ke? Uncle Jimi is my egbon o. One of the few people I respect o. I was on my couch, tired of Nigeria and attempting to recharge my batteries as Nigeria was hitting me left and right. When the calls and messages started flooding in.

Uncle had gone on social media to single me out o. Uncle must have been very upset because he called my full names o. He even spelt it correctly with no mistakes – JOSEPH EDGAR.

Apparently, I think Uncle Jimi Disu must have annoyed him and he felt like this was the last straw and he lashed out. He called me ‘self-styled’ and asked that I should be responsible in using my platforms.

The peak of it all was when my biggest egbon called in, “Edgar, I do not want you to go and do a back and forth with Jimi. I can tell you authoritatively that Jimi has not moved to APC.”

This call nailed me to the wall as I can never say no to this particular Oga.

However, the truth is that the news of his defection was widely reported and when I didn’t see a rebuttal, I fired. Now that there has been a rebuttal, I guess it is perfect to withdraw my statement and tender an unreserved apology.

My dear Uncle, there is nothing a good plate of Afang cannot solve. Please kindly accept my offer to a delicious lunch at the wonderful Echoes of Calabar Restaurant at your very convenience. Please come alone o, as I no get money to pay for anybody else except you.

Finally, let me thank you for the post as it gave me a 24-hour notoriety. Come and see babes calling me. “Edgar, is it your own Joseph Edgar? Jimi just yabbed you.”

 I said, “yes o it is my own o.”

Na me o. I am the one o.

Next time my Lord, please put my picture o so there will be no confusion. I’m so so sorry for any inconvenience. Ema bi nu si mi,aburo la je si yin – I hope I got the Yoruba well sha?

Olabode George: Old Soldier Never Die

The way ARISE News has taken over the landscape is quite amazing and it is with interviews like this one with PDP chieftain Olabode George that continues to give it the market quality that it has today.

Chief George is as firm and disciplined as they come. As he was talking, I wondered why they never come like this anymore. This one has never crossed carpet, this one has stayed in one place – I will die instead of shaking Tinubu- this one has not shifted grounds. He stands on his principles no matter whose ox is gored and doesn’t shift no matter the pressure. Mr. George is my hero.

During the interview, he explained very clearly the reason why he was against the present ongoings in PDP.

“Are you saying that as a full-fledged Yoruba man I cannot be given any of the top six positions in our party?”

But my problem is why fight over this ‘little thing’ to the detriment of a bigger goal which is the Presidency. We are a few months to the presidential election and the ongoing internal wranglings are not helping the push.

It is looking like both sides no really get sense – especially their candidate who is really joking with his last chance to fulfill his ambition.

Anyways, I still admire the resolve and the positioning of Chief George. I believe very strongly that if we could get only five like him in this country, rightly or wrongly, we would begin to see better light.

Is Nyesom Wike God?

You know there is a way you spoil your fight with the way you go about it. I think very strongly that Mr. Wike continues to behave very embarrassingly in his continued bid to make whatever point he needs to make.

Yes truly, his party has behaved very irresponsibly on the matter of the chairmanship and other positioning. Yes, he must have felt cheated and shortchanged during the primaries and yes it must have been a very bitter pill to swallow to see a much more quiet Okowa emerge running mate instead of his loud mouth, but running around like a kindergarten who wet his pants all over the place remains very unstatesmanlike.

So, if he won the primaries and eventually became President and issues did not go his way as they often do, this is how he will be shouting all over the place. So as UAE ban our citizens like they have done, will Wike now go to the United Nations with his highlife band and be yabbing those ones and be singing, ‘Wike pepper dem’?

Abeg, I think there should be some level of maturity in these things. Giving another party or in fact other parties so-called ‘logistics support’ and turning around to dare his party to sanction him is crass childishness and I am beginning to thank God that PDP in their folly did the right thing – tossing him into the dustbin.

No man should hold the system hostage no matter how huge his head is. We must all be students of democracy in all of its ramifications. There are processes to seek redress. You can go to court, among others. But behaving like a real spoilt child, destroying structures and pulling your hair and using Rivers State people’s funds while singing ‘pepper dem’ and dancing like a village drunk all over the place is not my idea of a serious leader.

Please Mr. Wike – common go and siddon. He don do abeg. Make we see road, no be only you dey.

Has Kola Abiola Gone Mad?

He has not o. He has only just accepted to be the Special Guest of Honour at my new Play tagged ‘Our Duke Has Gone Mad Again’ coming up this December at the Muson Centre.

You see, I got an invite to come and watch Kola speak to the ever beautiful and phenomenally talented Kadaria at the Terra Kulture during the candidate series. I went o.

It was broadcast live and Kola gave a good account of himself. Seated with his running mate who was a little bit sedate, they both took very constructive questions and gave as good as they could. I especially loved the part where he was asked to talk about his affluent pedigree as against the masses-oriented ethos of his party, the People Redemption Party.

He told us that he was not born into wealth. He talked about trekking from UNILAG to Yabatech daily where his mum was teaching. He remained calm and engaging throughout.

People often ask, is Kola mad? What makes him think he can win this election? It is for this reason that I have invited him to a ‘mad’ show to come and tell us once again why he is really on this journey.

Let me say this, Kadaria is a wonderful journalist. Her questions were deep and incisive. Her timing was brilliant and her control of the whole sequences made the watching audience really get the essence of her guests. Well done Ma!

The ‘Ekpe’ in Larry Ettah

You never know a man until you meet him. I used to go and meet my late Oga Albert Okumagba in Mr. Ettah’s house somewhere in Ikoyi where they will be playing squash. I used to take documents for him to sign and he would stop playing momentarily to engage me and later say, “sit down and watch.”

I will watch Mr. Ettah and Mr. Okumagba run around the court sweating and panting and I will be wondering what these ‘old men’ are doing instead of them to go and relax with somethings on a beautiful Sunday afternoon like this.

I never used to like Mr. Ettah because he never used to offer me drinks or food. He will just sit down and eat and drink after the game and I will be looking at them salivating but won’t say anything as a disciplined investment banker. I used to sha abuse them in my head and walk away.

Then I met Mr. Ettah. I think it was my big brother Udeme Ufot that gave me the link and I met a gracious and sweet gentleman. A visit to his home is an excursion to reflective art. But pardon this my long story, it is the Iboku Uruan Cultural festival coming up this December in a beautiful town called Uruan in Akwa Ibom State that I want to comment about.

The ‘Ekpe’ masquerade holds a tremendous fascination to the Akwa/Cross River person. Its mysterious beauty as it prances around is magic to behold. The virginal damsels with belly button exposing attires and the well clad gentlemen dancing behind the magnificent Ekpe masquerade is a beautiful spectacle. I used to just cry as I marvel at its wondrous beauty. Mad.

Mr. Ettah is fronting this beautiful carnival. The carnival will involve the presentation of the various Ekpe masquerades in their glory. This would include the magnificent Nyoro Ekpe and Nyampe displays. Kai, I am already shaking with excitement. There will also be wonderful cuisines of our people – Afang, Ekpang Nkukwo, Iwuk Ukom and the rest. Kai.

This is so exciting that I am highly recommending it to Nigerians. The marvel that is the Ekpe masquerade in full flight must be seen and experienced. It is not something that they will be giving you like gist, I swear.

Olanipekun Adebutu: The Height of Fortune

This gentleman comes in as humble as they come. His humility belies his great pedigree being a member of the very famous and influential business family. I met Ola- if I can call him that- recently at his wonderful lounge somewhere in Victoria Island. He continues to play very strategically in the agric sector with his Fortune Heights farm. If you realise that the sector is the highest employer of labour in the country and the strategic role it is playing in economic development you will begin to understand why I have singled out Ola to hail this Sunday.

Despite the huge challenges faced in the sector, Fortune Height, as I write, has over 700 Nigerians under its employ with another 300 indirect employees. Its main produce includes livestock, both live and processed chicken among others, the farm produces about 15,000 litres of soya oil and would soon go into animal husbandry.

Set up sometime in November 2011, Fortune has grown to be a very influential leader in its chosen field. Mr. Adebutu who has degrees in mathematics and finance is a well-respected businessman and entrepreneur who continues to push and show strong resolve in not only our economy but in our country.  Well done my brother. Well done.

Laide Agboola’s Purple ‘Hibiscus’

I have written about Laide and Obinna on these pages. But you will understand my penchant for always saying something about these ‘boys’ because of the things they are doing.

While their mates are busy trying to run away or at best lay back and continue to throw invectives at the system, these ones have rolled up their sleeves to dig in and create impact and hope.

Recently they obtained the SEC approval to launch their Initial Public Offer (IPO) an ambitious and lion-hearted move to raise N10b on their Purple Real Estate Income Plc platform. I think but not too sure that this is the very first of this size in the markets in a bit. This shows remarkable courage and resilience especially in the face of the uppity nature of the economic environment.

They have moved what was initially a family business to a major conglomerate, channelling its energies in various sectors of the economy – leisure, hospitality, real estate and media.

I love these guys and do not hesitate to endorse this offer. It is the right thing to do and I believe that any Nigerian who believes in this country and its soul, should be part of this. 

Reporting ‘Live’ from the ZTech Fair Organised by Zenith Bank

Oya let me turn to a reporter. That was how my big brother Tope Fasoranti, a director at Zenith Bank, invited me to the wonderful tech fair his bank was organising. I jumped into my ‘sofe’ pants and went to the event.

When I got there, I saw all the ‘techies’ in this country o. The place was filled to the brim and I knelt down in front of the Eko Hotel venue to give praise to God. I had thought that everybody who could open a laptop had ‘japa’.

The army of young people, all eagerly awaiting the start of the event, gave me renewed hope. Technology is very key to our renaissance. It is the fulcrum that will trigger the reopening of the closed door of our national fulfilment and Zenith Bank knows this very much, hence this gigantic event.

Well, that was how Tope took me into the VIP section. “Edgar, the way you are dressed, someone will not know you are a VIP o.” You know Tope has PhD and these ‘efico’ people do not know style. Me, that I wore my ankle cut pants so that my leg chains will show and a beautiful open white shirt folded at the arms so that my tattoo will show. You know how legendary these Zenith Bank ladies can be and I will now be dressing like ‘icheokwu’, me I went there with an open mind o.

At the VIP section, I didn’t see Afang and I asked. They offered us tea, coffee and that kain thing. I said thank you. Tope introduced me to the rest of the directors present. They all looked so successful and confident. I liked Akin. He stood erect like an Army-General with chest out and said, “Edgar, pleased to meet you.”

 He was fine and his suit really enter his body. I met Henry who was also well put out and gracious. Then Adaobi stepped up and talked about my earrings. Beautiful and graceful. She was a sweet drop in that place. I wanted to hug her, but when I remember my account balance, I respect myself. My great buddy Dennis was not there yet but he called to ask where I was. I said, “as una no give me Afang, I have run away and he sent me N50,000 to buy Afang and come back.”

Me, I send the money to Duchess to run go buy condiments and prepare the Afang and keep my change.

Then the great MD, Ebenezer walked in. I wasn’t sure if he would still remember me sef. The last I saw him was when Chief Obasanjo sent me to him and he hugged me and offered me tea in his office.  I should not have worried. “Edgar, how are you?’” he bellowed in that sweet baritone voice.

“You are making all the money abi,” he remarked and I said, “Oga, stop laughing at me.”

He looked happy and he should, because he was superintending the rebirth of this country.

The hall was filled to the brim. The energy was palpable and the branding was in your face in a very positive way. The Red that is Zenith was everywhere and the very beautiful ushers mixed with the well put out Zenith people, you begin to feel that you were about to be ushered into the Grammy Awards.

Nigerians from all hues came out, all bonded by the love and passion for technology as a driving force for National rebirth. As I walked past the display stalls, I could feel a huge sense of urgency. Tech entrepreneurs need to deploy very quickly in a bid to hurriedly impact society. All sorts of technology driven solutions for all sections of human endeavor. Even though I didn’t understand most of what they were saying – my technology begins and ends with WhatsApp and Google- I loved the enthusiasm, the firm belief in the environment and the aggressive belief that their technology will be the next unicorn.

The speakers were well-chosen and they delivered. It was a two-day orgy of tech ideas. Ideas that, if given the right push would be scalable, affordable and relatable. It was mad. I loved every bit of the whole thing and much more importantly, I loved most of the very beautiful female tech enthusiasts. I will write a separate report for that one. No be here.

Finally, Eco Tutu, a cold storage facility business, won the major prize of N20 Million. Their system aiming at the challenges of storage and distribution was phenomenally powerful. They truly deserved the prize but the greatest winner of it all is Nigeria and thanks to the egg heads at Zenith Bank, today we have a renewed hope in the future of our country.

Well done guys, really well done for this particular one. God bless.

Related Articles