Olusegun Obasanjo: World Champion Letter Writer
If this was an Olympic sport, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo would permanently represent Nigeria and eventually become the ‘Pele’ of the sport. The Baba can write. The letters always come in very simple English. No verbosity, lacking in the bombastic wordings of that Bini man and with no colour and creativity that is the hallmark of the Nobel Prize Winner, Prof. Wole Soyinka.
The letters in its colourlessness, carry with it the acerbic poison that irritates and makes its subjects cringe. The subjects are usually seen dancing around and itching their bodies like they have just been bathed with a huge dosage of the devil beans. They will be rolling all over the floor and foaming from the mouth and after a bit will recoil in venomous anger and attack him with severe vehemence.
Baba has written his own o and has gone back to his farm or whatever it is that he does after dropping such bombs on the system. Another thing about his letters is the timing. He picks very auspicious times to drop these letters.
This last one that is making Tinubu and his henchmen scratch their testicles was dropped on the first day of the New Year. Baba did not even allow us to enjoy our ‘hula balu’ New Year sleep, when he dropped the four-page letter which hit the epicenter of the country and divided us all into two like Moses dividing the red sea.
The abuse came in torrents. Does he care? I doubt it. He has said his own and moved on. The plebeians can continue in their raucous verbal assault for all he cares. He believes he is the conscience of the nation and that with his age, status and ranking, nobody can take that from him.
Everyone and anybody has been a victim. From IBB to Jonathan through to Buhari and now Tinubu. Me I am of the firm belief that anybody who is found worthy to be written about by Baba, should even be happy self. It is a distinguished little community of those who matter in the country. Ask Atiku who has really suffered and El-Rufai who has been called various names.
I once asked him what inspires these letters and he looked at me with a mischievous smile, “Edgar, I just want the best for the country,” and moved to his Ayo game, unperturbed and undisturbed by the noise outside. Baba you will live long for us.
Tinubu and Atiku: An Endorsement from Hell
Asiwaju Tinubu was about to take his lunch. It was ewedu, gbegiri and amala. He had to be careful not to eat heavy since he would soon be on the way to Kano. The crowd is usually huge and he didn’t want to start feeling like doing the number two, when Alake ran in shaking. You know that one can panic – Baba see what Aremu has done o. Four pages o. This is bad. Even after we went to beg him, see what he did.
Tinubu by this time is unruffled. He has seen many things on the campaign trail. His problem at this point was how to get to his ‘pee stick’ through all the big agbada he has to wear to Kano and not this letter that was making Alake shake like a sailor who has just given his wife gonorrhea. “Dele, what is it again, you fear too much, what is it?” Dele dropped the letter and Tinubu opened it and read.
He smiled and looked up at Dele and said, “what is this? A town hall?” And Dele looked at Mummy. Mummy is calm and smiled back and said “Dele please go and handle, Baba is busy.”
Atiku had just come downstairs. He had been sleeping and was really avoiding Dino. This Dino, although very critical to the campaign, is increasingly becoming an irritant. His penchant for drama is not sitting well and any opportunity to avoid him was grabbed with both hands. He will be dressing like D’banj in detention and be singing with a cockroach voice all over the place making the campaign look very very unserious. But he was a welcome clown with his colleagues on the other side – FFK and Keyamo, is it me the Turaki that will now be exposing myself to FFK for that one to be calling me back bencher all over the place. So, Dino has his uses and that is that.
So, this afternoon, Atiku, after being disturbed by his beauty sleep, rushed downstairs. This must be a real emergency because Dino is not wearing shorts, his earrings are missing and he is shouting ‘o ti kpa wa’ all over the place.
“Dino, calm down, what is the problem?” Dino, still shaking like a bushman from the Kalahari Desert, dropped the letter and screamed “Turaki shey I have warned you about this Baba, did you listen? I had said, let’s release the sex tape. The one where he couldn’t get it up with the youth corper, you say no, that he is your Commander-in-Chief, now see you, see what he has done. He has finished us oooo.”
By this time, Dino, who had forgotten to take his meds was in a craze. He was rolling on the floor and frothing from the mouth.
Atiku looked at his other advisers in a helpless state and said, “Dino calm down. We could not have released the sex tape. Remember, that Baba has 12 of my own, including the one with the Dubai house maid. So better shut up and let’s think straight.”
Dino stood up, cleaned his tears and wiped off the vomit from his mouth and asked, “But Sir, we have not been able to contain Wike, what will we do with this one now?”
Atiku looked him straight in the eyes and said, “My aburo, this is what I used to tell you, politics is not about singing very stupid songs and doing TikTok all over the place. Politics is serious business. Now leave me, go to the nearest brothel and calm down and let me think. Thank you.”
For Dele Alake, It’s a Bewildering Dilemma
Dela Alake rushes back to the Boys Quarter where he is based. FFK and Bayo are already there. Keyamo is on his way. He could not get an Okada on time. He is coming from where he went to poop. The pit latrine in his house is full again. One more reason why the Jagaban must win. Buhari has failed, see even the ‘Agbekpos’ have gone on strike. But I cannot talk o so I maintain my job o. He must have told himself.
Finally, the PCC convenes. They send my brother Tunde to rush and go and buy pure water. This is a serious matter. How do we react? Dele fires first, his big mouth open with a drop of spittle falling on the letter. FFK says, “You know I have worked with PDP before. Our challenge is how not to let PDP abuse OBJ more than us.” They all chorused YES. “FFK baba!” They hail him. FFK unlike them has pedigree. His father went to Cambridge, his grandfather went to Cambridge. Bayo’s father cleaned toilets at the Railway and Keyamo’s people still sell boli at the roundabout in Ughelli,so they must listen.
By this time, Tunde is back with a sachet of pure water and complaining that the price has gone up and chopped into his salary. They all ask him to shut up.
FFK continues: “PDP will call Reno.”
That one will rush out of his sixth prostitutes’ bed and drop some strong and harsh words. So, we have to outdo them. Tunde, who is very deep at times especially when he is not hungry, raises up his hands.
“But Sirs, can we at least look at the letter and try to address the issues he raised. He had said that Emilokan is the wrong mentality. Can we at least address that?” They all look at him and shout in unison, “common shut up. Who is this boy? A common reporter when we were in Aso Rock drinking Fura with Abacha. What do you know?”
FFK turns to him and asks, “did your father go to Cambridge? If he didn’t, better shut up.”
Then they put heads and come out with the very inspiring words: “OBJ is worthless, he has no electoral value and has never won any election in his life and finally he is an Igbo man. His father impregnated his mother at the Orlu motor park and since abortions were not possible those days, his mother ran to Owu to birth him in shame.”
Wow. They all hail FFK. “Na you o. You are the king o.”
Then Tunde asks again, “Sirs, but remember that we had also gone to ask for this same endorsement o. Remember how Gbaja came out to shout that we got it…”
FFK stands up at this time and slaps Tunde which makes that one soil his pants…
Reno is in a good mood. He had just finished three rounds. This Friska sex tea is the best. His phone rings. It is Atiku. “Where are you? We have a situation. Baba has bombed me again and you know Dino is useless in things like this. How do we respond?”
Reno has hidden respect for Baba Obasanjo and immediately released something on Twitter.
“Baba is a respected Statesman. He saved my mother from the soldiers who went to Udi and tried to molest her and as such we must always give him the utmost respect. He is a global icon and we may not agree with him most times, he still retains my respect.”
Atiku, seeing that shouts: “Are you mad? Is there something wrong with your big head? Are you crazy? Someone just finished my campaign in a four-page letter and you are there saying he is a statesman. You must be mad o. Do you know that APC has just called him worthless and of no electoral value?
“We must defeat APC o. The country cannot see APC better than us in yabbing Obasanjo. We must come out with stronger words.”
So, Kola was called upon to speak. Now Kola is even worse than Dino. He is a gentleman that does not like wahala – his statement that OBJ is supporting a candidate with little or no experience or at best an experience that cannot be matched with Atiku who has manned so many Customs post and has ‘chooked’ so many women from all tribes in this our country does not sit down with Atiku who now marshals Dino to go into the studio and deliver a very strong song like Burna Boy’s ‘God go punish una’ single that he released at the Eko Energy park concert.
While APC and PDP operatives were struggling with how to better respond, the federal government who have the very best mercenaries to counter OBJ insurgency came out with the killer: “he is frustrated and envious.”
Opari. Finish. All over. Federal government na winner.
Funsho Doherty: A Whispering Candidacy
Lagos State, the very vibrant city reported to host the fifth largest economy in Africa and one of the most densely populated enclaves on the continent will be greatly impacted with the leadership of erudite and extremely brilliant Funsho Doherty.
Sadly, this will not happen and may not even happen in my lifetime. Mr. Doherty comes across as a gentleman. The very brilliant variant with ideas, visions and an outlook that will and has done well in boardrooms and classrooms. But to transport that into the wacko turf that is in politicking especially in a notorious field like that of Lagos is asking for the impossible.
The other day, I stumbled on him and his very beautiful wife – they always have beautiful wives, I don’t know why- at the residence of the highly respected Olu of Warri in Ikoyi.
As I walked in, I greeted him and introduced myself to him. He recognised me and smiled. Shook my hands and I greeted Madam and Madam looked at me with one eye. She smiled as I apologized for ‘firing’ Mr. Doherty in a previous article, and she said, “you see yourself.”
Such a beautiful couple. Such brilliance in two people but sadly, Lagos will not allow itself access to the brilliance they will bring to the table.
Lagos is taken and no matter how much I want to dislike Asiwaju and his band of ‘40 thieves’, what you cannot take from him is his ability to pick the very best for Lagos. From Fashola to Ambode and now Sanwo-Olu, you will agree that he has had three strikes at the bullseye.
Sanwo-olu has my firm support. He has been able to thread very delicately along a thin line that does not allow his image to be smeared by the ‘emilokan’ disaster. He retains the interest of a keen patch of the electorate. His populism, approach to issues and passionate engagement makes his candidacy almost irresistible.
So, as I had earlier said, Funsho’s candidacy is a sad approach to ‘what could have been’. If there is a way for Lagos to eat its cake and have it, by this I mean by looking for a way to access his brilliance and vision while not giving him the governorship at least at this time, I am ready for that.
This is me asking for the impossible abi? No mind me, na hungry dey do me. Make I go find food.
Don’t Worry Shehu Malami, It Wasn’t Meant to Be
As a young political scientist and historian, the Sokoto Caliphate was of immense interest to me. I studied and wrote papers on the Sokoto Caliphate, especially its founder, the highly revered Uthman Dan Fodio with continuing and deep interest.
It is then not by accident that when the opportunity to stage a play on Sir Ahmadu Bello the Sardauna of Sokoto came up, I grabbed it with both hands and feet.
When Prof. Ahmed Yerima sent me the synopsis and I studied, my attraction deepened. The ethos, the culture and the traditions of the Sultanate hit me again. So, I jumped into the project with gusto.
In making this happen, my friend Abdurasheed Tobun who is married to Aisha Aliyu, a princess of the caliphate set me up with the beautiful Ameena. Ameena is Shehu Malami’s daughter. He said, “Edgar, you need Ameena if this is going to happen.”
Ameena jumped on the project, opening up to the Caliphate in a way that I could never have imagined. But in all, my spirit kept saying, “please take me to Shehu Malami, your father.” She agreed but we were too busy running around trying to put together the biggest stage play ever in Northern Nigeria.
Then she said, “we can go see him in the morning of the play.” As usual, it didn’t work. She had said he was not that strong and also wanted to come see the play. He was keen on seeing the play especially as it portrayed the Caliphate in a very positive manner and with the Sultan of Sokoto also sending high level representation.
Sadly, he could not make it and sent his wishes. I received the news of his passing at 85 with grace. He was said to have died in a hospital in Cairo and has been buried within the royal grounds where Sultans are buried.
My belated condolences to his family, the Sokoto Caliphate and to Nigeria on the passing of such a worthy son.
A Befitting New Year Gift for Tunde Mabawonku
I have called very few people my real friends and Tunde is one of them. As I struggled to wake up on January 1, 2023, I got a text from him. “Edgar, I have been promoted to Executive Director.” This is at Wema Bank o not one small fintech. A bank that is inching close to the 100-year mark, that is if they have not passed it.
Up until very recently, Tunde was their Chief Financial Officer but whose responsibility included their Corporate Marketing and this brought me within his purview. Forget that he dey support my plays, the man is brilliant. Engagements with him especially in an area that is not his core usually flows like poetry. He sees beyond the ordinary and asks pertinent questions with the humility of a genius.
The other day, we were seated at Senator Ita Giwa’s restaurant over plates of Afang and talked about the principle of thought leadership as a strong vehicle for corporate branding. Na me suppose be expert o but na Tunde teach me. At some point, I kept quiet and soaked up all he was saying. As he spoke, I ate all the fish in the soup without his knowing.
Tunde represents new leadership. A leadership that serves as a bridge between the old visioners and the eager and impatient market that is driven digitally with unbridled vision. Tunde understands both markets hence his ability to straddle them with so much ease that I am sure it was not much of an arduous task for Wema to identify him and elevate him as such. Congratulations bro, please next time allow me pay for the Afang, na me invite you. Forget say you get money pass me abeg. Well-done bro.
China on the March Again
They have started exporting again. Corona has started again o. Reports globally have started screaming again. Plane loads of passengers from mainland China are arriving in other countries with 50 per cent testing positive for Covid. Restrictions are going up again and it is only a matter of time that the thing will hit landfall in Nigeria.
As usual, our people are sleeping. Authorities are not taking preemptive measures now o. After they will say we should all go and be doing mask down and lockdown. Well for me, I am ready now. No more kissing strangers, no more entering crowds and back to drinking ginger every morning. I like living too much abeg.
Gov AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq and Otoge Mantra
In this era of raucous endorsements, let me stylishly throw in my own little endorsement. Yes, this my endorsement may not have any electoral value and if I must say is totally worthless but sha let me just say my own.
Governor AbdulRasaq came into power on the back of a very popular revolt. The ‘Otoge’ revolution which finally freed his state from the shackles of a hereditary pseudo monarchy. This put on his firm and young shoulders the huge boulder of expectations. I have been kinda very close to his administration because, apart from being my friend and brother, he has brought an above-board approach to governance which is immediately impacting the state at various levels.
But in doing so, I have seen his multi-sector agenda take root and grow phenomenally. His approach towards very critical sectors like agric, education, health care delivery, urban planning among others continues to be a signpost to his out-of-the-box approach to governance.
Take for example the state’s IGR. N10.7bn was realised in the very first quarter of 2022, the highest in the history of the state. This was achieved as a result of the introduction of touch pin technology. This upsurge has enabled the government to impact very critically on his core areas of interest.
His very futuristic Ilorin City Plan which I hear is the second of such since 1970 will cover an area of 2,000-kilometer squares. The 20-year master plan provides professional insights into areas of public transport and utilities, waste management, water and drainage, education, climate among others.
Kwara today is enjoying a renaissance, the kind of upsurge we expect from our state- Akwa Ibom when Akan Udofia emerges and this is why I have begged His Excellency to allow me spend time with him to better understand the revolution and its impact on the people of Kwara.
Meanwhile, let me holla at my brother Rafiu Ajakaye who is doing a wonderful job in pushing the message and communications of these phenomenal developmental strides in the state. Nice one.