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Loud Whispers with JOSEPH EDGAR

Loud Whispers with JOSEPH EDGAR

Dear President, Nigerians are Frustrated and Overwhelmed

Sir, did you see the viral video of the lady who stripped to her underwear in the banking hall, screaming that she wanted her account closed? Yes, that was overly dramatic and somewhat contrived but the message was very clear. Today at the twilight of your very colourful ‘reign’, Nigerians have to choose which of the two national queues they would have to join daily – fuel or ATM queues.

How this makes you sleep well at night beats me. There is chaos everywhere and Nigerians have really been pushed by some of your policies to almost a breaking point. It is no wonder that the incident in Kano happened. PDP has claimed that your helicopter was stoned and your usual spin doctors are saying something else, claiming that it is the Kano branch of Lagos ‘agberos’ that were fighting themselves. The truth cannot be hidden, people are simply just frustrated and overwhelmed.

This your style of exit is what we call in Shomolu ‘inglorious exit’. One would have thought that you would at least try to end your public service in a blaze of glory. But this is looking like a public career that started in the 70s and will end with charcoal all over the place.

The Naira redesign thing na fiasco. The timing is so wrong, the execution pitiable and the strategy for public acceptance terrible. Fuel? Make I no talk, the economy? Finally destroyed, national cohesion is shattered.

Will you be leaving us with a collective feeling of despondency? Will you be leaving us in a state of anomie? What kind of leadership is this? What kind of legacy is this? Is this a golden opportunity wasted?

Have you stopped to wonder why God chose you among 200 million people for such a beautiful run in public service? It has been an undeserving good luck for you. From the Army, with all sorts of plum appointments, culminating in reaching the apex position twice and seeing how you are paying fate back.

Na wa o. Me, I just tire for you. I just tire, I swear. Na wa.    

For Yemi Osinbajo, It’s a Dignified Silence

When they say someone is erudite, do you think it is a joke? The man has decided to toe the Bola Ige line- siddon look. It was Ige who said, he will just siddon look when things were going awry that year. So, it is no surprise that the very well-respected Professor of Law and fine gentleman has decided to step aside and just be looking from afar as this train of cacophony hurtles down a slippery path.

This latter day attempt at sainthood, occasioned by the humiliating turn at the APC primaries where he beat Pastor Bakare’s zero performance doesn’t impress me. But all the same, I will still give him a thumbs up because he could have joined the chorus of sycophants who are still singing praises to the most tragic political story since Independence.

As far as I am concerned, Nigerians that night of the primaries, sold their birthright for a morsel of amala.  Leaving this man and going to where we have gone, was as tragic as can be. It was the worst type of decision-taking in the history of mankind, that is Nigerian mankind. Ever since, things have gone bulla ballu, finding ourselves in one huge town hall where everything is totally different.

So, in a later day look back, Prof after serving as Attorney General in a regime that is all but that and playing the loyal soldier and giving super powerful legal backing, structuring legal frameworks that aided and protected rape in unprecedented proportions is now having a Saul of Tarsus moment and has gone quiet.

Kai, what am I even saying? I no pity am again. So, it took the humiliating turn at the primaries for the scale to fall out of his eyes? It took the resounding rejection by the cabal, he had supported and worked for, for him to go quiet? Abeg, I no hail am again jo. Good for him, I will state.

If I ever see him again, I will walk to him and say, “Prof, this is your brother, The Duke of Shomolu…” And I will do like Dino Malaye and pull my eyelids down and stick out my tongue and say bulla balluuu. Sad.

Ademola Adeleke Dances Like a King

The judge even mocked him. In the ruling that we have seen all over the media, the Judge, in an attempt at cracking a joke, alluded to His Excellency’s dancing skills. Me, I was shocked o, but my Oga, Chief Pedro, now mentioned that judges do this. That they sometimes take the liberty in their judgments to go lighter.

Well, if you ask me, this judge was not funny. The joke fell flat and was in my estimation inappropriate under the circumstances.

Well today, no be the matter of a failed comedian who found himself or herself on the bench. But the manner in which my brother, Governor Adeleke has taken this minor setback. He simply went on a dancing spree.

God, I love this man. He was later seen dancing his soul away at an event and the people of Osun joined him. The man is immensely popular and his propensity to remain happy despite all of the turbulence around him makes him my number one politician in Nigeria today.

I sent the video to all my contacts on Whatsapp, all 10,000 of them and asked them to- see how this man has taken the court judgment. I asked them if this was not inspiring. Instead of moping and going on a cursing spree and blaming his ‘political enemies’, he has decided to keep himself happy by dancing, while challenging the ruling and clearing all backlogs of salaries – something the past two administrations could not do.

My brother Excellency, well-done, keep dancing and you will be ok. You have our full support. well-done.

Nasir el-Rufai, I Forgive You

Some people close to me know that I am not happy with Governor El-Rufai. The man fall my hand. After sending a very strong message of support during our play ‘Emir Sanusi’ which made us go borrowing, he simply did not perform. As if that was not enough, some people around his government started asking for 40% before they will ‘facilitate the release of this una money’ . I just laughed and walked away. Even though it is still paining me, I will not pay anybody 40% on a fund that I have borrowed against and am still paying a killer interest rate on.

Since then, anytime I see El-Rufai on TV, I will just hiss and walk away. One time, I nearly destroyed my TV.

Anyways, all is forgiven. This his last interview where he said that some people inside the Villa do not want them to win the elections have validated my position on the elections. I have won a bet and my N5,000 has been paid to me since El-Rufai’s interview.

I had argued that Mr. Tinubu had lost the weight of  incumbency. As I was watching the CBN money fiasco, the DSS move against the governor and the sound bites from the President, his decision to go to only 10 states, I come dey suspect say things are not the way they are supposed to be o.

So, when Mr. Tinubu went to Abeokuta to shout ‘Emilokan’, I was confident enough to wager N5,000 on my position. Then he went back to Abeokuta to shout again – “they can seize fuel, seize money, I will still win…” I just knew that all was not well.  One clip I even saw, he shouted at people trying to muzzle him “allow me say his mind.”

So, El-Rufai has blown it in the open. I think Mr. Tinubu, being the political wizard that he is, must have seen all these surreptitious moves and has come out in horror to shout.

El-Rufai’s assertion that some people in the Villa don’t want APC to win is now just like saying the obvious. It is very clear. Abi, why would a sitting government bring this kind of CBN policy at a time of elections and just as El-Rufai says, “it doesn’t make any economic or political sense.”

The only answer is that some very powerful people are not very happy with Mr. Tinubu and are moving against him. Me sef, come dey pity this Tinubu. He has worked too hard for this his ambition. Why not let him have his turn, after all Nigeria presidency na jangrover. Na everybody dey ride am. Kai!

Siene AllWell-Brown, Garlands at 70

It was my big brother, Magnus Onyibe, that informed me o. “Edgar, Siene will be 70 this week.”

Now I do not have any relationship with the golden girl and have seen her just once near the woman selling boli at the NTA studios in Victoria Island, but like most Nigerians who were old enough in the 80s, I  had carried on a romantic relationship with her.

Mbok, who born you to talk when my parents were watching her on screen. My mother used to call her ‘my friend’ and I suspected that my father had more interest in her than just the way she read the news. Or how do you explain the knock he gave me because I had stupidly attempted to change the channel when she was on screen. The beating I got that day, started to make me feel like, “this Ibibio man get another agenda with this woman for TV o.”

She read the news with the smoothness of a gazelle. Her posturing, her movements and the way the words flowed out of her very beautiful lips made watching the news a must for millions. She was a goddess, a shining star that made you listen and instead of connecting to the dreariness of what she was reading, one is pulled to her beauty and elegance.

Here is wishing her a happy 70th and even though Mr. Onyibe had invited me to something and then, I did not hear from him again, let me warn that ‘boy’, who used to live in my backyard that I have information on him and if I don’t get an invite, I will make Mrs Onyibe ask him one or two questions.

Happy birthday my dear golden girl and may God continue to give you the grace to live a much more fulfilling life. It will be a mad pleasure and a lifetime achievement if you could allow me to take you for lunch one of these days. A plate of Afang and well pounded yam as a show of appreciation for all that you have done for Nigerian television and also as a last laugh at my father who despite the knock he gave me couldn’t achieve the huge feat of meeting you before he went to heaven. Happy birthday my dear big aunty. Let’s do this Afang o.

Segun Awolowo, Fate Intervenes Again

I was out with someone the other day and the talk reach Uncle Segun’s side. “Look Edgar, I know he is your friend but let me just say my mind…”

The talk, even me, I fear. Such bile, such negativity and all of that. After it all, I lost my appetite. As I stared at the bowl of Afang steaming hot, the goat meat now looked like those fake buttocks our Lekki girls are parading all over the place.

Then I asked him, “have you met Segun before?” And he said no. I almost poured the soup on his head. So, if you have not met him before, why take such strong positions against him? Why say all these things you have said to me? Why do this na. Not fair. And in a lame attempt at defense, he said, “na gist for town.” I told him “gerrout.”

Then the other day, I reached out to Uncle Segun. He was supposed to be at the Command Performance of ‘Awo’ but could not make it as a result of ill health and I reached out to say pele ooo and we gisted a bit and he mentioned the pressure he has been facing post service. Kai. He sounded really down and I felt for him.

So, you can imagine my joy when the announcement of his new appointment as the Secretary, National Action Committee on African Free Trade Area (AfCTA) for a tenure of four years.

His job is to provide direction to the National Action Committee on AfCTA for effective coordination of relevant stakeholders towards… abeg make una google the rest, I don tire.

Let me just state that you can’t keep a good man down. Congratulations Egbon. Congratulations. God will bless you and protect you from the snare of the fowler. Please be reading Psalm 91 before you go out and drink ‘agbo’ twice a week o. Jehovah will protect us all.

Chike Ogeah: A Night Without Frills

Please I need to apologise and also beg my big brother for a refund o. Abeg anybody wey close to am, should please help me bring up this matter very gently with him.

So, the Marriot where he runs the holding company that owns the hotel was opening a new lounge – Wakame the other day and he invited me. By the time I spent four hours in Lagos traffic to get there, I was madly hungry.

I looked at the lounge and they were serving drinks and cocktails and finger food. The hungry that was doing me was Pounded Yam and Afang hungry and not shrimps. As the place fine reach, I asked bros “Abeg I wan chop,”and he said “go to the buffet.”

 When I got there, it was paradise. Nothing wey no dey there o. These Marriot people really know how to lay it out.

It was a long table of assorted food. Come and see. Like four different kinds of rice, vegetables, Afang, Amala the type they call abula and the starters were killing and then you were expected to drown it all with sweet beautiful wine.

I asked how much, make I respect myself. They said N19,000. I said he never bad reach like that. The Duke of Shomolu can afford N19,000. I can even afford to pay for three people in that place sef if I vex. So, I decided to start slow first before I end up with the Afang after demolishing the Amala and fish pepper soup that had the complexion of Toke Makinwa.

Mbok, na so I take two small pieces of bread and pepper soup. Before I even took one bite, my driver called, “Boss, car no start o and we park for mainroad and dem fit come tow us o’.

That is the problem with all these Tokunbo cars. To be embarrassing you anyhow. How can my car come die in front of Marriott of all places? I whispered to him, “common push the damn thing comot for there. Push am go police college make them think say na CP get am.” He said, “na automatic, he cannot comot for gear so we no fit push.”

Kai, I went out with the belief that within five minutes, I would be out. My people, we were there till midnight and as such my N19,000 lost.

So please I am begging all right-thinking Nigerians, this one is not fuel subsidy debate again. This one is beg. Make una help me beg Uncle Chike to either give me back my money less the two bread I chop or ask me to come back and finish the buffet.  I have been having bad dreams since then. Eating the buffet in my dreams. Na beg.

Ini Edo and Nse Ikpe-Etim: Very Far from a Shanty Performance

As I was saying, the time to stop casting my people as ‘houseboys’ and semi-illiterate denizens is now. The type casting is not only annoying but disturbingly entrenches a positioning of the Akwa Ibom person as a second-class citizen who can only be seen in servitude or at best, a sex god or goddess. Kai, Calabar girls can… is all you hear.

So, you can imagine my joy as I watched these two screen sirens kill it in the sure-fire Netflix hit ‘Shanty Town’. Ini and Nse held the fire. Throwing up Oscar winning performances and boldly carrying out lines in full Ibibio.

‘Shanty Town’ was a mad depiction of the underground in our cities. Drugs, sex, crime and their inverse relationship with politics was clearly explored in this very exciting show.

The very best of Nigerian talent was dutifully displayed. It was an ensemble; from the ever-brilliant RMD, to the elegant Shaffy Bello, the very best of Nollywood was thrown up. Chidi Mokeme made me cry. His depiction of the drug lord and ‘agbero’ was mad. He killed it. He killed it oooo. His carriage, his persona, diction and interpretation were world class.

Mbok, what was that P-Square boy doing there? He looked so stiff that one would think he wanted to throw up as a result of the stress he was putting himself through all in the name of acting. Nancy blew him off the screen and at some point, lowered her acting as it seems she was coaching him instead of sharing a screen with him.

But in all, it was Ini and Nse that did it for me. Their inter flow, their seamless move from Ibibio to pidgin to good English. Their characterization all made me very very proud. Ohhhhh Akwa Ibom isongo, my sisters well-done. Kai!

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