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Loud Whispers with Joseph Edgar

Loud Whispers with Joseph Edgar

Duke of Shomolu: Musings of a Tired and Desperate Nigerian

As I am writing at 4.40am on Thursday, I am tired, hungry and afraid; afraid for what this country has turned into. It appears we have left the country in the hands of gamblers. Ruthless gamblers who have turned over 200 million lives into a morbid game of Russian roulette.

I am in tears not for my children as we would all used to like saying, but for myself. The now. There can be no future if there is no now. What is the now- nothingness? An empty space in what used to be a country. Nigeria is a strong and virile entity otherwise, how would it still remain a country despite the ceaseless violent rape. The country has gone through vile rape. The vilest you can think of and the very worst of it in the last eight years.

In the last eight years, we handed the country over to buccaneers and they did what they could best. They destroyed the currency, blew up the economy, stamped on the judiciary and raped our women and children. As if that was not enough, fostered on us the vilest violence since the civil war. In fact, I can dare say that those who lost their lives during the civil war died ‘happy’. At least, as they were being blown up, they knew they were in a war situation so they went as martyrs so that we could remain one.

How do you explain his death? The one that is caught by bandits and slaughtered without any dignity. In fact, the Sallah ram gets his throat slit with a little bit more dignity at least prayers are offered. Too many Nigerians have had their throats slit all over the country in the hands of a slew of bandits and other groupings that seem to be invisible and above the laws. Too many have been bombed out of existence and too many have been butchered and held for ransom. How do you explain to them that we are not in a war situation?

And what is the response of the buccaneers, a meaningless Naira redesign? A hapless electioneering process that has thrown up the worst of the buccaneers leaving us in a devil and deep blue sea situation…

I cry for myself, I had the choice o. As my sperm was hurtling through my mother’s womb, I could have agreed to be flushed out oo, but in excitement that I was being born into the greatest black country in Africa, I rushed out of my mother’s womb and through her beautiful legs smacked into a civil war. Kai!

Abu Suleiman: A Sterling Banker

Just as I was contending with the situation – the dumb push for a cashless society without the concomitant infrastructural support – my mind went to transfer charges each time a transfer is successful.

I screamed; the banks will be killing it at this time. The rush towards the apps and other forms of digital transactions will blow up the profit positions of the banks. Kai! They really do not have too much to lose in this situation apart from the fact that some of their staff would have to be climbing fences up and down as they go and come from work.

Then the announcement was made by Sterling Bank. Sterling Bank was waiving all charges on transfers this period. You see, even if you woke me up from sleep and ask me, which bank will be the first to be this responsive and responsible, I will say it’s Sterling Bank.

My answer is simple. Its leadership has always been developmental in its approach to banking. It is Sterling under Abu that is looking at low margin but potentially very strong sectors like education and health. They play heavily in those places where their counterparts will not really touch for obvious reasons and this shows in their bottom-line.

So, I know for a fact that Abu is under pressure from hapless shareholders who do not understand why the figures are not screaming like the rest o. But he has remained very strong in his conviction that the system must be built first before insane profits. For him, banking is not arbitraging opportunities in forex or in this situation. Banking for him is to remain a suitable partner for very serious endeavours that will create real jobs and impact the real economy.

So, removing these charges is quite up his street and you will soon see the follow-follow that the rest will do complete with noise in the media.

Well-done Abu, we are here applauding and supporting you. Well-done.

A Word of Advice for Abdulrasheed Bawa

I do not know why I like you. Maybe it is your boyish look and the fact that your seemingly youthfulness attracts me to you because it is a far cry from the ‘gerontocrats’ that seem not to want to let us be. Can you imagine Buhari was Petroleum Minister when I was just entering Primary school. He was GOC when I was in Command Secondary School, Head of State when I was failing out of secondary school and now President when at 54 years I am about to welcome my first grandchild – the man has been unbelievably lucky and we have been unbelievably unlucky to be saddled with him all of these years.

So, seeing you as a handsome youth. Nice suits – not sure of the quality- but they sure look good on you and an uncanny resemblance to my hapless brother-in-law Olumide Olude who is still in Shomolu and ‘showing’ the babes to my constant consternation- I come like you.

But these stories of refusing to obey court judgments and being committed to jail are kinda ‘juveeee’. Juveee na another word for juvenile. Remember to say I like you and do not want to yab you. Please do not be doing like your ogas. Those ones have nothing to lose. They are already in the twilights of their lives and there is nothing they can do to rewrite their legacy.

But you, you are young, you just started and you are good looking. So, stop all these ‘mumu’ things and contribute your own to the strengthening of that institution. Remember how critical it is to the economy and the nation by extension so you cannot be doing ‘labalaba’ with court processes.

I beg you, please go to that judge and tender an unreserved apology and begin to start obeying court orders otherwise, I will come to your office and come and spank you o. I am telling you o.

A Huge Sigh of Relief for Jide Omokore

When you have lost confidence in the judiciary and things like this happen, you do not know whether you should be happy or not. My Egbon has just been acquitted from a huge fraud case involving billions of dollars and which has run for about eight years.

I have met Mr Omokore before. It was Otunba that took me to his house in Abuja and his banker wife is my friend. That night as we held the meeting after a sumptuous dinner, he looked vacant and lost. He was so sad and a shadow of himself. I asked what was the problem and I was told he had a major court case on his head. I said, sorry o and made it a point not to eat more than two plates in case the judgment didn’t go well.

Well six years after the meeting, the judgment has come and no matter how it was, let me just send a big congratulations to a man that I once ate in his house- it was ogbono and oatmeal. But the goat meat was far bigger than my head and I remember wondering if they eat this kind of big meat under court and EFCC wahala, what were they eating before.

Anyway Egbon, you have been acquitted and I am sure the smile will come back to your face. I wish you well. Well done.

Nasir El-Rufai: No Smoke Without Fire

Somebody may have promised this one something. The way he has been moving in the last few weeks you will know that somebody has cut a deal. They would have called him and said, ‘mallam, what do you want?’ And he would have said- ‘simply give me the following, NNPC MD, Chief of Staff, Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and the three Ministries under Fashola and you will see fire.’

Those ones out of desperation will say, ‘we will give you all of that and even create a new office where all the First Ladies will report to you’ and he will scream ‘you have a deal.’ And the next day, straight to television stations with ‘there is a cabal inside the Villa that is working against us.’

Mbok, don’t let me laugh. What else is new? Is it today that there is cabal? There has been cabal since Independence. So the latest cabal, which is even the laziest of them all is not new. See malam, I have studied cabals o. This one is not cabal. These ones na boys scout compared to cabal that we have seen.

Abi, were you still in the school of survey when cabal told IBB don’t try it? And IBB came out screaming that ‘they will kill me if I hand over to MKO?’ That is cabal. Or the ones that held the country hostage when Yar’Adua went on a long medical treatment abroad? Those ones held the country that it took OBJ to leave his farm and go to the place and shout. Those ones na cabal, not these ones that can only lock Aisha out and not even do that assignment well.

So, my brother, this your recent struggle is not surprising to us o. Telling people to ignore the federal government’s position on the naira swap deadline, screaming that your candidate is the best and only solution and arrogating the powers to speak on behalf of the whole North on this matter further confirms our thinking that a deal must have been struck.

Whatever you have been promised, that is making you run all over the place like there is fire on the mountain, just remember that eventually, truth, justice, fair play and fate will throw up the very best candidate for our country and something in me is saying – it is not his turn. Yes, it can’t be.

Naja’atu Muhammed on a Major Rampage

Aghh, have you heard of the saying that ‘Hell hath no fury than that of a woman scorned?’ Na him we dey see with this mummy o. Somebody within the power zone in APC must have annoyed her o. Kai! I am sure it will be that Keyamo who would have used some big legal terms that she did not understand o.

That was how mummy declared war. There is nothing we have not heard o. Tinubu has suffered personally in her hands o. This mummy is wicked, I swear. She says he cannot hold a teacup. His hand is shaking oooo. This one cannot make love oooo; this one his hand is shaking like person wey see ‘ojuju’.

She has yabbed Tinubu finish. Kai! She even said that he was sleeping throughout and that one sef, now even helped her matter and went on to sleep at one meeting making Sowore troll him.

Mummy has gone all over the country telling us how brittle Tinubu is. She even said the man ‘has no plans for the North’ and that when she asked him, he opened his mouth in a loud snore and in a deep sleep where he would most likely be having a wet dream. Abi, how do you explain when such a feisty woman is in front of you and asking you a simple question – Daddy, what is in it for me if I bring all the second wives of all the Alhajis I know to support you- and get a deep snore in response.

Somebody should placate this mummy either by giving her a pacifier or finding ‘something’ for her before she tells us how many times Tinubu farted in that meeting.

Kai! This mummy is lethal.

For Umar Farouk Abdulazeez, It’s a Befitting Goodbye

Reputed to be the first Medical Doctor from the North, the Tafidan of Ebiraland passed away very peacefully last week and has been buried with all the honours he deserves.

He was a distinguished medical practitioner, industrialist and pharmaceutical manufacturer. He set up the first intravenous fluid company in the early 80s in Nigeria. He created numerous employment opportunities and also provided high quality medical products for the people.

He once contested and won the election to represent Adavi/Okeh Constituency in Kwara State, now in Kogi. He was a very close associate of the late Shehu Yar’Adua and worked very closely with him throughout that late great statesman’s political odyssey.

You will now be wondering what concerns the great Duke of Shomolu and the great politician from Kogi State and I will tell you. He is the father of my great friend and the lovely wife of my brother, the very handsome Ade Adebiyi. I used to follow Ade to go and chase Samira in their house in Isolo that time and I would be seeing big politicians there huddling and talking.

We all worked in Habib Bank together. All three of us, till Ade now decided to make Samira a good woman by marrying her. I was on the train but my fear of travelling made me dodge the Kogi part of the ceremonies. We have kept our friendship for over 20 years and now that we are almost grandparents, we still have the cohesion.

So, I was looking for something when I called Big J, another of our collaborators’ and he was the one that said, “Samira has lost her dad and they have buried him,” and I called Samira and said please when is the party. Yes, he was 85 so na celebration of life no be like my own papa wey rush go by 62. I nor know wetin dey drive am.

Samira, while sending my heartfelt condolences, please do not forget to send me the invite to any party surrounding this momentous occasion as any slip will be met with a very aggressive response. Thank you. I don talk my own.

Don Jazzy & Artsplit: A Marriage Made in Heaven

What do you get when you cross investment banking, technology, arts and music- magic. That is what has just happened. Some very brilliant Investment bankers have come up with a novel idea where interested parties can invest in a song. The song  is unitised in 100,000 tranches and the song is distributed through a powerfully simple app called Musicsplit and then the investors will be earning money as the song is being downloaded or bought online.

Watching this process was simply magic. Don Jazzy, one of the greatest music producers and promoters ever, sent out a message to the millions who follow him explaining how the process works.

Apparently Artsplit which is a wonderful platform for the curating and sale of the very best of Nigerian art has sub created Musicsplit which allows for the same balkanisation of the very best of Nigerian songs thereby creating investment opportunities for the people while expanding opportunities for artists and widening the markets.

I have already invested and should be buying a yacht which I will name Duchess 1st once the dividend starts rolling in. Beautiful concept, brilliant execution. Well done guys.

Anonymous Beauty: The Widows Have Stopped Crying

I have a soft spot for widows and used to regularly raise funds for random widows. See widows dey suffer o. They are traumatised, sexually assaulted and just generally deprived in this country. So once in a while, I will beg my friends to help send small money and I will ask people to nominate widows and I will send money to them.

That was how I begged 60 of my friends to help me with just N5k each so that I can send 20k each to about 15 widows so that they can manage in these our Buhari times.

That was how my friend called me, “Edgar if you mention my name, I will beat you o. Don’t mention my name o, I am sending you N1.5m for them.” I just broke down and started crying o. I cry o. I cry o. People were looking at me and wondering what was wrong with this ‘Calabar’ man’. I cried o.

That was how, I gave each widow N100,000 instead of the N20,000 I initially proposed.

To the anonymous widow, nothing I can say or do to thank you enough for this but this Jehovah God will bless you for us. He will protect you and give you a very fulfilled life. God bless you my sweet and beautiful Madam. Kai!

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