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Loud Whispers with Joseph Edgar

Loud Whispers with Joseph Edgar

The Oba Must Dance Naked
There is this Oba whose kingdom was once a Portuguese colony. The Oba can trace his bloodlines to the ‘Binis’ who were a tribe of great warriors. This Oba was tough and spoke his mind. He once told all the traders from the East to jump into the Lagoon where his people dumped excreta. This was exactly how he felt about them. He didn’t like them o, simply because they impregnated the beautiful young damsels in his kingdom and they also encouraged the young girls to bleach their skins.

So, this particular morning, our kind Oba was in bed. He had just finished with the latest Olori who still had some things to learn on how to delight the majesty in bed. He had made a mental note to send her to the 7th Olori who used to be a stripper for more lessons – when ‘Gorimapa’ ran in.
Short of breath, the ugly messenger dropped his message of doom, “‘awon yibo’ has written letter o Kabiyesi.”
Kabiyesi jumped, tying his wrapper and placing the tortoise very well on his chest. The tortoise was both bullet-proof and a disappearing talisman; it brcame very useful during the last palace invasion.

What is even wrong with these ‘yamirin’ people? Kilo tie ma nshe awan koboko bayi’. They are so stubborn. Collecting all the shops in the kingdom and driving our boys to turn under the bridges into boxing gyms and all. Kabiyesi didn’t like them, but there was nothing he could do to eradicate them because his youths relied heavily on them for the taxes they collected from the traders.

Their leader wants to visit and the letter was written and signed by one ‘omo ale’ from Ife or is it Ijesha. Kabiyesi screamed “ahhhhhhhhhh. Awon yibo fe pa mi o. Visit ke. Visit ke, to where, which palace, do they even know the implications? Do they want me to lose the C of O to the palace? What kind of wahala be this na?”
“Please tell them, I am not at home. Please quickly send a message to them, that they should not pay shop rents for the next two years and they can go ahead and impregnate as many of our ladies as they want, they should not just come here for any visit o.”

“Aghhh, what will I tell my Oga? How will I explain this one? That ‘yamirin’, who is obedient and is fighting Jaga….- the one whose turn wants to come and eat Amala and Gbegiri in the same palace that they are just allowing me to squat. Please go and tell him that ‘Olodumare’ will bless him, that he will not jam ‘alakoba’ in his life that he should not come o.”
Post script – this is a fictitious rendition of crazy thoughts in my head this morning as I wake up in hunger. As you can see all characters and events bear no resemblance to real persons or events. Anybody wey tie this to anybody na him sabi o. I cannot jump into Lagoon o; it is not at this my age that fish will come and be chopping me o. Thank you.

Naira Redesign: Much Ado about Something
There is confusion in the land. The Supreme Court is saying its own, state governors like Ogun and Kano are saying their own, CBN and the federal government are also saying their own and Nigerians are doing their thing.
Waking up at 2am to go and queue at the ATM and waiting the whole day only to withdraw N2,000 cannot be a fine prospect for a country in this 21st century. The implication of all these on a cash-based economy can only be imagined.
What I am seeing here is now a clash of wills. Ego has entered the matter and common sense has taken flight. Both sides have dug in. It is now looking like a personality type thing with over 200 million of us bearing the brunt.

Let me state here very categorically, this policy, although of very strategic importance to the long term health of the economy, especially the very positive implication it will have on insecurity, corruption and money laundering, still cannot shake off the toga of it being politically-inspired.
Those affected are shouting, we that are suffering are shouting and the question now is, should all of us die because of one man?
Let’s be very truthful, this policy is pinching only one man in this campaign the most. His campaign has leveraged on his capacity to play in a way he is very used to, having seized the treasury of one of the biggest economies in Africa. So, with this policy, you have hampered his capacity.

Me, I do not mince words. Let us ask ourselves very seriously, who in Akwa Ibom or Bayelsa will vote for this person without some form of inducement? People do not vote on conviction. They cannot, the hunger is too much in the land. So when you move everything to the air or digitally and say you cannot withdraw more than N20,000 at any point, you have basically killed a movement and straight to the Supreme court to fight they must.
Me, I support the policy if only adequate infrastructure was put in place, the rural poor were taken into consideration and the timing was more auspicious.

FFK of Cambridge: The Man Who Cried Wolf
Me, I am not on twitter so I did not see the post. But I saw the press statement by my egbon who is a very good friend, saying to the DSS, “you are very nice and beautiful people, please as I am coming towards you don’t beat me o. Handle me gently because all these detention don dey tire me.”
I chatted egbon up. Wetin happen again and he replied, “I am not afraid of detention…”
I said to my Lord, “Can I escort you?” and he replied, “that place is not a good place so just stay where you are. The officers are professionals and do their jobs. If you try to destabilize the country, they will smash you. They are good with what they do.”
I said, ‘ok uncle, please when you reach there, help me greet them o.”

When he came back, I chatted again at night, “ how did it go? Hope they did not beat you o.”
He laughed and replied “at all. They were nice and very professional. They grilled me for five hours and everything will be ok.”
I was curious, “So did they ask if you knew me? Please if they ask, just deny o. Don’t tell them you know me o. You know me I don’t have their power o. In fact I have put our chat on disappearing mode so that as you are reading, it is disappearing.”

“Duke, don’t worry, me, I am used to them,” he countered. “In fact, we talked a lot about happenings, you know they all didn’t go to Cambridge. My father and grandfather went to Cambridge so my English gave them problems and that is why they have asked that I should come back every Wednesday. By that time, they would have bought a dictionary and recruited an interpreter, the last one has japa.”
“But egbon, which one is this one about the police again? Why are they calling you again, shebi you have told the DSS sorry and that you will not tweet like that again?” By this time FFK of Cambridge was tired. It was a long day; he needed his beauty sleep. “Duke, abeg no vex, make I go sleep I don tire, I cannot answer.”
Well, you remain in my prayers the great FFK of Cambridge, no weapons fashioned by your political enemies will hit you in the name of whatever you worship.
You are my friend, the great FFK of Cambridge. Kai.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the Artful Dodger
When I saw the poster, I was excited. It was a full lineup. A debate was being organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries for all the major contestants for the Lagos top seat.
I was happy that finally, we will have a constructive and very robust debate. We have not had the privilege of witnessing any major debate this electoral period. All the major candidates have become adept at dodging or rushing to either Dubai or London anytime there is debate. So, this time I was very happy.
When I looked at the lineup, na only Funsho Doherty that I think will have the intellectual capacity to withstand the very brilliant Sanwo-olu. The Rhodes guy would have tried but inexperience will kill him and Jandor will just be standing there speaking Yoruba and not understanding the issues.

Funsho Doherty is a very brilliant man. He has worked meritoriously in finance and other developmental institutions and knows his onions. Sanwo-Olu, who is my candidate, can hold his own any time. Me liking ‘gbas gbos’ was really looking forward to the encounter.
Then Sanwo-Olu dodged? But why? The fact that his principal is the king of dodging debate does not mean that he too will be dodging na, thereby depriving us of the wonderful opportunity of a session of pure brilliance.
Lord, what are you afraid of o? Why dodge na? Kai!

Jandor Stop Wasting Our Time
The PDP gubernatorial candidate has been reported to say that the process of pulling together all the candidates to form one collision to fight Mr. Sanwo-Olu is in the works.
I no get too much time this morning to be writing, my new Igbo girlfriend has not taken my calls since Valentine so I am very touchy right now. I have sent messages to the Obi camp that if they cannot explain to me exactly what is going on, that is it for me in the ‘Obidient’ movement. What rubbish.
So, Mr. Jandor, I will take my frustration on you. Look if you can read, read it here. Stop wasting your time and that of your people on this campaign. Read the tea leaves or in your case, read your babalawo’s brown teeth very well – this election is not yours. Simple and pure.

Me I like being realistic and really have no time for fecundity – I no know the meaning of the word o, I just like the sound so I put am there.
Sanwo-Olu has built a beautiful campaign machinery. Very different from his feisty bole ka ja principal. Mr Onanuga on that side is using NADECO tactics and that is why his principal continues to be the butt of jokes all over the country. But Sanwo-Olu’s campaign is sexy, engaging and all encompassing.
He is using his power of incumbency perfectly well. See the intervention with the PoS wahala for example. He is keying into public touch points. He has borrowed the colours of MTN which is soothing and engaging and leans on the mass recognition of that brand. A brilliant and coy leveraging on MTN’s brand strength to push into the political space.

He has brilliantly cornered the whole state with billboards. Anywhere you go, you will see him and his running mate staring at you like Siamese twins wanting you to decide which breast each twin should take in getting milk.
He has performed creditably well, his projects on transport, health, infrastructure and entertainment have resonated. His policy on education is still funny though – Lagos has 20% of children out of school. But what he has done with infrastructure and sports is commendable. None of you in that your ‘jaga jaga’ coalition have the weight to counter all of this. None. You have gone to carry a tired Nollywood actress who does not even know the meaning of GDP to gum body and you think, this is election of Actors Guild?

Your only hope is for you to step down in that coalition and allow Funsho Doherty to front run and you can be his running mate. At least that one understands the issues and can engage even though na paper weight. But you will not agree, you will want to run and let the rest struggle for running mate and Funke will go on social media and release your nude.
My brother leave this thing. Something big pass play and this is one of it. Shebi Fashola don call you photographer. Kai! Thank you. No vex.

My Prayers Remain with Akan Udofia
This is my person. I am biased and compromised. Me I have confessed my own. I am not the kind that will not go to school and now come and be disturbing Nigerians with all sorts of stories and be carrying a whole SAN to be embarrassing himself in public and be saying – great men did not go to school that year.
Me I am open. Akan Udofia is my person for the governorship of Akwa Ibom State. My constitutional right and I hold am. I have chopped Afang in his house and the Afang was sweet. It even had what Ibibio people used to call – mbukpabu uyo- kai. Since that day, I swore my allegiance to the tall and handsome man.

He is talking about prosperity. He’s talking about devolution of powers, decentralization of wealth and its control. He comes with private sector experience and is very passionate about the issues that dog our little state. We no longer want our governors to be called ‘little boys’, wewant to regain the respect and pride that the Akwa Ibomites got during the reign of the uncommon man and Akan is best suited to deliver.
The only candidate with no EFCC petition, no court case and the only candidate that has already built a structure that will start moving from day one.
Oh Lord, oh Lord you see your son, Akpan nfo, edima eyin nfo. Da me eyen fo. Let him emerge so that Akwa Ibom will become the beacon of hope for Nigeria. ke nsi nsi nsi. Amen.
I apologise to all non Akwa Ibom speaking readers today. Mbok, grant me the waiver as I don use my language scatter this one. If you no understand, leave this one and read other stories. They say I am crazy o, one person even say I am autistic, na the reason be this. Thank you.

Prof Ahmed Yerima, Aremu’s ‘Boy’, Gets a Lift
Yes o, you will wonder why I am calling him Aremu’s boy. It is simple. Under President Obasanjo I think he managed the National Theatre or was it national troupe. I no sure abeg. You can google, it is not my job to be giving you information.
Well, he went ahead to write and direct one of the most influential theatre plays ever in the history of Nigeria. ‘Aremu’ was a masterpiece and has been adjudged by international media as one of the best works out of Africa in recent times. Chief Obasanjo watched both the Abeokuta and Lagos shows and cried at both. Me sef, cry when I see the number of complimentary tickets inside the hall. I cry ooo.

Well, the gist about Professor Yerima is that he has been elevated to the high position of Deputy Vice Chancellor of the great Redeemer’s University. Oh my God! What a well-deserved promotion. Prof is a living legend. You people that have not encountered him I just laugh. He is not only cerebral but very, very engaging.
We have worked on projects together including ‘Sardauna’ which made all 60 members of the late Sir Ahmadu Bello’s family cry. The man has a knack for making people cry. You must sha cry when you see his plays. Me no dey cry, na when them tell me about the gate fee that I cry.
Congratulations my father. Without you there is no me. Well done. God grants you more wisdom in Jesus’ mighty name. Afang for you whenever you are ready.

Ndidi Obioha: A Gazelle at 50
Oh my God, this woman is beautiful. As I walked towards her at the very glamourous 50th birthday celebration somewhere in Oniru during the week, I marvelled at her beauty. I told myself I must hug her; I must hug her. I walked very confidently towards her as she opened her arms to receive the Duke. I hugged her and her perfume reminded me of heaven. I gave her two pecks on her cheeks and wished I had the authority to do more.

It was her 50th. She has lived a well-deserved life and is one of the most serious Nigerian businesswomen who has done so much in carving a niche for herself. It is no wonder that very prominent Nigerians like myself, the great restaurateur and owner of Yellow Chilli, my egbon Victor, legendary photographer Kelechi Amadi Obi and the most recent past Managing Director of UBA, Kennedy and a host of others braved the Lagos traffic to say happy birthday to a truly deserving Queen. Happy birthday the Queen of our hearts.

My Heart Goes out to Sonia Ekweremandu
She is down with a debilitating illness- Her kidneys need replacements, her loving parents to solve the issue have run into severe turbulence. They are facing trial in a distant country with her father’s assets seized, thereby limiting his capacity to fight for his freedom and much more importantly fight for her life.
There is nobody with a child that will not cry on this matter. Every time I read about this matter, I cry. Even as I am writing, I am crying. Now when people say God will not allow something bigger than you to come at you, what then do you call this one?
Sonia, I can only pray for you. You will conquer and live to sing hallelujah. Don’t worry, it will all be ok. Please keep close to the Lord… keep praying and always remember that millions are here praying for you.
UK government na wa ooo.

Obi of Onitsha: My Father, My Lord
As I walked into the hallowed halls that hosted the 90th birthday of the highly revered Statesman- Chief Emeka Anyaoku a few months ago, I saw the iconic Obi of Onitsha Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe seated to the right. I was afraid o. I went straight to greet the celebrant and Chief Obasanjo who was seated on the high table. Then I greeted Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and went back to my seat, looking at Igwe as I walked past him.

I want to celebrate him. His positioning, his regal outlook and the great way he has maintained the dignity of the great stool of Onitsha. But fear did not let me go near him. So, I just sat far away and looked at him with awe. He is a very handsome man, tall with light skin and who carried himself with the carriage of royalty.
So, I called Chief Anyaoku the next day and said, ‘Lord happy 90th, I will be the MC at your 100th and will marry a new wife to celebrate that joyous milestone, but you will first help me tell the great Obi that I want to host him at the Command Performance of my new Play on Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe coming up this Easter.” Chief Anyaoku said, “Duke, you know I cannot say NO to you.” Consider it done.

The next day, I got a text from Chief Anyaoku, “I have mentioned it and he is favoUrably disposed.” Wow, but I know just gree like that o. I called my brother Olisa Adibua and legendary PR man Emeka Maduegbuna and said, this is what Chief Anyaoku said…
A few days later, I received a letter from the Obi of Onitsha to me oooo. Nigerians, Obi don write me ooooo. He write me ooooooo. I printed 100 copies of the letter and sent it to all my political opponents and the three people that sacked me in three banks.
I did a cover letter:

“Dear Mr. Nicholas, recall you sacked me in your office claiming that I was culturally challenged… well the Obi of Onitsha who is a cultural champion has written me a letter……”
Nigerians, the Obi of Onitsha and his stool is one of the most revered and highly respected globally. I have had a major fascination with the people of Onitsha and their traditions and do really consider myself quite lucky and humbled to have been so honoured by the great Obi himself. I remain thankful and in tears because this is simply magic.
Please, if you want to see the letter, chat with me on WhatsApp and I go show you. I am showing everybody ooo. Abi, how many people Obi don write to ooo? This is not Obi of Cubana, this is Obi of Onitsha – authentic. Thank you so much sir.

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