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Loud Whispers with JOSEPH EDGAR

Loud Whispers with JOSEPH EDGAR

Seun Kuti: My Lagos, Our Lagos, Their Lagos

This is one very sensitive debate. Before you jump in, I suggest you wear a crash helmet and protective gear otherwise, you may come out needing the attention of an orthopedic surgeon.

Anytime there is an election, this debate comes to the fore. Proponents will start shouting, ‘Lagos is a no man’s land, Lagos is owned by the Aworis, Lagos is owned by the Igbos, and all sorts. It is only the Ibibios that have not jumped in to stake a claim to Lagos. The Binis, Tivs, Ijebus, and even Zango Kataf have all come out to stake a claim to this dazzling pearl where people still sit on the bridge to ‘poo poo’ into the lagoon.

Apart from providing very powerful infrastructure for those who like to commit suicide, Lagos also provides so many things for so many people. The yahoo-yahoo boys find sanctuary in its bowels, the drug lords find a huge and growing market and the call-girls will never exchange it for Dubai. This is its attractiveness. Lagos is our own Hollywood, New York and Paris depending on which side of the city that you live and love.

Anyways, the Oba of Lagos, the very well-respected Oba Akiolu is the one that has made the most resounding claim to Lagos and rightly so. He is the King and most recognised of all the kings that litter every street and cranny of the state.

He is the one that was reported to have said that any ‘Igbo’ who will not stand in line will be pushed to the lagoon. This can only come from he who owns it all.

The funniest claim is that of the Igbos. This funny lot, because they have carved out market colonies, simply think that they can ‘own’ Lagos. From Oyingbo Honda Market, to Ladipo Spare Parts market and from  Ajegunle down to Aspamanda and Alaba, they have taken over completely and this now gives them the right to claim a ‘no man’s land’ status in Lagos as if they are the United Nations.

Then the rest of Yoruba land will shout in different Yoruba dialects- Lagos is part of Yoruba land. The cry became more strident when Dangote built the refinery and Sanwo-Olu declared open the deep-sea port and MC Oluomo started wearing clean uniform. Lagos is Yoruba land and belongs to Yoruba people. Meaning that all Yoruba from Ilorin down to the Marina, yes that area around CMS bus stop, belongs to the Egbe Omo Oduduwa.

Just as the debate was reaching its crescendo, my bald-headed friend Seun Kuti raised his head and kuku just scattered the whole thing. ‘Lagos is owned by the Portuguese,’ he claims. Na who name am get am, he railed. “Why Ibadan no get Portuguese name?” he asked with red eyes and bulging muscles as the smoke he was inhaling hit a chord in his whittled down brain. “Yesssss”, he continued feeling like Einstein. “Na Portuguese get Lagos so make all of una go siddon and anybody wey no gree, make he come Shrine make we fight,” he concluded.

My people, the debate rages on o. That was how I was being interviewed on live TV and the very beautiful presenter in short skirt with her lovely thighs exposed and with me staring at the thighs, hoping to get her number after the interview, just asked me question of the century: “Mr. Duke of Shomolu, who owns Lagos?”

I looked at this ‘small girl’, looked at her cameraman, looked at the make-up artist and stood up, removed the microphone and just walked away on live TV. I did not stop walking till I reached Shomolu.

Stupid girl. I should come and answer, me that I am still paying house rent; me that my children still dey school; me that I don’t pay tenement rate, I should come and join debate that will see me living in a Canoe at Makoko, I no answer o.

But secretly let me just tell you guys, if you promise to keep it a secret. Well, I think it is people from Iragbiji that owns Lagos o. But if you ask me in public, I will not answer you o. Kai! 

Prof Mahmood Yakubu as an Eminent Personality

The first time I ever came across this eminent personality was during his interview at Chatham House in London. I was not there o but watched it on ARISE TV. There was something about his big head and the way he shaved which left no bumps that made me not really trust him. The way he was doing head like a comedian but with a serious look, made me start to fear for the elections.

My people, I was correct. This man cannot even conduct a free and fair election in the smallest brothel in Shomolu. His BVAS will not work. How person can still stand proudly and be talking after superintending the worst ever election exercise in the history of mankind, beats me. Where them pull this one come from? Professor of wetin him be sef? Sad thing is that, in the very before of our eyes, he is sitting there on live TV announcing some very funny results and daring people to go to court with the confidence of an Italian mobster. I never see this kind one before o.

Everybody, even my dead mother knows that this whole exercise was a fiasco and shame no let the man to even resign and say, “guys I don try, this thing don pass me,” but instead he is still riding the tail of this lion that has been infected with Gonorrhea very proudly like a truly tested warrior.

This is really sad. What legacy, what kind of history has he created for himself and his generation. This was really a sad occurrence. This election simply just worsened our matter. Kai.

President Buhari, How are You Feeling?

My brother, I thought of reaching out to you this morning. How are you feeling? I hope you are seeing all the carnage going on as a result of this fiasco we have called an election. As we discussed, it was your legacy these elections were all about.

Remember I had mentioned to you during our last discussion at the Hague that since the only thing you can count as any real achievement these last eight years was the capture of Nnamdi Kanu, we needed to strengthen that with a very powerful action and we zeroed in on the elections.

You had agreed that a free and fair election that would throw up a very popular President-elect was the only thing that would make Nigerians forgive you. You saw reasons o and swore to ensure credible elections before we ate that evening. You even swore that even if it meant you sacrificing your last cows, you will ensure that we have credible elections and I believed you.

Even when the Naira fiasco and the fuel wahala started and you reached out in a panic, I said, “Lord forget about it, let’s focus,” the elections will wipe out all that bad dreams.

But see what your brother has done. He has thrown up the worst ever election since Saddam Hussain made himself the sole candidate for election in all of Iraq. What will the history books now say about you? These elections have not given us the massive platform to say a last big hurray as we leave the stage.

As I woke up this morning, I just thought of you and pity ran through my veins and that is why I thought of reaching out to you. How are you, my friend? I hope you are not taking this whole thing too bad? It is well my brother, don’t think of it too much.  You tried your best. You released billions, went on the campaign trail, did not intervene in the process and tried very hard to be a statesman on the matter.

This cannot be your fault. This sham cannot be your fault. But then again, the bulk stops at your table and it is your legacy that will be thrown up when history passes judgment. This can be a very heavy yoke, but don’t worry, when that time comes, we will appeal or throw Uncle Lai Mohammed on the matter. So don’t worry.

The most important thing is that at least if for nothing else, you have countered Chief Obasanjo’s record of being a military dictator and two-term civilian president. I suspect that this is why he doesn’t like you. 

It is well my brother, don’t think too much about it because of your blood pressure. We don’t want you falling sick and people will start calling you Jibril again. Take it slowly, you did your best. It just wasn’t good enough. It is well. Later my guy. Kai!

Bode George, When are We Leaving?

Baba at close to 100 years had said emphatically that he would go on self-exile in the event of a Tinubu victory. Well Prof INEC has made the possibility of a geriatric exile very real. He has announced his archenemy President-elect and people are reminding Chief George of his pledge.

Chief George being an honourable retired Naval officer has been reported to have reenergised his pledge. He had said that the plans were still very warm and that he would still go on exile. Well, isn’t he lucky? All these court cases will give him some time to clear his affairs and plan very well his exile because he must go o.

The Baba was not strategic in his statements and I just laughed. He cannot be like Baba OBJ who rather than say he will go on exile, stood in front of TV cameras to tear the photocopy of his PDP ID card. Baba left the original just in case, because in Nigeria you never know these things.

Instead of our Daddy to pledge with sense, he just say he dey go exile over a Jagaban who is so crafty that even a newly minted baby at Island Maternity will suspect that any which way o, this Baba from Iragbiji will not carry last in this race.

Well anyways, Chief George will just have to go. My advice is that he has to be careful which country he will be spending his last days in. He should not go to Brazil; the naked samba girls will give him cardiac arrest. He should not try South Africa. Those ones don’t know the difference between Igbo man and a retired Yoruba politician. As far as they are concerned na all the same, and gbam tyre on your neck.

His best bet is to go to Cotonou. He will still get ‘ewa egoyin’, he will still get access to his juju man and very importantly, he can be sneaking in and out of Lagos without our notice.

Lord, when can I come and help you pack? You must go o. We are tired of failed pledges. Be a leader.

Blessing Adeniran: How Do You Bury a Child?

Let me first send a heartfelt apology to you, my sister. I had penned a very touching ode on the back of the burial of your very beautiful daughter, Whitney. Immediately I pushed it out, my brother Yemi Shodimu reached me: “Oh Edgar, this is very sad. She is a neighbour.”

The next minute, I saw a blog carry my write up and without really acknowledging me. They had culled the write up from one ‘Bami’ on Instagram. I fired. I no dey waste time o my sister. I fired. I called both Bami and the blog kleptomaniac. Remember that the Guardian of UK was reported to have called a certain President-elect that name so the word was still in my head.

Only for people to start calling me to say that ‘Bami’ was the mother of the poor child. Shame catch me o. I was really ashamed and did not know how to pull back. So here am I saying sorry to you in public. Please forgive me if you saw the write up. No vex.

But seriously, how do you bury a child? I saw you at the grave side and felt your pain. I cried with you o. I really cried with you. The tears cascading down your pretty face and the dark glasses hiding the pain in your eyes from the world. You screamed our screams. We parents are together with you.

How can you take your child to the inter-house sport and bring back her corpse? How on earth are we expected to give a rational explanation for this kind of thing? My sister, only Jehovah can console you. Only the Lord of hosts can give you the strength to bear this magnitude of loss. It is too heavy for any one person to carry and this is why we parents are all standing by you and carrying the weight with you.

Kai! Tears as I write… no consolation. Nothing can numb this pain so we cry. Let’s cry mummy. Kai!

Kwam 1, Hope No Problem?

If you grew up in Shomolu, there is no way you will not know Kwam 1. Forget that he has changed his name so many times, the Wasiu Ayinde Marshal that we all know cannot change in our very eyes.

As a young boy in Shomolu, I used to sit in my mother’s little chemist shop and watch this fine young man with the gold tooth come and sit down at the next door printing shop with his good friend Kunle Atoyebe . They will be chewing roasted corn and coconut and asking my mother who they all fondly call,  ‘Mama Calabar’ to join them.

Me I will be telling my mother in Calabar not to mind them o, before I go and get a linen wearing and non-English speaking fuji singer as step father. Kai!

KWAM 1 has come a long way in Nigerian music. He is a pillar and has attained the kind of longevity most artists can only pray for. He has fine tuned the strategy of morphing and reinventing himself hence his continued relevance on the scene.

We no longer hear of his contemporaries and when they come on stage, look like caricatures but KWAM 1 still retains his elegance and essence and I want to believe that his penchant to be with some of the most beautiful women is part of his success story.

His new wife is a wonder. Kai! Come and see how beautiful a woman can be. Her height, her gait, her carriage, her complexion and much more importantly, her eyes. Those eyes are so sexy. In Shomolu we used to call those kinds of eyes, ‘oloju come and do,’ and that is why to my surprise, when she leaned in to give the great KWAM 1 a kiss at his last birthday party, he pulled back.

Me, I shout for where I dey watch the thing o. How for the life of me would he pull back. Is it old age or will he need an intern to assist so that I can send in my CV?

Anyways, I wish the great legend a happy birthday, many more fulfilled years and a continuous sweet relevance as he steadily releases those melodious fuji tunes that remind me of my childhood. Happy birthday egbon mi.

Ayo Aderinwale: This is ‘JustRite’

A  lot of people don’t know this man but the few of us who know him remain blessed. A fountain of knowledge with a front row seat in the pantomime that is Nigeria’s political circus on the back of his very close relationship with Chief Obasanjo.

But today, I don’t want to talk about his political pedigree there but to congratulate him and his Madam for the wonderful stride that they have achieved with their JustRite Supermarket franchise.

Growing to over 17 outlets across Lagos, Ogun and Osun States, the retail family-owned department stores continue to provide jobs and other services to Nigerians.

The other day at his 60th birthday party which was held at the Federal Palace Hotel, I sat with my brother, Osagie and his very beautiful wife, Abiola Ojo-Osagie. You know say, if you see a lion in the afternoon something wants to happen.

I said to Biola, “what are you doing here?” She said, “Edgar, what are you doing here?” I told her that I am hungry so I branched to see if they have afang, but you and this your AfricInvest PE Firm, you cannot just come to Owambe for nothing. Something wants to happen oooo, tell me. She smiled and looked away.

So, I was not surprised, when I later saw the reports that her firm AfricInvest had invested in the expansion plans of JustRite. I was excited cos this partnership would lead to the aggressive push of the franchise towards getting a larger part of the market which will in turn mean more jobs for Nigerians.

Well-done guys, let me just say that I am especially very proud of you guys. Well-done.

Chris Rock and a Slap for the Ages

If you watched last year’s Oscars you would have seen an angry Will Smith walk up the podium and give Mr. Rock the dirtiest slap in global TV history. Me, I first thought it was part of the show, you know how Americans can do anything for ratings and as such just kept watching without as much as wondering what just happened in front of a global audience.

It was real o. The slap was juicy and real. All sorts happened after that and the world moved on. Russia was killing people in Ukraine so why would we concentrate on two overfed fat black moguls going at themselves because of a woman.

One year after, Chris Rock gets a first of its kind live show on Netflix and lays it in on Will Smith. Mbok, Will Smith and his wife suffered in his hands. This was his revenge. As he cannot fight, he used his mouth. Nothing was spared- mocking their adulterous situation, to calling Will ill-bred to coming back at Jada, this was a cowardly fight back.

The yellow sissy called Chris Rock simply just disgraced himself by hurling abuses at Will just because he was still pained. He wasn’t a gentleman about it and ended up messing himself further if you ask me.

As a man, if you slap me, I slap you back and we fight. If I beat you, fair, but if you beat me, I will shake you and go and bathe and move on.

Ask Gisorin the bully who gave me the beating of my life in Shomolu. I stood up from the gutter, vomited and thanked him and moved on. That is how men fight, not go on live TV one year after and be calling the other man’s wife ashawo. Shame Chris Rock. Shame.

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