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Loud Whispers with JOSEPH EDGAR

Loud Whispers with JOSEPH EDGAR

Afe Babalola’s Gift and His Pain

My first reaction when I heard of the huge donation our oga just made to a British university was to shout ‘what the f….k?’ Did he just gift a British university N5billion or thereabout for the study of African something as I have read? My people, the more I think of this thing, the more the nonsense of the act slaps me. You know me, I don’t know how to hide my mouth; this is the dastardliest ignorant thing to do especially in the face of the crises the sector is facing in the country.

People have said, ‘Duke of Shomolu, is it your money?’ ‘Duke, he has built a university, supported a lot of indigent students and educational initiatives’ and finally -they end it with the proviso – ‘it is his money and he alone can decide how he can use it.’

My response is, “and so? Mbok and so?” Even the school that he built, didn’t breeze blow away the roof the other day?

You see the continuous quest of our accomplished people to be playing this game is becoming very frustrating. With over 20 million children out-of-school, dilapidated educational infrastructure, ASUU wahala and the rest, the problem in the sector no dey finish. It can never finish. So going to ‘throw away’ this money, simply because it is his money or because he has built a school beggars believe.

Please don’t tell me, ‘he is not government’ like some people have been saying. I may not be able to really express my disgust at this thing and I am very sure that most of you will smash my arguments on this matter to bits, but the truth is that it can never make sense to me and will never make sense to me and I will call it what I really think it is – a crappy and very annoying ego-driven smelly thing, especially in the face of the carnage in his backyard.

If you see the way, this thing is paining me ehnnnn. I will slap anybody that asks me again, ‘is it your money?’ I swear I will really slap ooo!!!

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu: I Wash My Hands off

It was Pontius Pilate, the lame Emperor who saw justice and instead of him to stand firm, asked for water and detergent to wash his hands off. In the same vein, me I have washed my hands off the Interim Government contraption we have started hearing in whispers.

I never believe that in this my life, I will stand with the DSS on any matter especially after they carried my dear late Erelu and kept her in their office for over seven hours because she ‘jammed’ their madam bumper some years ago.

I strongly support their statement kicking against any interim government arrangement and will ask for my own gun and black uniform to join the fight to preserve democracy if it ever comes to that.

All these na INEC fault. If they had done a brilliant job instead of that shoddy thing they called an election, shebi we will all be jubilating right now. Today, they have coordinated the worst election in the history of the world and did not stop there, they have even dared us by saying – go to court.

With the kind of things we are seeing in that place – the courts and the wheelchair bound people in that place, confidence in that structure is at its lowest ebb leading to Nigerians seeking alternative solutions to the quagmire.

So far, we have seen women protesting naked in front of INEC offices. Others have gone on the streets, to force us to congratulate the BAT; this one really made me laugh. We are saying we no believe in your victory and you are saying we must congratulate you, something dey do una head. But in all of these, an interim government structure is a big NO. It cannot be acceptable and instead of that, I will support very fervently Mr. Tinubu’s swearing-in despite my misgivings.

Our democracy be like my marriage. E no dey work, e dey shake, but he still dey there. At least on a good day, I go get afang eat and I go get action for the other room, once in four years but e still dey.

Our democracy na government of the mumu, for the mumu and of the mumu but at least he still dey. Make we manage am like that abeg.

So, my brothers in the DSS, please when you are ready, send me the list of these people, I owe them a better slap. No matter their age or juju level, I will slap and stand. No to any interim anything and yes to our mumu democracy, please swear in the man who has the victory and no mandate. Make we manage am like that abeg.

Thank you.

Medical Emergency: Herbalist, Prophets and Seers to the Rescue

I saw a report yesterday and my heart sank. Kai! Only 24,000 doctors practising in Nigeria. We are over 200 million people and we have just these numbers practising and we are still here sending money to a British university because we are ‘private’ individuals.

The report also said that we produce only 3,000 annually out of which 4,000 ‘japa’ leaving us with an annual deficit of 1,000. We are in real trouble. I listened very clearly to all the candidates both at the federal and state levels and emphasis was not placed on this sector at all.

Today the mortality rate is dropping and this is why we are having outward medical tourism on the rise putting pressure on the forex allocation. We are in a big mess and we are joking about it. The Ekweremadu saga is only the beginning because this kidney thing that put him in this mess could easily be sorted assuming there was a credible push towards revitalising the sector.

We must begin to look at a more robust approach to this issue. An approach that would involve both private and public sector platforms pulling in legislative engagement so that reforms can be immediately executed within the sector. Failure which, we may begin to look at the possibility of engaging herbalists, seers and those kinds of people to augment.

This is really sad. Very, very sad.

General Oladipo Diya: A Delayed Ascension

He passed last weekend and then the NTA news footage of his sentencing started making the rounds. I was a full-grown adult when that thing happened. It was called a ‘phantom coup’ and indeed it was as you can see that the man outlived all those who wanted to ‘kill’ him. From Abacha, who ate apples and disappeared to Victor Malu who read that caricature of a verdict, Diya outlived them and survived another 25 years until God called him.

That news footage showed the dark days we were in as a country under the dark googled illiterate. To think that his man Friday, even dared to stand elections in this country after all that mayhem?

From the dining table that they used a white cloth to cover, to the rubbish paper they read the ‘judgment’ from with no law book insight, you begin to see the gravity of a lawless regime. You aim to take the lives of people, without going through the legal sagacity that is needed for such a weighty decision. Instead, you sit at a dining table – the type we use to eat Afang and be using native intelligence to try people for treason?

May we never see this kind of thing again in this country and as you can see, even the Almighty intervened by saving Diya and his merry men from the hangman’s noose and also keeping him alive to see his grandchildren and to see the internet and artificial bum that is all the rave now. May God continue to rest his soul and keep him beside him, before Abacha will go and waylay him now on the road to heaven. Na wa oo.

Whitney Adeniran: I am Conflicted

Whitney, for those of you who do not know, is the very beautiful young girl who lost her life at the Chrisland School during the inter-house sports. It was such a sad occurrence that shocked the nation.

Chrisland School which is such a strong institution has in recent times, been dogged by a series of mishaps. From sexual assaults to sexual perfidy and now this. It has moved from one crisis to the other.

The Lagos State Government has announced that it would be prosecuting the school, the vendor and specific teachers for the loss of the sweet life. It’s like a hex has been placed on the school with all of these unfortunate things happening there.

You see the school is such a wonderful place of learning. I should know because my extremely beautiful daughter Annette attended the school, but it just seems to bumble from one scandal to the other, hence my conflicting stance on this matter.

So, I think the government is right to prosecute and again, I also think that this good school and a strong legacy of education should not be killed just yet. If you ask me, I think that government should strengthen the regulation of the sector. This has always been my stance since the young girl decided to go and shoot a porn clip in faraway Dubai. Strengthen regulation and monitoring as a first step. Chikena.

Rufai Oseni, I Stand By You

Kai, they have finished my brother o. He is today the most popular Nigerian after the President-elect and dancing Governor Adeleke. For Rufai, there is no middle ground. Either you like him for his courage and boldness or you hate him for his seeming partisan position on issues.

The other day, former Governor Fayose was screaming at him. “Rufai, you cannot talk to me like that, I had told Abati that I will not come o if that boy will be there and Abati assured me that he will rein him in, see you now. See as you are talking to me, are you mad? I will slap you ooooh,” Fayose shouted.

Rufai is angry and I don’t blame him. He is reflective of how most of us feel. We have been traumatised in this country by all the looting. They have not only looted material things but are also looting our brains. So, you will forgive Rufai if he cannot sit down there with a sheepish smile and listen to Fayose blow some fat lies or sit down there and be listening to Keyamo try for his entry into the Guinness Book of lie-lie records.

Rufai is not the brown envelope-loving moron that litters our media space. Those ones, you give them a brown envelope and submit questions that they will in turn ask you verbatim and you will now sit down there and cross your legs and answering with Nigerians the fool.

Going to ARISE TV with Rufai there, you know you are going to face fire and it is not compulsory you go. If you cannot stand the heat in the studio, mbok go and let Sam Omatseye interview you. It’s that simple. Why come to Rufai and he fires you and you start to shout and cry? Did they force you there? Mbok make I rest. Rufai, when you are free let’s do afang, there is a new Afang joint at Lekki Phase One owned by Etim Inyang, the former Inspector General of Police pikin. The afang can even make you kiss Asiwaju fully on his lips if you taste it. Oya call me.

Tears on the Floor for Ike Ekweremadu

 Godddddd!!! This is really painful. This story will make a very teary stage

play. The love of a child, jail, and country are all tied together in despair and sadness. Please, which father will sit down and watch his daughter go through all that and possibly lose her life and not do something about it?

Then again, whose father will also watch his son being used as a cadaver to save the life of another man’s child? Which country destroys its medical system to the point that all of these can take place?

Please let’s not look at only this case o. This thing is happening all over. People out of extreme poverty and frustration are selling their organs to those who desperately need them. The underlying blame is the system that has been raped and eroded by a string of vacuous leaders who have nothing but their pockets to think of.

Some will say that Ekweremadu is part of this leadership and as such, ‘good for him.’ But then again, how do you say good for him as a father as he faces a

minimum of 10 years for trying to save his child albeit illegally?

This is tragic and even Williams Shakespeare could not have written such an excellently sad play. Kai!

Ebenezer Onyeagwu: A Doctor in the House

My brother has just been awarded a doctorate by the famed University of Nigeria, Nsukka and he immediately dedicated it to Mr. Jim Ovia for his inspirational leadership. For me, Ebenezer continues to be an inspirational figure in the space in which he operates. His dedicated leadership, clarity of purpose and astute leadership has continued to give the huge boat that is Zenith Bank the market leader it is today.

The other day, I saw him at the mighty ‘Techfair’ organised by the bank at the Eko Hotel. He was holding a bottle of water and getting ready to host thousands of tech enthusiasts who with the support of the bank continue to gift the nation with their resourcefulness. I said, “bro how are you?” and he said, “Duke, you seem to be making all of the money,” and I looked at him and hugged him and said, “if you continue yabbing me like this, I will ask your village head to withdraw your chieftaincy.”

Congratulations my brother and may God continue to bless you in this way and many more ways, amen.

AVM Emmanuel Ombu – A Powerful 75

My Lord is very good-looking at 75. His own is not of the variant where you need to be held up or where you need to drawl while speaking. He is very spritely, energetic and positively engaging. He called to invite me to his 75th birthday and I carried myself there.

It was at a very elegant restaurant in Victoria Island and I met a lot of very distinguished people. The first person I saw was General Ike Nwachukwu looking

very handsome and well put out. Kai, I rushed to take a picture o. Then I saw my Oga, Chike Ogeah who was looking casually elegant and then I saw Pastor Itua Ighodalo and his moustache. The way that one dey fine dey always confuse me. Then across the table was my sister Eno Udoh. The everlasting beauty had just come back from Uyo where she had gone to support our candidate Akan Udofia in a very spirited battle for the Government House.

Anyways, we hugged and talked small and I went ahead to greet such legends like Ruth Osime and one very beautiful lady who kept gushing, “Duke we belong to the same WhatsApp groups and they keep kicking you out.” She was so beautiful that I kept smiling and hoping she would stand up and hug me. She no gree o. So I leave am.

The highlight of the party for me was when screen legend – Ruth Benamaisia came out to hug me: “Duke, I do not miss you on Sundays,” and I said, “Oh, let me just hug you.” She gave me a very tight hug and I felt like all my misery was gone.

Then I asked, “Is Sienne here?” And she said yes.

That was how we ran in o. Kai, come and see classical beauty. These two remain everlasting beautiful and I just hugged both of them and closed my eyes. Heaven o.

Kai, AVM thank you for the opportunity and even though afang was not served to show that my invite was an afterthought, didn’t spoil the evening for me.

On your 76th, I will bring my own food flask with afang and fufu, because me I did not understand that thing wey you been dey give people chop that night o. Kai.

Mustafa Chike-Obi – A Warm Meeting

You know I am looking for money for my new plays “Zik” and “Ladi Kwali.” That was how I went to my big brother Collins Chikeluba. Collins remains one of the most sociable and prominent people I will ever know. I do not joke with him. If you see the way he

used to walk, you will think he has been a bouncer before in Abriba market. Anyway, the debonair gentleman said to me, “Let’s go see Mustafa, Fidelity bank should be able to bite.”

That was how we entered the man’s office in Ikoyi. He was on the phone and kept looking at me. I am sure it was my dada and earring that was confusing him. It always does. Anyways, he finished his call and took us to more comfortable digs and we had our meeting.

As is the case when these kinds of meetings are held, the discussions moved to politics and business and I got my head opened. Listening to Chike-Obi is like listening to a prophet. Even Collins could attest to it. His ringside positioning of the recent events during the election has given him a stronger platform to better dimension our situation as a nation, especially the recent ethnic strife that engulfed Lagos.

He promised to support the play and bade us bye. I enjoyed those 30 minutes with him but much more importantly, I think I should stick closer to Collins if he will be opening these kinds of doors for me.

I think the next will be the prophet Idumuje who just announced that his time on earth will soon be up. Oya Oga Collins, when are we going?

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