Loud Whispers with JOSEPH EDGAR

Loud Whispers with JOSEPH EDGAR

Muhammadu Buhari: There Goes the Saint

For me, what I will not really miss as  President Muhammadu Buhari is headed to Daura after May 29 is his tailor. That man should be tried for treason. The kind of pants he used to sew for our maximum ruler can cause political upheaval. Did you see the pants our president wore to the Naval event the other day? The thing is not only what we used to call ‘sofe’ but  pushed out like something palm wine tappers of those days used to wear. Na wa.

Well, by the time you read this, we will have only a day before this Baba finally goes to rest. This has been a long journey of missed opportunities. The longest ever career that, although laced with a lot of failures, kept rising to the point of hitting the top post twice.

From his days as Petroleum Minister in the 70s till today as a two-term president, Nigerians have seen the worst in – make I no talk – leadership. Nigerians have a strong attachment to this Buhari, I swear and I don’t know why. Shebi it was during his time as military leader that we were queuing for ‘essential commodity’, Decree 4 and jail terms for politicians that would make Idi Amin look like an angel.

Despite this, we looked at his ‘body language’ and voted for him twice. Na we get the problem, not him o. What did he do wrong? Nothing o. All he just did was to threaten us with the blood of baboon and we said, ‘Oya come take am’ and he immediately crashed the Naira, superintended the worst case of civilian bloodletting in peaceful times- we have lost more civilian lives during his tenure than during the civil war- the demystification of the judiciary, the ‘attack’ on Supreme court judges and a great increase in ethnic suspicions. My people, everything that wants to get wrong got wrong and in all these, daddy, just sat there with a toothpick while the people wailed.

I am looking for all those people who walked from Lagos to Abuja to celebrate his wins. I hope kwashiorkor and scabies will be their lot right now. They had better start walking back from Abuja and straight into the Lagos lagoon because their huge lack of foresight is amazing.

In a mad scramble to rewrite history, his handlers have come out with a long document chronicling his legacy. They are shouting infrastructure. Yes, to be fair, he scored some good points with infrastructure – the rail lines, the Second Niger Bridge, the Dangote refinery and other such projects that were completed in his eight years must be commended.

Even with this little glimmer, this was just one long dark tunnel. At least we should be happy that all the gra gra of vote for me oooo, the three attempts have ended and we are the worst for it. If we hadn’t given him this opportunity, Nigerians will by now be shouting – ohhh Buhari would have performed the magic, Buhari would have done this and Buhari would have done that.

My people, we cannot even say a huge sigh of relief by his exit, because he now has thrown up a successor from the worst ever electoral process since democracy was founded. Where he went to pick that kind INEC Chairman needs to be studied in Harvard. Such incompetence and lack of personal pride and understanding of history, I have never seen in my life. To superintend this kind of election and boldly stand there and say, ‘go to court?’

This Buhari era? Make una leave me o. If I really write my mind, na koboko DSS go use flog me with pepper, make we just leave am. At least, the Baba no even try mention third term- third wetin? Third wetin? Kai.

Please as you move towards your beloved Niger Republic, let me on behalf of millions of suffering Nigerians, wish you well. We really do thank you for services rendered to the people. Thank you, my Lord, safe journey abeg. Kai. Na wa.

Subomi Balogun: Home Call for Great Ijebu son

Otunba will see you now. That was his lovely assistant ushering me in to see one of the biggest Investment banking icons of our time. I had lost my job when the ‘great’ Nicholas Nyamali of Investment One had suddenly decided he didn’t want my services again because of my penchant for wearing red socks to work.

I had stayed out of work for three months until this opportunity came up. I was going to impress the doyen of the market, so I bought an ‘okrika’ pinstriped suit and wore a bowtie and walked into his office. He smiled immediately when he saw me. He was very handsome with a sexy gap tooth. He too was in a pinstriped suit and although in retirement, still carried the charisma of the great man that he was.

I could tell he liked me as he commended my suit and asked where I got it from. I wondered if I told him I got it next door at the Tinubu square for N5,000 if he would withdraw my offer of employment. So, I ignored his question.

It was not a usual employment chat as it immediately morphed into an interview with me doing a Rufai Oseni on him. He was happy to oblige me, real great men usually are. I asked him questions on what drove him to set up the bank, the wahala that almost stole the bank from him, the growth of its shareholder base from just him to over 50,000, his penchant for Christianity, his love for philanthropy and his great love for Christian songs.

Otunba loved Christian songs. He would hum and stand up and dance and would worship God through those songs.

Otunba looked at me with small tears from his eyes: “Edgar, I started this bank from CSL as a local business. It was the stockbroking firm that birthed all of these. You are coming in to help rebirth the local business that is where the market is. Retail my boy.”

I worked there for 15 months and as it was looking like these ones too wanted to sack me again – this time I had started writing this column which was unheard of for a banker to be writing such a troublesome column- and had also been pictured with Obanikoro when he was trying to unseat Tinubu, I had to run away.

I went back to Otunba, “sir, I have to go,” and he looked at me and said, “Is there anything I can do to make you stay?” I looked at him squarely in his very handsome eyes, still wearing my okrika pinstripe suit and said, “Daddy, I am doing what you did, I am also going to set up my own bank and you will come and open the bank.”

He looked at me, with tears in his eyes and said, “you have my blessing, God will be with you and you will succeed and you will open your bank.”

I looked straight into his eyes one last time, with tears in my eyes and a strong urge to hug him – but you cannot hug Otunba o, make you no go stain him white agbada and those huge beads o- and turned and walked away straight into EFCC cell.

EFCC arrested me oooo, that na story for another day. Una too like gist, I can imagine some of you shouting at this point and calling your side chick – see dem arrest Edgar oo. I no go talk that story today, today is for Otunba.

Otunba Subomi Balogun was an icon, a different Nigerian, a man with equivocal style and I thank God that he gave me those three rare opportunities of meeting with him and engaging him in a way that touched and inspired me. Sleep well my Lord.

Bola Tinubu: The American Pie

During the week, we saw a reported list of delegates the Americans are sending to our inauguration. As I looked through the list, shame and tears come catch me. How far have we fallen in international circles? See the kind of people Americans are sending to the inauguration of the president of the largest country in Africa. The giant of Africa na him dem come dey send these kind of journey men?

If you look at that list, you will just see the lack of respect for our people, our new president and the way they are looking at us. They are sending their own Fashola ooo. Their secretary of Housing and other such mid-level and almost junior people to witness this inauguration of ‘Jagaban of Borgu.’

Ever since I saw that list, I have been looking for the famed Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi or Prof Akinterinwa to come and explain this thing to me. Not even the Secretary of State or the First Lady or even the Vice President? Usually when those ones refuse, they would send a former President like Bill Clinton.

But it’s looking like even those ones have refused. So, to now mute that massive damage, a picture of Tony Blair looking for a job was released.

The looming fact is that the character baggage of our incoming, the funny electoral process that threw him up and the general lack of seriousness the country is being faced with is what is most likely pushing this ‘insult’ towards you.

We should write to Biden and say, “Your Excellency, since we are on this road, kindly send us Beyonce or that porn star disturbing Trump instead of this boring lot you are sending.” Thank you.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu: A Great Guy

During the last elections, I jumped into his space and Lagos was surprised. “Edgar, you can’t be supporting Sanwo and abusing Tinubu, they are one and the same.” I would reply, “is it your support? it is my support and I can decide who I want to give it to. It’s my right.”

I supported Sanwo-Olu wholeheartedly and faced fire. I believed and still believe that the opposition did not show any sign of seriousness throwing up interns and journey men and as a result, making Sanwo-Olu’s reemergence a walk in the park.

For me, Sanwo-Olu represented the best possible opportunity for Lagos, the most important city state in Africa among the contenders. He came to the table with loads of experience, a ‘can do’ spirit and a reformist attitude.

Now that reformist own, make I careful small. He fit no get the mind to reform finish for obvious reasons, but at least he go try reform for some non-strategic areas- if you get my drift.

Anyway, Sanwo-Olu has performed creditably well, he has impacted critical areas like infrastructure, education and health. He has shown that he can be relatable and he has relative youth and clarity. So, we jumped in for him and secured ward C2 in Shomolu for him. My polling station was delivered overwhelmingly and I went home to a sweet bowl of afang.

Today, I have been invited to his inauguration. I received a call from the Ministry of Arts and Culture that I have been invited and that I should come and collect my invites. Now whether I was invited for my role during the elections, or for my activities in the cultural space or as a bribe to stop yabbing Tinubu is neither here nor there.

Me, I will land with my Akwa Ibom outfit complete with wrapper and no undies to show the inclusion and diversity of Lagos complete with my cooler of Afang – you know these Yoruba people, na stew dem go ‘kill’ us with – and sit down in one corner and be unwrapping my Fufu and pouring my Afang complete with snail, ‘etuk’ and dry fish with periwinkle and be chopping as Sanwo-olu is swearing not to beat Igbo people again. Kai. I am just a troublemaker.

Congrats your Excellency and well done.

If You Matawalle Me, I will Bawa You

These two have been going at each other with a vengeance. If this fight doesn’t speak to the DNA of corruption among public officials, I will laugh and almost pee in my pants.

But this is a very serious case. The outgoing governor is under investigation for diverting about N70bn in state funds and in return he has accused the Chairman of EFCC for asking for a bribe of a reported $2bn. He also went further to state very categorically, that if the EFCC is serious about fighting corruption, he should turn his searchlight on the presidency.

The EFCC has fought back, asking us to ignore this ‘person’ and hiding under the very convenient moniker, ‘corruption is fighting back’. But as if to increase the tempo, a press conference was called and the clip released where the spokesman accused the EFCC Chair with all sorts including living like an oil sheikh on a recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

You see, we have seen these scripts play over and over again, since the EFCC was established. It is not new. It is the same thing chairman after chairman and it is also the same thing as governors go on a thieving spree once elected with impunity. Hiding under the immunity clause they go into a kleptocratic orgy the scale that would make South American drug barons green with envy.

Now this big headed Mata ‘something’ instead to answer questions relating to his matter is saying, “na only me? After all you sef na thief.” This is cowardly and disrespectful to us. Did you carry the N70bn first? Clear your name first and then after that come and join the crusade.

Shebi your brother el-Rufai has said candidly, that he has not carried any government money. Now that one has the moral justification to go on any anti-corruption crusade he wants to go if we can prove him right. But you? Until the investigation is over and you have been cleared, leave Bawa and the rest alone. That is not your business. If you were a student of Command Secondary school and you do this kind of thing, the kind of ‘fagging’ you will receive, even you will be surprised.

As for you Mr. Bawa, there is no smoke without fire. I am only supporting you this time because of the cowardly nature of Mr. Matawalle’s accusation but then again, you must realise that you have a sacred mandate and as such you owe us a much higher level of responsibility.

Please don’t let me be hearing this kind of thing, otherwise, I will walk into that your office and give you the Seun treatment and disappear. Just try me. Please, you represent the youths, don’t get sucked into this mess. Thank you

Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq: A New Chairman in Town

Let me quickly leave my inaugural invitee duties and send a major congratulations to my brother and special Governor of Kwara State, His Excellency Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on his emergence as the substantive Chairman of the Nigerians Governors Forum.

Coming from his successful reelection in Kwara, this is just one more very befitting accolade that he truly deserves. That his election was unanimous shows the confidence the body places on his ability.

His Excellency remains one of the most constructive in this era. He has quietly instituted reforms in his state, pushing developmental policies silently without distracting us with an expansive personality like his colleagues.

Congratulations Your Excellency. Well done

Ndiana Abasi: Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death

I personally used to just mouth this prayer in a hurry so that I could go and eat. My mother would have dropped a very appetising bowl of afang with ‘usung udia’ that is pounded yam for you people that are not Akwa Ibom. Then my father would say, “let us pray.” He would now pray for like 30 minutes and I will be looking at the Afang and be thieving snail, periwinkle and all sorts.

After the long prayer, my papa will now say oya the Lord’s prayer and I will quickly mouth it and move on and grab the fufu before my big headed brother Ernest rushed the thing.

Then I met my brother Ndiana who has actually gone through the valley of the shadow of death and came out. Sometime ago, he had Covid-19 and was rushed to one hospital. Those ones started treating malaria and the thing attacked his kidneys and destroyed it. His journey through the valley of the shadow of death began. It took him from Lagos, to Port Harcourt to Accra, to South Africa back to Accra before ending in India where finally with God, Aiteo, Indians and his wife, he was finally saved.

His beautiful wife gave him his kidneys and his boss at Aiteo covered the whole cost running in excess of $60,000 and today my brother Ndiana is hale and hearty.

He called on video immediately he came out of the surgery and screamed, “Edgar, ayin eka I am alive. Help me thank my wife o. Thank my wife oooo,” he screamed. “Thank my boss, thank these Indians ooo, and most importantly, thank God oooo.”

I screamed. “Ndiannnaaaaaaa, Abasiiiiiii oooooo Abasi ooooooo.” I cried and cried. My mumu driver was just looking at me as I shed bitter tears of joy. God saved this one. Jehovah stood for this one.

Now working with him, we will resuscitate the Kidney Trust Fund in an attempt to work with God to save millions more. Kai.

Related Articles