Loud Whispers With JOSEPH EDGAR

When Asue Ighodalo Engaged Edo People in Italy

My new friend, Dr Kunle Alonge, not really knowing who I am, often argues that I shouldn’t be taking sides. I look the man and ask am simple question – wetin concern you? I am opinionated and I really do not know how to sit on the fence on issues. This Edo own, I have taken a very strong position with Asue and unapologetically so. Olu Akpata is my friend. In fact, I am even closer to him than Asue but as a stakeholder in Edo – my third wife na Edo, my daughter Annette is 50% Edo – I must go beyond emotions.

After a major assessment of both candidates – only the two of them make sense in that Edo election, the rest are just comedians – I have come down in support of Asue Ighodalo. I will beg Olu after and I am sure he will understand.

In my many writings, I have stated why I am standing with Asue so I will not bore you guys with any repetition and moreover, my hand is paining me this morning, so no power to type plenty English.

Anyway, the gist I want to give you guys is the manner Asue took Italy. The man made a whistle-stop visit to that European country to meet with Edo stakeholders, and I tell you from reports that I have seen, Asue won much more than enough hearts.

The outpouring of love, the passion with which he spoke, the clarity of his thought and the powerful understanding of what is required to take the state to the next level.

From what I have seen in those clips and feedback from that trip, I am beginning to envy Edo State. What is remaining now is for us to do the needful and Edo will be blessed with superior leadership, and from there good governance will take root and begin to spread all over the nation.Let’s keep our fingers really crossed.

Minister Uju Kennedy: Pantomime in Motion

Mbok, where did they go and pick this lady from o? Seeing her speak and engage, you will not think too far to understand her role in politics. This one is a major mobiliser. You know those barely literate women leaders you find in the grassroots who mobilise women towards any candidate that meets their usual pecuniary demands.

I used to see them when I played the politics of NRC during the June 12 elections. Once they enter meeting, the whole place will erupt in shouts – mama di mama, mummy of Africa, mummyyyyyy waaaaaaa, our mummy – and she in turn will hail them back, drop drinks and scatter the place with money.

She is usually the bridge between party leaders and the women. She is the one they would send to Abuja and she would return with goodies and make sure everything is shared equally. She is usually very powerful as she is the go-to person to catch all market women, female students, prostitutes, and any female grouping a party needs.

It is that one that they have given the Minister of the Federal Republic o. The crass roughness is still very apparent, the uncouth nature of her engagements and the lack of aptitude in grasping the issues that concern her ministry are so visible.

From threatening to sue the United Nations to rushing to a school where a girl was slapped the way Sanwo-Olu usually rushes to a major fire disaster, all you see is a badly produced pantomime that elicits pity instead of laughter.

What is leading to all these small yabis I have yabbed mummy this morning is that Arise TV show she went to attend. Dr Abati asked her to name the six states in which she was launching a project and, in an attempt to answer, mummy stuck. She named two and started stammering, and as they usually do, turned it to aggression – look I don’t have to know all six…

Mummy, you have to know abeg!  Can we just get this cabinet reshuffle going abeg? Can’t wait. Kai.

Rueben Abati: Man in Pink

Since I started my podcast, I have had some very brilliant guests. From Ruth Osime, through to Dele Momodu and Pastor Ituah Ighodalo who prophesied that I would soon climb the pulpit, and my brother Tonye Cole, have all sat on the green couch with me to discuss all sorts. From masturbation to bullying, to Tinubu, to Michael Jackson and much more have all been discussed.

That was how it was the turn of the erudite Dr. Rueben Abati. Dr. Abati seems to have achieved a national resurgence since he paired up with my brother Rufai Oseni at Arise TV. He has more than most shown that depth and clarity on issues make for very thorough engagement hence his immense popularity amongst Nigerians.

That was how I saw Baba walking towards me o. I first didn’t recognise him o. I thought it was Professor Peller, the late great magician headed towards me that Sunday evening. He was in a pink suit and red bowtie and Gandhi glasses. I asked my driver, “Who be this one wey dey come so?”  My driver replied, “I know am o, na landlord of one of these houses as he carry purse for him hand.” I said ok ooo.

But as he walked closer, I recognised him o. I screamed: My lord. It was Dr. Abati the Great. He had squeezed me in as he was almost due for another of his massively popular programmes on Arise TV.

The talk was excellent, even though he appeared shy and uncomfortable. The tables had turned; this was me asking him questions and not him doing the asking. From polygamy to Ogun Politics to social media irritants and even his professional trajectory starting from him as a student writing ‘letters to the editor’ at the beginning of one of Nigeria’s most brilliant media careers.

As he got more comfortable, he opened up. Come and see facts, historical data and super powerful analysis of issues and that was me just sitting down there with my mouth open, dreadlocks cascading down my head and my legs shaking at such powerful intellect.

I had fun that day o and will surely interview Dr. Abati again, he was simply just brilliant.

Magnus Onyibe, I Disagree Vehemently

Let me warn you upfront, do not get into an argument with Magnus Onyibe if you are not intellectually sound. The brainy powerhouse who has attended economic courses in some of the most powerful business schools globally and is a well-known developmental economist will floor you o.

That was how he has been sending strong but apparently one-sided articles on the economic miracle that the Tinubu administration has been fostering on us. Article after article, you will think that Tinubu’s policies have turned us into the Emirate of Dubai o.

So that was how I made the fatal error of asking my brother Magnus why he is so pro-Tinubu and writing all these brilliant articles on this same economy where the cost of a crate of eggs is the same amount we used to use to buy beetle cars in the 80s.

My people, Magnus finish me o. Post after post Magnus threw data at me and as I was not prepared, he floored me. The man used intellectuality to bully me, even me I come dey look at the thing all over again. Maybe he is correct o, maybe it is true, maybe the economy has been repaired and na me no see am. He even said that Wale Edun said that we should look at it from the half-full or half-empty paradigm. I almost apologised to him.

Then I called someone to ask for the cost of hiring a car to Ibadan for Alvin’s graduation and they told me N180,000. Last year it was N30,000. I didn’t talk o, I called a hotel and asked for lodging rates and they said N180,000. Last year it was N60,000. I just called Magnus back and said, I no greee. Food inflation is crossing 40%, the increase in our external savings is from borrowings from the World Bank and the rest which has led to short time stabilisation of the currency, leading to the Moody’s rating of our outlook as stable which has led to all these Magnus long stories.

Please, here is me challenging Mr. Magnus Onyibe to a public debate on this matter and if he wins, I will donate N500,000 to a widow of his choice and if he wins, he will donate N500,000 to a widow of my choice. Oya I’m ready. Na Kuti go borrow me the money.

Let’s Pray for Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III

My dear Sultan, these are very perilous times for this your community. From Kano to Benin and now Sokoto, politicians are disparaging our heritage, wrecking centuries-old traditions and institutions all for selfish and personal reasons. They do not care that their tenures are limited and short; they just move in and scatter things just like that.

See Kano. That Ganduje just scattered centuries-old structures just because he had only four years to be governor. Today, we are now seeing two Emirs in Kano. On your own side, the governor I heard just sacked 15 traditional rulers, attempting to change the rules on appointments of kingmakers and other such things that would really weaken your position.

My own is that, as long as he doesn’t remove your powers of sighting the moon and end fasting, I will not enter the fight. As a man with Muslim friends, I used to look forward to your sighting the moon because of the ram that used to come with it. Let them not just go and appoint one mumu with cataract in his eyes and will not be seeing moon o.

But seriously, the traditional institutions must be preserved. They must be separated from politics so that their ethos will not be desecrated. The traditional institutions have been weakened with the appointment of “funny” people as rulers, giving the politicians the power to mess up the system.

The Sultan of Sokoto is a highly revered position, the man holding the title is also a very well respected individual and as such the Sultanate cannot and must not be allowed to be a toy in the hands of a cockerel who most likely rigged his way in. Everything must be done to protect and preserve our traditional institutions from these ‘Nechromisers’ we call politicians. Na wa

SEC, CSCS, FMDQ, NGX – Rumble in the Markets

OK, you know I am very passionate about the capital market. Something is happening. There is a company called the CSCS and it is the clearing house of the market. It is making serious money and doing very well. There is another one called FMDQ. This one came in a kurukere way to enter the market using the debt market as its window. The NGX is the stock exchange that used to be called the NSE.

Now the NSE has about 43% of the CSCS, making it its largest shareholder if I am correct. The FMDQ after leveraging its position as the favoured child is now eyeing the CSCS and has made a move to acquire real shares in the CSCS.

Now the sleepy SEC I have heard has just made a pronouncement that the NGX should sell down about 9% of its holdings so that FMDQ can ostensibly pick them up. Now how the SEC came about this judgement that would make King Solomon cringe with shame beats all imagination.

Don’t let me say too much just yet because things are still unfolding and I don’t want to talk until I am very sure of all of my facts. But a lot much is desired from the SEC which is expected to be a neutral arbiter in the markets while also providing strong regulatory functions.

The market as of today is just floating as if na palmwine drunkards club dey regulate am, hence all these funny funny things happening. Let’s just wait awhile and watch before we fire abi? We dey watch. Thank you.

Nick Imudia: Suicide Reported

Just as I was about to conclude this column, the news of the apparent suicide of this brother who used to be MD at Konga started flooding the news wires. From what we have gleaned, it is like the man took his life and this has brought to the forefront the very debilitating case of suicide especially amongst men.

I have been there three times with the most recent just last week after it dawned on me that I had been duped on this my last play in the UK. You see, it is easy to say “ohhh you cannot kill yourself, it is a sin” and all of that, but one thing you need to realise is that suicide is a very serious mental issue. It is a very strong downside of depression, anxiety, pain, hurt and rejection.

Men are very exposed to it because we do not really have the avenue to exhale. Because we are men, we do not talk and bottle up issues only for them to now come and erupt in mental health issues that if not well taken care of, could lead to suicide.

My condolences to the family and friends. Sad.

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