Loud Whispers with JOSEPH EDGAR

Loud Whispers with JOSEPH EDGAR

Olugbenga Agboola: A New Kind of Superhero

Except you have been under a rock for some time now, you may not have heard of this company, Flutterwave. With a valuation in excess of $3billion and a staff strength far over 700 mostly Nigerians, this company stands out as the beacon of hope in this our beleaguered country.

Recently, it ran into mild turbulence in another African country which it easily shrugged off and continued with its quest for global domination by establishing its presence in over 30 countries, carrying out transactions that touch lives in such a way that it literally has become a very critical part of modern day living.

The other day, I met its young CEO and major promoter, GB. As he spoke to me, I was opening my mouth and finding it very difficult to swallow spit. This tall and gangling handsome “boy” was employing more Nigerians than the Nigerian Army, police and customs put together.

For me, especially at this time where we have all lost hope, GB and his team at Flutterwave are beginning to look like superheroes o. I even heard that they are employing more people on the back of a novel management trainee scheme which is amazing with the level of “japa” and unemployment in the country. A structure that is engaging these numbers must really be supported and applauded.

You know how Nigerians can be, immediately I posted my picture with him on Whatsapp, I started to hear all sorts. Negativity is our bane and the fact that this young man has amongst others succeeded very beautifully, in swimming against the tide did not make any mark on their black consciences.

The very good thing however in all of these is that his testament is standing very clearly for all of the world to see. Flutterwave has come to stay and elegantly so and it is no wonder that as we speak, Stock Exchanges all over the world are literarily begging Flutterwave to come and list on their Bourse because of the huge economic potential of that move.

I hear our own NGX is well positioned to have this company listed in the near future and this will go a long way in not only deepening the markets but will better position the market to serve the huge Fintech community which is one of the most vibrant on the globe.

So, my brother, GB as Mr. Macaroni will say, “you are doing well.” Well done.

Don’t Cry for Nasir El-Rufai

I can just imagine how Mallam will be feelling. He will just be in one corner, sulking like a child that has been denied milk from his mother’s breast. The child, not minding that this denial was temporary, will first go to a little corner looking for pity and when he doesn’t have it, he will go into a hissy fit and pull down the roof with screams.

This is what I think the great Mallam is doing now. His humiliation at the confirmation hearings due to some petition leading to the ministerial denial has led him into a quiet corner, where he is sulking.

His strategy is very obvious. We have started seeing little noises in the press of how our dear great President, went on stage in Kaduna to beg him to join his cabinet during the campaigns. We have also been inundated with reports reminding us of the role Mallam played during the Emefiele “cash swap” scandal and also his role in getting northern governors to accept and work for a power shift to the south.

All these are initial rumblings of the volcano, sending a very subtle but very strong signal to Mr. Tinubu that you are playing with a rattlesnake o and that if the needful is not done, na fire o.

The other day, I saw a picture with a cartoon suggesting that Tinubu had sent people to go and beg Mr. El-Rufai in his little cottage outside of the country.

My people, my take in all of this is very simple. Mbok, this man cannot have all the sense in his head. He has tried since the age of 43 being in one government or the other. If the system says he should go and rest, then let him go and rest. It is not this his appointment that will solve all of these our problem.

Mbok, El-Rufai should go and rest abeg. I cannot shout. Na wetin? No be only him dey joor.

Nyesom Wike is Dancing in the Sun

One good thing about me is that, me I used to know how to blank things and just turn my back and walk away. The moment I saw the huge “bula balu” list of ministerial nominees, I just shook my head and went to put afang for microwave. A better use of my time.

So, all that comedy that regaled Nigerians during the confirmation hearings, did not concern me. Apart from watching Keyamo apologise and also watched the other one with two credits, I largely ignored the whole thing.

But the farce that is inherent in the offices they gave this crew, was too large in its comedic appeal to be ignored. Wike as FCT Minister? A brilliant move. This is what they call in literature “irony”. Me, I was expecting him at the Niger Delta Ministry with the wahala in that sector, especially with oil theft and all.

Being a very powerful Rivers ex-governor, he would have been better suited to join Tompolo in the creeks complete with his “pepper dem” band to apprehend all of those huge boats stealing our oil. I used to imagine, Wike on the same boat with Tompolo patrolling the creeks and immediately, they sight a pirate ship, Tompolo will scream – Nyesommmmmmm and Wike will scream – Fireeeeeeeee and the boat will sink and immediately, his band will play – Wike Pepper dem and he will jump into his monkey dance and we’ll all shout Wike for President.

Is it not Tinubu, he will always deny us even this little opportunity at a laugh to relieve our tension. He don carry Wike go Abuja. Na wa.

Dele Alake: Should We Resign?

Nothing is more shocking than this appointment. Solid minerals? This is what they used to call square peg in a round hole. If you ask me, Mr. Alake is the one that delivered this election to the great Jagaban.

His brilliance and perfect understanding of the use of media to sway public opinion although gestapo-like in execution remains undeniably brilliant. Me, I am still bowing to him with respect with the way he sold his extremely difficult candidate. He meandered the shark infested waters of Chicago, drug scandal, fake bishops, bullion vans and so much and helped deliver one of the greatest miracles in African electoral history.

For all of that, he has been rewarded with the Solid Mineral Ministry. A cabinet back water if you ask me. Don’t get me wrong o, that ministry if properly harnessed could be the most important and strategic ministry of them all, but sending Alake there just goes to show the irrelevance of the ministry in the greater scheme of things.

Well, if na me, na to send in letter, dust up my passport and return to America and be driving my taxi in peace. But will he get the sense and be the man? I doubt it. He will be there until they appoint him Comptroller General of Girls Guide, before he will see the handwriting. Na so he dey be.

Kayode Otitujo: Pains of a Corn Farmer

It is not in this Agbado economy that a corn farmer should be going through the kind of pains Chief Otitoju is going through. Chief is a brilliant media strategist and a former Commissioner for Information in Ekiti State.

In his retirement, daddy sought approval from the Lagos State government to run a farm on one stretch in that Lekki area. The canal setback farm behind LERA Zone 4, Freedom way was set up in tune with Mr. Governor’s policy on urban farming and tree planting.

The 1.472 acre farm cultivates plantain, trees, bananas and our President’s favourite crop- maize.

However, despite approvals from Lagos State parastatals -LERA/NTDA, LASPARK and Land Bureau Governor’s Office and on the basis of which annual Land Use Bills demand notices are sent and paid, Sodehinde and Mr. Adegbite of the Lagos State Drainage Ministry have carried bulldozer to damage the gates of the farm, thereby opening it to drug users and other such colourful characters in the area.

Sadly, that stretch apart from the farm, also houses all sorts o. Mechanics, barbers, brothels and all sorts and their businesses are still running without interference.  It is this agbado farm that is the one that is stopping the government from operating efficiently.

Please Mr. Sodehinde, there is nothing a calm discussion will not resolve. All these “alaye” behaviour is low especially in the face of all these approvals being paraded and much more importantly in the face of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s resolve to support such a beautiful enterprise. Guys you are making the governor look bad. Simple.

Wale Edun: Let’s Get Serious

Ok, just as I was writing this column, it was announced that Mr. Wale Edun is now the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, making him a very powerful and critical member of this cabinet. His qualifications for this position are not in doubt but what will be on show will be his ability to navigate us out of the woods.

You know the APC are very good at shifting blame. First it was Jonathan’s PDP for eight years of Buhari and now it is “Buhari, destroyed the economy” we are hearing and when we are bored of piling mud on Buhari, it is how Emefiele went to secretly borrow money using our Foreign Reserves as collateral as if it was not under the same APC government that it happened.

My brother Edun, we are not holding our breath o, if events of the last 90 days are anything to go by. Nigerians have been slammed by a tsunami of economic violence. We have seen jobs disappear overnight, we have seen the naira beaten to a pulp and fuel prices hit the roof with inflation slamming the 24% mark.

How you are going to reverse all of these is what we are waiting to see. You will have to be very clear in mind and astute to battle these headwinds and deliver sterling performance in rapid succession.

I really do wish you well. I really do wish you God’s guidance in this herculean task that you have been given. For our sake, I pray for your success because your failure will be just too much to comprehend, I swear. I really do wish you well sir.

Phillip Shuaib: Not It’s Not Your Turn

I almost fell off my couch when I read this. In a speech to some visitors, my brother Governor Obaseki said that the people of Edo State will not do “emilokan” to choose their next governor. This was in apparent slight at his long-suffering Deputy Phillip who had run to court to stave off an apparent impeachment process.

This story is like a badly scripted Nollywood movie. You see, we have moved from court to coup and now to Emilokan all in a bid to stave off Mr. Shuaib as the next governor of one of the least developed states in the land.

I face a contradiction in this matter. I am always of the opinion that deputies should be the obvious choice of replacement in the spirit of continuity and very subject to the decision of the people. But nine out of 10 times, it is the Governor himself that will lead the mob to crucify his deputy.

Why this is so, continues to baffle me. In most cases, the deputy is humiliated and shoved aside by his principal and usually one commissioner in most cases, the Commissioner of Finance is propped up. Why na finance commissioner is very obvious even to the little virgin down the lane. So, in trying to rubbish Shuaib’s ambition, the very ungrateful Mr. Obaseki has gone on the “Edo no be Lagos” mantra to stamp- it is not your Emilokan on Mr. Shuaib.

This is a very strong label to give an ambitious politician, seeing what the Emilokan is doing us at the centre and Mr. Shuaib will have to show the Edo people that his own Emilokan is not of the Agbado variant.

Anyway, I wonder what must have happened between these two especially if you take into consideration the role Philip played in his second term emergence. It was a herculean fight and Mr. Obaseki had no hope. No strong political footing with a colourless personality made him an inevitable whipping boy of the grand master of Edo politics- Oshiomhole.

But in came Phillip on his white horse and helped Obaseki ride to victory.  I really hope that it is not woman or money that has caused this one again o. Confused.

Mr. Macaroni and Mr. Elumelu: A Wonderful Pair

If you follow Mr. Elumelu on Instagram, you will know what colour of shirt he wears every day, you will see his beautiful daughters and you will see his very beautiful wife struggling to be part of the reality show – ‘Keeping Up With the Elumelus.’

Let me confess, bad belle aside, I love following him. His fashion sense is on point now — except for the black court shoes — and his passion for Africa and whatever he is doing with his foundation remains very commendable.

So, his skit with the very funny Mr. Macaroni hit me perfectly. I loved it. It showed them walking away from a meeting at his Heirs Holdings office and Mr. Macaroni offering Tony’s bank billions of naira and Tony feigning joy and then Macaroni saying ‘ohhh na audio money” and Tony laughing and saying “you are doing well.”

Both laughed and Mr. Macaroni bowed and thanked Tony very profusely for his services to the industry. I felt warm and actually felt like giving Tony a hug. I loved the spontaneity that came with the skit and the genuine respect Tony has for talent as could be seen from his carriage and gesture.

Well done to both of them, I really really liked the skit. Thanks.

Sex in High Places

The clip was nauseating. It was a large crowd of Law students from the University of Calabar. They said they were tired of the harassment from their dean. The placards were graphic and their pain palpable. They accused him of all sorts and sang and carried his image on their poster.

In his defence, the man said that it was his opponent in the faculty election that was orchestrating it, citing the fact that the students would not have known that they were holding a meeting with the VC at that time without insider information.

As a man with two daughters in the system, I have interest. No parent will be happy to hear these stories. Taking advantage of your power to demand sexual gratification from students? It’s abhorring and nauseating.

If you try it with any of my daughters, I will definitely take matters into my own hands and report myself to the nearest police station and allow the law to take its toll on me.

What could be more despicable than this, I wonder. Whattttttt. Mr. Dean, if these allegations are true, you had better resign your position and check yourself into a facility because na real kolo mental case you be. Kai and sad.

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