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Sunday, 21 July 2013

2015: Here Comes The Bride! By Pius Adesanmi

Pius Adesanmi
Beijing. The upper five floors of the most expensive hotel in town have been temporarily renamed “Abuja Floors” because the management of the hotel has never had a presidential delegation book by number of floors instead of by number of rooms. Warned by their Embassy in Abuja, the Chinese had taken the precaution of soundproofing all the five floors booked by the Nigerian presidential delegation. On every floor, there are telltale signs of Nigerian power and money: rooms and hallways are littered with discarded tissue paper, empty whisky bottles, empty cans of Guinness and Heineken, bones of half-eaten chicken wings, kolanuts, bitter kola, tomtom, empty packets of Benson & Hedges and St. Moritz.
Most of the rooms are in a party atmosphere as members of the delegation jostle between official engagements with their Chinese counterparts and partying in their rooms with aspiring Nollywood actresses dispatched to Beijing ahead of their arrival. Girls, girls, girls everywhere. Occasionally, a directive comes from Oga at the top in the presidential suite: take it easy boys. Make it less rowdy. Amidst all the chaos, some key Presidency aides are rushing to an emergency meeting summoned by Mallam Dan-Ahmed Kalug, a political adviser to the President. The usual suspects, Orontus, Ruby, and Renoks engage in animated discussion as they approach Kalug’s suite at the end of a long hallway. Ruby hums under his breath
A l’owo ma j’aiye
Eyin le mo
Awon to j’aiye l’ana da
Won ti ku won ti lo

(If you get money and you no chop life
Na you sabi
Those wey chop life yesterday
Don quench comot for dis world)

Knock, knock. A door opens and the aides file into Mallam Kalug’s room
“Mallam Kalug, how now? Na which one be dis emergency meeting wey you call so? No be today we dey all go back home?”
“Oga Orontus, welcome. Ruby, Ruby! How now? Chief Renoks, how far? Una welcome. All is well. Better dey. I have summoned you all to discuss a fantastic opportunity for Oga. I presume you’ve heard the news from home today?”
“Ehn, Amaechi don quench?”
 “Shege, Ruby, na so you hate di man reach? Amaechi never quench o. That’s not the news I am talking about.”
“Oho, you mean the news about that old man with a white mane abusing our mother? We’ve heard.”
“Renoks, why will I summon you guys because of that? Am I Ayo Osinlu? I say there is a situation developing wey fit help us for 2015.”
“Then Oga Kalug, tell us wetin dey happen now.”
“Well, the news coming out of Nigeria today is that a Court of Appeal has finally freed Abacha’s butcher and told him to go home.”
“O ti o! Abacha’s butcher is free?”
“Yes o, Oga Orontus, he has been released from prison.”
“Okay, even if he is free, I still don’t see the connection. Why summon us so hurriedly to this meeting because Abacha’s butcher is free?”
“Yes o, Mallam Kalug, I’m with Renoks on this one. I don’t exactly see the connection.”
“Chei, wallahi Ruby and Renoks, after two years with us, you guys still haven’t fully learnt all the tricks of our political chess game. How can anybody hoping to continue chopping with Oga after 2015 not see the fantastic opportunity presented by the butcher’s release?”
“Okay, Mallam Kalug, agreed, we are still neophytes. Please explain all of this to us.”
“Ruby, look at how miserable your life has been because of an emboldened opposition. Oga and Madam even had to hire Alagba Doyin Okupe to help improve your firepower. Even the NGF under Amaechi has joined the emboldened opposition in poking ten fingers inside Oga’s two nostrils. And you, Renoks, when was the last time you slept properly? You are up 24/7 managing your many fake identities on social media, fighting Oga’s enemies, supervising the cells you hire to clog the websites of hostile media with anonymous commentaries. Everybody is having Oga for dinner. We have never been more vulnerable as 2015 approaches.”
“That may be true, Mallam Kalug, but I still don’t see the connection.”
“Well, this man that has been released from prison, have you all forgotten the talents he put to such extraordinarily good use for his former boss?”
“Ehn, Mallam Kalug, I hope you are not thinking what I think you are thinking o. That is a no-go area for Oga o.”
“Oga Orontus, let me land now. I am not necessarily saying that Oga should use the Esa Oke Protocol on members of the Opposition and those trying to take 2015 from us.”
“Then what exactly are you saying? The Esa Oke Protocol is the only talent that the man in question has. That is what he was born to do and did so well for his former boss. But he was doing it as a soldier working for a soldier. I will support our using every gutter strategy in the book for 2015 but I will not support the Esa Oke Protocol. Even Oga no go gree.”
“Oga Orontus, you still don’t understand! If we hire him and make him very very comfortable before others get to him, we will be killing several birds with one stone. You yourself have admitted that the Esa Oke Protocol is the only thing the man knows how to do. How long do you think it will take him to reactivate old networks and get back to business as we approach 2015? And now, he will be out there as a mercenary, waiting for the first or the highest bidder. Can we really afford to let anybody else hire him?”
“Orontus, I think Mallam Kalug has a point there o.”
“I agree, Ruby, but I am not fully sold on this yet. I cannot approach Oga with this kind of talk unless I see that there are advantages without our having to make the man activate the Esa Oke Protocol for real. Oga will not have anybody’s blood on his hand.”
“But Oga Orontus, apart from making sure his services are not available to those who may really want to use him practically for the Esa Oke Protocol, the greatest advantage of absorbing him into our camp lies in appearances and deterrence.”
“How so, Mallam Kalug?”
“Have you forgotten the reputation of who we are talking about? This is the Army Major before whom Generals prostrated and pissed. This is the Army Major who made 150 million people shit in their pants at the mere mention of his name. That name has not lost its symbolic power of terror. Once it goes public that he is now working for us, do you see Lai Mohammed running his mouth against us? Do you see Amaechi misbehaving? That foolish Ribadu will forget about sinking ships and take one chance back to exile. Everybody will run for cover. Nobody will know that we don’t really intend to use him for the Esa Oke Protocol. But they must believe that that is what we hired him for in order for this strategy to succeed. The mere mention of that name will make half of the Presidential hopefuls in the APC deny their presidential ambition. Oga could almost get re-elected unopposed in 2015 if we hire the man.”
“Ah, now you are talking, Mallam Kalug. This is a fantastic plan. Put a proposal together quickly that I can submit to Oga. How much do you think Operation Hire Abacha’s Butcher would cost?”
“Well, assuming we make the man Special Adviser to Oga on Security and Special Intelligence Services, he will work for us between now and 2015. Something like N20 billion should be okay. Four of us here worked on this plan. We can add N10 billion to it as our own consultancy stipend. That makes it a total of N30 billion.”
“Okay, Mallam Kalug, put the proposal together so I can present it to Oga on the flight back to Abuja. Round it up to N50 billion.”
“Okay. I must say, however, that nothing is predictable. We may say here that we are just hiring him for intimidation and appearances only to discover as things heat up in 2014 that we actually need him to move beyond appearances…”
“Mallam Kalug, prepare and submit your proposal.”

In Ota. Ebora Owu breezes into his living room. An ebullient light-complexioned man and a dark man prostrate. Ebora Owu quickly moves to lift up the light-complexioned man. Hugs, back patting, and riotous laughter. The dark man sits down, feeling a bit ignored

“The Tura Boy of Ogbomoso himself! Awo e yi ma ndan si lojojumo o! Your skin is getting lighter and brighter every day o. Ope ni fun Tura o. We thank God for Tura o.”
“Ah, Baba, you and this your Tura jokes. Ola Oloun ni o. We are shining by God’s grace o.”
“Iwo wi! The Tura boy himself! And what are you doing in my house with this boy? Ayo, you are not ashamed to come to Ota? Iwo omo alai lojuti yi. Did you not open your mouth to call me a father of bastards? A whole me, you abused me in public and called me a father of bastards. Now you are here with Tura Boy. Ah, Alao, o se wo ni o. You shouldn’t have brought this stupid boy to my house.”
Alao and Ayo prostrate, begging Ebora Owu profusely. After one and a half hours of begging on their bellies, he finally asks them to seat down.
“So, Tura Boy, mo ngbo yin. What can I do for you guys?”
“Baba we are here to give you progress report on our strategy to recapture the entire southwest for the PDP in 2015. We have made a lot of progress, especially in Lagos where Lagos Boy has taken the battle fully to our enemies. In fact, he would have come with us today…”
“Ehn, did you say you would also have come here with Bode George? Ah, Tura Boy, o fe mi fun re o. You don’t like me at all. Are you not aware that I asked him for tibi when he got out of prison and he still has not delivered? That boy got away with the N80 billion he stole at the NPA and I asked him to do omoluabi with only N20 billion to those of us who helped him get away with the loot. That greedy boy did not deliver. Soponna would have struck you if you brought him here.”
“But, Baba, we cannot recapture Lagos without him o. Once we recapture Lagos and take away the treasury from Asiwaju, I will personally make sure he does omoluabi to you in ilopo mewa. Tenfold omoluabi, I guarantee it Baba.”
“Okay, if you say so. So what do you guys need for complete success in Operation Wet the Southwest in 2015?”
“That’s why we are here Baba. Irohin ayo la mu wa. There is fantastic news in town. Won ti release omo Gambari Abacha yen?”
“Ehn, that omo buruku who nearly killed me has been released?”
“Yes o, Baba, he has been released. And we need to recruit him quickly for our operations in the Southwest before others get to him.”
“Yes, Baba…”
“Ehn, Ayo, you are talking? You talk when I say you talk. If you are not careful, we may not award you Government House in Ekiti after driving Fayemi out. So, let Tura Boy do the talking.”
“Baba, if we can hire that Gambari boy, we can consider the southwest in our bag in 2015. All he will need to do is apply the Esa Oke Protocol to a few targets and our opposition will fizzle away.”
“Okay, I will give your plan a chance. You guys will have to mobilize the funds to hire him. Make sure he does not take out more than three targets. Remember to establish a scholarship fund for the children of the targets when the deed is done.

Bourdillon Road. The Lord of Oluwalambe Lodge breezes into a huge living room. About 25 political associates prostrate. They sit only after the Lord of Oluwalambe Lodge sits.

“Ehen, eyin ara’bi, I understand that one of you has a proposal for us to consider?”
“Yes, Baba Oluwalambe, ke pe fun wa sir. May your dominion over us last forever. The recent release of Abacha’s caretaker from prison is what got me thinking.”
“Thinking about what?”
“That we should move quickly and hire him as part of our strategies for 2015. Given that prison could not have taken away his God-given talent, we must bring him into our camp before others get to him sir.”
“Okay, I need to be somewhere in the next two minutes. Explain the full details of your plan to the boys. If they approve it, give us a budget and I will see which of my appointed Governors will fund it.”
The political associates burst into a solidarity song as Baba Oluwalambe exits with a few aides
Baba o baba o baba o
Oluwa da baba si fun wa
Baba o baba o baba o
Oluwa da baba si fun wa

(Baba o baba o baba o
God grant long life to our Baba)

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