New Sheriff, Prince and Princess
When a photograph was circulated by the Rocky Villa the other day showing the ‘New Sheriff in town’ flanked by a popular Prince and his Princess daughter, eyebrows were naturally raised.
Not that OgaPataPata does not host guests of this calibre,but what many found strange was the fact that about two years ago, the same Prince had visited the Rocky Villa to deliver a message, which, according to him, was straight from his revered father seated on the big throne located inside the nation's heartbeat.
The message: that the then tenant of the Rocky Villa should continue to savour for another term of four years his favourite cassava bread, washed down with a bottle of kainkain shipped down from his native Niger Delta.
It happened that the fedora hat-loving dude lost out.
But never mind, the Prince is an accomplished AGIP (any government in power) adherent. This time, the ‘finebobo’ Prince decided to do the unusual. He brought his biological daughter to the Rocky Villa on a "courtesy visit" to the ‘New Sheriff’. Those familiar with the Prince's tactics and strategies confided in us that it was a masterstroke intended to soften the heart of the OgaPata Pata. He probably wouldn’t have minded if OgaPata Pata had decided to keep her behind for ‘official use’. Of course, that would’ve meant his becoming father-in-law to OgaPata Pata. After all, his religion allows him four wives. Or better still, open the door for her to start collecting juicy contracts.
But it turned out that our friend miscalculated things. From what we heard, the ‘New Sheriff’ only flashed a perfunctory smile at the visiting Prince and barely looked in the direction of the beautiful Princess, young enough to be his grandchild. To begin with, she came to the Rocky Villa with her hair uncovered. Oga's faith does not condone such ‘vanity’.
The Comrade of Expediency
There are comrades and there are comrades, as they say. Just like every other facet of our national life, the community of comrades in the country has been infiltrated by impostors and conartists,such that today, what you mostly see are ‘come-raid’companions.No one seems to illustrate this category better than our friend who seems ready to trade away the legacy of Karl Marx.
Through skulduggery he rose to the pinnacle of his elite oily union. In fact, he enjoyed two terms in office. Once his tenure ended, he took to the nation's capital and started frequenting the corridors of power to hustle for "stomach infrastructure".Then, the fedora hat-loving Oga was still in charge. His big break eventually came last year when Oga announced his intention to seek an extension of his tenancy in the Rocky Villa.
Pronto, our friend was formally engaged as one of the backroom boys. But when the campaign train under the big umbrella finally reached the Centre of Excellence, our friend faced the biggest political dilemma of his life when he was drafted to speak at the grand rally on behalf of the nation's workers. Really, there was no escape for him. Not only did he have to praise-sing his fedorahat-wearing paymaster, he also had no choice but to describe his party, the Umbrella platform, as the only one that could lead the nation to Eldorado.
Of course, his paymaster was trumped mercilessly by the ‘New Sheriff’ in the election eventually.That, you may say, is no longer news. The latest is that our friend has made a complete u-turn. A few days ago, he announced his bid to vie for the governorship of his native state, not under the Umbrella but on the platform of the Broom.
Talk about a comrade without an ideological soul.
Fresh Trouble for the EgunjeLawyer
When this senior member of the bar was named and shamed recently, it was over an allegation of supplying "stomach infrastructure" to the Bench in a manner capable of polluting justice. The temple of justice quaked precariously following an earth-shaking revelation by the white-collar thief-catching agency that our friend had sent egunje (bribes) to some identified members of the Bench, tounfairly bend the arc away from justice, in his favour.
For this reason, our friend, ordinarily designated a hunter by his professional calling, became the hunted, as he was docked in the temple of justice.
Well, as they say, when it rains,it pours. Intelligence reaching us is that the thief-catching agency just foundanother skeleton in our friend's closet. This time, it is the allegation that apart from consistently spoiling some lordships with egunje, he had singlehandedly built a mansion for another ranking member of the Bench, ostensibly in "appreciation" for "good" judgements entered in his favour over the years.
What will happen next? Watch out.
The Debtor Publisher
Besides "pure water" (sachet water), the trade that seems to be an all-comers affair in the country these days is publishing. Visit the newsstands and you will be amazed at the hordes of rag-sheets masquerading either as newspapers or as magazines. Apparently, many are attracted into the sector by the glamour and they think it is a goldmine.
Without training or proper feasibility studies, they dabble in with an eye on quick profits. But once unsold copies start piling up, they soon realise that though their colours may be similar, khaki no be leather.
This perhaps best explains the agony of our friend today.
By the way, he is the type ordinarily referred to as "money-miss-road". In the beginning, he started as a hustler at a popular oil depot in the Centre of Excellence. His "hustle" paid off and he became a notable player in the importation of oil products. But soon he got into big trouble over some alleged shady deals and debts.
To save his neck, our friend cleverly "diversified" into political hustling proper, ‘transforming’ into a bigtime ambassador for the fedora hat-wearing guy who was beaten by the "New Sheriff in town" in the electoral battle last year.
Ever so resourceful, our friend did not allow the defeat of his candidate dampen his zeal. As his political godfather retreated to his native creek, our smooth-talking friend plunged headlong into publishing, thus adding the "Publisher" to his growing business profile.
But from news reaching us, it appears Oga Publisher is beginning to find that publishing is not like buying and selling kerosene. Here, two plus two may not always amount to four. The proof is that after the initial hype and gra-gra (over zealousness), our friend is now struggling to meet up with bills from the printers. For example, some days ago, his newspaper disappeared from the newsstands. This was because the printing company (which is owned by a fellow publisher) bluntly refused to print for him until his accumulated debt was settled.
In frustration and anger he moved his plates in the dead of the night to another printer. There, we learnt, the bill is already piling up too.
10m Cowries and the King's Title
A royal Papa in the state that prides itself as the nation's heartbeat has been in the news lately for the wrong reason. It is not as if the King set out to court trouble. Just that his decision to sell... sorry, award a big title once associated with a now late nationalist has stirred the hornet's nest. All of a sudden, the townspeople are accusing him of the abomination of disturbing the peace of the dead.
The family of the fallen hero, who joined his ancestors six years ago at a ripe old age, are threatening fire and brimstone. Their argument is that the title (which more or less means Obioma in Igbo language) is hereditary and so ought to be assumed by the first born of the departed.
That notwithstanding, His Highness went ahead and announced a new guy as the Obioma for the community.
Well, we can now confirm authoritatively that the King did not act for nothing. He received a cool 10 million cowries as "stomach infrastructure" from the new titleholder. Still can't guess who he is? The fat cat who worked in the lucrative ministry responsible for turning forests into thoroughfares when our fedora hat-wearing friend occupied the Rocky Villa.
But going by the threatsfrom the family of the late nationalist to contest the matter to a logical conclusion, it is clear the saga has just begun. We shall keep you posted.
Caught Off Guard: A Comrade's Confession
One does not have to like everything that goes on in one's country, but how far would you go to sell it? That was the question on the lips of Interview Confidentialafter it listened in on a recent conversation between a top labour leader and a big Oga in the aviation industry. The Oga had angrily called the labour leader to find out why he was lending his name to the ruse by foreign airlines that they would fire 2000 workers if the Federal Government did not release an estimated $1.3million in ticket fares held in the country. "You know that these people are just trying to blackmail the government," the Oga started. "You know that they don't have anything close to 2000 Nigerian workers. Why are you supporting this nonsense?"
Unaware that Oga's phone was on speaker the union leader grumbled, "Oga, what do you want us to do? The aviation industry has lost direction. Nobody is helping us. If foreign airlines are taking care of us, should we not help them too? Oga, we must survive o!"
Now that was a confession that makes Judas look like a saint!
Buhari's Response to 'Come and Chop' Invitation
Months ago while on a campaign tour of Cross Rivers State, then candidate MuhammaduBuhari was billed to have lunch with a prominent politician in the state. The politician, a former record keeper for the immediatepast administration there, had earlier served as Finance Commissioner under the Obong Victor Attah-led administration. He is said to live like a Saudi oil sheikh. Buhari was dumbstruck when he arrived at the candidate’s collection of mansions in Ewet Housing Estate. What he was told was a private accommodation was an ostentatious community littered across several hectares of land.
Lunch was set in a lavishly furnished underground apartment called The Bunker. Luxury cars gleaming in the afternoon sun were on display everywhere. A crowd of caterers followed by grandiosely clothed ushers were on hand to serve. As he stepped out of his car, the retired general stopped as though held back by some unseen forces, surveyed his surroundings, beckoned on the candidate and askedhim publicly what business he had done before serving as commissioner and SSG. His reply: “I was a civil servant.” The general in a sarcastic tone asked rhetorically,“And you acquired all these with your salary?”
With a face coveredwith disgust, Buhari is said to have gathered his flowing babanriga, entered the car and demanded to be driven away to Obong Victor Attah’s modest apartment, where lunch had been spartanlyprepared. From there he left for the airport, still fuming.
Wonders On Board
Uyo, Sunday March 13. First, the flight scheduled for 10am took off at 10.30am. Curiously, rather than mount a protest, passengers were happy to finallybe airborne. “It could have been worse,” someone observed. Minutes before take-off, the pilot announced that he had passengers to discharge in Port Harcourt before heading to Abuja, the original destination. Still there was no protest, only sharp glances exchanged.
While on ground in Port Harcourt for 49 minutes, some passengers decided to visit the small room at the tail end of the aircraft.But the pencil-legged airhostesses with blood red lipsstood their ground: whoever wanted to use the toilet must first show his boarding pass and hand luggage!After that, you were demanded to take the hostess back to your seat for confirmation before you were allowed to use the lavatory. No explanation was offered for this.
One elderly man threatened to do ‘the thing’ right there in the open.
Lesson learnt: when next you want to fly certain airlines, don’t drink or eat too much before boarding.
Help For IbeKachikwu?
In Nigeria once it’s oily, it’s attractive... and often controversial. While BabatundeFashola’s three-in-one ministerial appointment is still generating ripples, Dr. IbeKachikwu’s junior ministerial post in addition tohis being GMD is keeping some people awake at night.
Severe pressure arising from several nocturnal meetings is mounting, causing streams of sweat to flow from the Headmaster’s war-furrowed brow as he enters the Villa each day.
Questions are being asked as to why one man should hold the two sensitive positions. Is Junaid Mohammed interested in the job? During a press conference, a reporter asked Kachikwu how comfortable he was handling the two offices. His response was simple: "Cool." Then he added, "I will be here until the President decides otherwise."
Perhaps, he is aware of the pressure on the Villa