To say PR experts have begun a salvage work on President Muhammadu Buhari lately is to restate the obvious. What with his increasingly politically correct rhetorics to re-connect with his 2015 base and pandering deliberately to other critical segments considered crucial to his rumored reelection bid in 2019.
For instance, PMB has been making frantic efforts to appeal to Igbo sentiments by repeatedly stating that his government is friendly to the South-East, listing "juicy" portfolios occupied by Igbo in his cabinet.
But there remains one sticky issue yet - the scourge of killer herdsmen.
In the January 1 national broadcast, it is observed that whereas PMB sounded more forthcoming on burning issues like restructuring by seeking to persuade protagonists that the real problem is with the process and not the system, he kept sealed lips on the matter of AK-47-wielding herdsmen who have literally turned farmlands to killing fields in the south and many parts of the north.
To some observers, the herders' menace constitutes the greatest threat to peaceful coexistence across the ethno-religious divide in the country today.
Other than perfunctory statements occasionally released so far, the full weight of Federal Government is yet to be brought to tackle the issue head on, according it priority as a national emergency.
Trust the mischievous "enemies of progress", they quickly attribute the seeming official reluctance on the matter to the fact that PMB is a patron of the cattle-rearers association.
But, as a friend of "Mai Gaskiya" (the truthful one), we refuse to buy such satanic suggestion.
Day of reckoning for randy ex-Gomina
When the amount allegedly looted by our friend was revealed by the anti-graft body the other day, a gale of disbelief swept through the land, and understandably so.
One, as at the time his tenancy expired in the White House by the bank of the one of the famous rivers dividing the kingdom three years ago, his province was technically bankrupt as all labourers were owed over a year of back pay and government's machinery had virtually ground to a screeching halt in entirety.
True, the crash of oil price had made life unbearable for everyone in the kingdom. But even at the best of times, other than its reputation for being a food basket (particularly as far as yam is concerned) and fishes harvested from its famous river, our friend's domain was largely still considered a civil service economy.
The puzzle therefore was where our friend found the humongous amount of cowries looted.
Trust our extra-terrestrial radar to ferret out darkest secrets from the deepest of the deep, we can now authoritatively confirm that a substantial chunk of the amount our friend is accused of purloining was spent on - wait for it - women!
Still can't recognize him? The one whose province shares the same name as the famous river considered twin to the one ancient Mungo Park famously discovered. The one with big eyeballs some ladies usually find irresistible, who had served his political apprenticeship in the lower talk-talk chamber in the rocky city for two terms before winning the tenancy of the White House in his native province.
When the sniffers of the anti-graft agency decided to follow the money, we reliably gathered, they found that as Gomina, our lover-boy friend was in habit of funneling heavy sums to car dealers all over the place. Just before they began to wonder whether he had founded a secret luxury transportation company came the startling discovery that several dozens of the high-end automobiles paid for actually ended up in the hands of ladies of all shapes and colours.
Those later quizzed among the recipients simply explained that it was "gift" from the ex-Gomina as "a friend". Of course, that hint was enough to imagine how, even when long-suffering civil servants were routinely exhorted to tighten their belts and be ready to sacrifice as civic duty, scarce resources of the indigent province was regularly used to pay off women of easy virtue after good times between the sheets.
A grandee's analogue style
One thing any newcomer to the province self-proclaimed as "the heartbeat" of the kingdom is unlikely to miss is the visible economic fingerprints of this great chief never shy to flaunt his "old money".
Not too long ago, he suffered the embarrassment of his heir being entangled in some sleazy deals while serving as Gomina of "the heartbeat" so much that he did some time behind bars soon after losing gubernatorial immunity.
As a self-respecting dude, the son has since withdrawn from the political klieg-lights and now lives under the radar, though still heard throwing Owambe from time to time but rarely making political comments.
Not one to allow any setback depress him for too long, the great chief soon picked himself up and moved on, shaming busybodies who thought the incident would rob him of his accustomed aristocratic airs in his remaining years.
Rather, he has continued his exploits in the business world, especially within the ancient metropolis of the province.
While he exudes glamour in the exterior, the great chief, we gathered, prefer to pull the strings over his business empire straddling the entertainment sector the old-school way. Not for him the frills of automation and other fine-sounding jargons like "Total Quality Management" (TQM).
Though his chain of companies boast of grown men answering big titles, they are supposed to be content with merely wearing the tags as ornament. When anything is needed or purchase is to be made, the old chief personally does the negotiation of the price himself and issues a personal cheque once the price is agreed. Of course, there is a thin line between the companies' bank accounts and his personal accounts.
The reason, we gathered, is because chief is scared of the smartness of the younger generation, lest he is scammed.