This piece was originally published in this column on December 9, 2011. Almost three years later, the prediction on the political appointment of Mrs. Roli Bode George contained therein has come to pass. It is being republished unmodified for that reason.
“Senator! Senator! Senator!! You got a minute, Alhaji?”
“My friend, what’s your problem? Why are you disturbing me? Can’t you see I’m hurrying to catch a flight?”
“Catch a flight? Senator, you don’t have to run away from Nigeria. We banned gay marriage, not pedophilia.”
“Who is running away?”
“Didn’t you just say that you were hurrying to catch a flight sir?”
“And that means I’m running away? Nonsense. I’m only going to Egypt for a very urgent business.”
“Ah, ok, I get it. The last amariyah is now too old at fifteen years-old. You need another thirteen year-old?”
“You are a stupid man. I am going there to marry an adult this time. At least 40-50 years old.”
“Ah! An adult? Anyone in particular, Senator?”
“No, I will look around when I get to Cairo.”
“I still don’t understand, Senator. Why the rush for an adult Egyptian wife?”
“You are a small boy. You don’t know anything. I am insuring my future in this country.”
“Yes, it will be an insurance policy for my immediate future.”
“I still don’t understand this sudden foresight, Senator. Break it down for me like ABC.”
“I can’t take chances with my future. What do I need to break down for you about that?”
“Senator, you are losing me again. Where does going off to marry in Egypt fit into all of this?”
“Like I said, you are a small boy. One must always think ahead in the chess game that is Nigeria.A fair Egyptian lady is my insurance policy for the future.”
“I still don’t understand, Senator”
“That means you have not been following Oga’s curious interest in other men’s wives lately.”
“How many Ogas do you have in Nigeria?”
“Ah, Senator, you are misreading the situation o. That Oga is only interested in the dame who says we all have positive or negative AIDS o.”
“You have a dirty mind. Who is talking about that kind of interest? I am saying that he uses other men’s wives for political gain or to recycle members of our stakeholders club. There is the George model and there is the Ikemba model. I want to position myself for both models in the future. You just never know…”
“Ah, Senator, I see what you are saying now. But, pray, what is the Ikemba model?”
“Oho, so you think it is ordinary eye that a woman who is still mourning her illustrious husband along with millions of Nigerians is catapulted from Special Adviser to Ambassador, even if she didn’t even have the time to spend one day as Special Adviser? Don’t you think somebody somewhere is trying to cozy up to the East for political reasons via the wife of one of their greatest sons? Don’t you think somebody somewhere is being an opportunist by making that appointment?”
“Ah, Senator! But how can this Ikemba model potentially apply to you?”
“Well, somebody somewhere is ambitious about 2015. They will not consider any gamble too outrageous for tenure extension. They may think that by elevating the wife of the man who introduced sharia, the North will support tenure extension. When they are desperate, everything seems reasonable in their calculation. Imagine the political capital accruable to me if they make my wife Secretary to the Federal Government or Attorney General and Minister of Justice just to cozy up to the North!”
“Senator! You are a wizard! What about the George model?”
“Well, if this Lamorde boy gets serious and reopens my Zamfara file, I may not survive it. I may do some time in Kirikiri. You know I have no immunity in the Senate. If that happens, somebody somewhere will rehabilitate me down the road through my fair Egyptian wife.”
“Oh, Senator, you are talking about Mrs. Roli George?
“No, I am talking about Mrs. George Bush. Stupid boy!”
“But why the emphasis on fair complexion, Senator?”
“What do Roli, Bianca, and Diezani have in common?”
“Ah, I get it. But Senator, there are fair complexioned Fulani ladies you could marry. Why Egypt?”
“Well, I have studied the complexion of the political appointments. The fairer the appointee, the heavier the appointment. Do women come fairer than Egyptian women?”
“My friend, don’t waste my time. I have a plane to catch.”
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