Televising the revolution By Ose Oyamendan

I think I’m in love. I haven’t been this in love since the last time I thought I was in love. Don’t ask me when that was because the truth can tie me up in a legal tussle for years. If you must know, the courts in America are no joke. The lawyers will mortgage your life with fees. And, these are family lawyers.

As the Fuji musician, Wasiu Ayinde Marshall, once sang, “na je je je I sit down for my house” trolling through Facebook in the predawn hours when insomniacs lose the nightly battle with sleep.

 “Ol, boy – you dey see wetin dey happen for our Naija?” an old friend wrote in the sidebar.

        I think of myself as a good and loyal friend. In Hollywood, it means you ignore friends from the past.

  “Are you there? You would have given this story proper justice if you were still reporting?” he continued before I could ignore him.

My ego’s my biggest weakness. The last time a girl told me I was handsome, I texted her exact words to an ex-girlfriend who’d told me the only person who thinks I’m handsome was my mother. It didn’t matter that my appreciator was a two-toothed, drunk-out-of-her-mind Singaporean prostitute just trying to make a buck.

My long lost friend drew my attention to a live broadcast of the assassination of the character of a woman called Arumah Oteh. The last Arumah I know wasn’t really called Arumah. He was called Azuma and he made his living knocking the bejesus out of journeymen whose ID cards read “boxer”.

It seems these two are related because, boy, can this woman slug? She looked at her inquisitors, picked out the head and called him a “thief” to his face.

I fell in love.

Which fool won’t fall in love with a woman who spends N850,000.00 a day on food? Which Romeo won’t be swept off his feet by a damsel who spends N5million a month for hotel accommodation? Tell me you won’t put a ring on that finger when you realize it’s not your money she blowing through like a gambler in Vegas but the government’s dime.

Now, love ain’t what it used to be. But, when you consider she’s a fighter too, you’ll strap her in a car and find the nearest drive-thru wedding window before she changes her mind. How many women do you know in the whole wide world that would look at their powerful inquisitor in the face and scream “thief” with proof?

 Only Arumah, baby! Only Arumah!

 The only thing missing from the whole hearing was Fela’s music. “Catch am, catch am, thief, thief, thief”. Nigerian broadcasters still need to learn the art of showbiz in a season of scandals.

 My long lost friend wanted to know my opinion on the whole show. I went Biblical on him, dropped a dose of parable that had him shaking his e-head. I told him of a time when I was pulled over at a police checkpoint in Ikeja about fifteen years ago. 

I was on my first car and enjoying the juvenile task of driving around the houses of all the girls who said “no” to me. I was averaging a “no” a week for about six years so there was a lot of driving.

I was pulled over by these cops manning  checkpoint. My papers were all in order and I was too broke to be drunk. The cops were not interested in my papers or my sobriety. They wanted to be “settled”. If I “settled” them, I was free to go. If not, they will pick charges out of the tin air and slap them on me.

 “My dear friend, verily, verily I say unto you, the checkpoints were never really dismantled. They only moved to higher places,” I declared.  

 And, who best to point it out than Oteh who, in some way, epitomizes the rot in the Nigerian body polity. She didn’t seem at fault in much of these accusations But, in the accusations, you realize why the train called Nigeria is always moving in reverse motion.

Nigeria, a country desperate for foreign investments and seriously needing a shine on her image, just showed the world the regulator of her stock exchange is subject to corruption by the very men and women who make the country’s laws.

Sometimes, I think when God created Nigeria, he blessed the country with everything that makes a great nation. Then, someone got mischievous in heaven and sprinkled it with a curse called leadership.

In the past, people claimed the problem with Nigeria was the old politicians and the military. Now, the cubs are in the corridors of power and on seats of power but the rot stinks worse. You know it’s going to be a long wait for good leadership because the mothers of the transformational leaders may not be born yet. 

Now, that I think of it. It’s not Oteh that I’m in love with. I am in love with live telecast of National Assembly sitting. If this is not a revolution, I don’t know what is.

 


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