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Dem done come again o!

Information concerning me, poor me, from the Villa?  Well, that must mean that the ‘rubbish’ I’ve been writing has now caught the attention of the…

Information concerning me, poor me, from the Villa?  Well, that must mean that the ‘rubbish’ I’ve been writing has now caught the attention of the security agencies, I thought.  I reckoned I’ll be summarily arrested at the airport when I returned to the country the next day.  I thought about how, there’ll be a new set of asylum-seekers, just as those who scrammed from the country at the advent of Yar’adua’s government are now returning home to heroes’ welcomes. Would I now begin to carry the cross of being a columnist? Persecution? But then again I reckoned President Jonathan is not one given to such vindictiveness, except of course his many malevolent advisers, decide to start knocking off those who criticise them like they are used to.  It was in the time of Yar’adua that protesters started to get police escorts in Nigeria.  Before then, they got live bullets!

I thought quickly about a lot of things. How do I explain my convictions of late?  Can I withstand the torture chambers?  How do I explain to my young children? What if they set out to destroy me?  Am I well-prepared for eventualities?  All in quick succession.  Then I drew strength from knowing that I have done the right thing, and I have erred on the side of truth, justice, fairness, and open-mindedness. I reminded myself that the thread that runs through my writings, is that of love for our fellow human beings, and an admonition that we should discard tribal and religious prejudices, plus the fact that we as black Africans need to begin to think for ourselves and understand global politics and how we fit in; to stop being used as cannon fodder, as mere dispensable matchsticks in the deadly game of global politics and economics.  That surely does look to me like sedition, does it?

So I braced up and called the man from my UK phone. ‘Hello, I saw your text, my name is Tope Fasua’, I said on the phone, a little out of breath.  ‘Yes…  I am the one that sent you the text…  Is that Tukpe Fasue?’ wheezed Ken Nze at the other end of the phone.  There was noise in his background, even though it was just 7.20am.  I was looking out for every inkling of information I could garner.

‘I have a very confidential information to tell you’ he continued.  ‘Can I trust you not to tell anybody else?’ ‘No problem, I won’t tell anybody’, I assured Ken Nze.  He relaxed. ‘Ok, I was somewhere and they were discussing your name for appointment into NCC. I think it is Nigerian Communication Commission or National Copyright Commission. And there was someone there who was kicking against your name’.  He went on and on, of course it was my credit that was depleting on the international call.

‘I am the Chief Driver to the First Lady, and I got your number from the file after.  I will give you the number of someone very close to Mr President, in fact his prophet.  He is someone well-respected.  If you call him, he can help you do something about it.  But don’t forget me after you get the appointment.  I will text you the number now.  When you call him, call me back ok?’  ‘No problem’, I answered.  By this time a huge wave of relief had washed over me.  And I knew what this was, another innovation in the 419 world.  Only that he got the wrongest customer.  Nze later texted me the phone number of a certain Prophet Owei (a Bayelsa name), and kept calling to follow up.  I kept cutting his calls…

Firstly, I am not one of those people who think government work or appointment is a route to financial security.  In fact, I think it’s only people who want to tarnish whatever name they have that accept to serve in this country, at least for now.  I thank God for taking me through several crucibles and providing for my needs, and I’ve come to the realisation that what one needs in life is actually not much.  Only fools acquire houses and cars wantonly just because they can. And most poor Nigerians are actually ‘richer’ and definitely happier than many billionaires who are enslaved to their money. Plus why would one want to go into public service to get rich, when other Nigerians wake up daily and hurl curses on you and your descendants?  Is it not almost scientific that many a big-man who got rich from embezzling public funds are today wallowing in unhappiness and ill-health?

So I never called Prophet Owei.  I recall that Ambassador Sam Edem, former Chairman of NDDC was alleged to have given N800million to such a prophet/magician.  And they duped him. I always wondered what an educated man like Edem was still looking for.  I think it boils down to self-aggrandisation; that desire to want to oppress and be all in all in society.  Nigerian men are afflicted with that terrible disease, but I happen to be a mutation of a Nigerian man.  

Secondly, I think even if one is to truly serve, it is a lousy time to get an appointment.  This present government has less than a year to go.  And anything can happen in 2011 in spite of Obasanjo’s attempt to rail-road Jonathan into contesting.  Thirdly, I’m still mourning a great friend who I never met, Umar Yaradua. Fourthly, why would I obtain such information from ‘Madam’s’ chief driver.  What was he (chief driver), doing with state files which are meant to be secret?  Even if he was for real, I would rather not have anything to do with the whole arrangement. Lastly, my own research has shown me that it is not ‘tehcnocrats’ that will save this country. In fact, we will not make any progress until the USA says so (story for another day). So I will be foolish to plunge into public service now only to surely fail.  And I cannot as yet see signs that the U.S secret service who chart the course of ALL African countries are ready to give us some leeway in economic development.  

But there they come again.  These were the same people who painted Turai in all sorts of colours.  This was the same way they used her name (and I think she was just simple and kind as her husband), to obtain favours all over the world using her name, only for them to then name her Jezebel.  Many will have fallen for the gimmick, because they are greedy, or because, like most Nigerians, they cannot see how their own actions and inactions impact on the collective.  Before you know it, Patience Jonathan’s name will have been used to rip-off a great many people.  I can imagine the hell that Turai and her family must have gone through.  May God give them the strength to bear the loss of their yallabai.

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