Feeding fat on Chibok girls


“Why is everywhere deserted this evening? For God’s sake, for the first time in recent history, we are meeting only six revellers in Clara’s pepper soup joint. Kay, isn’t this somehow sacrilegious?”

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“In fact, Chukwudi, it is as if you are a witch. That’s exactly what got me ruminating immediately I landed in this our weekend wonderland of enjoyment. And to worsen the case, each person has only a bottle on the table, patently incapacitated from progressing to two, three bottles.”

“Well, that is where you are likely to be in trouble. Because you are the sponsor of tonight’s ‘deep shelling of beer’ that has calibrated in the consumption of six bottles between us, bottles that I will hereby humbly regard as ‘fallen heroes’. But (speaking in hushed tone)…hardly would those ragamuffins know that you have just sold off your troublesome second car, I mean that old Mazda.”

“How then does that constitute trouble for me, Kay? You pressmen can sometimes be funny. Certainly, those broke guys, drinking a bottle of beer apiece for the past four hours, cannot be said to be armed robbers or tricksters here on data collection. At best, they may be there out of frustration, probably because a wife has brought up her usual brouhaha over empty stew pots deriving from no money, or that they are here to wrack their brains on what to do to source for their children’s school fees due for payment in the coming academic session.”

“Head or tail, the bottom-line is that they are financially down, dear trader Chukwudi; man who after picking a degree, opted to be a sparepart dealer; the only first example in the federal republic.”

“Na you know oga journalist; wait, I can see that your third bottle is ‘leaking’; please tell Clara, the physically endowed beer seller to replace it with another criminally cold beer, mortuary standard…And please, what else is going on in the country? You know business has thrown me into the ‘Comoros Island’, that I don’t even know what is happening in civilisation.”

“Hmm, I’m sure that I will be wasting your time to say a supplementary governorship election in Kogi State, in what has remained up till date the greatest drama in Nigeria’s electoral history, just took place. Also, another governorship poll took place in Bayelsa, ex-President Jonathan’s homestate, though inconclusive. Emm…I think what is most likely to interest you is the proliferation of #Bring Back Our Girls groups, being raised to agitate for the release of Chibok school girls abducted by Boko Haram for about 600 days now.”

“So, Kay, tell me how that would interest me above all other issues in the country; after all, we keep hearing of those groups every day…”

“Wait, wait. I’m about pulling out a bird from my pouch and you are already determining its complexion. You see, like a typical Nigerian thing, raising a #Bring Back Our Girls group is now like an oil block or a gold mine. Once you are able to set up one, just write to the United Nations, the UNICEF or an international human rights body for sponsorship and pronto, the money arrives, in thousands of dollars or pounds or euro and of course, in millions of naira. Or if that will take up time, all you need do is to write a proposal to the Ministry of Youth Development or better still, Ministry of Education, that you want to agitate through rallies and crusades, so that the Boko Haram members’ hearts will melt and the girls will be set free. Quote your figures, set aside some figures for ‘settlement’ under the caption, ‘miscellaneous’, and then you join the millionaires’ club’

“En…hen, that is why I call you a good friend; you are a brilliantly intelligent crook. Let Clara serve you another plate of steaming hot ponmo pepper-soup worth N500, to make your beer bubble in its journey through the oesophagus. Certainly, I, Chukwudi, the son of Okonkwo the great hunter, the Gburugburu 1 of Ladipo spare-part market here in Lagos, would love to join them in bringing back our girls. First, once the millions arrive, I will build a storey building of four flats of three-bedroom apartments in Akowonjo, Lagos; then complete my building in the village which the native witches had hitherto prevented me from achieving. I will then dedicate those buildings to the memory of our girls. Not only that, I will boost my business and take four more shops; two in Alaba Market and two in Agege, both here in Lagos, following which I will go for a big chieftaincy title…”

“Won’t you spend anything on the rally?” “Well, for the rally? Na true o. So EFCC doesn’t arrest me for taking money for a contract and not executing it. Okay, for the rally, by the time I spend a N100,000 to gather rag-tag youths with fecund drummers along with video camera-men, I think the deal would have been done.”

“You are a thief (both laugh)…So you can now see the type of society we are in. How for God’s sake can people be feeding fat on the plight of these abducted school girls, whose whereabouts are still shrouded in mystery? Why can’t these people take their rallies for the girls to Sambisa forest, to Chibok community itself or to one of the hotbeds of clashes between our troops and Boko Haram?”

“Kay, you seem worried for Nigeria; if you, as a result of this, develop high blood pressure, will Nigeria give you medical attention free? Or will you even be attended to? Please, let Clara give us one bottle each for the road; we’re late for bed already.”

“Yeye man, while others are busy ‘bringing back our girls’ and counting their millions, you are here, obsessed with ‘bringing back our beer’. Okay, I concur.”