Waiting for ministers, afraid of kidnappers


With Alan Kay

Uba Group

There is always a way out; you don’t need to give yourself cardiac arrest over a matter as minor as an ant.”

“Kay, you know what? The last time I came here in company with Bala, I bought four bottles and Bala three. Midway into the merriment, this hawkish babe came and started packing the bottles in piecemeal. While leaving, I paid N1000, covering four bottles, while our friend paid N750 for three. Now, see the embarrassment; she is saying I didn’t pay for one bottle.”

“You see, Charles, if you can adopt my style, you wouldn’t have any problem as per settling your bill. Now, once you know you want to shell yourself with upwards of three, four bottles, just ask that an empty carton be given you, which must be put near you or under your table. That’s the destination of all your fallen heroes from the table. Then, let’s see who will dispute your bill.”

“Ah, thank you my dearly beloved, experienced drunk. You can see now that I’m going to pay for an un-executed project. She has dispossessed me by making me pay for an unconsumed bottle of beer.”

“You will do well to heed my advice and you won’t have to technically dispossess yourself. Again, stop being hysterical over such things. We are in the era of political horse-trading. Try and see how you can lobby your way to becoming one of Buhari’s ministers. Once you attain that level, you won’t be howling about beer stuffing or all the sorts.”

“So, how many months will it take this time again to form the new government? But you know what? This is harvest season for civil servants. You know each ministry is going to be headed  by a permanent secretary. And reading PMB the usual way, this cabinet may not be formed until the next five months.”

“Me, I don’t like it o. Are you trying to suggest that our President is Baba Go-slow? Let him take his time; let any civil servant soil his hands. He will meet his Waterloo in the anti-corruption bulldog, the EFCC.”

“This life sha. Different folks, different strokes. While some people are working their ways to becoming ministers, commissioners and the like, others are busy kidnapping fellow human beings for ransom.”

“You dey there? See what they have turned our highways to. You dare not drive along the Ife-Ijesha road at night for fear of being kidnapped. In fact, this has spoilt business for roadside traders, as people are scared of stopping for light shopping. A gun-totting kidnapper will just grab you from  behind.”

“But the other time, they said the entire area was now militarised, and that government had deployed even drones in the area.”

“Ahahah (laughs), Drones? You can say that again. Is this not Nigeria? Anyway, let’s wait and see.”

“There you come again, Kay. Let them give us steaming hot assorted meat, a plate each, because this beer is criminally cold. That would just be our variant of Ikogosi Ekiti warm spring. This time, it will be where hot pepper-soup meets with cold beer. (Laughs, alone).”

“Please, be serious for once, you have derailed from the burning national issues that we need to address. For instance, an election is coming up in Kogi State and there is already serious rumbling in the ruling APC, as some powerful forces don’t want the incumbent, Yahaya Bello, to pick the party’s ticket”

“Look, that’s their headache; I’m interested more in the kidnappers’ menace and how government can move in. Remember, I’m a regular traveller along that axis. I don’t want to be kidnapped o.”

“Why wouldn’t you like to be kidnapped? What of if the kidnappers had a store filled with criminally cold bottles of beer?”

“You be yeye guy…you see, what we can decide here is how to apply the native intelligence, to survive in this country. The best security measure is to monitor the itinerary of the kidnappers, to ensure you are not captured. Let the so-called drones and the ‘droners’ do their own, while we devise our personal safety measures. If need be, you may even go spiritual.”

“Na wa o. Every undertaking in Nigeria is now dangerous. You can’t even walk freely again. You can’t travel by road, and even ordinary ponmo, which is the common man’s consolation, is also said to be dangerous. What hell!”


“Yap, I heard. They say there is killer ponmo in town? We never can tell if a long ponmo that has sucked pepper in the broth of a bubbly stew can afterwards precipitate stomach pain and lead to death. So what do we eat?”

“Then, we probably proceed on hunger strike. My brother, let’s take a bottle each for the roads.