An Illusory Encounter with Mr President, by Akintokunbo A Adejumo
ME: Sir, thank you for taking time to grant me this exclusive interview. I am grateful Sir.
Mr PREZ: You’re welcome, my brother.
ME: My first question is, do you really have to go for a second term when it is obvious Nigerians don’t want you?
Mr PREZ: Who says Nigerians don’t want me? My kinsmen want me to run for presidency again. And my wife and ministers and the Presidency too.
ME: Which kinsmen?
Mr PREZ: My brothers and sisters in the creeks.
ME: You mean that ex-militant in particular who has been making threats?
Mr PREZ: You better don’t call him an ex-militant. He’s a billionaire now and can bully even me.
ME: How can somebody like him bully a whole President of 160 million people?
Mr PREZ: Ah, what do you know? He and Tompolo are in charge of securing our bloodline – that is, oil pipeline.
ME: OK Sir. But we heard you really don’t want to go for a second term. Could that be true?
Mr PREZ: Let me tell you one secret. Yes, I would rather retire to Otuoke, and enjoy my life and wealth. What more do I want? I have been a Local Government Chairman, been a deputy Governor, a Governor, Vice president and then a President for six years. How much blessed can a man be?
ME: You tell me Sir. Your place in history is assured.
Mr PREZ: I am telling you. But the Dame and the others in government who are stealing (not corrupt o) are saying I have to solder on to concretise my name in history. So I am trying to put concrete on my name.
ME: You are kiddin’ me Sir!
Mr PREZ: No, I am kiddin’ you not. You are hearing it from me.
ME: You mean from the horse’s mouth?
Mr PREZ: Who are you calling a horse? You better don’t let the Dame hear that.
ME: I am sorry Sir.
Mr PREZ: No wahala.
ME: Sir, your campaign team is not helping you at all with all their utterings, FFK, that Ekiti thug and even the Dame. They are like crazy, desperate men, not addressing real issues of concern to Nigerians.
Mr PREZ: Are the APC and their leader, Tinubu doing anything different? Look, FFK, Koroand that Ekiti thug were brought in because of their toughness and ruggedness. You know I am a simple man, peaceful, naïve and left to me, Buhari can have it. I respect age, and Buhari is older than me. But these guys say No! It must be Fire for Fire. So I leave it to them. You know they are more of thugs than me? But leave the Dame outta it. She’s just doing her duty as a faithful and loyal wife who wants the best for her husband.
ME: Good Sir. I concur about the Dame. Apologies Sir.
Mr PREZ: You know you journalists know more than me. So tell me, what’s Buhari doing in London? I hear he went for medicals, and then some guys were paid to heckle him. Why does he have to go and campaign in the UK?
ME: Yes, he was in London at the invitation of Nigerians in Diaspora who want Change. That is, they want you and the PDP out of Aso Rock.
Mr PREZ: Oh dear! You mean “Dial-spola”, as my Dame will call them? Who are those people? They will not vote. They cannot even vote. Are they even Nigerians? Don’t they have foreign passports and citizenships?
ME: That’s where you are wrong Sir. You see, you promised them in 2011 that you would ensure they are able to vote in 2015 but you never kept that promise and so they are getting back at you. Even if they can’t vote, they can mobilise millions of votes against you in Nigeria. And most of them have dual nationality.
Mr PREZ: You kiddin’ me?
ME: No, Sir, I am not!
Mr PREZ: Damn!!!
ME: And moreover, these same “Dial-spola” Nigerians fought for you to become President when the late Umaru Yar Adua kitchen cabinet tried all subterfuge to suppress and ignore the Constitution to deny your automatic and constitutional succession to become President in 2010. I was part of the Save Nigeria Group marches in London in freezing weather. We eventually got you in and then voted for you in 2011 to have your own mandate. But you disappointed us.
Mr PREZ: Oh dear! I did?
ME: Yessir, you did.
Mr PREZ: I am sorry. What can I do to redress that?
ME: Nothing Sir. It’s too late now. You have to contest that election that was shifted and then lose.
Mr PREZ: Even as we are in renewed battling and gaining grounds from the Boko Haram? And I went to the warfront to show my support and appreciation to a rejuvenated Nigerian Army?
ME: Too late Sir. The Chibok girls are another millstone hanging around your neck.
Mr PREZ: Can I send that my militant bully cousin and his forces in to help? At least he can talk a good fight.
ME: I doubt it, Sir. The man is all talk. The money you’ve given him and others have made them too fat. They want to enjoy the money, not get themselves killed.
Mr PREZ: Oh dear! What about FFK, Koro and the Ekiti thug? At least they are bulldogs and streetfighters. They can use their shakara against the Boko Haram.
ME: If you ask me Sir, those three guys are done for. They are merely fighting for their own survival. You send them to Borno, and you will see they will leave the PDP the next day. But I guess they are good at rigging elections, aren’t they?
Mr PREZ: Yes, I think so too. But don’t quote me. I really don’t know those guys. Some bigwig PDP godfathers brought them in and who am I to say No? And they are really doing good hatchet jobs, don’t you think?
ME: Yessir, I must confess they are, but at your detriment. They are not helping you at all. I can do a better job at promoting you than all of them combined.
Mr PREZ: You can? Why didn’t you say so before? So which one you dey?
ME: Too late Sir. I no dey for any side. I dey for Nigeria to be better governed and managed. That’s what Nigerians are asking for.
Mr PREZ: You mean you want Change? Dame has already said only bus conductors want change.
ME: On the contrary Sir, it is the passengers that want Change, not a bus conductor. Passengers pay the conductor and expect some good service from the driver and the conductor. It is the business of the conductor to give that service and then change to the passengers, not vice versa. If he can’t give appropriate change, he will be beaten up and tossed out of the bus.
Mr PREZ: Is that want you’re prescribing for me?
ME: Not me, Sir. But all of us!
Mr PREZ: Who are all of you?
ME: Seems like a lot of your people, Sir. Nigerians, they call them.
Mr PREZ: Oh dear! I told the Dame I suspect so but she didn’t believe me.
ME: Well Sir, you better believe me. But don’t despair, there are still a lot of people who believe in you and your achievements, and that’s what matters. You don’t have anything to fear.
Mr PREZ: You mean I have achieved?
ME: Of course Sir. How can you be President for six years and not achieve anything? You have, Sir. Your people in Oyo State even say you are going to create our very own state for us.
Mr PREZ: Which state is that?
ME: Ibadan State. Can you really do that? What about the others clamour for their own states – Ijebu State, etc.?
Mr PREZ: Don’t mind that Ibadan girl. Her father wants me to create a state for her daughter to rule.
ME: Thanks Sir.
Mr PREZ: You can’t satisfy Nigerians. What more do they want in six years? Do they think I am God?
ME: No, Sir. What they think is that your government is godless. And if they allow you a second term, by 2019, most of them will be dead.
Mr PREZ: I can’t kill 180 million people now. Who will I rule then?
ME: That’s the question, Sir. But that’s what is happening! We know the problem of Nigeria did not start with you but you have made very little concerted and sincere efforts to redress it. You just continued in the same destructive path. That’s why Nigerians want you out. And then you have done a lot of crazy, dumbfounding things and people just wonder, how could you?
Mr PREZ: Such as?
ME: You pardoned your former boss, Alams. You refused to indict Diezani and Princess Oduah even when their corruption sins were glaring; billions of dollars and naira have gone missing during your watch; now you are even now trying to make Koro the Kongo a minister for the second time, despite his being implicated in the Ekiti election rigging.
Mr PREZ: What can I do, brother? I have to satisfy them. You mean they rigged in Ekiti State? Lord have mercy! I thought Fayose won fairly because of stomach infrastructure.
ME: No Sir, there is a tape where all the bad men of the SW were caught discussing how to rig, and you refused to allow an investigation to be conducted into the allegations.Mr PREZ: So you want to replace me with that old foggy without certificate?
ME: No, not really, Sir. Personally Sir, I’d like you to go and enjoy the rest of your life peacefully. You are a good man but not a good leader of men. We want to replace you to prove that power lies in the hand of the Nigerian people. If that “old foggy” gets elected and messes us up too, we will push him out too via our vote. That is what we call democracy. That way, Nigerians are sending out signals that we will not tolerate bad, incompetent, selfish, greedy, inconsiderate, insensitive, corrupt, and visionless and focus-less leaders – presidents, governors, senators, representatives, state legislators, local government chairpersons and councillors.
Mr PREZ: I get it now. But personally, is that what you think of me?
ME: Not all of them, but some of them, Sir. I think I should take responsibility for some of your credibility problems. You yourself claimed recently that those people are not giving you good advice. But you see, the buck stops at your desk. Therefore you should get rid of bad advisers, ministers, etc. You are responsible for 160 million lives, not just a few thousands near you. Striving towards the bigger picture of working for the generality of Nigerians would have made you a good leader.
Mr PREZ: But you will vote for me, won’t you?
ME: Sir, I can’t answer that. I did in 2011 but four years after, I see no reason I should do that again.
Mr PREZ: I see. Thanks for being honest with me.
ME: You are welcome Sir.
My regards to the Dame.
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