By Lasisi Olagunju
What kind of king uses his finger to clean his anus, uses it to pick his nose and then proceeds to pick his teeth with the same finger? That is what we see when the one we trust shocks us with a dingy behaviour. Saintly President Muhammadu Buhari has replanted an uprooted diseased tree in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). His people say it is to make the place healthier! Could it be that some people are not what they claim to be? That favoured tree, omo, is chosen for gbedu, the palace drum, because of its integrity. And we saw bigger trees in the forest before we settled for this Buhari variety to build the royal drum. Now, can you hear the eerie sound that comes out of his gbedu?
The king farts and we smile and congratulate him. It is a symptom of healthiness. And the king’s health is the health of the kingdom. Now, should the king up his game by defecating right there on the throne? Should a king so spoil himself luxuriating by defecating in his royal apparel? No man becomes sweet-smelling by shitting in his pant. The palace bean cake is made of excreta and the clean king loves its taste; but the palace cannot be merry in its stinking majesty. No.
Hundreds who voted for character in 2015 are re-examining their thumbs. Did we make a mistake? Should one struggle with character the way a borrower fights with his unfit garment? Is it not only a borrowed pair of trousers that is felt too tight at the waist? Did the preener of that election dress his ugliness with face powder and anoint himself with camwood without taking a bath? And we didn’t notice!
A king’s honour is his armour. The farmhouse adds to the farmer’s glitz and glamour. Our palace has become a buffet of intrigues and holy sleaze. But the king insists the horror we see around him is purifying. His plantain is going bad but he says it is ripening! Who is that farmer that sets his hut ablaze because he wants to kill a bush rat? This king sets the house alight because he wants to cleanse it of a bush rat, he says. What would he have done if the enemy had been the rattle snake in the crevices of the sharpening stone? Sometimes when a king does not know when to stop chasing phantom foes, he breaks his wrist chasing the mouse in his bedroom. And truly, our elders say all true leaders do not beat the communal drum so hard that it is torn. An elder that spoils the fun in dance steps and drumbeats loses his age. Lost is the elder who divorces a horse rider in order to marry a pedestrian. I see in Buhari’s disdain for his party, its manifestoes and chieftains. The baking of self and class destruction.
Am I talking too much? When a man sets his farm beside the king’s, chances are that the king’s hoe could give that person’s toe a bloody nose. I also know one does not contemplate the world in silence and yet become victim of the king’s sword. But is it not said that silence is the foundation of ill luck, of bad luck and of misfortune? There are several heads in the shrine of the palace, majority of those skulls are of the innocent who kept quiet when silence wasn’t golden. It is not every time when the family head shits in the sauce pan that you see and keep quiet. That is why these thousands of nuggets are placed before Buhari, the one with our power, to pick and chew.
You are called a character fashionista but look at your palm oil jar: it is corked with a smelly rag. What beauty reeks in stinking filth and insists clean men caress her? It has been one day, one scandalous controversy in the house of integrity. When the village fashion icon is seen in rags, should the village edge him on until he enters the full market stark naked? The shame of nudity goes not just to the unclad; all who watch the obscene share in the blot on common decency.
That NHIS matter, why did Buhari do that? Should a man who is accused of theft be seen dancing with his neighbour’s lamb? Critics of the king say he is not against graft if it is committed by favoured men of the palace. They say the king condones any shit provided it is from the anus of his kith and kin. And they cite examples which the king’s doctors couldn’t cure with the usual spin. And now this NHIS thing! And this is an anti-corruption government. When a lamb insists it is a he-lamb, let it not come forward without horns on its head. A chief hunter with a toy gun is a fake. That one with a wooden gun is not a hunter. At best, he is a clown entertaining the bored. When you make promises of integrity and fairness, you don’t go sleep with harlots of filthy existence.
At the beginning of this marriage, loud promises were made. Have those promises been kept? They said it is too early to ask. The wife is still promising she will birth male and female even after months of due diligence in the bedroom. She asks the worried household that the last wife who was sacked, what did she deliver in the 16 years of its noisy copulation with the husband? This APC is working hard to bring forth viable offspring, not nitwits of the 16 years before her entry. Her efforts are not felt for now because of the witchcraft of the first wife.
The narrative is that the PDP is the bloodhound. It sucks in the unborn to shame the pregnant. Even with witch-hunting exercises routinely staged, that evil party is still changing costumes, joining the chorus to condemn its own years in power. So, for Buhari and his APC, the mosquito of expectations that perches on their tender parts must be crushed with care. Patience is, therefore, the keyword here. Buhari’s people are still not tired of saying Nigerians are very impatient. But should I tell them what they don’t know? Their hero is that loud farmer who farms by the roadside. When you farm by the roadside, our elders say you must be seen working day and night on the right things. Otherwise, every dog and every goat will mock your indolence and failure. To replace the fulfilment of those effusive promises of 2015 with fresh 2019 promises must attract ridicule and rejection. You cannot do that. You cannot also tell us you have delivered the goods using some unintelligible jargons. If you do this, we will remember the proverb of the one with a dead manhood whose vibrant children reside beyond the seas.
A king belongs to all. That is what makes the town calm. Where the king fetes his household and flogs other compounds, there will be uproar in series. Buhari rules with only his far northern brothers. But his men tell us he rules not with his omo iya. They say the ones who share the king’s powers among themselves are just his half-siblings and their look-alikes. That is the narrative from Aso Rock. The men from Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara and from Kebbi are not Fulani like Buhari. They are what? We are not told. But a king who picks all his chiefs from only his royal lineage will rule alone. He cannot benefit from the varied wisdom of the community. He cannot sleep and close his eyes from the blinding flashes of his indiscretion. Did our elders not rebuke that elderly glutton who thought his throat was the only road to Oyo? The greedy elder carries his own load home. Who would carry the basket for the aged who eats without looking at the yawning mouths at his back? Should he, at all, expect the deprived to assist him with the burden? That is why elders must not perform oro with the indiscretions of youth. Unfortunately, we are told that the one who is greedy, covetous and clannish won’t know his illness until he is told. And who tells him? His kinsmen. They are the ones who hold the mirror for him to see his ugliness. Could that be why General Olusegun Obasanjo and General Ibrahim Babangida wrote those lines to General Muhammadu Buhari?
Yesterday’s promises belonged to that distant year called 2015. There are fresh baits in the deep of 2019. But is it not true that certain table manners suggest you are okay with what you’ve had? Among such are belching and farting loudly to disconcert the host. It is like you ate, farted and washed your hands and now you are talking about eating more. The food providers must quickly usher in new customers. Age, in its advanced form, always deflates ability. The white man designed retirement age to save the tired worker from his greed. The tired who loathes retirement is like bat, the only animal that eats until it vomits. Bat can’t stop and won’t stop, but must you join his Tortoise on this journey to disgrace? The hawkish bird of prey called kite can hunt and it has proved its prowess with chickens. Going forward in this bad weather is kite going for the snail. It is an overreach.
Proverbs are the horse of admonition. Admonitions are also the horse of proverbs. The wise and the knowledgeable are the only ones who dance to the beats of counselling. May this king not be like the last addled swimmer who misbehaved at the River Ogun. Yemoja, the river goddess, swept that one away.