Now, the People of the City have a queer character. The bee sucks the nectar of the flower and having its fill, flies away even if it has to come back another day. Not so for the People of the City. Theirs is to suck and suck until the flower withers or emits a pungent smell to drive them away. Another characteristic of theirs is lack of recollection of history. They have the memory of the goldfish. They only retain their sense of history for three seconds.

Angaladikibo, the Watcher of the Mangroves, thought of all these as he marveled at the inanities of the People of the City, while gazing at the Mangroves, the source of his inspiration. As usual the People of the Waterfronts have gathered in their Parliamentary Hall, ready for the day’s deliberations, well before the appointed time. Each became engrossed in different thoughts waiting for the appointed time.

Angaladikibo could not help thinking of the folly of the People of the City and their short memory like the goldfish. Didn’t they hear of Saddam Hussein? Didn’t they hear of Sani Abacha who covered his eyes with black goggles thinking we could not see him and so he could rule forever? Didn’t they hear of what the sweet sisters did to him? What of Idi Amin,? What of Charles Taylor, Pol Pot, Hosni Mubarak and even those of the bible like Herod and others? Yet, because of the short memory of the People of the City, they fall prey easily. That is the only reason why a man who has ruled  for 42 years like Muammar Gaddaffi has to be fished out from a hole like Saddam Hussein and killed like a stubborn rat. What a pity? What a pity that a man who has everything to make him happy with his family will cling to power despite the cry of the masses and end up like a chased rabbit in a hole, killed and buried in an unmarked grave.

Surely, what Justice Atanda Fatai Williams said is true, “Power is like a bell, once you set it ringing, it prevents you from hearing any other sound”.

But that was not the only issue in the minds of the People of the Waterfronts, as they wait for the appointed time to begin their deliberations. The People of the Waterfronts are perplexed that despite the hue and cry over accountability and the need to sanitize the nation to attract development; the People of the City would be dancing to the left while they declare that the right is the only way to development. It is a strange phenomenon, but the People of the City has long been known for their strange ways.

Deep in their soliloquy, the People of the Waterfronts did not know when the appointed time came. It was the action of the Oldman of the Waterfronts that jolted them into reality. The Oldman of the Waterfronts had got up abruptly, stretched his left hand, picking up the bottle of the local white brew, while his right hand went for the little glass cup and filled it with the local white brew.

“Odumodu”, the Oldman of the Waterfronts called out, as he performed his traditional role of calling the ancestors to take charge of the deliberations. “Why do the People of the City have such short memory? Have they not realized that power is transient? When will they realize that? Again why is it that our otherwise respected personalities would so lose their sense of reasoning that they feel the only way to remain relevant is to support whoever has made it, especially if that person is in the ruling party? The most puzzling part is that these are men and women who have made it and are not hungry at all. Is it to keep their ill-gotten wealth? Or is it a fear of the future where they felt they may be irrelevant if they do not become yes-men now? Odumodu, dweller at the domain between the land and the sea, tell me, how can you have a sane society where everything goes on smoothly, if you cannot call people to order? Can you imagine, Odumodu, that an enlightened society like the Yoruba’s would rise up in support of a man who allegedly mismanaged their resources, without waiting for the final verdict of the court to prove his innocence or guilt? What gave them the impression that Ghenga Daniel, the former governor of Ogun state is a saint? Odumodu, we are not saying that he is guilty as charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), but we are asking what informed the Yoruba elites, some of them anyway, that the man is innocent of the charges against him?

“Otumo-Ogugu, Favourite of the Maidens, he who goes in and out of the Maidens determining  the unfaithful ones as they perform their ablution at the Waterfronts, take and drink. The ways of the People of the City are intriguing and only the combined operations of you the ancestors would check their menace. We urge you to join your co-ancestor, Odumodu, to drill sense into them.

“Osokolo, another Favourite of the Maidens, he who pursues the Maidens out of the Waterfronts after the sanitizing duty of Otumo-Ogugu, take and drink. We plead that you join your co-ancestors to keep the City clean.”

The Oldman of the Waterfronts ended his call on the ancestors, refilled the little glass cup and poured all into his mouth. He allowed the bottle of the local white brew and the little glass cup to go round and the People of the Waterfronts took a glassful each.

Angaladikibo, the Watcher of the Mangroves, got up to speak. “People of the Waterfronts, I greet you all. I hereby move a motion on the floor of this Honourable House, please permit me to borrow the flattering words of the People of the City. I hereby move, although I am still standing here, that there be a law against any solidarity march, support, plea or any subterranean move by any person or group or community in support of any person or group or community under investigation, declaring the person or group or community innocent, before the courts of law give such pronouncement to that effect. It should be regarded as contempt of court even if it was mere investigation and not yet in court.

“People of the Waterfronts, I move this motion with every sense of responsibility to check the silly and retrogressive gang up by the People of the City in the name of support for those under investigations. It must be stopped if the nation must progress.

“If all those charged or investigated for one financial crime or the other are innocent as the silly solidarity marches and and all that, present, how come we are still underdeveloped despite our huge wealth? How come despite several contracts running into trillions of naira we still do not have electricity? Why are our roads still dilapidated and no drinking water? Why is it that every time the EFCC investigates anyone, you will see his kinsmen and friends ganging up and pronouncing the person innocent? Is it that we are all the same and so it is actually an act to defend ourselves? Any solidarity march against the investigation of any person must attract stiff penalties to stop this chicanery.  In fact, even the entertainment industry must be told to hold their peace until Baba Suwe excretes ordinary shit or the suspected forbidden shit. Until then, every solidary march or talk should be regarded as contempt of court, even if the matter has not been charged to court”.

Angaladikibo, the Watcher of the Mangroves, was still standing, shaking furiously even as he stopped talking. It was obvious that something was boiling deep down within him and must be cooled. Accordingly, the bottle of the local white brew and the little glass cup moved to him and he took a glassful and sat down, calmed.

Okolobo, he of the Creeks, was the next to get up. He began to speak. “People of the Waterfronts, the short memory of the People of the City is really amazing. They are the type that forgets where the rain stopped beating them and so gets back to it and gets wet again. Our elections which are actually selections go the way they go because once they are over, we forget them and start afresh. Our governors behave like lords of the manor because once the governor goes, we let bygones be bygones and slip whatever mismanagement that has taken place into the dust bin of forgetful memory.

Our successive presidents waste our resources and we quickly forget their atrocities once they step aside. Our goldfish memories make us a forgiving nation and we wallow in abject poverty in the midst of plenty. Even at the local government local, the chairmen do whatever they like with the allocations. We make a little noise while they are still on seat and quickly forget once they are out.

What of registration of voter’s card. We do the registration during the election and quickly forget about it until the next election. Then we start all over again, spending billions of naira. We cry over the cost and inconvenience but soon after, we forget again. People of the Waterfronts, there must be some exorcisms before the People of the City completely forget who they are”.

The Oldman of the Waterfronts filled the little glass cup and quickly swallowed all. ####

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