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The Waterfronts Parliament: SIGNS OF THE TIME

Many people do not know that the strongest trees in the mangroves are the ones standing by the shores, not the ones hidden in the middle of the mangroves protected by other trees. But the trees by the shores are not strong because they are by the shores. They are strong because they have learnt to survive the vicissitudes of life, the vagaries of life. They have learnt to flow along with life. Non-resistance has been their motto. When the strong breezes blow, they simply bow their heads and let the breezes pass. No complains, no struggle.
The People of the Waterfronts have learnt this noble principle and allowed it to stick to their minds. They have learnt to sing along with life and that has been their source of sustenance and their armour against the shenanigans of the People of the City. They have learnt to say, without hesitation, “d:t:l:s:f:m:r:d, whenever life raises the song, “d:r:m:f:s:l:t:d. In that manner, life smiles at them and they remain focused in their mission to make the world a better place to live in, despite the follies of the People of the City.
When it concerns the People of the Waterfronts, the People of the City behave exactly the way Michael Jeffreys observed. He said, “I’ve noticed that when something bad happens to someone we like we call it “unfortunate”. But when it happens to someone we don’t like, we call it “karma”. This is why the People of the City would not sit down and think of better ways to manage the resources, but rather would be profligate in their spending and change or mutilate policies with reckless abandon. They knew that the People of the Waterfronts bear the burnt of their thoughtless acts. That is why they move on with their atrocities like somnambulists, unaware of who they march upon.
Several thoughts like these crisscross the minds of the People of the Waterfronts, as they gather dutifully, to deliberate upon the strange ways of the People of the City. Within a few weeks, the year will come to an end. It is time to take stock of the activities of the year. It is also time to remember the children, since as usual, it would be festivities galore for them. Some of them at the fishing ports must return home to be with their families. Yet the People of the Waterfronts must find time to discus ways to redirect the straying footsteps of the People of the City knowing that they stray further away, particularly at this period of the year. It is a period to hear strange things from the People of the City.
Take for example, the issue of the burial of Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu who has just passed away. Truly, a great man has gone and should be buried in a great way by his people and indeed, all Nigerians. Perhaps, because of the period, that is, few weeks to the end of the year, a strange order has emanated from the MOVEMENT FOR THE ACTUALIZATION OF THE SOVEREIGN STATE OF BIAFRA, MASSOB. Hear them, “On the day Ezeigbo will be buried, there will be a sit at home throughout Igboland. Nobody should come out. Everybody should stay at home as a mark of respect for the Ezeigbo. No date has been fixed for the burial. But why I am saying it now is for Ndigbo to get ready and know that on that day, every Igbo man should stay at home”, Raph Uwazuike, leader of the group, announced.
Strange! How can such an order give the Odenigbo Ngwo, Ikemba Nnewi, Dike Dioranmma, the Ezeigbo Gburugburu, a befitting burial? If all Igbo should not participate, what then is the befitting burial since only Uwazuruike, a few others and perhaps MASSOB mentors would be involved? Does it then mean there would be no movement in the entire four states of the Igbo speaking areas which would also mean that no one from other states, perhaps other than top government functionaries would be at his home town for the burial? Truly, it is a strange order perhaps in sync with the period.
Now look at this also. Atiku Abubakar, the former vice president under President Olusegun Obasanjo has accused his former boss of lying. Can you imagine? If not for this period, how would statesmen who have worked together, accuse each other of lying? Speaking on the issue of third term recently, Obasanjo had said, “If I had wanted a third term, I would have prepared a bill that I would have sent. If a bill emanated from me, I would have made sure that I got it passed. But there was no bill that emanated from me in that regard.” He also said Atiku was not reliable and lacked the vision, orientation and experience to step into his shoes.
The People of the Waterfronts wondered why Obasanjo worked with someone unreliable, lacking vision, orientation and experience for four years in the first tenure and took him along again into his second tenure? Now if it is true that he would have made sure that a bill from him passed through, is he not saying that the lawmakers of his era would do whatever he said? Strange nation. Again, Atiku referred to a book written by former United States secretary of state, Ms Condoleeza Rice in which she reportedly stated “In 2006, when President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria sided up to the president (Bush) and suggested that he might change the constitution so that he could serves third term, the President told him not to do it.” So who is lying?
The Oldman of the Waterfronts got up abruptly, an indication that the appointed time has come. He stretched his left hand and picked up the bottle of the local white brew. His right hand picked up the little glass up. He filled it and began his call to the ancestors to lead the deliberations.
“Odumodu, great ancestors of the People of the Waterfronts, he who dwells at the domain between the land and the sea, making it impossible for the People of the City to locate you. You detest their polluted minds, and would not like to associate with them. Take and drink and save us from their dirty hands.
“Otumo-Ogugu, favourite of the Maidens he who goes in and out of the Maidens as the perform their ablutions at the Waterfronts, detecting the unfaithful ones, take and drink. We need you to assist us in our deliberations.
“Osokolo, another Favourite of the Maidens, hw who pursues the Maidens out of the Waterfronts, take and drink and assist your descendants.”
The Oldman of the Waterfronts took a full glass of the local white brew when he ended the libation and allowed it to slide down his throat. The bottle of the local white brew and the little glass cup moved round and they all took a glassful each.
Injibabo, the Fisherman of the Waterfronts raised up his hand and he was allowed to speak.
“People of the Waterfronts, I greet you all. We all know that towards the end of the year, in this part of the world, strange thing happen. Fuel scarcity shows its face, accidents suddenly increase and absurdities show their faces. We have just heard how an eleven year old boy was burnt by a supposed man of God for allegedly stealing N200. But that is not what I want to say today.
“Is it not strange that top public officers are often sacked without the reasons made public and most times with immediate effect without the victim being pre-informed? What really is the reason behind this action, even when the official apparently performed well? Mrs. Farida Waziri, chairman of the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, suddenly lost her job without being pre-informed. In fact, she was said to be engaged in an appraisal session with her team when she got the news that she has been sacked and an acting head, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, named. Why?
“According to the records, she secured 400 convictions, which is said to be two thirds of all convictions since 2003 when EFCC began. Inherited ten high profile cases, but now had 65 of such cases in court, with 1500 other cases pending. Recovered over $9 billion USD, developed software to fight 419, initiated special training for officers of the commission and began Project Eagle-eye with a target of recoveries of N120 billion for the federal government annually from tax investigations and other issues and several other achievements.
“If the records as presented by the commission are true, why should shebe sacked in such a manner that portrayed her as not performing? Although it may be true as the presidential spokeman Dr. Reuben Abati stated, that it was part of President Jonathan’s determination to revitalize the fight against corruption, is it not plain that it would give rise to insinuations that the lady was believed to be sacked because she stepped on sensitive toes and that it was because more of PDP high officials are in the net of the EFCC, forgetting that they have more states under them.
“People of the Waterfronts, it is high time we stopped this “immediate effect’ sackings and give reasons publicly before sacking such officials handling sensitive positions so that we will differentiate the chaff from the hay. Grandpa, please my throat is dry.”
The Oldman of the Waterfronts first filled the little glass cup, gulped down the content before passing the bottle of the local white brew and the little glass cup to him. ###

Kenneth Amabipi

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