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Arukulo, the man who says he is always at the front of the canoe, was not happy. He was tired of the hypocrisy of the People of the City. He knew from the beginning that hypocrisy was at the bottom of the threat of impeachment of the great grandson of Odumodu, he of the Goodluck fame. The People of the City love to behave like the Pharisees. Pretense and outward show of penitence is their pre-occupation.
If they want to pray, all must hear. If they want to repair a road, they must do it during the day, inconveniencing everyone. It is a taboo to carry out their work at night. Ah! Do you want them to work without being seen to be hard working? They must do it during working hours so that no one passes to his working place when they are on duty. All must stand-by, watch them and give witness that they really worked. They are like governors who implement projects with the money of the people and claimed that they have worked and must be praised as if they did it with their father’s money and it was not their duty to implement projects.
As they say, to tell a good lie, you must mix it with some truths. That is why the National Assembly has to make a great noise about the impeachment of the president, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. They have to bring up the 100% implementation of the budget as if since independence, that has ever been achieved. The People of the City know that with the issue of the budget, they would be seen to be concerned with the issue of the welfare of the masses. The undisclosed reason is that they have to make noise to panic the executive into implementing fully their contingency allowances built into the budget.
His thoughts were interrupted by the Oldman of the Waterfronts who got up abruptly at the dot of the appointed time. He stretched his left hand and picked up the bottle of the local white brew. His right hand picked up the little glass cup and he filled it, ready for the call on the ancestors to take control of the deliberations in the Parliamentary Hall of the People of the Waterfronts.
“Odumodu, great ancestor of the People of the Waterfronts, dweller at the domain between the Land and the Sea, take and drink. What can we do without you? The ways of the People of the City are intriguing. You do not know where they stand at any particular moment. When you think they are going astray, they try to meander to the right path. Just as you think they are towing the right path, they veer to the extreme, confounding the observer. Take and drink and give us the ability to restrain them just the way of the popular masquerade played by the People of the Waterfronts, called “Blackie’, is restrained by the holder of the chain tied to its waist. That is the only way to restrain it from causing havoc: same with the People of the City.
“Otumo-Ogugu, Favourite of the Maidens, he who goes in and out of the Maidens, detecting the unfaithful ones, take and drink. In unity is strength, you the ancestors said. We your descendants bid you to unite and find a solution for this madness of the People of the City. We do not understand them again. Please help us.
“Osokolo, another Favourite of the Maidens, he who pursues the Maidens out of the Waterfronts, reminding them of their domestic duties, take and drink. Join your co-ancestors to help us understand the ways of the People of the City.”
When the Oldman of the Waterfronts ended his libation, he refilled the little glass cup and turned all into his stomach. The bottle of the local white brew and the little glass cup went round the Parliamentary Hall. The People of the Waterfronts must wet their throats with the local white brew before engaging in serious discussions. Arukulo got up to speak immediately the bottle of the local white brew and the little glass cup returned to the table.
“People of the Waterfronts, I greet you all. It is only a child that sees a man with white hairs and concludes that he was born with it. The elders knew that the grey hairs grew from the depth of several deep thoughts. Madness without method has taken over the People of the City. They have lost their sense of direction because the din of the City prevents them from spending time alone with their thoughts. Their grey hairs have lost their meaning. This is the only reason one could give for the action of a former commissioner in the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission, Mr. Mathias Eze of Umu-Aji village in Umuida in Igbo Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
“The man was said to have caught a grass cutter, but the grass cutter seemed to have turned to a brain cutter and he allegedly got deranged and ended his 16-year-old marriage with his wife, Patricia Ossai of Imufu, from the same LGA, with a gun shot. It is a strange story and only madness could be adduced for reason of the action. He brought in the grass cutter, ordered Patricia to prepare it, which she did. He came back and just because she served him the grass cutter with something else instead of Rice and stew, picked up his gun, searched for the wife who ran and hid herself, aimed and shot her dead despite her pleadings for forgiveness. He picked her up and took her to the hospital, claiming that she was shot in error due to a robbery attack at his house. The woman had four boys and two girls for him. The most sorrowful part was that it was his son, her step son, that saw where she hid and pointed out the ‘idiot’, as he referred to her, for his father to carry out the deed. You see the danger in allowing people to posses arms?. It pushes many to make use of it at the slightest provocation.
“People of the Waterfronts, that was not the reason for my standing here today. If the People of the City decide to eliminate themselves without reason, that should be their business. However, they seem to be exceeding the bounds. What is this craze about the call for the President to resign? As some other People shout for impeachment, others ask for resignation. Why? People of the Waterfronts, I can tell you, no cogent reason has been given. Can you imagine a former governor of Oyo State, Lam Adesina, saying President Jonathan should resign if it will bring peace? Can you imagine that? Is he saying that the senseless killings going on is because Jonathan is the president? In other words, if he leaves the presidency then the killings would stop? The man was just echoing the call of Boko Haram, the Islamic sect ravaging the country, for the president to either convert to Islam or resign. The demand is so silly that I was aghast when the presidency deemed it necessary to comment on it. It was absolutely unnecessary to reply.
“Just listen to Lam Adesina, “… I am calling on President Jonathan, if it is his resignation that will bring about peace in Nigeria, let him resign. To me it has become abundantly clear that peace in Nigeria may not be achieved by President Jonathan. These people (Boko Haram) are bent on evoking violence on the people of this country….Every peace loving Nigerian is tired of what is happening today. That is why I am saying if it is resignation that will bring peace in Nigeria, let him resign.” People of the Waterfronts, is there any sense in what the former governor said? When Adesina was a governor, would he have resigned if one or a dozen Oyo indigenes asked him to renounce his fate or resign? Would he have obeyed if because of their silly demand they decided to cause havoc in the state?
“At the same venue where former governor Adesina made the statement, Gbadamosi Olowoporoku Adesina Memorial Mosque, during the 2012 Ramadam tafsir lecture, Prof. Abdul Rahman Oloyede missed the point when he spoke on “The effect of fundamentalism on Islam”. He said the activities of the Boko Haram sect in the past few months have proved wrong those associating Boko Haram with Islam. The members of the group are Muslims, so it is not amiss to say it is an Islamic sect. They have stated clearly their desire to Islamize the Northern part of the country. It was the former president of the Court of Appeal, Justice Mustapha Akanbi, who hit the point when he stated that the sect has given Islam a bad name. ‘The sect has given Islam a bad name. When we are growing up, there was nothing like Boko Haram. All this nonsense can be remedied if men and women of faith muster the courage to enlighten us more about Islam.’ That is it. Men and women of faith should enlighten the youths more about Islam which stands for peace.
“People of the waterfronts, the words of the Grand Khadi of the Kwara State Sharia Court, Justice Idris Haroon, are worth repeating here. He said, ‘More than ever before, Islam today is encountering a lot of challenges which are threatening the nation’s sovereignty and unity. The co-existence of this great country, and its unity, which was laboured for by our forefathers and preserved by these great patriotic Nigerians, is now at the verge of collapse. Unless God fearing ones among us rise quickly, it may be too late to rescue this nation from the looming doom. One will be amazed and embarrassed, considering the message of Islam and what is happening in our land regarding freedom of worship, attacks here and there from both Muslims and Christians against one another.’ These are what we want to hear, not useless calls for resignation, forgetting that another group may rise up and ask for resignation of the President, if Jonathan is forced out because of the activities of Boko Haram.
“Grandpa, please my throat is dry.,” Arukulo concluded and sat down.
The Oldman of the Waterfronts filled the little glass cup and wet his throat before allowing the bottle of the local white brew and the little glass cup to go round. ###

By Kenneth Amabipi
0803 668 7846
Email: kennymaps@yahoo.co.uk

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