Inside the First Lady’s villa By Tunde Fagbenle
It was evening. The “great performance” of the First Lady had just been broadcast on television for all Nigerians to see. The “mother of the nation” had broken down in tears during the course of her “intervention meeting” with those she called “stakeholders” of the Chibok, Borno State, schoolgirls abduction. Now back in the private office of her wing at the Presidential Villa it was a “post-mortem” time with members of her kitchen cabinet she rechristened “war cabinet” (“I don’t like that word ‘kitchen’,” she had said. “It’s an insult. Na me dey cook for Villa? This is war time. We are at war with the enemies of the nation. ‘War cabinet’ na in unabe from now on”).
Note: First Lady (FL); War Cabinet Member (WCM)
FL: How una see wetin happen today?
WCM1: Madam, that is a wonderful performance. Amazing. You really suck it to them. You have succeeded in showing the world the truth about those people behind the Boko Haram girls’ abduction nonsense. You have removed their cover. Yeye people.
WCM2: Ah, Madam, that was really excellent. How did you do it?
FL: (With a smile) Do what?
WCM2: That tearful cry, ma. How did you do it? Water commot your eye true, true o!
FL: (More smiles. Surveys the large room, scanning all faces). Una neva see anytin. Sebi dat Wole Soyinka say hin be actor. Make we see who sabi act pass now!
WCM3: Madam, that was award winning. Even Nollywood people can’t match that. So you had handkerchief on you at the ready? Maadaaam!
FL: Siddon there. Dose people are playing game with us and using poor innocent children as prawns in the chess game. We have to let them know that two can tango.
- The chess pieces are pawns, ma.
FL: Yes, of course, prawns na dose water insects we dey chop.Dat was why I told Kema make she belt the cat and tell the world say she no tink say there is any abduction true true; that he be like say na arrangee abduction.
WCM3: All we have been having are conflicting reports and conflicting figures. There are more questions than answers. How come there are 300 students taking WASCE in one school for a place like Chibok in a state like Borno of all places? How did the abductors come and go, in how many vehicles? Did the vehicles fly into the so-called Sambisa forest? No checkpoints on the roads, nothing?
FL: And the insult upon injury, I now summoned the authorities to come and meet me so we can all hold heads together and look at this tin korokoro with our eyes together and dey refuse to come. If that state governor’s wife say she be mother of the state, me nko, I no be grandmother of the state? Nonsense.
WCM1: You are right, madam, to ask them to stop all the demonstrations and protests. Most of them are only doing it for publicity, ma. Silly photo-opportunists. Look at the photos in the papers you’ll see the women so-called protesters in showy clothes, glistering lipsticks and blazing jewelry, all smiles and cheerful. Is that protest? Is that sadness? I agree, madam, this whole thing na game.
WCM2: But weeping, heartbroken the way you did, ma, you must have felt deep grief within you o.
FL: Grief? Yes now, I grief for dis country. They want this country to pafuka. And if it does, den no more life for all of us. Even you sef, no more job. I sorry for you. Dey want to make me widow before my time. This people forget say dia is God . That was why I was shouting so they can hear: Dia is God o; dia is God o! If u do good, dia is God, if you do bad, dia is God. And if anyone tink they are bigger dan God, then God will show dem pepper.
WMC2: Soyinka said on CNN he doesn’t want to talk about you, that you call yourself “First Lady” forgetting it’s God’s work, ma.
FL: Me too, I no wan talk about that one weydey call himself Noble Loretta, abi wetin. He is not noble and he is not Loretta. Loretta na woman. Him be woman? I think he is jealous. He wants to be ‘First Lady’ too. Noble Loretta and First Lady at the same time.
(Laughter from everyone)
WCM2: Madam, have you heard that the Boko Haram leader, Shekau or wetin, says they’ll be selling the girls off as slaves?
WCM3: Madam, I have an idea. Why don’t we find people to pose as Arab slave buyers and find a way to go dey buy the girls?
WCM1: Yes, madam, we make Boko Haram an offer on the market they can’t refuse. We have the money. And when we have bought back all of the girls we can then show them to the world and get the credit. (Whispers aside to a colleague: ‘and we can make billions from the BokoHaram insurgency security vote’)
FL: Brilliant idea. I know you are very brilliant. That is why I need you. Not like the yeye people without ideas wey surround my husband. Ehn hen, oya, waka go write out the proposal and calculate the estimate cost.
WMC3: But sha this is not a serious country, madam. Too much negativity. Somebody said we are taking over the executive role of Mr. President, that madam has no constitutional locus standi for summoning Borno stakeholders and setting up our own enquiry. And yet if we fold our arms and leave them to it they would be the first to shout that the First Lady is not acting and comparing her with America and England ones.
FL: Don’t mind them ojare. Jobless people. Na me go be the first First Lady running the show? Maryam Babangida nko, Mariam Abacha nko, even for democracy, Turai nko? I do pass dem?
WMC2: But what of Obasanjo own, ma?
FL: Baba, dat one na person? Anyway, wetin concern de criticisers? No be me get my husband? He is my husband first before president second. Dat one sef, if he know what to do, I go dey carry everything for head so? I dey tell am, act like president, waka like president proper, he no dey hear. Everything Deziani; this Deziani, that Deziani. Small time I go kuku leave am make he go marry Deziani!
WMC1: Madam, are you jealous?
FL: Me, jealous? Can’t you see me: young; plump madam; Perm. Sec; and I even get PhD, honorary or not, from, er, which unifasity be dat again?
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