Path To The Mortuary

by Segun Akinyode

The cycle of my meteoric rise to the enviable position of a full-fledged reformist was completed the day I was asked to be the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and president. I was unreliably informed that foremost among my responsibilities was the misinterpretation of a document they called institution. Oh, forgive me for the mix-up; the document was called constitution.

I made that blunder because a legal titan (may his Timian soul rest in peace) once described me in a court of law as an institution, something akin to an untouchable, and I was already assuming the toga of invincibility when that bespectacled disaster from Kano made nonsense of the encomium by slamming me in kirikiri on account of my involvement in a coup. You are all aware that I did not plan a coup; I was only made the grand patron of the planners because they were my juniors at the defence academy. Anyway, that was then. I have been sworn-in and I have been performing wonders Check the success-story of my able lieutenants and I.

The first monster we subdued was corruption. The social menace had been sitting right on the consciousness of my people before we made Dodan Barracks. About three days after we constituted a committee to fight the social dislocation and its allied forces, we caught our first victim – the speaker of the House of Representatives. A national magazine fingered him to have perjured himself about his age and educational attainment.

When the speaker walked right into the net of our fight against corruption, we ensured that he not only got thrown out of the law makers’ chambers, he also got a hefty fine of about N500 from a court of law.

The following day, his father came crawling, weeping and begging my wife to intervene. You know women and their susceptibilities, Mummy Style III actually told me, I pitied the former speaker and got him appointed director general in charge of national ethics and behaviours to serve as a deterrent to other corrupt patriots and national heroes, dead and alive.

Our former minister for internal affairs, the one whose name was mentioned in the national identity card scam has been penciled down for a posthumous national award. Our party, the greatest gathering of economic crooks and political turn-coats has decreed that, henceforth, all national officers of the party should also serve as assistants to me, the commander-in-chief. We have created this innovation so that the national officers will be less interested in the party’s’ money but concentrate on perfecting the means of looting the national treasury.

Next, we fought for the masses by increasing the pump price of petroleum and decreasing that of kerosene. But somehow, some rascals in the ministry forged my signature. Now, I think kerosene is costlier than fuel. Allah, wallahi, I swear, I will see to it that the pricing in reversed very soon Oshiomole or no NLC; Gani can’t even stop me. Yes, you can be sure we have not finished with fuel and its slipping pricing. We shall revisit the monster repeatedly.

Then, when I was on my 78th trip abroad, something unusual happened back home. My attorney general, the one we designated minister of justice, was killed in his bedroom. I thought it was robbers from Ajegunle and Isale Eko, until intelligence report informed me that the murder had political undertone.

Three years after the incident, my inspector general of police is still groping in the dark to bring the assassins to book. The judge discharged the ones he arraigned recently because the police prosecutor performed the role of the defense counsel. Honestly, the police are improving. Olorun ngbo. We intend to recruit Lord Lugard to fortify the defense tactics of the police because we think their attacking with integrity is sound enough.

I will not be surprised if another set of suspects is paraded before the pressmen and charged to court very soon. “We are still searching for the killers of that woman… Em, em, what is her name, now?” He scratched his shinning scalp. “Anyway, we will come back to that,” he said resignedly.

My greatest headache is that our people specially the people from the South West, the Owuans, don’t appreciate patriotism, very cynical people, they are always passing asinine comments on us. What I have suffered for then is unquantifiable, only Allah in conjunction with Jesus Christ will compensate me.

Some of them are already castigating me because I said I wanted to float a university with my personal resources as my modest contribution to our rising standard of intellectual confusion.

When we first ruled, I had the impression that farming was blooming, so I ordered the masses back to the land. That was way back in ‘77. And, before you realized it, every backyard had become a vegetable garden.

As a result of the new thrust in agricultural development, we started importing every conceivable item from ponmo to toilet paper. Yes, we even imported toothpicks. That was when some sane crooks introduced OFN one and OFN two to me. You can see how the plan was implemented. “He began to smile”. Olodumare ngbo, these guys are geniuses.

When I realized our culture was being undermined by Europe and America, I decreed that the black world must converge in our capital and demonstrate our dance step to dazzle and confound Uncle Sam’s children. Those who refused to join the jamboree, people like FAK, the one we asked to come and sing Zombie o Zombie for us, missed out of the juicy contracts. KSA won many contracts because he sang Welcome, Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen, you are welcome to Naija o.

Since then our culture and tradition has improved in leaps and bounds. So refined is our brand new culture that every family can now boast of at least an emigrant member in either Europe or America, sweating their youthful zeal away to improve the well being of the Oyinbo people.

While my colleagues and I were grappling with this twist in our cultural orientation, some unpatriotic elements started agitating for self-rule, democratic governance they called it. I was stunned by the call. I employed all the tricks in the books of tactics, field craft, arms drill and parade ground mesmerizing to dissuade them. But they refused to shif

t ground.

They insisted it was the in-thing all over the world. When they became vociferous in their demand, I met with my colleagues and we decided to pacify the agbada people. I knew within me that the most daunting and perhaps dicey aspect of the operation would be the choice of the person to hand over power to.

“Must you determine your successor?” somebody from the crowd asked him.

“Of course, yes, it is necessary”

“Why?” the same voice wanted to know.

“You are a small boy in this art of taking and giving. If I did not supervise who I gave power to in 1979, why do you think they thought of me in 1999 when they were searching for another stooge to hand over power to”

“Unmmmm” the voice breathed.

“Let go on with the story ojare” he turned in the direction of his audience.

Several candidates were in the line-up. One of them, the most qualified, the one that bearded Awka man eulogized as the best president we never sworn-in, was being considered a serious successor.

The old man from Ikene however shot himself from the list of the possibles when he went all our the place telling people that they should not be wearing or even selling second hand clothes. He even went as far as telling the masses that the national minimum wage was too meager for a country so rich and will-endowed. Can you imagine that? He actually told the hapless electorate that he would probe our administration. That was why we had to cancel his name from the list of the possibles. The legal mumbo jumbo we employed ensured that he lost his case at the election tribunal.

So, three years after we had recommended iodine for the headache of the masses; injected them liquid embrocation to appease their hunger, we handed power to a cattle rearer masquerading as a veterinary doctor.

Now, twenty years after I had settled in my chicken farm, the masses rooted for me. They wanted me to rule them again. Now, na mortuary I go send all of dem because I dey kampe.

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1 comment June 25, 2005 - 1:39 pm

Segun,you are the master in terms of converging literariness and political thoughts.This piece exemplifies that.Most of your readers will be anticipating the concluding part of this great work.Do we wait?


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