‘Adunni, if that bloody phone rings again, please tell the caller that daddy is sleeping,’ I snapped angrily at my poor daughter. It is disheartening how people could be so insensitive. How they could be so greedy. The irritation of that late night call will not leave me despite the huge effort I made to concentrate on the newspaper I was reading. Just last week I had sent some money home to this same relative. Now she was on the phone all over again harassing me for more money.
Some minutes ticked by. Then a small nudge on my intuition directed me to check the number of the caller. I got it wrong. It was Uchechukwu Nworahaha. I really could not figure out why he had to call me so late. After all, he had left me all alone in a sick and broken Britain while he enjoys a new status among the Abuja set. Since he retreated into silence, he had stopped broadcasting his brainwaves in cyberspace. His diaspora evasion has been one of the intellectual fault lines of those who are smart enough to beat a retreat back home and be conscripted into the money mill of Aso Rock. Then the phone rings again.
‘Hello……is that Uche?’
‘Yes, it’s me…..sorry to bother you so late. I just want to squeal on that your ngbati, ngbati professor…..that man called Pius Adesanmi!’
‘Is that why you call so late…look I am about to go to bed?’
‘Sorry TT, I will be going to Abuja tomorrow morning to meet Professors Dora Akinyuli and Ndidi Okereke-Onyiuke. I will also be seeing Oronto Douglas and Reuben Abati regarding that proposal I gist you now for the Presidency…….sebi you remember? So I am not too sure if I will have the time to speak to you tomorrow.’
‘I hope Pius has not mangled you with his biting satire o? You know say he enjoys doing that a lot. In fact somebody said that there is a price on his head from Alao Akala for being so rude to the man in one of his satires.’
‘Well, na im sabi. Remember this professor once blasted me and called me a squealer when I defended my mentor, Professor Akinyuli during her rebranding of Nigeria. Em….em….that was around 2009 now…make you remember now….
‘I think that’s being a while o….yes wetin come happen?
‘TT, you see the professor who caused me so much aggro over my ambition to align with powerful figures in Abuja is now on the game o.’
‘Shut up….you be oyin ala….how can you speak disparagingly against such an honest, clever, plain-speaking and courageous writer like PA? Why are you so hideous? I beg comot for phone make I go sleep.’
‘Hehehehe……heheheh…..who no know go know. So you no know say Abuja they monitor all you diaspora writers who write critical pieces about GEJ and his cabinet? PA is the talk of the town in Abuja now now. The man don get himself into a real professorial conundrum over his recent guest o. You no know say Professor Ibrahim Gambari go dance kokoma for im house in Canada. The gist be say the man who hates squealers, wants to emulate Jesus, loves Don Williams must not be seen hobnobbing with that omnipotent Gambari who has direct access to GEJ.’
‘Uche, you are damn presumptuous. Are you spying on this noble figure? No bring that kind Nigeriana mentality here. Na you dey pay im rent? The man can host anybody in his house and feed them on panla and iyan.
What kind of rubbish, woolly thinking is this? Uche, you want tell me say the Gambari man give am money or wetin? If you were a woman I would have imagine that you were going through period pain.’
‘No..no….no…I am not saying that. Gambari is an establishment ambassador perfecting his diplomatic errand on PA. The joke among the Abuja set is that Gambari will mollify his unpleasant satires and offer some quiet deal from…’
‘Forget that, please forget that rubbish for now. PA is too busy with his students and enjoying his life as public intellectual in Carleton to receive any inducement to shut up or relocate to Abuja to serve his enemies. Uche, my own presumption is that they are both Yagba in Isanlu in Kogi State and you know Kogi people are bothers anywhere they meet. I think Gambari visited PA to honour him for his academic brilliance and for being a true Kogi shinning light. Period. Now shut up I am off to bed’
‘Kogi ko, Kogi ni. TT, you know what, it’s late now. I will call you tomorrow after the meeting with my brothers and sisters at Abuja.’
‘Who are those…have you relocated Chichi, Ngozi, Ndubuisi and Emeka to Abuja….just like that? You must be doing well there o’
‘Well, God is good….but I mean sisters Dora and Ndidi. And also brothers Oronto and Reuben.’
‘My brother, Uche my man, it’s been nice talking with you but I am troubled by your presumptuous assault on Pius Adesanmi. Anyway, call me tomorrow. Good night.’ Uche hung up the phone. At that instant, I began to think whether Uche belongs to the tribe of cannibal writers who devour other writers in a cyberspace of intellectual competition. Is Pius Adesanmi truly unravelling? It is natural to be anxious but my sceptical instinct woud not allow any conspiracy thriller concerning a man of such sun-clean spirit and quick wit like PA. Then again, I burst into another brainwave. Are his old squealers on an avenging mission to drag him down from his mount Olympus? Is this the beginning of squealers revolt at his riveting and acidic satirical genre that has knighted him as a master? As promised, Uche called the next day.
‘TT, I’ve just had lunch at the Abuja Hilton with my sisters and brothers.’
‘Old boy na wa for you o…..you just dey enjoy. Make you DHL my own wine o. I no mind any full bodied merlot….abi…’
‘My brother, Abuja sweet o…..you need to see Reuben and Oronto now…..the old hawkish distemper has been mellowed. They take their brief from the Presidency, enjoy carnal congress with all manner of hustlers in Aso Rock and that is it for the day. You no say that Abati and Oronto dey ronto in their wicked SUV now. Hope you are not in a hurry? Anyway, my sisters wan talk to you…….’
‘Oh…..who among your sisters….who……’
‘Just wait,’ Uche assured. ‘Hellooooooo………TT,’ a drunken lady voice boomed.
‘Hello….and who’s that,’ I asked sternly.
‘Make you calm down my brother, its Professor Akunyili but Dora for short.’
‘Ah…..madam, long time. I’ve not heard from you since 2009 when you sent me a thank you note for supporting your rebranding of Nigeria’
‘Sorry, my brother na Nigeria wahala. Also, that Anambra election took most of my time. In spite of all the promises given from Abuja that I will be handed the senatorial seat for services rendered to the fatherland….that rat called Ngige used im juju to collect the post.’
‘Sorry for the loss of that senatorial seat. Na how many billions you spent? Well, that’s politics for you madam. Have you sort Uche out after all…….the boy is full of gratitude for your role as a competent Abuja fixer…..Abi make I dey come home too?’
‘Ha…ha..haha…the boy has been good. A good example of ex-Diasporean who is very reasonable and ambitious.
Em…em…TT, remember that gbagbati Pius Adesanmi who lambasted me on rebranding. Ha…ha…hehehe…..he even called me a thief. The man is having serious dialogue with Brother Gamby, I mean Professor Ibrahim Gambari on how to join the Aso Rock bandwagon. We know people like Pius. But I go show am for this Abuja. He has to apologise before we consider his application. Yes…he has pen power and me I go show am say I get connection power for this Abuja all the way to
‘Madam…but….its a mix up…..which P…i..u….s?’
‘Hold on for Ndidi,’ aunty Dora pleaded.
‘Halloo…..heloooooo, TT its Ndidi, Professor Ndidi Okereke-Onyiuke.’
‘Ah madam, nice to meet you and how are you coping with the corruption charges.’
‘TT, you are cheeky. Leave that alone. Nobody can touch me for Nigeria. It’s about that over-intelligent professor who had the gut to criticise me over the money we collected for brother Obama in 2009. Gossip is going round that he may soon join the Abuja set. But I assure you that is a lie. That letterised article he wrote about the N100million naira I collected for our brother Obama torn my life upside down. I cried and wished I could see Pius and land him a dirty slap.