Aso Rock Villa. Living Room of the President’s private residence. Israeli, American, French, Chinese, Cambodian, Somalian, Sudanese, and Ghanaian security operatives protecting the Nigerian president are in the background. They try to make themselves unobtrusive. Also in the background, chanting Quranic hymns on mats imported from Chad, are marabouts from Niger, Senegal, and Gambia. At the centre of the living room, some distance away from all the foreign intelligence and spiritual protectors of the President, the usual suspects gather, wearing gloomy faces: President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Tony Anenih, Baba Iyabo, Ayo Oritsejafor, Mohammed Adoke, Doyin Okupe, Reuben Abati, and other inconsequential AGIPs. Nobody is talking. Soft music oozes from a central entertainment system. An old school Yoruba tune probably supplied by Doyin Okupe and Reuben Abati:

Olowo ni mo ba se mi o b’otosi se

Olowo ni mo ba se mi o b’otosi se

Ti mo ba bu otosi lana to d’olowo l’oni

Ma fi ogbon fa mora o jare

Oun to ba wu yin e fi enu yin so

Olowo ni mo ba se mi o b’otosi se


The rich man is my kinsman, not the poor man

The rich man is my kinsman, not the poor man

If I abuse a poor man yesterday and he becomes a rich man today

I will use ruse and cunning to make him my kinsman

Call me a hypocrite if you will

The rich man is my kinsman, not the poor man


Baba Iyabo finally breaks the ice


“Baba, stop rubbing it in now.”

“Ebele, why won’t I rub it in? Did I not warn you to handle that mad Kano prince carefully? Now see yawa! See potential wahala!”

“Well, Baba, I did some damage control yesterday.”

“Damage control? What exactly did you do, Pastor Ayo? Did you promise free tuition for all indigenes of Kano in your brand new private University?”

“Haba, Baba, do you offer anybody education for free at Bells University? We are all into that business for money. What I did was to immediately offer condolences to the people of Kano on behalf of CAN. Everybody knows that under my leadership, a message coming from CAN comes from the President and our great party, PDP. They will understand that the President and PDP are soft pedalling. A week after the Emir’s burial, I will lead a CAN delegation to Kano to greet all the Islamic religious leaders there. We shall eat with them and even attend a Jumat service and preach religious harmony.”

“Pastor, these are nice moves but may I come in here?”

“Yes, Baba Fix It, you may come in sir.”

“Thank you. Have we considered whether we may be able to just forego Kano altogether?”

“Em, Baba Fix It sir…”

“Yes, Doyin.”

“With all due respect sir, I think age is beginning to unfix you. How can we possibly do without Kano? We know that Lagos will never be within reach, no matter the billions we give to Bode George and Obanikoro. We have to be realistic. We will never get Lagos. That makes Kano the next biggest swing state. We cannot lose Lagos and lose Kano o. We must get Kano at all costs.”


“Yes, your Excellency, Mr. President”

“I am the President. This is the most powerful presidency in the world. Are you all saying that we cannot, you know? Baba Iyabo, isn’t that what you would have done when you were in office?”

“You mean buy off the Kano kingmakers to prevent them from choosing the loose cannon prince and finish off Kwankwaso with the EFCC?”

“Yes, Baba Iyabo, that is what I mean.”

“Well, this is already halfway into 2014. We are talking February 2015 here. You don’t have enough time for such moves. We won’t be able to create enough diversion for Nigerians. Besides, this mumu you put in charge of the EFCC is only good at running after groundnut and guguru sellers. He is not the type you can train upon heavyweight corrupt politicians. I am surprised that the EFCC under him has not started going after secondary school students who cheat in NECO and JAMB.”

“Baba Iyabo, may I come in sir?”

“Reuben, you want to come in? Even Reuben too has opinions of his own these days? I thought you were just here to agree with everything we say as usual. Okay, you may come in.”

“Thank you, Baba. What I have is not even really an opinion. I just wanted to ask if we are not jumping the gun. The Emir dies yesterday and we call a crisis meeting today as if we are already sure that the troublesome prince would be next the Emir…”


Yes, your Excellency Mr. President…”

“Baba was right. We should never have allowed you to talk. You never have any brilliant thing to say. Who in this world does not know that Kwakwanso would move mountains and do everything possible to ensure the emergence of that rude prince so that the two of them could forge an alliance to put Kano beyond me in 2015?”

“Mr. President Sir.”

“Yes, my able Attorney General”

“It seems to me, sir, that what we are all saying is that we now have a real problem. The Kano prince is now a fish bone stuck in our throats”

“Attorney General”

“Yes, Doyin”

“He is worse than a fish bone in our throats o. If that boy becomes Emir, he becomes a mosquito on Mr. President’s scrotum. Crush a mosquito on the scrotum and you may crush the two landlords therein. We are in a real jam.”


“Yes Mr President sir”

“Have you been waiting your whole life for an opportunity to talk about my scrotum and my balls? Attorney General, you should apply our anti-gay laws and jail this man for fifteen years for talking openly about another man’s scrotum.”

“Ah, mo gbe! Your Excellency sir, I didn’t mean it that way sir. I beg you with my father’s head. I beg you with my mother’s head. I didn’t mean it as an insult. Baba Iyabo, are you looking at me? Please help me beg Mr. President.”

“Ok, apology accepted. Attorney General, what did you have in mind before you were rudely interrupted by Doyin?”

“Thank you, Mr. President. Well, looks like we have no choice but to start cozying up to the Prince. He has a few more cases in court against you sir. We could start by talking to the judges in charge and arrange for the Presidency to lose those cases. You know the prince and his huge ego. Winning or losing a court case has zero consequence for the Presidency anyway. We can just ignore the ruling against you as usual.”

“That seems a good preliminary step. What else?”

“Then we can get Doyin and Reuben here to start saying nice things about the prince on Facebook and twitter. What is the name of that boy who works here? I mean the boy who forged documents here in the Presidency to implicate the Prince in Boko Haram”

“Pastor Renoks”

“Yes, Mr. President, Pastor Renoks has to go. The Presidency has only just been made aware of the incident. You ordered an investigation and Pastor Renoks was found guilty. You gulaked him with immediate effect as your administration would never allow the hard-earned reputation of an illustrious Nigerian like the Prince of Kano to be tarnished. In fact, Pastor Renoks had been an APC plant in the Presidency all along and will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”


“I have to agree with you Mr. President. The strategy suggested by our Attorney General is brilliant! I couldn’t have done better as Mr. Fix It. But there are other things we must do o.”

“Yes Mr. Fix It. Shoot.”

“Well, those chameleonic conflicting figures of his – we must find a way to accept that the figures he said were missing are missing. Whether it is $10 billion, $15billion, $20billion, $40 billion, everything he said was missing is now indeed missing.”

“But the Senate already…”

“Ah, Mr. President, the Senate? You make me laugh sir. Forget those ones. They have no integrity. Find them something sir and they will call a press conference today and sing a different tune. I will personally go and see David Mark after this meeting.”

“Good, Mr Fix It, what else?”

“Well, I don’t know how you will take this, given your great reluctance to move against women working under you sir. But at least one of the two must go in order to properly placate this dangerous Kano prince.”

“Which two?”

“Haba, Mr. President. Madam World Bank and Madam Private Jets. One of them has to go. They are not as important as your getting Kano in 2015.”

“Which of them has the most scandals?”

“Haba, Mr. President, it is obvious now.”

“Ok, Reuben”

“Yes, Mr President.”

“Fire her on Twitter. The President now realizes that she poses a real threat to democracy and the transformation agenda by continuously thumbing her nose at the National Assembly, claiming they cannot summon her. I won’t tolerate my ministers being rude to a very important branch of our nascent democracy. Add a few bla bla bla. The usual.”

“Consider it done, Mr. President.”

“Em, Mr. President”

“Yes, Attorney General”

“The extensive dossier I have built on the prince – his finances, the contracts he awarded, etc – will also have to go into the cooler for now. You know we were planning to prosecute and jail him.”

“Yes, keep them in the cooler but don’t destroy them. He may get to that throne and continue to shoot his mouth recklessly in which case we leak them. Do you think he will play ball and deliver Kano if we placate him with all these measures?”

“He will, Mr. President. This is Nigeria. Nigerians are expendable. Our class interests across tribe and tongue are the only permanent things in this country. He understands it, we understand it.”

“Ehen, this is what I want to hear! Oya, pump up the volume. Let’s eat, drink, and be merry!”