– I didn’t see you at Ayo’s party yesterday.
– Did he hold a party?
– Yes. Don’t tell me you didn’t know!
– If I knew, I’d have been there.
– We were all expecting to see you turn up late, as usual.
– As usual! What does that mean?
– You and I know what it means.
– Anyway, how was the party?
– It was going on well until that his cousin, that one that writes, brought in politics.
– And why would politics bring ‘katakata’ into a party?
– People who’re high on alcohol shouldn’t discuss politics.
– You’re digressing.
– Sorry o jare.
– What did she say that fired up the gathering?
– She asked ‘Does anyone believe Boko Haram are now disguising as Fulani herdsmen?
– So that simple question almost tore the party apart?
– True, it sounds simple but the reaction of those present really scared me.
– It was a yes or no question.
– There were those for and some against.
– On which side were you?
– I think the Boko Haram have infiltrated the midst of the Fulani herdsmen.
– The typical Fulani herdsman shepherding his cattle is gentle and not violent.
– Well not anymore.
– The image of the Fulani herdsman have graced the canvases of many Nigerian artists.
– I repeat, that image is now consigned to the past just like ‘Oshodi’ before Fashola.
– Why are you so cynical?
– Fulani herdsmen have exchanged their rod and staff for AK47.
– This is a case of ‘one slave making one curse 1,000 slaves’.
– Is it when they get to Lagos that you’ll believe they aren’t as docile as they used to be?
– They wouldn’t get to Lagos and if they got to Lagos they wouldn’t dare misbehave here.
– If they were bold enough to do mayhem in Enugu, what stops them from misbehaving in Lagos?
– The OPC have sent out a warning.
– Where were the OPC when a Yoruba elder was kidnapped by the same Fulani herdsmen in Ondo State?
– Ha! You have a point there.
– I don’t know what PMB is doing about the situation in this country.
– The man’s trying o.
– He’s trying! How?
– He’s fighting corruption on all fronts.
– Na dat man go chop?
– Softly, softly o.
– A man who’d been chasing the presidency for more than 16 years ought to have been more prepared for the post.
– Are you saying he seems clueless?
– Thanks for giving me the word. We used it for GEJ. I never expected we’d use it for PMB. And that so soon!
– PMB has asked us to be patient with his government.
– How can we? No fuel, no water, no light, no …
– Let’s thank God for life o.
– That life might be snuffed out if one’s unlucky to meet Boko Haram or Fulani herdsmen.
– PMB says his government is committed to our well-being.
– Go say that to the IDPs.
– Let’s not be negative.
– PMB doesn’t talk to the nation. He only talks to us from abroad.
– I agree with you that his image-builders should be sacked.
– BRF does a better job than his image-builders. Did you read his analysis on the China trip?
– Brilliant. I’d suggest that the Information Ministry be added to his portfolio.
– Haba! You wan kill de man
– He’s able o. PMB trusts him.
– PMB doesn’t trust anyone. He trusts only himself.
– Well, that’s no offence. You need to believe in yourself.
– He can’t do everything. He should delegate some duties. That’s why he has a Vice to assist him.
– Which duties should he delegate?
– He doesn’t have to go on every oversea trip.
– His trips are too frequent. I’ll back you up on that.
– In fact I’ve started losing hope in this ‘Change’ we trooped out for a year ago.
– A year is too short for the dividends of ‘Change’ to manifest. Even Jagaban asked us to be patient.
– So we should all remain in the ‘One Chance’ vehicle driven by PMB?
– Holy Mackerel! One Chance ke! Not our portion o.
– Then ask PMB to do something.
As if we didn’t have enough problems to cope with in Nigeria, the scourge of the Tomato Ebola is being visited upon our veggie. For a while I’ve been wondering why jollof rice at parties now appear anaemic. I had attributed it to the economic downturn affecting pockets and trickling down to our cuisine. So I often shun the rice and opt for ‘amala’ and ‘abula’which is ewedu soup mixed with ‘gbegiri’. For added flavour, the diner still needs to add the fish or meat stew on top of the abula. Stew, the Nigerian stew, is nothing without tomato (puree or fresh) added. So most of us who have been going organic are now back to tinned tomato. It’s much cheaper than the fresh ones currently battered by the tomato ebola. It’s sincerely hoped that this will be short-lived and that the Ministry of Agriculture will come to the rescue of the Nigerian housewives whose purchasing power and kitchen are being battered by ‘Dollar Don Rise’ (Aurora, 20 April 2016) and this tomato ebola.