Conversation Nigeriana (1)
By Hope EGHAGHA
Bankole: Shame! Shame! Shame! The presidential candidate of a major political party Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu says he didn’t attend primary and secondary schools. How did he enter a university? I smell a rat!
Oreva: A big rat smells in the land, smells from Aso Rock and round the states of the federation.
Okoro: How come he is committing this perjury?
Bankole: It seems there are issues about his identity and historical past! This is a fantastic story that needs a thorough investigation.
Bishak: I hope you can prove what you are saying!
Bankole: Prove? I will answer your query with a question. Did he not declare primary and secondary schools when he contested for governor?
Bishak: I don’t know. I wouldn’t know.
Okoro: That is because you don’t care to know!
Bankole: In the days of Peter Pan or Dele Giwa, journalists would have probed the story of no school, no certificate with a broomstick to ferret out his classmates and acquaintances to get the truth. These days they hobnob with politicians for their share of the national cake!
Okoro: The days of investigative journalism are gone forever!
Bankole: What is somebody hiding?
Oreva: Plenty! There is plenty to hide! But if did not attend primary and secondary schools in Nigeria, which classmate would any classmate be found?
Bankole: There are classmates! He attended schools in Nigeria. Seek and ye will find, so says the good book.
Iyortem: Yes, there are classmates. I know some of them!
Okoro: It is a serious matter. I don’t know what has befallen our country. The incumbent president also has no secondary school certificate. When he was asked to produce one, he took over twenty lawyers, all Senior Advocates of Nigeria to bully the judges in court and to defend his ‘certificatelessness!
Oreva: That’s a new word in the dictionary! Certificateless- ness! I will ask my teacher what it means!
Okoro: Talking about teachers! I had this teacher in school who used to say something like ‘the dog ate my homework! Hahahahahahaha!
Oreva: If the dog ate your homework whose fault is it?
Bishak: Let’s be serious fa! This is not the time to joke please. What does the president need a secondary school certificate for? Secondary school certificate! Look here, you people are searching a malu in a shopping mall. What does a man who had ruled the country as a military Head of State need a secondary school certificate for? That he ruled the country before is enough certificate!
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Bankole: It’s a Constitutional requirement! In his own case, he claimed that though he attended a secondary school, his papers were submitted to Army Headquarters. Army Headquarters said they don’t have his papers. By the way, whoever submits his original certificate to an institution? A fat lie came into the matter at that stage.
Okoro: it seems it is only Peter Obi that has tendered a certificate to INEC. Atiku Abubakar didn’t declare one either!
Oreva: Ibabo! You don’t mean this do you?
Okoro: Every word of it!
Oreva: Now I know why ASUU has been on strike for five months and it doesn’t perturb Aso Rock!
Bishak: What is the link?
Oreva: We are being ruled by ‘certificateless’ people who have no respect for certificates. If they have reached the pinnacle of governance without certificates, why should they bother about irritant communists and socialists in ASUU?
Bankole: But the strike is beyond ASUU. It is about the lives of our children and grandchildren, the country’s future!
Oreva: Of course I know. I’m worried about the entrenched culture which promotes mediocrity on account of ethnicity!
Bishak: You are free to say anything you want to say. That is how your people want to prevent my people from reaching the highest office in the land. Everything is certificate! Certificate! Certificate! Do certificates certify one to be a good leader?
Iyortem: Wrong! Wrong! Don’t give the impression that the north has no people who are highly certificated. Far from the truth!
Oreva: What has this country degenerated to?
Bankole: That is the word degenerate! We have degenerated and lost all claims to integrity.
How can a man who has lied about his early education be allowed to contest for the presidency? Where are the social activists in the country? Why don’t they go to court?
Oreva: Go to which court? Eh? Which court? Will any judge in Nigeria have the balls?
Will any judge dare to disqualify the Presidential candidate of the ruling party? Do you think any sensible judge wants to receive the Onnoghen treatment? Not even the Supreme Court whose head has been tarred with the brush of corruption can do that!
Iyortem: A Ghana must go bag filled with greenbacks can give you any verdict you want. I hear that judges sometimes write two verdicts. The final verdict is dependent on who pays more!
Okoro: Is it our judiciary we are discussing in such derogatory terms?
Iyortem: Yes, it is. The same judiciary that produced the likes of JIC Taylor, Ayo Irikefe, Gaius Tutu Obaseki, Kayode Eso, Teslim Elias and others? O God of heaven where did we go wrong?
Bankole: We went wrong when we allowed politicians to soil every facet of our national life!
Bishak: Are these politicians not from our families, friends, churches and Mosques? How are they different from any of us? We are like the politicians. The politicians are like us.
Okoro: Tufiakwa! I’m not a politician. I’m a businessman. I don’t play politics with business. I have market to sell; you have market to buy! Finish.
Oreva: But some of those delegates were businessmen! They sold their consciences!
Iyortem: Do you blame them? It was a life-time opportunity to reap big money and plough into their businesses. Some of them have suffered for many years, supporting politicians who promptly abandon them once they win elections.
Bankole: It is time to boycott all the certificateless candidates in the country!
Oreva: Is this a motion!
Bankole: Yes Oreva: I second it!
Okoro: I support it too:
Iyortem: Me too!
Bishak: Do you have PVCs?
•Professor Eghagha is a member of The Trumpet’s Editorial Board
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