Reuben Abati

Baba, Maina, Idris and other stories By Reuben Abati



“I hear say our Sai Baba don return from Turkey”

“Did you hope that he would stay there permanently? He went for the D-8 meeting, and he is bound to return.”

“D-8 meeting. I have been thinking about it. We are supposed to be a secular country but internationally, we have continued to engage with Muslim countries. We belong to the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) and also the D-8. Internationally, we are effectively a Muslim country.”

“I don’t think so. In international diplomacy, it is not a sin for a country to engage at all possible levels. Nigeria is the most strategic country in Africa with its population and economy. We have a responsibility to be everywhere in the world, and make our presence felt.”

“Which presence? There are at least 48 Turkish companies doing business in Nigeria: schools and hospitals and et cetera. How many Nigerian businesses can you point to in Turkey?”

“We have our footballers scoring goals in Turkey.”

“You are not okay.”

“We have our girls too. Nigerian girls are the most impactful diplomats in the world. They catch the men where it matters most from Turkey to Italy to London to Washington, back to home. What this government has not been able to do through diplomacy, our girls in diaspora are filling the gap, by grabbing the international community by the balls. I hear our girls are hot and famous.”

“You are talking nonsense. You are holding women responsible for Nigeria’s problems”.

“Emi ke? God forbid.”

“So what was that all about?”

“He-eerr. I am just saying that Nigerian leaders should stop junketing all over the world like a yo-yo, and stop passing that on as performance whereas there is nothing to it. The President of Nigeria must have the courage to act, and take decisions that will move the country forward. I am, in fact, surprised Baba went to the D-8 summit with his wife and children.”

“Are you okay? Baba Bubu has not done anything wrong by giving Mummy a treat.”

” I have not said he has done anything wrong. But he be like say Baba sef don dey enjoy this thing. He promised oh. Baba promise. But Baba don dey enjoy so tey, him forget promise.”

“The President is a human being. You people forget that. You keep talking about promise. What promise, I ask?”




“Nobody ever promised you change.”

“Tinubu did. The party did. Baba did.”

“My friend, go and sit down. You don’t know what is called change. The real change is that President Muhammadu Buhari is today President of Nigeria and he has every right to do as he wishes.”

“No. He can’t”.

“You are a fool. Okay, he can do what he likes for example in the other room. And change does not begin with him. It begins with you. Comment on that.”

“We are not happy with what is going on. The party is confused. The APC is divided all the way down the middle. The President is no longer with us. He has been hijacked by persons who don’t even belong to the party.”

“You have not commented on the other room”

“Which other room? Is this supposed to be a serious conversation? I don’t care what President Buhari does in his other room. I just want him to stand up like a man and run Nigeria. There are too many contradictions. His government is tearing itself apart and it is not funny at all because it gets worse everyday.”

“You can’t blame Baba. It is those people’s juju. The demons in Aso Villa have grown new wings and we can all see that.”

“Wait a moment. You are talking about the spiritual side of Aso Villa. I am in fact surprised that the President has not been able to return to his office since his staff told us rats had taken over his office.”

“I hear the rats are still there. Ogbologbo rats. No-nonsense-rats. Come-and-catch-me rats. The President’s main office remains under lock and key.”

“So why are we blaming Baba, then? Nigeria is certainly the only country in the world where the President has to vacate his office for rats and the rats have continued to exercise sovereignty rights for more than two months.”

“This thing is not ordinary. Una no wan listen.”

“Nothing is ordinary anymore in this country, my brother. Everything just be like anyhow.”

“You say?”

“I say, this their change don begin change my head. Make man talk true, even if truth kill man. Look at it now. This same government just reinstated Abdulrasheed Maina, a former pensions boss, who was declared wanted by the EFCC. He was even promoted. Then two days later, they say he has been sacked because the President wants some investigations. How?”

“What do you mean how?”

“I mean a government must have a mind of its own, and act decisively. No government should run on ad–hoc fuel. Is Maina a patriot or a villain? We don’t know. A serious government must be able to take a stand and stand by it. They should stop playing games with our minds. Must you reinstate a man, give him new hopes and a new lease of life and then turn him adrift?”

“Hey, hold on. Are you defending Maina?’

“No. I am condemning cluelessness. Extreme cluelessness. I ask you: where is the report of the investigations on the alleged abuse of the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation?”

“You are referring to the grass-cutters affair? Please pardon me for a moment. It is a lot for me. Grass-cutters. Rats. Lions. Hyenas. Too many animals in this holy of holies, we live now obviously in a kingdom of animals, governed by dancing pythons and smiling crocodiles.”

“Speak for yourself”

“I speak what the spirit says. And I prophesy that there is truth in the words of the Holy Spirit. E just be like say we don enter One Chance.”

“May be that’s why people are beginning to commit suicide. For the first time in Nigerian history, ordinary people are just committing suicide here and there. I feel like writing a book to be titled: Nigeria: The Years of Suicide.”

“Fine. And I your friend will write another book immediately and title it: Makobami: the writer who committed suicide writing about suicide.”

“You don’t get it. One man committed suicide after his wife gave birth to triplets. He had not been paid for eleven months!”

“Hen hen. Is that why he should die? Some other Nigerians would have turned that into a business opportunity. Is it easy to shoot three in one? I ask you. With all your gra-gra, can you shoot three at once? If people don’t lend themselves sense in this country, they will die before death comes calling. I tell my close friends. I tell them, this thing will pass. This change that has turned to poison in some people’s mouths, it will also pass.”

“What of the people who just parked their vehicles and jumped into the lagoon in Lagos? You think Nigerians will be happy again?”

“Yes, I believe Nigerians will be happy again.”

“But I hear government is borrowing money”

“Yes, because people you know stole the money. Still, Nigeria will rise again.”

“I think the problem is more than that. I hear the people who claim to have common sense have been told to shut up”

“Common sense is not common. Those who claim to have it may just be doing business. Common sense died in this country long ago.”

“Who is protecting this country, then?”

“Ordinary people. They should just allow us to speak.”

“It is their country too”


“The people who don’t want us to speak”

“It is not their country. They had the audacity to lie to us. They claimed they would bring change and transform Nigeria. They promised to kill corruption. They have done the opposite of what they proposed.”

“Can you stop now? I am in Abuja to have fun not to get into trouble, this man.”

“You must have the courage to speak up. We, the voters’ card carrying Nigerians are angry. We want change.”

“You wanted change. You got it. What other change are you asking for?”


“Go and sit down and stop mouthing empty slogans”

“You must go and talk to Asiwaju”

“I am not going to talk to anybody.”

“I mean they shut down the man’s TVC and Radio Continental.”

‘I didn’t hear that.’

“I hear they even want to withdraw his Villa pass”

“I didn’t hear that”

“I hear the columnists in his newspaper can no longer write freely”

“I didn’t hear that.”

“In fact, I hear that it is now a sin to speak freely and that’s why Atiku is now suddenly silent.”

“I didn’t hear that.”

“I hear that Baba Buhari will win the win 2019 election, whether people like you like it or not.”

“I didn’t hear that”

“What do you ever hear? I am a street guy. I hear things. Are you in this country at all?”

“Good for you”

“But are you aware by any chance that Senator Isa Misau is fighting the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris?.

“I have not paid attention to the story: something about the IGP befriending two female officers? How is that a problem? ”

“It is unprofessional and unethical. But there is also a charge of corrupt self-enrichment.”

“Charges against who? The IG or the Misau?”


“Misau or the IG? Stop worrying yourself my friend. I am trying to discuss national matters you are focusing on the Inspector General of Police. Who is he?”

“I am just thinking right now, may be we should discuss issues that will not get us into trouble.”

“Our job is to get into trouble with our ideas.”

“God forbid. My mouth will not take me to detention cell.”

“Don’t’ worry. If the IG impregnates a female police officer, it is a matter of espirit de corps. Senator Misau should know that.”

“But the money”

“Which money? Everything is espirit de corps”

“Have you taken something?”

“Take what? I am saying this is not America. The Inspector General of Police grabs a police woman and proves himself to be a man and you are blowing whistle like a eunuch: is this America? I beg.”

“You are mixing things up. You don’t get it.”

“I get everything. Nothing is going to change. This is Nigeria. Nothing ever changes in real terms. Do you get it? This is Nigeria.”

“Can we talk about something else, please, to ease your depression? I see you talk like you are depressed.”

“Me? I am not depressed oh. Nobody can kill the beetle.”

“One of your favourite artists, Toyin Aimakhu-Abraham lost her dad.”

“That’s sad. My condolences.”

“Asa, the musician, has disclosed that she lost her virginity at 28.”

“Wow. 28! She is an absolute genius and a darling. Did she disclose the identity of the victim?”

“No. But I hear 2Face now gives advice on sex; he recommends the use of condoms”

“That is our Saul on the road to Damascus. We should make 2Face the next Pope.”

“13 Southern Nigerian Governors and 3 deputies met in Lagos yesterday.”

“A meeting of strange bed fellows holding talks, saying nothing.”

“The Federal Government has decided to confiscate funds in all bank accounts that are not linked to BVNs”

“That is a thief-thief policy. They are asking for more suicides.”

“I hear George Weah is in Nigeria to see Pastor Temitope Joshua ahead of the Presidential election rerun in Liberia.”

“I see. Liberia certainly needs a miracle.”

“Cristiano Ronaldo has won the FIFA best player award, beating Messi and Neymar.”

“I don’t watch football…sorry. I am too busy watching Nigeria.”

“Maina has been sacked.”

“I heard that. Nice chess.”


Leave a comment

Related Articles

365 days in office: Tinubu to inaugurate projects in Lagos, Abuja, across the country

Ahead of the first anniversary of his administration on May 29, President...

Odili to Fubara: Don’t be afraid, nobody can shake you, we are solidly behind you

Dr. Peter Odili, a former governor of Rivers State, has restated his...

Intervene in Kano Emirate stalemate, Islamic scholars beg Pres. Tinubu

Worried by the tension following the dethronement of the Emir of Kano,...

Nigerian economy: Worst days are over, Pres. Tinubu assures

President Bola Tinubu has assured Nigerians that the worst days are over...

Just in: We will accept whatever the law says, deposed Emir of Bayero breaks silence

The deposed 15th Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, has stated...

Breaking: Hunter now the hunted! Gunmen abduct Army officer in Makurdi, demand N5m ransom

The kidnapping of Charles Ogbonna, a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (SNCO), has been...

Lamido’s reinstatement: We will obey court’s order for status quo ante – Kano Police Command

The Kano State Police Command has stated that it will comply with...

National Sports Festival Holds January 2025, Announces Sports Minister

The Federal Government has approved January 2025 as the official date for...

Just in: Soldiers deployed to protect deposed Aminu Bayero

Following an order for the arrest of deposed Emir Aminu Ado Bayero...

Just in: Nigeria records 2.98% GDP growth in Q1 ’2024

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria fell to 2.98 percent, a...

Northern elders react to Sanusi’s reinstatement, caution Kano Gov. Yusuf

As the return of Kano Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II continues to raise...

NELFUND student loan portal opens

The Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) has opened the application portal for...

NNPC Ltd. , Schlumberger (SLB) Sign Agreement to Boost Upstream Operations

As part of strategic reforms aimed at unlocking opportunities in the nation’s...

16th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, turbaned

Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II was turbaned on Friday as the 16th Emir...

Frustrated by lecturer, Ebonyi varsity final year female student commits suicide

Devastated by the frustrations she suffered in the hands of her lecturer,...

24 hours after arrest, Abuja publisher released on bail

The Enugu Police Command has released Madu Onuorah, publisher and editor-in-chief of...

Court Seizes $4.7m, N830m, other properties recovered from Ex-CBN Gov. Emefiele

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered an interim forfeiture...

Pres. Tinubu authorises commencement of Lagos-Calabar coastal highway construction

President Bola Tinubu has given the nod for the commencement of construction...

Abuja online publisher Onuorah arrested over alleged defamatory publication – Police

The Enugu State Police Command has refuted the allegation that they abducted...

NNPC Ltd. condoles with Tijjani Babangida over loss of brother, son

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has paid a condolence...