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The Tower of NIDO

Image removed.(Aso Rock, some years ago) “Ahmadu, Tony, and Bode, have you given any thought yet to 2003 and 2007? Once we neutralise that greedy and ambitious Atiku, what next? You guys must deliver my third term in 2007 o. And we need to start strategising early.” “Your Excellency Baba, I don’t know about Ahmadu and Bode but you can trust me. They don’t call me your Mr. Fix-it for nothing. I’m already thinking very far ahead.”

“Baba, don’t mind Tony o. I am the original Lagos boy here. Any other Bode George is a counterfeit. I know how to get these things done.”

“Ah, Baba, I am still your one and only Alli must go. Don’t worry. We are busy working on the project. Once we get Atiku out of the way, we can rattle the Maradona of Minna a little bit. We can arrest and shake up one of his sons a little to the right and a little to the left. With Atiku and Maradona out of the way, all the other jokers will get the message that there is no vacancy in Aso Rock until you have served three terms. Who born dem?”

“Okay, gentlemen. I trust the three of you. But there is still one problem. Even when we have taken care of things and covered our bases at home, what about those noisemakers abroad?”

“You mean meddlesome foreign governments? Baba, I can fix them too. I don’t just fix domestic irritations for you.”

“Tony, who is talking about foreign governments? I mean Nigerians abroad. Ever since they found a mission and a coherent voice during their opposition to Abacha, they have become a force Abuja can no longer ignore. And you know that the ipata literature man from my neck of the woods in Ogun state is not helping matters.”
“Baba, you mean the restless Professor who wears a white mane on his head?”

“Yes o. My so-called friend and kinsman! At his age, he is still roaming Western capitals, mobilizing Nigerian communities in Euro-America against us. And you know they listen to him. Once he suspects that we are already thinking of a third term, you can trust him to hop on the plane and begin to mobilize Nigerians all over Europe and America.”

“I see your point Baba. The internet too is not helping matters. It has given those noise making Andrews abroad a capacity for mobilization and a presence they didn’t have just a few years ago. Our foreign partners are now into the irritating habit of even feeling the pulse of their guest Nigerian communities before doing business with us.”
“Ha ha ha ha ha. He he he he he. Hu hu hu hu hu.”

“Am I missing something here? What’s funny? What’s wrong with the three of you?”

“Baba, it’s the importance you accord to Nigerians abroad that we find so funny. What you are mistaking for their unity of purpose is actually just a case of the loquacious ones among them having a reason to scream about the same thing at the same time: Abacha, corruption, no water, no light, no infrastructure, bla bla bla. It is just a unity of convenience. I can fix it into disunity if that becomes necessary for our objective”

“I agree with Tony. Baba, you and I are both Yoruba. May I respectfully remind you of the Yoruba practice of finding “ai roju, ai raye” for any irritant or upstart who gets in your way? We also call it the philosophy of “j’en raye se temi”. All we have to do is find original “ai roju, ai raye” for those noisemakers who call themselves Nigerians abroad and we shall “raye se tiwa” here in Abuja.”

“Tony, you see these Yoruba people now? There are four of us here. Only Baba and Bode are Yoruba and they are both blowing Yoruba philosophy! Anyway, Bode, I presume we are part of this plan? So translate all your Yorubawa abeg.”

“Ok, Tony and Ahmadu, when “ai roju, ai raye” is deployed as a strategy to achieve “j’en raye se temi”, it means you find work for your enemy. You keep him so busy, distracted, and disorganised that it becomes impossible for him to focus on you. When your enemy does not “roju” and does not “raye”, you are free to pursue your own agenda.”

“Fantastic! Excellent! With all due respect to you, Baba, you see why I fear Yoruba people now?”

“We, Yoruba, dey kampe, Tony. Fear us. Anyway, Bode, I am going to Atlanta next month. And I hear that I will have a huge townhall meeting with Nigerians from all over the United States. That could be an opportunity to launch “operation ai roju raye”. What exactly do you have in mind?”

“Excellent!! I’m beginning to like this! Baba, if you ask me, the only way to ensure their disunity is actually to unite them.”

“Bode, speak English to us. What is all this paradox? Is it because we mentioned the ipata literature man with the famous white mane?”

“Sorry, Baba. What better way to disunite Nigerians than to bring them together from across our volatile ethnic fault lines and ask them to run something together? Let’s give them a well-funded organization to run. We’ll humour some gargantuan egos in the Nigerian community out there with the usual speeches about taking them seriously and wanting them to partner with the Federal government to move Nigeria forward.”

“Chei, Bode you are a genius. As national chairman of our great party, I say this with a great sense of responsibility. Baba, Bode’s plan could help us kill two birds with one stone.”

“How so, Ahmadu?”

“Baba, we all know that a group of Nigerians from across the ethnic fault lines cannot possibly run an organization without bringing down the roof with the usual Nigerian factor. Now, those loud Nigerians in Europe and America have this irritating habit of looking down pompously on those of us at home. They abuse us all the time and accuse us of incompetence. We can’t run Nigeria bla bla bla and more bla. Let’s give them an organization of their own to run. We all know that they will make a mess of it right there abroad. And we would have demystified them, apart from distracting them from our agenda. If they can’t run a small organization abroad, they won’t have any moral basis to run their mouths about the incompetence of those of us running Nigeria at home.”

“So, are we going to form this organization for them? That could backfire.”

“Of course not, Baba! We shall induce its formation and fund it heavily. But we shall make them think that they formed it of their own volition. When their leaders come to Abuja, we give them an official car, a driver, some assistants, and accommodation in a Federal government guest house. Just give them some sense of importance and the illusion that they are relevant to anything here at home. But beyond all that, the Federal government shall maintain perfect deniability at all times.”

“Ok, I’m beginning to like this plan. Who do we need to get “operation ai roju raye” off the ground?”

“Apart from the four of us here, we have to proceed on a need-to-know basis. We need to brief our men on the ground in the US, Jibril Aminu and Joe Keshi immediately. They can begin the spade work for the formation of some kind of umbrella organization of Nigerians abroad as part of the highlights of your trip to Atlanta sir.”
“Will they be in on the real plan?”

“Haba, Baba! Of course not! They don’t need to know. Let’s just tell them that we need them to facilitate the formation of a Nigerians in Diaspora Organization. They need not know anything beyond that. Once it gets off the ground, the Nigerian factor should hopefully set in. Egos will clash and, in no time, the principal actors will turn it to a Nigerians in Disarray Organization. And that would just be perfect for us.”

“This is just great! Bode, you are at the ports. Fund “operation ai roju raye”. Presidential order. No spending cap. And, remember, the Federal government has no hand whatsoever in the formation of the organization.”

(Some years later, a NIDO meeting in progress somewhere in North America...)

“Ladies and gentlemen, let’s have some quiet please. The hall is too rowdy. Let’s not turn NIDO to the tower of Babel. May I remind you all that during the last NIDO elections held in Texas...”

“Shut up! You and who held elections in Texas?”

“Hey Mister, you shut up. That was rude of you to interrupt the MC like that. You did not have the floor.”

“The floor my foot! How can he be talking about elections in Texas? No, we did not hold elections. We merely nearly did.”

“Good talk my broda. I support you. No election was held in Texas. Besides, the NIDO meeting we are talking about was held in Washington, not Texas.”
“Ah yes, I remember now! That’s  when we formed the Lo Losun committee...”

“Lo Losun committee ko, Lo Laro committee ni. We did not form any Lo Losun committee in Washington...”

“Yes we did! It was an ad hoc committee mandated to look into the NIDO imbroglio in New Jersey where one female Christian Taliban has been a bull in a china shop.”

“My friend, that was not a committee o. That was a board.”

“No, it was a committee.”
“I say na board.”
“I say no be board. Na committee.”

“Ah, ok, yes we formed a committee. But it was not set up to look into the episodic pockets of NIDO crises in New Jersey and other NIDO hot spots in the United States and Canada. I think you are talking about the Stakeholder A.Y. Hamis ad hoc committee which was mandated to look into the immediate, intermediate, and remote possibilities of amalgamating the multiple crises from NIDO Americas to NIDO South Africa via NIDO Europe and blend them all into one harmonious and manageable crisis. Check the minutes. I’m sure I’m right.”

“No. You are wrong. The Stakeholder A.Y. Hamis ad hoc committee was formed to conduct a census of all the warring factions, sub-factions, semi-factions, mini-factions, and counter-factions of each NIDO chapter that we currently have in all the accredited regions. The committee for the amalgamation of NIDO crises worldwide that you are referring to was headed by someone else. Not the venerable Stakeholder A.Y. Hamis.”

“Ah yes, you are right! I remember we drank so much coffee at that meeting.”
“Coffee ke? We did not drink coffee o. We drank tea. Are you sure you were at that meeting?”
“My friend, I know what am saying. We drank coffee.”
“No sir, we drank tea.”

“Are you trying to say that am lying, you inyanmirin son of a bitch? Who even brought these okoro boys to NIDO sef? I’m sure the Shylocks only came because of our Abuja land bonanza.”

“Eh, eh, eh, see this semi-illiterate ofem manu Yoruba bastard and ngbati traitor who does not even know the difference between coffee and tea! And he is talking to me! No be your fault. Na NIDO. Abuja land bonanza my foot. No be your greedy ngbati people chop all di land?”

“Gentlemen, behave, please! We are not in the tower of Babel. And may I remind you that the controversy over our Abuja land bonanza has now been rested? Can we please get to our business of the day now? Remember we are here to discuss the dissolution of the current Exco...”

“Fa fa fa foul! You and who agreed to dissolve which Exco? Do you guys even read our Constitution at all? The current Exco has two more years in office!”

“I thought we covered this ground before. Why this attempt to sit tight and extend the life of the current Exco beyond what our Constitution allows?”

General commotion in the house. Shouts of “we no go gree, nsobu nsobu eyimba eyimba, and bole dija ko dija, bole dogun ko dogun” can be heard all over the room. Some members storm out...

(A few days later...)
We, the committee of progressive NIDO Chieftains, Stakeholders, and Elder Statesmen, wish to announce the formation of a new chapter of the organization to be known as NIDO Washington District of Columbia chapter – not to be confused with NIDO Washington DC chapter. NIDO District of Columbia has had to sadly split from NIDO DC owing to irreconcilable differences...

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