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Dimeji, Wahala Wa O! By Pius Adesanmi

March 11, 2011

Dimeji, Wahala Wa O!
Pius Adesanmi

“Hello, Dimeji, can you hear me? This MTN line is bad. Let me try your Glo”

“Ehen, hello, Dimeji. It’s me again. Se on gbo mi clearly this time? Can you hear me now?”

“Ah, Daddy, it’s you? Daddy daddy, how do you do sir? I was coming to see you this weekend in Abeokuta. How are my siblings?”

“Look, iwo boy yi, why must everything be about Britico accent and fone to you? This is no time to be talking through your nose. I’m your father. How many times will I tell you to reserve that Britico accent for your people in Abuja?”

“Ouch, Daddy, you are in a bad mood today. What seems to be the problem?”
“You see, you are doing it again. Yeepa is yeepa, which one is ouch? Look, Dimeji, wahala wa o.”

“Wahala? You mean there is a problem, innit?”

“Anu e se mi. I’m sorry for you. If you like, speak Britico to the point of not knowing the meaning of wahala again. Have you seen NEXT newspaper today? The Americans are trying to pour sand in our garri o.”

“NEXT? No, I haven’t seen that paper today. Hold on Daddy, let me just check them out online. I believe they are at”
(Dimeji goes online for a few seconds…)

“Y-e-e-p-a, Daddy! Mo daran!”

“Oho, so you speak Yoruba now. Omo alaseju. Where is all the fone you have been blowing since morning?”

“E wo, Daddy, ma pe yin pada. I will call you back. I need to summon an emergency meeting with my media staff for damage control. Kayode! Kayode! Morgan! Morgan!”

(Chief Kayode Odunaro and Morgan Omodu rush in)

“Didn’t you guys see this thing? There is fire on the mountain and I had to find out from my Dad? What am I paying you guys for?”

“Sir, it’s a developing story. I only just saw it and was rushing to Morgan’s office to check if he’d seen it too when you summoned us.”

“That is correct sir. Oga Kayode was coming to see me so we could both come and brief you when you summoned us.”

“Ok, ok, I hear you. How do we handle this? Chei, I should never have trusted that yeye Robin Sanders woman.”

“It’s not her fault sir. She could not have known that Wikileaks would get the report of what transpired between you and her.”

“Morgan, se ori e pe sha? Kayode, help me ask Morgan if his head is correct. Did I summon him here to come and be defending Robin Sanders and Wikileaks?”

“Morgan, fun ra e n brain. Behave yourself o. Oga, bear with us jare. Don’t mind Morgan.”

“Ok, how do we go about this? If our people in the Supreme Court feel that they can no longer collect Ghana-must-go freely without the fear of leaks, that could become a serious problem for us in April, especially as Baba and President Jonathan have not yet been able to purchase Justice Ayo Salami at the Appeal Court. Everybody will blame me if we lose the Supreme Court judges!”

“Oga, did you meet that woman?”

“Which woman, Kayode?”

“Robin Sanders.”

“What kind of question is that, Kayode? What is wrong with you and Morgan today? Were you not present at the meeting with her? We were all with her for more than two hours and you are here asking me if I met her?”

“Oga, that’s the point. I have no recollection of that meeting. I have never ever seen or met Robin Sanders.”

“Kayode!!!! E gba mi o! How can you have forgotten that meeting…”

“Oga, I think I understand what Oga Kayode is trying to do. Me too, I have never met that woman.”

“Aahh, now I get it!! You guys are brilliant. It never happened. The meeting never took place. But, guys, are you sure we have that level of deniability here? Isn’t it too radical? That will mean we are calling the Americans outright liars. That they made up a meeting which never happened. Can we risk annoying the Americans?”

“Oga, they are too distracted now to notice our denial. Besides, there is no good way for them to disown our denial without implicitly validating Wikileaks, their great enemy?”

“Morgan, you are making sense for the first time today.”

“Yes, Oga, Morgan has a point here. The Americans would never come out to say anything that could remotely validate Wikileaks.”

“I agree with the two of you but if we paint them as liars and fabricators, they may have other means of dealing with us. Who knows what they have on that my Peugeot contract matter that we have successfully swept under the carpet? We don’t want them to go around leaking things to Omoyele Sowore or NEXT just to get at me. Imagine what Sahara Reporters would do if they got a leak! I can’t have any contract scam leaks this close to the election.”

“Ah, Oga, e de tun ri yen so o. Nice talk. This is no time to make you vulnerable to those Sahara Reporters people. Alakori gba ni Sowore yen. Morgan, Oga is right. Never trust the Americans. Just when you think you have successfully buried a corpse at midnight, those crazy Yankees could expose the corpse’s legs for you in broad daylight. And you know how many of those corpses we have buried at midnight. You never can tell what the Americans have on the 9 billion naira that Dino Melaiye and his useless group accused Oga of…”

“Kayode, this is a damage control meeting about Robin Sanders and Wikileaks. You are not here to do a census of the corpses I have buried at midnight. Always a bad idea to throw proverbs and riddles at your boss even if you are older than him. What is wrong with you and Morgan today?”

“Sorry sir. I got carried away. How about we cash in on their Edo error?”

“Edo error?”

“Yes sir. Oshiomole told the Americans that the Vice President was guilty of multiple voting. He was referring to Admiral Augustus Aikhomu who was Babangida’s Vice President. Wikileaks erroneously reported it as Goodluck Jonathan – who couldn’t and didn’t vote in Edo state. NEXT foolishly ran to town with the story and reproduced the error.”

“Ah, Oga, I see where Kayode is going with this! We could just claim that they have made the same mistake in your case. That the Speaker in the Wikileaks thing is Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke, not you.”

“Morgan! Ume-Ezeoke was Speaker in the Second Republic! That’s 1979-1983! Robin Sanders was probably still in high school in America and there was no Wikileaks. You really think that Nigerians would believe that crap?”

“Oga, don’t dismiss Morgan’s point like that o. If Nigerians weren’t suckers for just about anything, we would have had Tunisia and Egypt ten times over by now.”

“I hear you. It’s the Americans I’m worried about, not Nigerians. And the two of you had better start earning your pay now. This brainstorming is not producing results.”

“Ok, Oga, how about we admit that you met the woman but it was a very brief meeting that could not have allowed you to make all those revelations about the Supreme Court and the workings of the Nigerian government?”
“Ehen, Kayode, you are finally talking. Morgan, what do you think of Kayode’s suggestion?”

“I agree with Sir Kay, sir. We could claim that two hours as reported by Wikileaks was a misstatement by Robin Sanders to her bosses in Washington. We can issue a restatement to reduce the meeting to one hour.”

“One hour? That is still enough time for me to have said all those things that I said.”

“Okay, forty minutes sir.”

“Still too much”

“Thirty nko?”

“Mba! No way. Still too much.”

“Ah, Oga, e n’na ni? Are you pricing it? What about twenty minutes?”

“Ehen, a tie si gbo yen. That could work! Let’s do twenty minutes. But we still need to obtain clearance from the Americans. Kayode, call the Ambassador for me right away.”

“Hello, hello, is that His Excellency the American Ambassador to Nigeria?”


“This is the Office of the Honourable Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Alhaji Chief Dimeji Sabur Bankole. Hold on for your caller sir.”

“Hello your Excellency”

“Hello, Mr. Speaker sir. Well, well, this is quite a surprise. I was about to go and catch a flight to Washington when your call came through”

“Good thing I got you before you travelled. Your Excellency, I’m sure you’ve been following the embarrassing Wikileaks revelations about my meeting with your predecessor, Ms. Robin Sanders?”

“Yes, Mr. Speaker, we are following it with interest”

“Mr. Ambassador, sir, you do know that my Office has to react and explain things to the Nigerian people.”

“Of course. Of course. My own government explains things to the American people all the time.”

“Thank you Mr. Ambassador. But you know that there is really no way to explain this to Nigerians without attributing some degree of untruth or non-truth to Ms Sanders and American officials.”

“I’m afraid that is not acceptable, Mr. Speaker. A former official of the United States at the Ambassadorial rank must not be embarrassed by officials of the Nigerian government. That could have consequences.”

“Mr. Ambassador, this Wikileaks issue could jeopardize my re-election and all the work I am doing for your government on the Petroleum Industry Bill.

The Chinese Ambassador has tried relentlessly to influence the wording of that Bill but I…”

“Er, Mr. Speaker, now that you have put it this way, I now see some wisdom in letting you issue a rebuttal to Wikileaks. President Obama appreciates your quiet work for us on the Petroleum Industry Bill and other Bills before you that are crucial for the national security interests of the United States.”

“Thanks for the compliment, Mr. Ambassador. I appreciate President Obama’s confidence in me.”

“But we insist on vetting a draft of your statement before you release it to the Nigerian people. We could do that right now before I leave. Can you fax a draft right away?”

“Of course, Mr. Ambassador. Just hold on for a second. Oya, Kayode, you guys should draft a statement pronto and fax it to the Ambassador’s office. Em, your Excellency, my staff will fax you a copy in about five minutes.”

“Thanks, Mr. Speaker, I will read it and send our reaction immediately.

Speaking of Wikileaks, Mr. Speaker, I saw that report in NEXT and it indicated that more is to come. That newspaper got a cache of leaks that they plan to release instalmentally”

“Yes, Mr. Ambassador. That seems to be the situation.”

“In that case, other Nigerian government officials who work for us and spoke extensively to Ms. Sanders may need to issue rebuttals. And there are thousands of them in all arms of government, from Aso Rock to the Federal Legislature and all state capitals. Can I count on you, Mr. Speaker, to pass the word around in government circles that all denials and rebuttals must be approved by the Embassy?”

“Consider it done, Mr. Ambassador.”

“Thank you. Please impress it on them that all unauthorized denials could have consequences on our partnership and bilateral relations.”

“I assure you, Mr Ambassador, that we won’t embarrass your government.”

“Can I equally rely on you, Mr Speaker, to pass the word around to all Federal Reps, Ministers, and Senators who regularly report the workings of the Nigerian government to American officials that President Obama personally guarantees that there will be no future leaks? Their work is appreciated? If necessary, we’ll let Farida Waziri know that those among them who give us useful information are very good friends of the United States.”

“Understood. Consider it done, Mr. Ambassador”

“Good. In that case, your own rebuttal is approved. My secretary has just faxed you a copy with our modifications. We have been generous. The bold statement allows you to claim that Ms. Sanders lied and to challenge US officials for corroboration. You may go ahead and issue it as a press statement. We will expect more extensive returns from you on the Petroleum Industry Bill and other issues to be determined by Washington. I need to go and catch my flight. So long, Mr Speaker.”

“Thanks a bunch, Mr. Ambassador and have a wonderful trip home. I will keep working on a special tax free status and other concessions for American oil companies in the Bill. You can count on me. Kayode, oya, go and issue that statement right away.”


The attention of the Office of Speaker, House of Representatives has been drawn to the publication in some media quoting “Wikileaks” alleging that Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole, Speaker of House of Representatives says that Supreme Court judges took bribes to validate Yar’Adua/Jonathan election as well as describing EFCC as “not worth a penny”!

We deny in strongest terms that Speaker Bankole ever made such allegations or statement against respected justices of the Supreme Court and the anti-corruption agency, EFCC in any meeting with the then US Ambassador, Ms. Robin Sanders. The official meeting Ms. Sanders had with Mr. Speaker was in presence of leadership of the House and did not last more than 20 minutes. It is a lie that Mr. Speaker had a two hour private meeting with Ms. Sanders.

The Office of the Speaker challenges US officials to authenticate this wild allegations that strike at the integrity of Nigeria judicial institution and its foremost anti-corruption agencies. It is an open an open secret the cordial relationship that existed between the late President Yar’Adua and the Speaker aside the fact that he is part of the Yar’adua government. He could not have made an allegation against the justices which impugn on the Yar’adua government.

We are however surprised that any Nigerian medium could give credence to and publish what in essence could be mere gossip and unconfirmed summary of diplomats trying to get a grip of issues on-going in their host countries for their home government.

We want to counsel media organizations that such sensational allegations bordering on crime against the highest judicial officers of the land and its foremost anticorruption agencies should be handled more responsibly with full and verifiable authentication from all parties in the interest of protecting the institution of judiciary, the last hope of the common man.

Chief Kayode Odunaro
Special Adviser (Communications)
Speaker, House of Representatives
March 7, 2011


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