“Who then is the faithful and prudent servant whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time? ……But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants and eat and drink with drunkards, the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely…”
(Writer’s comments:- For the wicked servant read a Nigerian President. For the fellow servants, read ordinary Nigerians. For the serial beatings read political maladministration, hijack of the State Treasury, diversion of State Funds, insensitivity, lack of human sympathy and absence of empathy. For the eating and drinking, read doling out of State Funds in the form of electoral bribes to pressure groups, religious, traditional and opinion leaders, security officers, judges, media practitioners etc. For the drunkard friends, read corrupt politicians, corrupt opinion and religious leaders, uncouth political thugs, greedy business men and irreverent ex-militants. For the wicked servant’s master, read national elections).
My compatriot Sule was a bad boy. Without question Sule was a very bad boy. In those days, Sule was a student studying civil engineering in one of the local universities around and josh was Sule playful? His mother Loveth, more popularly known as Madam Love, and whose favorite refrain was “show love to all men” was a frequent visitor to a certain departmental office particularly during the build-up to semester exams.
Just before Sule’s final semester exams, Madam Love was sequestered in the private office of Dr Larry Adams, then Head of the Civil Engineering Department. “So you see Madam Love, I have tried my very best but I can see no way Sule can graduate this semester” Dr Adams chipped in. “Sule your son is too playful. He takes nothing seriously. Already he has spent 9 years in this department studying for a 5 year course. If he fails this time according to the University rules and regulations he will be kicked out for good.”
“God forbid” quipped Madam Love. “Yes Madam Love, but what have I not done for Sule.” “I have given him extra tutorials but he is not serious. Can you imagine, just this last week I was tutoring him on the Principles of Reinforced Concrete Design and he appeared to be busy jotting down points. When I asked to see his notes, all he had on it was a sketch of a naked girl sitting in a very compromising position on the laps of a bald man old enough to be her father. Can you beat that?”
“Hmmm….” exclaimed Madam Love “Sule will kill me before my time.” “Please Dr Adams, do not give up on Sule. He is just like his father. His father was too playful too before he died. Look let me tell you a family secret. When I was a young girl barely 14 years old, my eldest sister Sisi Onome married Sule’s grandfather the late Chief Shehu Adamu as his youngest wife and took me along to stay with her in that family. Sule’s father Musa who was then about 19 years old was the only son of Chief Adamu from all his wives and because he wanted more sons that is why he married my sister Sisi Onome.”
“At night when my sister went to sleep in Chief Adamu’s apartment, Sule’s father Musa would creep into our own apartment and start playing with me. Every night without fail we would play together till day-break before he crept away.”
“Both Sisi and myself took in at the same time. When Sisi discovered what had happened and that I was equally pregnant she cursed me and wanted to banish me from the family, but Chief Adamu insisted that I must give birth first in his house before leaving. Sisi and I gave birth few days apart.”
“Unfortunately Sisi gave birth to a baby girl Risikat while I gave birth two days thereafter to Sule who was a carbon copy of Musa and bore a very strong resemblance to Chief Adamu as well. Sisi cursed me bitterly saying I had shattered all her plans because she intended to poison Musa someday once she gave birth to a son herself.”
“On seeing Sule for the first time, Chief Adamu exclaimed, ‘this baby is just like my very self. What am I looking for again?’ To cut a very long story short, that is how I grew a long tap root in the house and secured a higher stake in the Adamu family than Sisi. So you see Sule is just like his father and his grandfather. He likes play – play too much. It is in their blood.”
“Anyway Doctor Adams, I know you have been trying. Please help me this last time so that Sule can graduate. Look as usual, I have brought a lot of fresh food stuff with me from the village. Name it yam, plaintain, fresh vegetable, melon, coco nut, coco-yam, assorted fish, palm-oil, lobster, palm wine, snails etc. They are all heaped inside that lorry parked outside. I also have something special for you inside this envelope too. Here take it.”
Doctor Adams quickly snatched the envelope and put it inside his breast pocket and straightened it out. “Madam Love, I will try my best but let me put it on record that I cannot guarantee anything. Look each semester I go round all the Lecturers begging them to pass Sule. Now the other Lecturers are beginning to suspect that something extra is going on.”
“They think I am enjoying something extra-ordinary from you even though I share all the goodies you bring to me with them on an equal per capita basis and two of us know that nothing else is going on between us.” Doctor Adams glanced wistfully at Madam Love’s bosom and hips.
This was the opening Madam Love was patiently waiting for all along. She eagerly seized it with both hands. “Ah Doctor Adams, why did you not openly declare your interest and intention to run for my private office since all these years that we have known each other? You these men. Forget it. All of you are the same when it comes to play-play matter. You know you always look very serious and officious like a consecrated Bishop. I did not know that you too equally like to play. Wait for me. I am coming.”
With this she quickly stepped outside his office.
Doctor Adams’ heart started beating feverishly. He imagined all sort of things. ‘What is Madam Love up to?’ he thought to himself. ‘Maybe she went to the rest room to freshen herself up. But surely she knows I cannot do anything right now? Too many people may be hanging around outside my door monitoring me.’ His heart was beating ever faster like a heavy duty submersible pump as he imagined himself playing with Madam Love.
He imagined grabbing her by her thick waist and imposing himself forcefully upon her. He imagined her crying out in pain. The thought was too ecstatic for him to bear. Scratching his bald head and loosening his tie, he said to himself, ‘Boy oh boy, no venture, no success. Life itself is a risk. I shall contest to occupy Madam Love’s private office immediately she comes back no matter the consequences. But I must be very quick about it. Five minutes at the most. Once you knock a woman down the first time, other times will surely follow with minimum resistance, just as night must follow day. It is an unfailing law of feminine nature. ‘
He stood up and adjusted his office table and chairs, trying to figure out the best location and configuration to lay the impending ambush on Madam Love’s corporal assets.
Madam Love re-emerged suddenly with three young and very beautiful girls in tight-fitting short skirts and skimpy blouses. “Doctor this is Ifeoma, this one is Aisha and the other one is Funke. They are some of the young girls I am training on home and social etiquette back in the village. Aisha, Funke and Ifeoma this is Doctor Adams, Sule’s godfather.”
“Good day Sir” they greeted in unison like a choral group, genuflecting synchronously by bending both knees and revealing their deep cleavages in the process. Doctor Adams involuntarily straightened up in shock and shook each girl’s hand, taking a tad bit too long to release each hand. “You are welcome Funke, Ifeoma and Aisha, please sit down and feel at home.” All three sat down without crossing their legs.
Doctor Adams moved back and sat on his chair. From his vantage position behind the table, he espied that they were wearing nothing beneath their skirts. What he saw was unbelievable and indescribable. Suddenly the blood vessels inside his brain started pulsating so rapidly that they threatened to burst. He was choking with lust. He removed his tie completely. He felt some relief now that he was sitting down behind his table for the bulge in his pants had become very conspicuous and highly embarrassing. But Madam Love was not yet done.
“Doctor, my son Sule told me that you sent your family away to Ghana for the summer holidays. I know you are a very busy man who would not have time for such minor domestic issues like cooking. That is why I brought Aisha, Ifeoma and Funke along with me so that they will always prepare good food for you with all the stuff I have inside that Lorry which I do not want to go bad and be wasted.”
“With your permission, can Funke, Aisha and Ifeoma go now with the Lorry driver to your house and help to offload them?” She continued, “do not worry, all three of them can stay with you for several weeks or even months until your family comes back. I know you will take very good care of them. Just give them your house key. The lorry driver knows the way to your house.”
“Sure, sure, by all means Madam Love, they can stay with me,” replied Doctor Adams as he hastily removed the house key from the bunch of keys on his desk, his hands were shaking with excitement like that of an old man down with Parkinson’s disease.
Once they were gone, Doctor Adams exclaimed in genuine admiration. “Madam the Madam. The one and only Madam Love.” “Yes it is me” replied Madam Love, “showing love to all men as usual.” Doctor Adams could not help himself. He stood up and declared solemnly. “Madam Love, I hereby confer on you a doctorate degree without coursework in the administration and practice of love to mankind. Truly you are an accomplished subject matter expert in the specialty and art of Love.”
“Thank you Doctor Adams but please do not forget your son Sule.” “Sule?” sniggered Doctor Adams as if that was a non-issue, “I tell you Madam Love, Sule is already a graduate engineer.” “Amen, amen, amen-oooh” ejaculated Madam Love. She stood up in excitement and made to embrace Doctor Adams but he gently extricated himself from her grasp.
Having been privileged to enjoy a sneak preview of Aisha, Funke and Ifeoma’s more modern and contemporary hidden assets, he was no more enthusiastic about hugging the antiquated and dilapidated female anatomy of Madam Love, a point which did not go unnoticed by Madam Love herself. She cleverly concealed her deep embarrassment and utter disappointment.
At this point in time, Doctor Adams was ready to call it a day at the office and retire to his home immediately but he continued. “You see the problem with Sule is that even if you show him the exam questions as well as the solutions before-hand and ask him to practice it all night, he will still fail the exam once he gets inside the hall. I have tried it with him several times in the recent past with nothing on his part to show for the assistance rendered to him.”
“However just right now as I am speaking to you I have devised a new technique. You know as the Head of Department, I have access to all the exam questions and model solutions which the Course Lecturers as a standing rule must deposit the night before inside the safe over there in that corner of my office. So I will ask Sule the night before each particular exam to come to my house and copy out the solution in his own handwriting in an official answer booklet.”
“On the exam day he can go and mess up as usual. Once all the answer scripts are turned in and just before they are taken away for grading by the Course Lecturers I will remove the one he wrote inside the hall and replace it with the one he wrote the night before and nobody would be the wiser for it. Yes that is what I will do.”
It was now Madam Love’s turn to hail him. “Ah the great Doctor. I knew you would always come up with a solution. You are too sharp Doctor. Thank you very much. Now that everything is settled, let me be on my way, it is a long journey back to the village.” Just then there was a knock on the door. It was Festus one of the senior and soon to be graduating students.
“Can I see you briefly Sir?” “Yes, yes Festus. Come in.” Dr Adams was always pleased to see Festus. He reminded him of himself in his younger days before things went bad. “Sir I wanted your assistance in this problem I am solving. It is the last question of the last Chapter of the recommended text on the Principles and Practice of Structural Engineering Analysis and Design. I am having a little difficulty with it.”
Doctor Adams was amazed. “If you are having difficulties why don’t you skip it and tackle others. Such a difficult problem may not even appear in the final exams,” he said dropping a heavy hint. “But Sir I have solved every other problem in the book. Only this one is proving too tough for me.” Doctor Adams was speechless. “Festus you mean you have already solved all the problems in this huge text-book?” “Yes sir” replied Festus. “I started from the very first day of the semester, solving 5 problems a day from each subject’s recommended text-book right up till now. “
Doctor Adams turned to Madam Love. “You see Madam Love, this is what I have been saying,” he said waving a hand. “Look at this boy now. See he is more than prepared for the semester exams? He started early and now he is relaxed. How many hours do you sleep in a night?” he asked Festus. “I sleep a full seven hours Sir. I started preparing for the final exams right from day one. My parents are very poor you see and I have been surviving only because of the university scholarship I enjoy.”
“How many hours do your colleagues sleep in a night right now?” “Well Sir,” replied Festus, “most of my colleagues did not start studying until last week and the Semester exams is just next week. They are very desperate now. They spend all their time in the Library and only come to the hostel to shower and change their clothes.”
“And I suspect they are pestering you to help them in solving some problems?” “Yes, yes Sir” replied Festus, “how did you know? They are now running helter skelter in desperation asking me to solve this problem or that problem which they think would appear in the exam. Many of them even promise to pay me upfront so that I can teach them but I have to rest now you see, so that I do not get stressed up inside the exam hall.”
Doctor Adams had heard enough. “Okay Festus that will do for now. See me tomorrow morning. You see I have a guest in my office from afar.” “Okay Sir and thank you Sir.”
Once Festus was gone, Doctor Adams turned to Madam Love. “Madam Love you see this boy has just reminded me of something very important. If Sule passes the semester exams right now as I have planned, a lot of eyebrows will be raised since everybody knows he is the least serious student we have. I will have to ask Sule to instigate a Student’s riot so that the exams can be postponed for a few weeks.”
“During the intervening period of the postponement, Sule must pretend to be very serious with his studies. He must contact all his lecturers and fellow students without exception asking them one intelligent question or the other which I shall compose for him. He must do this so that when the results come out and he passes, none of the other stakeholders will query his performance.”
“They will conclude that he utilized the period of the exam postponement to work hard. I only pity the students from poor family backgrounds like Festus, already living from hand to mouth, who may not have the money to finance themselves for a further few weeks of semester extension. You understand what I am saying?”
“Yes Doctor Adams I will certainly notify Sule” she said as she made to leave. “Wait for me Madam Love, I shall be closing too. I have had a hectic day in the office,” said Doctor Adams as he hastily packed his things into his briefcase. Madam Love suppressed a smile. ‘Men are like little children if only you know how to manipulate them.’ she said to herself, ‘Doctor Adams cannot wait to get home and begin to play with his new toys.’
And so under the conspiratorial instigation of Doctor Adams, Sule and his cultic clique of friends sabotaged the University standby electricity generators by secretly pouring water into their engines thereby causing all of them to knock. After two consecutive nights of blackout, the University erupted in a violent students’ demonstration. As a way of pacifying them the School authorities announced the postponement of the Semester exams by six full weeks in order to allow frayed nerves to settle and hot tempers to cool down.
Poor, yet brilliant and studious students like Festus who were well prepared for the examinations were very bitter about the extension but other less well prepared students seized upon the opportunity to dust up their books. As advised, Sule was a model of agitated studiousness during the intervening period. He moved from Lecturer to Lecturer and from student to student asking critical questions in a fake demonstration of seriousness. He was spending heavily like a drunken sailor on shore leave, asking for tutoring help from all and sundry.
And the exams did finally come to pass.
As expected, Festus emerged as the best Student of the class with a cumulative GPA of 3.97 out of a maximum possible GPA of 4.0. He later went on to become a Professor of Civil Engineering in one of the prestigious North American universities.
Sule Adamu to the surprise and amazement of all and thanks to Doctor Adams’ secret intervention graduated with a cumulative GPA of 2.0. He would later go on to earn a Doctorate degree in civil engineering under the supervision of Doctor Adams with a carefully concealed Dissertation to match. Later still, he went on to become at first the Deputy Governor and later the substantive Governor of his home state in Nigeria.
Doctor Adams rose to become the Vice-Chancellor of the institution but not before he became the subject of a messy divorce cum sex scandal well laced with numerous extra-marital liaisons and sordid allegations of having put at least three young ladies, Ifeoma, Aisha and Funke in the family way all about the same time.
On the swearing-in of Sule as a State Governor upon the impeachment of his former boss, Madam Love became known statewide as Mother Excellency.
She it was who while her son was still a State Governor, walked up to the then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with her son the Governor, Dr. Sule Adamu in tow and made an unusual request. “I want you to do something for me Your Excellency, Mr President” she declared fearlessly. The President, a renowned Lothario, grabbed her buttocks from behind and said jokingly, “Yes Madam Love, what do you want from me now?” “I want you to command that this son of mine”, she held Dr. Sule Adamu by the hand “sits beside you on your right hand side in your Presidency.”
“Ah Sule” addressed the President to the Governor. “Can you drink the cup of enjoyment which I am drinking?” “Yes I can, Sir” replied Sule. “Can you engage in conspiratorial instigation?” “Yes, Yees I can, Sir” replied Sule, “I have been doing it all my life as my mother can eloquently testify.” “Are you capable of human manipulation using all the tools placed at your disposal including those common resources kept under your custody and entrusted to your care for safe keeping on behalf of this present generation and generations yet unborn?” “Yes, Yeees, Yeeeeees Sir, I can and I will” replied Sule emphatically.
“Well the cup of enjoyment I am drinking you shall also drink from and the conspiratorial instigation as well as the human manipulation of the masses by the Presidency you shall also partake in” replied the then President rather prophetically.
“But as for who shall sit on my right hand side, it is not for me to decide. It is for the Nigerian constitution, currently under review to possibly accommodate my third term in office, to determine. However I can see that it is people like you, subject matter experts in the science and art of conspiratorial instigation and human manipulation that are emerging as the new face of modern Nigeria,” concluded the President.
And the rest as they say is now history ever ready to repeat itself, except you intervene with your electoral vote.
- THE END -
(Disclaimer: - This story-sketch of contemporary Nigeria and the characters within it is pure fiction. It bears no resemblance to any actual event which occurred in the past, nor to any person or persons living or dead. Any remarkable resemblance is at best accidental, for certain coincidental, and at worst a hallucinatory by-product of the reader’s hyperactive imagination.)