Daily ghosts of news
Being an indigene of coastal Nigeria, I cannot but be a lover of water, rivers, streams, brooks, islands and lakes, but certainly not of seas and oceans. And as I write this I cannot but remember and recall our rain-cry and lyric of yester-years.
“Rain, rain, go away. Little Tony and Jonny want to play.” Then, as we sang, in pouring rain pounding our zinc roofs, we would pour into the rain running in joy and kicking our rubber ball! If school was in session, and closing time was near, we, football players, would relish more the pouring rain wounding our roof-tops. What an amazing time of rains for us rain-birds to play our football! And how our green field of football was flowing and flowing with water to float well our water-and-rain-ball!
What I see now is the ghost of our childhood and boyhood football joy, which generations and generations after ours equally knew and enjoyed. Then there was no fear of drowning in the rains. There was no fear of being stolen or kidnapped in the rains. Then no parent feared for his or her child’s mishap. In the rains every child’s parent, as well as the child, enjoyed “Rain, rain” that did not go away as the child who wanted it to go away enjoyed rolling and rocking in the rain….
My reverie is broken. I see and read in our papers about this or that news of missing girls or boys. I see news of molested and violated girls and boys who go to play in nearby neighborhoods or playgrounds, but are never seen again. Before you allow the news to sink into your consciousness that it astonishes, it turns into a perplexing ghost as every happening in our country becomes, turns into, diurnally. Even news you would want to savour and savour because you relish it as you relish a delicious meal of banga-soup-and-periwinkles and starch or tuwoshinkafi-and-okra-soup-and-kpanla or elastic green vegetable soup of assorted meat and amala or edikanko and pounded yam or akpu and gwon-gwon or ofe-owerri would cease to be inviting before you know it.
Now, one news, one juicy news, that was really juicy, that recently made the rounds pertained to one young man called Wadume of one remote place in Taraba State. He recently was catapulted overnight into our consciousness as a billionaire of good variety.
With his blood money, he had done several things of real worth for his people. Some persons wished us to see him as a worthy provider for his people what no government, state or local of Taraba, had provided or would provide for the people. Even though those who benefit from his generosity question inaudibly or silently his source of wealth and its legitimacy, they don’t care or couldn’t care less about how his money or wealth came into the premises of his destiny. This may not be news. What may be news which they and all of us may not be completely indifferent to is that a crack team of policemen/detectives that perfected his arrest and captured him were killed in cold blood by soldiers of the Nigerian Army who set him free.
Allegedly, the soldiers benefitted substantially from his beneficence. Thus they had no qualms killing brutally and wickedly members of their fellow security agency sent on an official mission to apprehend the alleged rogue of a billionaire, who ignominiously radiates in the thought of some of us as a poor Robin Hood.
The news of his escape from justice had hardly become a ghost before he re-surfaced as a re-arrested con-man. Since his re-apprehension and escort into custody, he has been singing – not the “Rain, rain go away” of his childhood of presumable joy, but the bitter song of confession of criminal beneficiaries of his beneficence – criminal beneficiaries who unlawfully killed lawful policemen. This news had hardly become a ghost before an un-named top army officer “described Wadume’s confession as a cooked script to find the army guilty [through] media trial by the police” (see Vanguard of Thursday, August 22, 2019, page, 7). The unidentified military officer must be exposed before he becomes a new ghost who must confess his role in the gory killing of the police officers who were of the intelligence service of the Nigeria Police Force.
The top military officer stands accused before my media court of inquisition and justice. This is breaking news that must not belong to our part and nest of ghost news.
Rain, rain…. Reveal them all, the killers and collaborators. Reveal each one’s anus of crime. Let it shed rain, tears, of confession. Rain, rain, rain them in, rain them in…
And the new news comes… Dino Melaye is going… He is losing his senatorial seat and power… The tribunal has said so… He will fight back… And Smart Adeyemi? Will he fold his arms? Certainly not! But who knows? A new fight to finish is here. Yes, yes, yes. Let us wait for further breaking news before this too turns into ghost news… Tomorrow is another day. Yes, another day. Yes, another day. Tomorrow is another day. Let us play in the rain, not like politicians or killer soldiers, protectors of rogues and knaves and scoundrels. Let this be our season of rains of joy and blessings and blessings forever and forever of happy seasons of rich promises.
• Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.
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