Friday, 24 June 2016

The game has changed - By Reuben Abati

“My brother, I think all the people
saying they have not seen any
change should by now be convinced
that truly, truly, the game has

“Football? Euro 2016? Brexit?” “What is wrong with you?” “Or may be you are talking about the
death of Stephen Keshi and Shuaibu
Amodu and the fact that Nigeria’s
House of Football needs to be re-
“I really don’t know what the matter is with you today. I always try to
engage you in a conversation
because I consider you smart, but
your responses don’t make sense to
me.” “Game change. Well. I studied a bit of
game theory in school not as a
student of political science but as a
generally curious student.” “Who is talking about game theory?” “Game theory is about political
marketing, the relation between
structure and agents, how power is
deployed, structuration, the
framework of power, the politics of
structural and collective agency.” “When you are tired of boring
yourself, you will keep quiet. I am
just saying the game has changed in
Nigeria. I guess that is simple
enough so stop quoting text
books.” “Ha, I get you now. I recall that the
former Chairman of the PDP, during
the election was snick-named the
game-changer. Everywhere he went
everyone said game-changer!” “If you are dumb, or pretending to
be dumb, good for you. I am talking
about today’s Nigeria, you are
talking about the past. Can’t you see,
don’t you hear, don’t you feel it, that
indeed, contrary to what we used to think, something indeed has
changed…” “Tell me.” “Me? You mean I, me, myself?” “What is that?” “If you mean I, me, myself, I have
nothing to say. And please note that
because the times have changed, I
have developed all kinds of
problems with my senses.” “Then you should go to London for
treatment.” “God punish you for saying that. Do
you want to put my family in
trouble? I forbid you to talk
carelessly anywhere I am. If you are
looking for trouble, go and look for
it on your own. My mid-year resolution is that I will not hear any
evil, speak any evil and see no evil.” “Is that your game that has
changed?” “Na you sabi?” “I think your problem is that you are
afraid. You are just like all these
other people who have forgotten
that there is a Freedom of
information Law in this country” “Hen hen. Who in this country has
any law helped to put food on the
table for his family? This man, be
careful.” “Feel free. Let’s analyze recent
developments in the country.” “As in…” “The floating of the Naira” “The Naira is floating eh. Good. So
how many Nigerians have gone to
the lagoon to pick up Naira free of
charge, since the Naira started
floating?” “There is just one market now. “ “Hun hun.” “Say something man. You are usually
very intelligent and vocal.” “I hear” “Fayose, the Ekiti Governor and Ben
Murray Bruce commented on this
matter.” “I am warning you, the way you are
putting your hands in my mouth, I
will call my wife to warn you to stay
away from me henceforth.” “What has your wife got to do with
this?” “Because you want to put our God-
loving family in trouble.” “Because you don’t want to talk
critically about public issues?” “You can say what you like?” “Look at the Fayose issue. Even
Zenith Bank like you is scared. They
have disowned Fayose. Everybody
today is sucking up and bootlicking.
I hope someone will tell Zenith Bank
and other banks that they all failed in their fiduciary responsibilities. The
rule of banking says KYC: Know Your
Customer. You can’t use ojukokoro
to collect money and then turn
around to say you don’t know. I also
think a bank has a responsibility to report unusual transactions, the
moment it happens not ex post
facto.” “Well done”. “And as for Ben Murray Bruce, the
commonsense Senator. You can’t
borrow money and start behaving
as if you have more sense than your
creditor.” “This man. What is wrong with you?
You are also a businessman and you
once told me you are terribly
exposed financially. Talk with some
sense. If AMCON takes over every
company, they will add to the unemployment crisis in the country
and punish innocent people. AMCON
is taking over too many companies.
Fact. ” “I am talking sense” “And I am saying these times we are
in requires more than
commonsense. It requires
uncommon sense, tact and intellect,
and a proper understanding of
nonsense because what you call commonsense will just get you into
trouble.” “Ok, tell me” “No comment. In this matter, I have
neither sense, commonsense or
uncommon sense.” “I see. I see. The game has changed
truly. Everybody with sense, even
small sense is beginning to shut up
and shut down. Tragic” “Who has sense helped? The game
has changed…I will not join you to
say I have sense.” “I am beginning to suspect you.” “I will call your wife and ask her to
advise you to avoid satanic
conversations anytime you are with
me.” “You?” “Yes. Me.” “We cannot keep silent. This country
belongs to all of us.” “Good for you. “We must talk, talk, and talk, on
twitter, on instagram, on television,
on the pages of newspapers.” “Yes. Yes. Yes. And your wahala
when it comes will also be televised,
twitterised, instagramised, and
newspaperized. You better borrow
yourself uncommon sense.” “Like Zenith Bank hen?” “I think you should start going
home now.” “I also hear some militants are
claiming that they are being
instigated to continue pipeline
vandalism and organize against the
state.” “Nobody is organizing anything in
my house. Come, how has my wife
wronged you, that you want to
bring calamity to our household?” “It s our job to criticize public affairs.” “It is our job to support government,
so that when government succeeds,
we too can succeed.” “From your mouth?” “Honestly, from my mouth.” “Now, I am beginning to
understand.” “Understand whatever you want.
Change is here. Have you not heard
that in Cameroon, the parliament is
debating a bill that makes adultery a
crime. The deal is to have you spend
between two and six months in the senior college if you go do napoi
anyhow, so it is better to be careful
and to control. “I know some napoi people in
Nigeria.” “Like you, yourself?” “We know who the adulterers are.
Like the National Assembly people
who are now in court for forgery.
You commit political adultery, you
run a risk.” “This man, can you shut up? Stop
talking like this at a pepper soup
joint. Do you know who and who is
eavesdropping on us?” “With this loud music and with the
way everybody is busy with pepper
soup and isi ewu?” “Just shut the hell up.” “Iyalaya anybody who wants to rob
me of commonsense.” “You too have changed.” “Iyalaya change” “Just shut the fuck up” “So life is like this?” “Life is like what” “If anybody told me” “That the iyalaya of social critics will
face moving trailer.” “That you will sound like this” “At an open joint, with drunken
souls eating pepper soup and half
crazy? I have told you, whenever
you want to hear sense from my
mouth, choose a different location.“ “Truth is not selective. It should
thunder forth from everywhere no
matter whose ox is gored” “Gore your own ox, leave us out of
it. As for me and my house, we shall
support change.” “This is a loser’s creed. The
sacrament of the defeated.” “You will still go and blow this your
grammar in a cell, very soon. And
you’d be surprised if I am asked to
testify against you, I will gladly wear
a mask and do so.” “Me?” “Yes, you. You can’t make me guilty
by association” “What kind of life is this oh?” “What kind of stupid man is this oh?” “Like seriously?” “Like I know suicide is bad, even
God forbids it.” “As in…” “Can we change this subject? Ha ha,
wetin? Stop putting your isi ewu
hands in my mouth.” “What a country? What manner of a
citizen? With people like you,
democracy is on trial.” “Forget matter. Even in America
democracy is on trial. Even in Britain,
right now democracy is on trial.” “Power is dangerous. Powerlessness
is worse.” “When you use power to serve your
purpose, everybody will know
where they belong. As you see me
so, I won’t discuss power at a
pepper soup joint.” “What of on twitter?” “Twitter? So I can get into trouble?” “But you have a twitter account?” “I have deleted it to avoid
temptations.” “You have indeed changed” “I have oh” “You have lost your power of
expression” “It is better oh” “You have become gentle” “Look for a stronger word, please” “You have lost your caustic tongue” “My tongue still dey kampe, but I am
intelligent enough to use it now only
on ponmo and cow leg.” “Change” “Go and ask the people who refused
to change.” “Human beings are chameleons” “Can you get off my back? Oya, take
the pepper soup and finish it. You
can’t because you are paying for
cheap pepper soup force me into
trouble. Take your pepper soup. I
am out of here.” “Na fight? Finish your pepper soup.” “I don’t want. You finish the rest or
look for another mumu like you to
finish it. This is amazing” “Amazing as in the spread of
mumuism. Go to Zenith Bank.” “I can only wish you good luck” “Same to you. Chop your pepper
soup finish.” “No” “Next time, I’ll talk to that your Ph.D
friend and report you to him. He
should be more sensible” “Hmm. Carry your wahala go. Who
sense don epp?” “Happy International Widows Day” “Say that to your wife. She needs it.
Yeye man”

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