Thursday, 12 January 2017

HONOURABLE MINISTER, HORRIBLE MINISTER (1)


Karimu Ayeole (the world is not to be taken seriously) was brought up to believe every other person exists to do his bidding. He was spoilt right from childhood by his mother who stopped at nothing to give him whatever he wanted. 


Iya Karimu was the fifth of Baba Karimu’s eight wives. Moreover, Karimu was the only child of his mother. Not that she didn’t want more, the roster for ‘the other room’ activities was always unkind to her. By some wicked coincidence, her Monthly Visitor came at the exact time she was due for Baba Karimu’s room. 

After several years and visits to many witch-doctors, she decided to accept her fate as mother of just this one child. She called him by a specially-created nickname, ‘Ikinni-ikehin’ (first and the last).
She was therefore fond of praise-singing him thus:
“Karimu Alabi
Oko mi Ikinni-ikehin
Omo Onikoyi Eso
Aroni ‘o wa’le
Onikoyi ‘o sinmi ogun lilo…”
(Karimu Alabi
My lord, the first and the last
Son of Onikoyi the Warrior
The Peaceful One has not come home
 

And the Onikoyi has not relented from waging war…)
Karimu was to blasphemously change the sobriquet ‘ikinni-ikehin’ to ‘alpha and omega’ when he got to university to read Law.

His mother spoilt him.
She could afford to.


She recorded modest successes as a trader in anything from clothing materials to agricultural produce like kolanuts, cocoa beans and maize. From her native Oke Ogun area to Ijebu and Egba axis, she bought and transported these items to Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Kano. From there, she brought back an assortment of lace, Ankara and damask materials which she sold mainly at Gbagi market, Ibadan. So with all the money she made, she sent her only child to the best schools around. 


Karimu made his West African School Certificate, WASC ‘O’ Level in Division 1 and went on to read Law at the university. At the university, though he came from parents who were basically illiterates, his mother’s money afforded him the privilege of mixing with the children of the high and mighty. 

He joined the ‘Abeji Clan’, a society of privileged youths whose ways of demonstrating they had principles was simply by having none. For instance, they believed women are just to be had for fun and you are not duty bound to carry out an obligation to which you had earlier pledged yourself.


Upon qualifying as a lawyer, Karimu practised and like his mother, recorded modest successes. He never really handled any landmark case, so his law practice was not a distinguished one in that sense.
After about 5 years, he decided to join politics. It was at a time the military were quitting the stage.


He got elected as the Chairman of his Local Government. His tenure was characterised by various crisis from unpaid salaries to struggle for territorial influence with the local ‘baales’. He was always being summoned to the Governor’s Office for one notorious reason or the other.


Somehow, he managed to finish his tenure as LG chairman and he promptly went back to his not-so-distinguished law practice.


One day, he got a phone call from an old friend who was a top member of the Abeji Clan. He was requested to attend a meeting of one of the Presidential hopefuls in a General Election that was imminent then.

Karimu went there and was promptly marked down as a key person for them in his state. This was hardly surprising. Karimu is a smooth talker. He could persuade you to buy an item you don’t need – like making a Maiduguri man to buy a home heater in the summer! That was how he became a key man in the Presidential Campaign team of Alhaji Ilyasu Mai Gaskiya. Mai Gaskiya was to win the election and upon formation of government, appointed Karimu Ayeole, Barrister-at-Law, as Minister of Education and Modern Technologies. 


Upon his inauguration, Karimu promptly sat down to draw up what he called his own 4-cardinal programmes:


• He must acquire material properties as much as possible. Democracy in this country is government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. Karimu saw no reason to be a hardliner. He would be a conformist as much as possible so as to curry the favours of the contractors and big businessmen that came his way.


• 5 wives are not enough, he must acquire Wife Number 6, 7, 8 or even 9! Why should he limit himself when the resources to do it are there? Aye o le now and besides ‘aye kan lo wa’.


• He must settle old scores. On this one Larinde Agbabiaka, his old colleague at Law School whom Karimu believes to be arrogant because of his success as a lawyer, must be brought low. Also on this list is that old fool in the village, Akanbi Olorunmbe, who refused to sell his family land years ago. Karimu vowed to use his powers and influence as a Minister to deal with Akanbi.


• The last but not the least is to do everything possible to become the next governor of his state.


He therefore set about these objectives with a single-minded devotion.


To be continued...!
Happy Sunday, every one!
Omi Tuntun, Igba Otun!

PS: This story is pure fiction. The characters are fictional. The plot is fictional. Any semblance to any dead or living person is hereby regretted. Thanks.

Credit: Kehinde Ayoola J P

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