Orezime: Clap! Clap!! Clap!!! Hurray!
Emeka: What is ‘sweeting’ your small belly like this?
Obukohwo: I wonder ooo!
Orezime: I am dancing o! Dancing like a dancing queen!
Aboki: You just won a contract at NDDC abi?
Orezime: Try another angle!
Kalio: May be her boyfriend has just bought her a Phantom 2022!
Orezime: Boyfriend buy me gini? Abeg dey go jor!
Tunde: I know what it is!
Orezime: Yes, tell me!
Tunde: She is pregnant!
Orezime: Hahahahaha! Joke of the decade. I jump you pass. Wait oo! In a way, it is a pregnancy and should be celebrated!
Aboki: Please tell us this good news that is making you smile like a new wife!
Orezime: The Southern Governors!
Obukohwo: What about them?
Orezime: They summoned the liver at last to hold a meeting in Asaba!
Emeka: Hmmm! Is that why you are dancing?
Orezime: Yes! Is it not worth celebrating? I have been hiding my head in shame about their cowardice. As you know, some of them are my friends.
Tunde: We know. Orezi Rezi. Powerful woman! Beauty wey confuse man!
Orezime: Yes, that’s me.
Aboki: So you are happy that the country is now divided into north and south governors’ nonsense?
Emeka: Excuse me Aboki. Don’t get me angry. Divided into north and south? Who divided Nigeria into north and south governors’ forums?
Aboki: What I mean is this: how can you be happy just because governors from the south held a meeting?
Orezime: I am happy because Northern Governors have had their meetings for as long as I can remember. But my boyfriends had been afraid of being branded by Abuja.
Tunde: For me, that they met is a good sign. As a friend said, ‘the thing is choking everybody now and our elected representatives must stand to be counted!
Kalio: It’s their decisions that thrilled me. I hope Mr. President and the cabal in Abuja have got the message. The party is over!
Aboki: What did they decide? Secession?
Obukohwo: Come on! Nobody who enjoys the spoils of office in current Nigeria wants to secede from the nest of honey. They are interested in bettering the federation. In fact, the first point made in the Communiqué is that ‘the peoples of Southern Nigeria remain committed to the unity of Nigeria on the basis of justice, fairness, equity, and oneness and peaceful coexistence between and among its people’.
Aboki: Are you saying governors from the north do not want the good of the country?
Emeka: Mallam, don’t twist things here. You guys in the north are just happy with your farm that is Nigeria, where you harvest without planting and corner all the important federal positions without contributing in equal measure to the national patrimony.
Aboki: What nonsense are you saying? That we do not contribute? Who produces all the meat, onions, yams and tomatoes that you consume in the country?
Emeka: You know that’s not what we are discussing. You are interested in Nigeria because of the oil resources that you have pocketed. Once we run out of oil, you will support ‘Araba!
Tunde: Look gentlemen, we are above this. I thought we were nationalists who believe in the unity of the country. Let us not repeat the pedestrian thoughts of politicians and beer drinkers here.
Obukohwo: If you want to feel the true pulse of Nigeria, go to the beer parlours, where they drink pito, burukutu, smoke Indian hemp across the country!
Orezime: You guys have not allowed me to discuss what the southern governors recommended. For me, the recommendations in the communiqué are more important than this market-talk that you men have gotten into!
Kalio: You try! Because some of those bobos dey dance azonto with you, you think you can just insult us anyhow?
Orezime: Na you sabi!
Aboki: Let us hear you fa! What is fantastic about what they recommended?
Orezime: They advised the federal government to convoke a National Dialogue to address greater inclusiveness in existing governance arrangements.
Aboki: What does that mean?
Orezime: Wait, let me finish. They also recommended a review of appointments into federal government agencies including security agencies to reflect federal character.
Aboki: Why couldn’t they say this under the umbrella of Nigerian Governors’ Forum?
Orezime: Ask them. Perhaps the atmosphere never allowed this. The country is degenerating by the day and we are receding into ethnic enclaves. This is a warning that the southern governors have smelt trouble.
Kalio: What else did they recommend?
Tunde: I know they also banned open grazing across the south because of the armed incursions of armed herders, criminals, and bandits!
Aboki: This is open confrontation with the federal government. It can’t stand!
Orezime: It will stand.
Aboki: Open confrontation!
Obukohwo: Let it be. Let it be open confrontation. We have had enough! Enough of servitude!
Emeka: Do you like the way so-called herders slaughter people across the country?
Aboki: Are people not being killed in the north by herders and bandits?
Kalio: Yes, they are, unfortunately. But you guys in the north are comfortable with open grazing. In the south, we are not. Period!
Orezime: Creation of State Police was also recommended.
Aboki: No problem with that one. The federal government alone cannot police the country. I have always said that an Inspector General sitting down in Abuja cannot police the fringes of Zamfara or Borno or Rivers State. State police is the answer.
Tunde: I am a bit worried about what some governors will do with state police. I hope they will not become ethnic militias.
Obukohwo: They also recommended that other ports in the south should be developed to decongest Lagos. The madness in Apapa is a national disgrace!
Orezime: A shame! Only one active port in a country that boasts of over ten natural ports!
Kalio: There is only one reason I am not excited about these proclamations.
Aboki: What is it?
Kalio: There is no enabling law backing the ban on grazing.
Tunde: That is true. Until the Houses of Assembly pass laws as Benue State did, this could just be hot air. Already, one association of malu herders is saying that ‘southern governors are confused ‘and that they should confront IPOB. Have the northern governors confronted Boko Haram? Are they not all hiding in Abuja?
Emeka: That is the problem. Cattle herders determining policy in a 21st century country! We don suffer! We must pass the laws in the south!
Orezime: This is a source of worry. I am sure Abuja will send lions after the weak and vulnerable governors very soon, especially governors that were Supreme-Court-installed!
Emeka: Are you referring to my governor? Be careful oo. I can report you to the Supreme Court and your citizenship can be conferred on someone else.
Orezime: Hahahaha! You won’t kill me Emeka! No names mentioned.
Obukohwo: There are always black sheep in every family.
Kalio: I am an Izon man. We shall bury the hatchet inside the head of any black sheep.
Aboki: All we need is peace!
Tunde: Yes, peace!
Orezime: Peace on the platform of justice and equity!
Professor Eghagha can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org or 08023220393