The Game Has Changed by Rueben Abati - Flatimes

Friday, 24 June 2016

The Game Has Changed by Rueben 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 changed.”
“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-organized”
“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.”
“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 f*ck 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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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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