The beggars’ president went on to tell me how they considered me peaceful, wonderful and all the other “fuls”. He recounted all my stupidities in addition, which he tried to make sound like achievements.

Usoro I. Usoro

They stormed my house, yesterday. A sea-head of them. Some crawled under the gate. Some climbed the fence. Some just waited patiently outside. Time was 20:18 and the invasion was scary! As I mustered courage to step out of the door, the street erupted into one huge Babel. The confusion; the noise; the commotion. It was a rally of destitute-persons!

They came in their thousands. As frightening and intimidating in number as the policemen assigned to Osun election. Men, women and even the school children, young enough to vote in APC and Oshiomole’s recently announced voting scheme. Some of the primary-school children were from Osun State.  The same breed that the aluta-fist-shaking APC chairman proudly announced to the world would be used to rig Osun election. Their tattered dresses exposed their poor status.

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As I wondered what it was all about, the boldest one stepped out, sorry, crawled forward. “Oga, na me be the President of Beggars Association of Nigeria (BAN). Even Buhari know me. Me and him, we be president togeda. Na we buy form for am. No look us like that o. N45.5 million no be problem for we o. We also even buy forms give some APC governors. Ask El Rufai for Kaduna; Abdullahi Ganduje for Kano and Abubakar Bello for Niger.N22.5 million for APC guvnor form no stupid joke for us. Enhen, we even buy one form for ya broda, Nsima Ekere”, he announced.

By now, I was more confused. What has the fairy-tale of beggars buying form for governors got to do with me? But the president of beggars, trying to gain height like Oshiomole, however attempted to beat Osho in boastfulness. By now, I got to know his name was Ubutu Wazobia! “Oga, e nefa finish o. We don even buy form for Senator Shehu Sani but the funny man come reject am. E be like I go use the paper go toilet sef. Anyway, no be only APC people we buy form give o. We also buy N6 million form give Umar Tsauri (Tata) wey wan contest for governor for Katsina. We buy give Ike Ekweremadu; that one, you know say na only him fit go senator for Igbo. Yakubu Dogara, Speaker House of Reps, refuse to collect our form sake of say him wan go higher. I go give my deputy that paper make e take sell groundnut. Oga, I swear to God, we also don buy form give Atiku Abubakar – N12 million!”

Waow! Utterly breathless! Unbelievable! The beggars must be on form-buying spree. They deserve some accolades, mbok. I heard they actually know that all the big politicians have more than enough money to buy their forms for the 2019 contests, but the bums are nationalists. And very patriotic! So, in the “national interest”, they didn’t want the politicians to spend their huge questionable funds to buy very common forms. What for? The money should be kept for useless holidays abroad; some champagne, a flock of women and trama-whatever!

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Anyway, the beggars’ president went on to tell me how they considered me peaceful, wonderful and all the other “fuls”. He recounted all my stupidities in addition, which he tried to make sound like achievements. But he only ended up making me look like a fool.  Why didn’t I consider contesting for the office of president? After all, he said, I can still remember where  I kept my WAEC Certificate. If Buhari, dancing Senator Adeleke and Buhari’s aide, Okoi Obono-Obla can’t remember where they either bought, sorry obtained or kept theirs but are still in offices, why should I sit at home? He challenged me further:  Shebi I have “NYSE cerfiticate”? I stayed mute. Not out of mischief but I didn’t understand him. He went on nonetheless: “Shebi sombori wey no get originah NYSE cerfiticate be Finance Minister jus now? Even sef, we still de ask weda Saraki get one. But dem go up-up office for politics. Wetin you de do for house?”

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By now, it was getting late. So, I started wondering if it was their spiritual assignment to come and abuse me in my house late in the night. President Wazobia then told me they came to beg me “for something”. Again, according to him, I should not fear. What they were about to do was in line with the current trend in the polity, where the talakawas beg the rich to contest elections. This is a real season of begging. In any case, it was also in line with their constitutional(?) status as beggars. So, he said, they came to beg me that “make I no vex o”, I should allow them to do something for me. Wonderful Chisos!

I confess that at some point, it crossed my mind that they came to beg me to give them money. As I scanned the sea of heads, I kept pondering how much I could give them to be enough. But for them to offer to do something for me, I was dumbfounded. First, he promised that if ever I sought to contest an election into the National Assembly or Aso Rock, they would import truck-load of kids to toe-vote for me. “No worry, we get small shildren plenty for Niger, Chad and IDP (internally displaced persons’) camps for we kwantery. APC don approve am say make shildren vote. Abi you no see Osho-Baba for TV?”.

Next, he told me that it was an opportunity for me to enrich my CV. By now, my heart was dancing azonto and shaku-shaku, while my feet were dancing shekem – the  Akpabio way. You see, my oga has taught us that dance steps depend on your mood. But they hide your real intentions. You could dance for Jona while your heart is with Bubu! Especially, if you are dancing politically in 2015.

Well, Mr Wazobia asked me to promise not to “fall our hands” by not accepting the form they bought for me. According to him, security reports available to them revealed that I had been in darkness for months. And investigation showed that electricity to my house had been terminated. Mehn! I wondered the connection. “Oga, there is connect o. Dem go connect, walahi! You see,  na solution to ya problem na him we wan do so because you be good man to some our membas”.

As he spoke, he brought out a form. Oh my God! It was unbelievable. It was an Expression of Interest Form! I was amazed. I was stunned. How selfless of them. To even think of buying me a form for pre-paid metre! I wondered how much they tasked themselves to buy the form for me and I appreciated them more from that moment. According to Wazobia, they learnt I had billing issues with the electricity suppliers and decided to intervene. Great! On the other hand, I wished they had given me the cash!

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