Return to Jeddah

I was barely back in Abuja two days ago, when I was informed that we – not just I – had to go back to Jeddah for a special assignment. So I was back in Jeddah late last night and what happened when we got to Jeddah was like a scene out of a movie…

There were four of us in the Nigerian contingent to King-You-Know-Who hospital in Jeddah. The whole thing started with a commotion at the hospital reception.

We(talking loudly like Nigerians do): Do you know who we are? We have to see the President of Nigeria.

Receptionist: I am sorry, I do not know who you are. Moreover, no one is permitted to see the Nigerian president.

Me: You are in trouble. I will show you. Do you know who I am?

Receptionist: I am afraid I would have to call the psychiatry unit, seems I have some men on my hands here that have lost their minds and do not know who they are. They keep asking me, “Do you know who I am?”

We were saved by the arrival of the Hammid, the Hospital Administrator (HA)

HA: Excuse me gentlemen, how may I help you?

Me: Ah, thank you o! We are here to see the president. I was here a few days ago to see him and Abubakar Muhammad whom I met here allowed me to see the president.

HA: Abubakar? Oh, he has resigned. It seems he was left some inheritance by a rich member of his family and he resigned immediately. But that is by the way, I am the acting Administrator. I am sorry, you would not be allowed to visit the president at this moment.

Me: Ogbeni Administrator, look you cannot refuse to allow us to see the president. It is a matter of utmost emergency and paramount national security that we be allowed in to see the President. I informed Mr. Abubakar, abi ki lo n’je yen na, that we are considering making Jeddah the second capital city of our country.

HA: I would have to turn you out of the hospital premises forcibly if you do not leave peacefully. You cannot see the president, he is barely conscious at the moment.

Me: Ehn, Mr. Hammid, let us resolve this matter amicably. Can I see you in private? (I confer with my colleagues quickly and they see the sense in my request).

HA: Okay, could your colleagues wait, and calmly or else I would have them evicted from the hospital.

(In private)
Me: Look, Mr. Hammid, we are here on a serious mission. The chief justice of Nigeria is due to retire in 2 days. The budget for the next fiscal year, which starts on January 1 2010 is yet to be signed. The Chief Justice can only be appointed by the President and the budget can only be approved by him as well.

HA: So what has this visit got to do with these matters?

Me: Ogbeni, can’t you see? The two elderly gentlemen outside are the outgoing Chief Justice and the incoming Chief Justice. We have come here for the president to effect the appointment of the in-coming CJ.

HA: What?!!!!! You lot must be out of your minds!

Me: Look, we are Nigerians we are not out of our minds. We only have to come up with Nigerian solutions to Nigerian problems.

HA: I am tempted to have you lot locked up and reported to the Nigerian Ambassador.

Me: There is no need to take such extreme measures, moreover, who do you think approved the appointment of the Ambassador? I am the one, of course.

HA: You Nigerians never cease to amaze me. So who is the fourth gentleman?

Me: Oh, his name is D. Avid. He is a principal assistant in the government. There is another matter, I have not told you about, we are also here to sign the supplementary budget.

HA: Are you insane?

Me: Do I look insane to you?

HA: There are other traits apart from the visual features. Though to be honest, your face is yet to start twitching.

Me: Look, HA, there is no need for the insult. The budget is a $2.7billion business. We cannot allow your insistence to stand in our way. I am not insinuating anything, but I think it is better you cooperate with us in this matter. There might be a 0.5% facilitation fee that would accrue to you.

HA: 0.5% of the budget? Are you saying.

Me: I am not saying anything. I realise you are a morally upright man, so we would have $13million paid to any charity that you support once we leave here.

HA: I would have to admit it is interesting doing business with you Nigerians. Let us go and meet the others.

Me: You can say that again.

Back outside
HA: But, there is one thing, before you go and see the president, I am afraid you all would have to strip off all your clothes, so we can search you.

All of us: What? Are you a pervert?

HA: No. We have a new directive that all Nigerians coming to the hospital must be searched for underwear bombs.

Me: Na wa o! I thought we were only known for corruption, now one olori buruku has compounded our status and he has added underwear terrorist to the list of bad things they call us. Look guys, let’s strip and get this thing done with. There is a $2.7billion business that we need to finish.

By the time you are reading this, Mallam President would have signed the budget.


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