Governor Timipre Sylva-Sam of Bayelsa State recently ordered that every copy of Epistle To Maduabebe currently in circulation at home and abroad be burnt, in spite of the Nigerian national flag boldly on display at the back of the book. The reason for the governor’s command is still unclear, but this first chapter of the book, published a week to Christmas, 2009, may give a worthwhile clue…
Surely, I Come Quickly
There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world,
and that is an idea whose time has come.
– Victor Hugo
DEAR MISTER EDMUND Maduabebe Daukoru, allow me to send Christmas greetings to Your Majesty, Mingi XII, Amanyanabo of Nembe Kingdom, as Jisos Kraist returns to Earth to keep his end-time promise, tongue aflame with Pentecost. I have no doubt that I am well ahead of the praise singers. I hope you did not feel slighted that this very personal epistle began with a recognition of your place upon the face of the Earth, as just another piece of Mister Adam. No doubt you have seen yourself naked before the mirror in recent times. No hat, no gown, no pants, no flywhisk. Didn’t you look like a living piece of mud? In case you are more than I presume, do allow me to apologize for wrongly addressing you in common terms.
Ebiri togu na mie aye.
Christmas, Your Majesty, is a season of love. Christmas is a season of celebration, a season of knock-outs. Since I am too far away from your palace, however, I thought I should post one knock-out of an epistle to you, as a mark of my concern for Nembe Kingdom. I remember you from time to time, sir, even if you have no time for that “King Boy with the warrior pen,” as you were gracious enough to describe me recently.
You will recall that I had cause to send a short epistle to you, published on page 22 of the second edition of Weekend Waves Weekly, dated March 9, 2008, in which I made a frantic overture to win your patriotic friendship, and to call your attention to the pressures being put on me by political jobbers to be proclaimed forthwith as the substantive Mingi XII, Amanyanabo of Nembe, on account of the fact that XII books bearing my messianic name are receiving growing worldwide acclaim.
The said XII books celebrate the passion of the Christ, on the occasion of his Second Coming, representing a corporate gift from mankind to the Son of Man, and therefore to Heaven. You will agree with me that this is no mean feat. I was called to the assignment on the night of October 31, 2006 breaking November 1, 2006, with three sharp taps from my Father that have continued to resound in my soul, compelling my hand to write you this honourable missive, stating the sum of the message in the said Calendar of Faith, as follows:
The end has come.
Ama Gido has come.
Onana Koko Owei has come.
Jisos Kraist has come to the land of Eden.
Since you happen to be sitting easy on the throne of Nembe, after a truly lavish coronation ceremony sponsored by the tax payer, sponsored by the fabulous proceeds you have made over the years from the sacred blood of Egbe Gwabo, it is time to remind you as follows: Ayeba Ton Ifie Mi La Te. God’s time, in short, has come. Mene mene has come to tekel, and therefore to upharsin.
I am obliged to bring to your notice that your days, Maduabebe, are numbered upon the coveted throne. Check the scriptures in case you suffer any doubt. Check the 25th verse of the 5th chapter in the precious Book of Daniel. Your reign, simply put, is over in the realm of the spirit. In fact, it did not begin. You failed before you tried. You were nothing but a supporting item to the grandest coronation ceremony that human eyes shall ever behold.
King of Kings has come
Lord of Lords has come
Prince of Peace has come
The Good Shepherd has come
Jesus Christ has come, like a thief in the night.
In short, you are sitting on the wrong stool. Maduabebe, pasisei I dau koru. It is time to give way to the rightful heir to the throne. And, let me say this: it is a great pity that you do not take heavenly opinion seriously. I hear it was brought to your attention that you dare not climb that throne, by none other than your illustrious predecessor, His Royal Majesty, Justice Ambrose Ezeokwesili Alagoa, Mingi XI, Amanyanabo of Nembe, in a repeated warning conveyed to you by a good number of neighbourly diviners, dream merchants, soothsayers, marabouts and clairvoyants under your domain. You didn’t think it was anything worth crowing about, nay? These things happen, Your Majesty. Pity.
Even so, as the year of your coronation runs out, and as you swiftly approach the first anniversary of your doubtful ascent into reckoning, I am obliged to put across a few questions pertaining to the growth and development of the kingdom under you in the intervening period. I find these questions pertinent and well-meaning, given my humble station as a research and documentation veteran who has had the benefit of serving the land, government and people of Bayelsa State, for eight out of its XII – that figure again – years in existence as a recognized political entity.
I believe you are well-nigh acquainted with the fact that I live on questions and answers. Man shall not live by money alone. I feed on ideas. I am a poet. I am proud to be a journalist. I am hoping, therefore, that you will not disappoint me with the humble proposal I bring before you, no different from what I offered after you had secured your place upon the said coveted throne.
I say this advisedly because, a few weeks after your coronation, I had cause to call your attention to the plight of the Bayelsa State Newspaper Corporation, and to secure a formal opportunity to present myself in service to Your Royal Majesty. In spite of the fact that I took the honourable option of broadcasting an explanation spelling out the critical differences between Mingi Madu XII, Amanyanabo of Nembe, and Mingi Nengi XII, Amanyanabo of Eden, quite in spite of the friendly overtures I made to you, in writing, and upon the clouds, you have considered it beneath your magisterial esteem to confer with a mere prince of the parabolic pen.
As far as you are concerned, you have no business with a journalist of such humble disposition as myself, a mere general manager of computers and cord machines. It is evident that you have no modicum of respect for your own state-owned newspaper house, and that is truly sad. You would rather patronize local competitors who would place you, pert, on the colourful front page, without as much as asking those burning questions you must address, nor pick holes in that manifesto of leadership you must tender, defend and implement to the letter. You are content to make the headlines without proffering answers to those age-long questions that the helmsman of an ancient city renown as a haven of serpents should confront. It is time to put across relevant questions now that the world has entered The Jesus Millennium.
It is time for worship.
Your Majesty, let charity begin at home. I believe you are at least a nominal Christian, for verily, verily, I confess to have seen pictures of you upon the clouds, holding the holy Sankey, the sacred scroll of Songs & Solos in the language of Eden, and crooning the lyrics of His Eminence, Reverend Daniel Ogiriki Ockiya, the only man known to have turned down a popular offer of the Mingi crown in Nembe history.
It has even come to my notice that you are called upon to read special portions of Tonton Baibul Mi, like a typical Christian, on the occasional Sunday when you are not too busy exploiting the blood of Jesus, prospecting for oil and gas, exploring crude oil markets at yahoo dot com. With a name like Maduabebe, the one with the double tongue, you have no business on the pulpit. Your domain ends at the gates of your palace.
If, however, you insist on parading your don and waving your flywhisk before your acolytes and the brood of sycophants surrounding you, that is between you, your judicial predecessor, and Ama Gido. Permit me to bring this epistle to a critical mid-section by inviting you to sit before us across the dialogue table of the WWW, with a call on you to answer the following XII questions, honestly, frankly, and sincerely.
I. When exactly do you hope to banish the worship of the serpent, namely the royal python, in Nembe? When do you plan to kill every one of those creeping beasts? When do you mean to burn them up by fire in the deep hold of Odobo Bio, or are you comfortable sleeping with a python under your nightly pillow?
II. When do you hope to demolish all the juju shrines, and fully dedicate Nembe to Ayeba? Or, are you a confirmed coward? If not, what is the true meaning behind Professor E.J. Alagoa’s description of Nembe as The Small Brave City-State?
III. Is it true that, as Mingi XII, you reasoned that the royal office would give you total command over your nephew, namely Chief Timipre Sylva-Sam, Governor of Bayelsa State, in order that the people, the land and its invaluable resources of oil and gas would come under your thumb, given your vast experience in the said industry, and your sterling credentials as former President of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC?
IV. When will you ban the Seitonic practice in Nembe Kingdom, which allows the first child to die in any given family, no matter how young or how old and well-to-do, to be buried face down, without proper funeral ceremonies?
V. When do you hope to restore the spirit of Christianity introduced into Nembe Kingdom by our illustrious role model, His Royal Majesty, King Josiah Constantine Ockiya, Mingi VII?
VI. Why did you find it necessary to malign the characters of Chief Pedro Adukpo-Egi Ikata and Senator Nimi Barigha-Amange before the Olusegun Obasanjo presidency, and mastermind their incarceration beneath the huge feet of Aso Rock?
VII. What exactly are officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces doing in Nembe, and why have they been there for so long?
VIII. Is it true that you invited the army to hold the Kingdom to ransom, intimidating law-abiding citizens at will? Could it be true that you pay the said battalion blood money to ensure that your undue mandate is summarily confirmed and upheld?
IX. Is it true that you deliberately hid the full meaning of your name, MADUABEBE, the double tongue, for the better part of your life because it represents duplicity in character? Besides, why were you locked up in the infamous NNPC saga in times past, and compelled to sleep for several weeks on the cold floor of your prison cell, in your underpants?
X. What are your plans for maximizing the corporate wealth derivable from the rare Brent crude deposit in Nembe Kingdom, given your professional experience as a geologist, and against the backdrop of the historical 1895 crusade mounted by our courageous forebear, King Frederick William Koko, Mingi VIII?
XI. Kindly name one Mingi in the past who thought it worthwhile to protect his office with soldiers and gun-totting touts at yahoo, to say nothing of sponsoring political rifts between interested parties?
XII. It is a mark of the long-lasting damage you have done to the psyche of Adam and Eve that they now inscribe tattoos of the serpent upon their bodies in the name of fashion. What is the numerical strength of your army upon the face of the earth to date, with regard to those who have been branded with the proverbial mark of the beast?
Your Majesty, that would be all. But then, how can I say I have finished when I have just started with you? Given your numerous trips outside your home country, I am yet to earn the opportunity of asking you at close quarters what you consider to be your personal contributions to the physical growth of Nembe, besides your many mansions and the roof you built so graciously over the ancient town square at Owusegi-Polotiri. But, I suppose your hands are already full. I hope you do not find the questions testy. Allow me to point out that answers to the foregoing questions are urgent.
Even so, you may wish to comment on the land lease system in Nembe, and expound on any innovations you may have thought of introducing, pertaining to your new land allocation regime, without bias to common citizens like me. Furthermore, it may interest you to know that the founding Erebo Family of Fantuo have thought it fit and proper to appoint my humble self, unequivocally, as the first Mayor of Fantuo. This is in spite of the exalted office of Amanyanabo which is currently occupied by the incumbent paramount ruler, His Royal Highness Amaitari Apollos Ololo, Obiani V.
I consider this a great honour indeed. It comes in recognition of my modest achievements in scripture so far, and the determined strides I have taken in times past to articulate the mindset of government through the first three civilian administrations under the direction of sons of the soil. No doubt, you will not begrudge me this honour. The consensus is that it is well deserved, coming to me as I mark 45 years of a blessed life given by God. You may also wish to know that I made a change of name recently, published on Page Two in the eleventh edition of WWW which commemorates the ascendancy of Barack Obama, the first black President of the United States of America, dated Friday November 21-28, 2008, as follows:
The names NENGI JOSEF ILAGHA and JESUS JOSEPH CHRIST represent one and the same person. In other instances, my names have been severally spelt as ISSAH YUSUF ALLAH, JESU KRISTI and JISOS KRAIST, as the case may be. My friends call me Pope Pen The First. I am equally known as Calvary Head. All documents, books and publications bearing these names, now and in the future, to say nothing of all my countless other appellations, through the ages and through time, remain validly mine. May the land and people of Glory Land, Niger Delta, Nigeria, Africa, and the WorldWideWeb please take note.
Your abiding friend and saviour,
JESUS JOSEPH CHRIST
Your Majesty, feel free to acknowledge me as Jisos Kraist, if only to underscore your lip service to Christianity. Feel free to address me as Teme You Mi Nengimobo, he who conquered the battle of the spirit. The least I can do, you will agree with me, is to bring honour to the noble name of my Father, King Ayebatitari Joseph Owei-Ilagha Bugo, the door to eternity, lordly lion upon the clouds, educationist per excellence and veteran grammarian of the Nembe coastline.
I shall do well to bring pride and glory to a future Nembe community of law-abiding citizens living in harmony with the wealth of natural resources that surround us in such sheer abundance. Indeed I promise to learn from the mistakes that are bound to be noticeable in your reply to my questionnaire, if at all it comes, so that we can avoid as many pitfalls as possible in our providential call to governance at the grassroots.
On a final note, allow me to bring to your notice that I have discovered the definitive cure for HIV/AIDS, what you might call boloi obi. The cure is straight forward. Drink your own perenina. Can you handle that? Some cups never pass away. It is the privilege of the saints of Heaven, only. You must settle your differences with your neighbour, your home town, and your people before you dare to administer this classic therapy that is guaranteed to sanctify the world.
Besides, you must be large-hearted across board. You must love your neighbour as yourself. Your Majesty, do you love me the way you love yourself? Let it not be that you committed some terrible and wicked act in the past, and therefore cannot summon the moral courage to take the bitter pill. Verily, verily, I say you must reconcile with your land and people, and with God.
Please note that I have done well to bring my discovery to the prompt attention of President Barack Hussein Obama in an eight-part analysis of the subject in question. I have equally earned the confidence of President Umar Musa Yar’Adua on the matter, to say nothing of the United Nations General Assembly, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Scientific & Cultural Organization, and the worldwideweb at large, thanks to the cyber café next door. It is finished. The storm is over. The Great African Enterprise is fully accomplished under the auspices of Pope Pen The First. It took this winning spirit from the land of Eden to discover the cure for HIV/AIDS. Suffice it to say that your congratulations are welcome.
By the way, do not make the mistake of sending anyone after me or any member of my family, for that matter. Macbeth dared it and succeeded, up to a point, with Macduff. In this particular case involving Jesus Christ, you will never succeed. May Heaven bear me witness. May God’s name, not Maduabebe, be glorified forever and ever. Indeed may God continue to come first, first, first, first, first, first in your class all the time, from Standard One to Standard Six.
It is finished. This particular epistle is finished.
King Nengimobo Joseph Ilagha
Perebo Togu Sonoma Beri
Lord of the Living Word, Prince of Peace
Pope Pen Constantine The First
Mingi Nengi XII, Amanyanabo of Nembe