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The Oba's Word

Disclaimer: This post does not aim to preempt the gubernatorial election results in any state, in any way. Fiction. Strictly fiction, albeit inspired by real events. 


The Lagos Lagoon


The deed had been done. Despite all the Oba’s warnings, the Igbo (aided and abetted by other Yorubas the Urhobos, Ibibio, Bini, Esan, Kalabari, Hausas, Idoma etc.) had voted overwhelmingly against his candidate.

The Oba was furious.

“You must throw them in the lagoon, Kabiyesi. You promised. You are an Oba. You cannot go back on your word.”

The Oba wrung his hands in vexation. “But the logistics of it, Asiwaju. Is the Lagoon big enough for over a million people? Is it deep enough? What if they can swim? How do I round them up?”

The council fell silent for a bit. The Asiwaju glanced at the Balogun who studiously averted his gaze. He had counseled against this madness. Now look.

“We could ask them to file out and make themselves available at the banks of the lagoon. They’re quite honest people. Just make an announcement asking them to come.” The Otunba who spoke smiled beatifically. The Asiwaju wondered how he kept his teeth so white with all the tobacco he smoked.


“As soon as possible. This Saturday even. Before they swear in this new governor. He will put up a protest, you know, that we’re drowning citizens.”

“Okay, then. Make the announcement. This Saturday it is.”


The Oba faced the multitude on the banks of the Lagos lagoon, Victoria Island side. He reflected that the tide was lower than he would have liked but he couldn’t wait till evening. He had to catch the Premier League match. Liverpool seemed set to record big gains.

“Ndigbo and their supporters,” he began. He had noticed a few Tiv dancers doing the Swange at the back. Did they think this was a festival? “For a long time, you people have been living in our land. I have taken you as my children. And what does a father do? He advises, he sets the direction of a family and when his children step out of the boundaries he set, he corrects them. Amiright?”

“Be’eni, Kabiyesi.” They chorused.

His heart softened. They weren’t so bad, these Igbos. Just stubborn. But then again, weren’t all children stubborn? He caught sight of the Asiwaju shaking his fist in the air. Right. He was an Oba, he had to make good on his promise.

“You people know that what you did was against my wishes. And so I have to throw you in the lagoon as I promised. Now, I don’t have the strength to pick you all, one after the other, and throw you in. And the palace guards haven’t been paid; they’re on strike. So I would be much obliged if you would walk in by yourselves. E se.”

The multitude faced the lagoon and began to wade in, one by one, in an orderly fashion. Someone was handing out life jackets. The Oba thought that was rather thoughtful. He really didn’t want them to die. Who would run Idumota and Alaba? He watched the Tiv dancers gently swange into the lagoon, the orange life jackets incongruous against their white and black outfits. They looked like Tom-Tom wrappers.



Make peace not war, folks!


  1. Pingback: The Oba’s Word | Nationwatch

  2. Exquisitelinda says

    Lolllll really? Like Tom Tom wrappers. Very funny and thoughtful too . Were some of them dancing the ibo atilogwu or abigbo dance? That will be quite fun to watch. And y didn’t the Oba add “ah” to his speech? I’m loving this

    • Lol. I believe he matters, as custodian of culture and as a father figure. But it ends there. I don’t think he’s a political leader of any sort, and so he shouldn’t try to exercise political power that he doesn’t have.

  3. Chinelo says

    Lol…Ose, really funny. I was wondering how he intended to throw us (the Igbos) into the lagoon and make us drown by force .

  4. Ilori says

    I believe TomTom has a new look though. lol. Interesting piece

  5. Excellent! Excellent!! EXCELLENT!!!

    This write-up should be on the cover page of all the newspapers with a colorful cartoon capturing the final scene, lol

    The underlying message is “let peace reign”.

  6. gerald says

    This has got to b the best piece of short writing I’ve read in a while u cud make this out into something big.nice one.God bless u with more creativity

  7. Reblogged this on Amoscp's Blog and commented:
    Just allow your imagination lead you to the “what-ifs” of the Oba’s Words during the elections.
    Great fictional expression loaded with simple realistic messages.

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