FEATURE ARTICLE

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
[email protected]
Port Harcourt, Nigeria
PROFESSOR PIUS ADESANMI Vs NIGERIA: THE LAST SATIRE

s is my penchant, I congratulate and even celebrate Nigerians who are able to look at hapless Nigeria's peculiarities and express their forthright views with unwavering candour. If such persons are able to lace their views with satire, I am happier because it helps me process better the grimness of the situation they are expressing. I never knew or met Professor Pius Adesanmi until he died in that unfortunate Ethiopian airline (Boeing 737 Max 8) Flight 302 crash. And as happens when such personalities pass on, stories of their life and times emerge. I became aware of the Late Pius Adesanmi after his death, through the media.

I first encountered Mr Adesanmi in an old interview re-aired on (Nigeria's) Channels TV, in which he explained the background and motivation behind his book, "Naija No Dey Carry Last". I heard again about this gentleman via a radio (Nigeria Info, 92.3 FM, Port Harcourt) rendition of his poem "The Parable of the Shower Head". These and several other elegies I came across concerning Pius Adesanmi have convinced me that this was another of the rare breed of Nigerians in whom there is no guile. The more I thought of how surreal the entire unfortunate tragedy would seem to those who knew this iconoclast personally; the more I was unable to suppress another budding feeling, a product of my overly fecund imagination; a conversation between the soul of Pius and the Nigeria he hoped to see dead and buried in his life time. I am all the more pressed to pen the below few lines between Pius' Soul (PS) and Nigeria, after I learnt that his last Facebook post was a quotation from Psalm 139: 9-10. I mean that Pius, a Prince coming home was probably able to ask his welcoming angels to allow him five minutes to have this last important chat with Nigeria. This is the conversation, which happened at the candle light vigil for Pius Adesanmi in Abuja, Nigeria, on 17/03/2019.

PS: Wetin you dey do here?

Nigeria: Me? I con cry for you now? Abi you no like am?

PS: Cry for who? Me and you, na who make dem cry for?

Nigeria: Ol' boy, na ya turn, and we go contribute cry for you. Me I neva die, but you don yamutu!

PS: Who tell you say you neva die. You wey don rotten finish; e remain make them bury you.

Nigeria: You nko?

PS: Na body wey rotten; you no see say I still dey talk?

Nigeria: Orisirisi! Sebi, I say make una sidon for my kishin eat anything wey I give una. Iro! Una say na Amrika and Canda una go die put. You see your life now?

PS: Your food na poison, who wan chop bribe and egunje?

Nigeria: You dis boy, na so your mouth go dey run like moto wey fail brake.

PS: You neva ansa the question wey I dey ask you; I say wetin you dey do here?

Nigeria: I say I con cry. Abi de amrika juju wey kill you don block your ear?

PS: Ehm, Angel Michael, there is a woman here without the proper garment.

Nigeria: [Leaves hurriedly, muttering on her way out] Na Oriburuku be dis ke! Make dem drive person comot for im pikin funaral. Pikin wey I carry for dis my belle.

As far as I am able to convey, the above conversation is what I thought went on between the soul of Pius Adesanmi (who wept for Nigeria all through his short sojourn), and the characters he criticised and chastised with his pen up till his dying day. Apparently, he gave them no rest and allowed himself no rest either. I am inclined to believe that were he able to, Pius Adesanmi would continue the fight from wherever he is. I never met this man, but he already comes across as a friend and a brother one never met. A man who should not have died.

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