Thursday, February 22, 2007


(A one act play by Omo Alagbede; 2006)
For Ladoja, Ngige and DSP

HIS EXCELLENCY: I hear men’s voices. I smell the blood of a politician…

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: What are you saying, Your Excellency?

HIS EXCELLENCY: Go onto the balcony and tell me what you see.

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: (goes and returns) I see nothing. You confuse me, your Excellency.

HIS EXCELLENCY: Your inner eyes fail you, and that, for an aspiring politician, is a tragedy of the highest order. Now go back and look again.

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: (goes, screams, and runs back) I see them now, now I see them. How – who – why – did they get here? So many – what…

HIS EXCELLENCY: Blessed are they who do not see, yet believe

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: (still in a panic) Who are they, your Excellency?

HIS EXCELLENCY: (chuckles) They are friends. I think that you had better summon all the strength in you. We have a long night ahead.

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: I’m not sure I understand you Sir. Do you know those people. Were you expecting them? Don’t you want to come to the balcony to have a look at them?

HIS EXCELLENCY: Before they were, I knew...

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: Are they for us, Sir?

HIS EXCELLENCY: (laughs) You know nothing? You see nothing? Are you alive or are you not? Is there nothing in your head? You, on whom foolishness sits like a corrupt Judge…

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: I’m sorry to upset you Sir, but… I.. am…

HIS EXCELLENCY: Quit the speech. They that are against us are more than they that are for us. They that are against us are they that were for us.

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: So they are enemies…

HIS EXCELLENCY: This is the night of long … poisoned umbrellas. Pray, where is my deputy?

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: Your deputy, Sir? Your Excellency, I don’t mean to be uncouth, but the Alfa is charred and yet you ask for his beard? Your deputy left this morning. He said he was going leave. Was it not you who approved his leave?

HIS EXCELLENCY: That, precisely, is the point, my young friend. What used to be the Government House, has become The Government Garden of Gethsemane (chuckles).

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: That doesn’t sound comforting at all, your Excellency, even though I understand it not…

HIS EXCELLENCY: You will understand, young man. But then again, you never may… Our camp has suffered plunder. The gods are not to blame, blame the godfathers instead..

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: Again Sir, I do not mean to be rude, but are you sure you do not need some rest…?

HIS EXCELLENCY: The season of rest is long past, sadly. This is the season of the final stand. Call me my Chief Security Officer at once!

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: (dashes off and returns; pants) He’s not at his seat Sir. His office is locked. Wait a minute Sir, I think I remember something? Yes, yes, I overheard him telling your deputy that he was summoned to Abuja for an important meeting…

HIS EXCELLENCY: Abuja, you said. Excellent. I will lift up mine eyes to the Rock, from whence cometh my downfall. Call me my lawyer, now!

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: Which one of them Sir? The one who defended you against the allegations of certificate forgery, or the one who defended you at the election petition tribunal? Or shall I call the Senior Advocate of the Moneyed who helped the First Lady to sue that magazine that claimed she imported a container of lipstick with Government money.

HIS EXCELLENCY: Just get me any damn lawyer and for Heaven’s sake stop the cheek!

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: I’m sorry Sir. (dashes off and returns). There are two lawyers downstairs Sir, but both of them have a splitting headache. At least that’s what they said…

HIS EXCELLENCY: Good. That leaves my Campaign Organisation. Get me my director of mobilization.

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: (dashes off and returns) He’s in his office quite alright Sir, but he says that on the basis of the memo you wrote officially disbanding the organization when you won a second term, technically he is no longer your Mob. Director.

HIS EXCELLENCY: I see. I told you. That leaves you and me, perhaps only me. I fear to ask you to get me the First Lady. I fear she may decline to come, she may say she’s got nothing to wear.. Here we are, you and me, caught between the devil and the deep green-and-white marshes of Abuja. Prepare for your death. (chuckles). Just kidding. Get me the phone. I need to speak with Switzerland… (he dials a number)… hello, hello, is that the Manager in charge of African Funds… good …this is his Excellency speaking… yes, from Nigeria… my code… NG544210… I need to.. what! Who? Are you in your right mind? Freeze! Who gave you such orders? This is a breach of…hello.. hello…hello…

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: (calling from the balcony) Sir… those people outside, the mob, they are beginning to climb the fence. They are waving swords in the air. They are … is that not your godfather, Chief Dr. Egowokudi that I see? Eepa! Sir, your deputy is amidst them, look at him leaping over the fence like an antelope…

HIS EXCELLENCY: Get inside at once, my friend. This is no time to be a football commentator! We have come to the end of ourselves, and this I say both metaphorically and literally. Drastic situations, drastic solutions. Where is the key to the wardrobe? I hope the contents are intact. The skirt-suits, the wigs, the bras? The jewellery? I shall wring someone’s neck tonight if the wardrobe has been tampered with…

PERSONAL ASSISTANT: Now you confuse me beyond confusion your Excellency!

HIS EXCELLENCY: Watch and pray, my young friend. Do as I do, and you will be as I am. (chuckles). Now listen! I shall be Mrs. November, Official Massager of His Excellency. And you shall be Miss Molete, Chief Cleaner, Governor’s Office. Here, use the pink lipstick. Not too flashy, just right for a cleaner. The mob is not after massagers and cleaners. They seek the big fish. We are no longer the big fish – at least for now, my dear Miss Molete…


(c) Omo Alagbede, 2006


tolted said...

Nice one...

Anneke said...

You write very well.

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