Eastern Voice

I remember the good old days, my life with papa, mama and others in our big village house. In the entire Obeagu, our house was the biggest. No, papa wasn’t a chief, he just had high taste. With his little sales from farm crops, he built that edifice.
In that big edifice, there was never a dull moment. Plenty of relatives that weren’t even related by blood, those mates of mine who didn’t like the mud houses their parents built, all lived in our house.
Those that sounded it in my ears that my mother wasn’t the first wife, lived in that edifice.

Everyone had their corner and their rules. Mama’s single rule was, “don’t play with Obiageli’s children”. Did we listen? NO. After all, it wasn’t our fault she married an already married man.
I miss those days. Even though it was tough, I enjoyed the constant play and quarrels.

Now I’m 36, lucky to be married to a man who lives in Lagos, a man who has given me the opportunity to leave the Eastern part of the country.
With my booming business of ankara and lace in a clean part of Lagos, I have no time to follow news and happenings, but the little I hear is not pleasing at all.

I heard the Buhari that I know has arisen again to rule this same country that I’ve known since birth. The same old Buhari that papa always talked about when I was 4years. You see, that time, papa was in his own world. Maybe because we were too many in that large building, he just got confused and decided to stick with his friends.
When papa was not in the farm or in the room sleeping, he was always under the mango tree in front of the house, with his group of friends who faithfully joined him to drink palmwine every single day.
During those times, we hung around where they were, playing, screaming and trying to make meaning of what they were saying. Buhari was their focus of discussion during one particular period, which was how I got to know the man. Our aunts and mothers weren’t even left out. As they prepared dinner and blew the fire which served as their electric cooker, in the big mud kitchen, they made comments about this same Buhari.
I also know that he carried out so many brutal acts, but I’ll leave that for another day’s story.

Over 30 years ago, when I barely knew my left from my right, when I wasn’t even up to my first daughter’s age, when I was still in that village house in the eastern part of the country, this Buhari was head of state. This moment, when my first daughter is 8years old, when I now reside in a city duplex, when papa has begun to use walking stick, when mama has become a grandmother, when the village house echoes when we speak, the Buhari that I know is still running the same race.

Is it sane? I thought with age people gave up some struggles, but this has taught me a lot. Sometimes I wish I can push myself to contest and shove these candidates aside, but not a single ear will hear my name. What’s the point?
I don’t even have that thing they call PCV…or is it PVC? Back then when I practised nursing, there was this blood test called pcv. It just throws my mind back.
I also hear about the one they call Jonathan, the one with a wife that people call ‘diarisGodo’. I just watch and smile when people talk about these stories because I never watch, listen or read the news. Even my eight year old daughter downloads these latest happenings to my ears.
My second child is 6years. The year he was born was the year this Jonathan took that presidential seat to rule us all. Now he insists that my son must be 10years of age before he leaves, as if 6years is not already a long time.

I must stop here, to attend to my ankara customers. You know these sales girls, they can’t do anything on their own.
I must also stop these stories I’m telling. I need to have a chat with my children, to enlighten them before they begin to think that the presidential seat is a permanent place.



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