“Omo, na mental case,” Faze announced at the beginning of his song. “Start to dey craze,” he added. One crazy fellow standing behind me replied him immediately.
I come to you today from Yaba psychiatric hospital where I am being treated for mental and emotional injuries I incurred after my candidate suffered a crushing defeat during our party’s primary. I am writing this piece from Yaba pyschia. So? Don’t believe what I am about to say. And, don’t disbelieve them either. Omo, na mental case. And, mental cases are always like that: full off of contradictions (tradition?). The more you look, the less you see.
On the day of the primary, trouble started when someone they called DeeJay Joker decided to play Faze’s “Kolomental.” He claimed he was using the song to calm frayed nerves while we waited on the queue for our turns to vote. But I did not believe him. Not surprisingly, it ended up working out the opposite of what it was supposed to do. Worse still, he inter-mixed that with some of the tunes and lyric from Fela’s “Craze World” so much that you didn’t know which one was playing at any given time as he continued to fade them in and out of each other.
“Omo, na mental case,” Faze announced at the beginning of his song. “Start to dey craze,” he added. One crazy fellow standing behind me replied him immediately. “Olosi nie,” he called out. “How we go start to dey craze when we never vote for our candidate and when no one never lose or win?”, he asked rhetorically. Turning to the deejay, he said; “If you no get beta song to play, make you kukuma close down the whole thing, pack and dey go home.”
At that juncture, the deejay switched over to Fela’s “Craze World.” “Animal in craze-man skin,“ Fela crooned. “Na craze world be dat.” Make you hear this one/War against indiscipline, ee-oh/ Na Nigerian government, ee-oh/Dem dey talk be dat/ Which kind talk be dat- oh?/ Craze talk be dat ee-oh/Na animal talk be dat.”
Even this got the man more agitated as he said to the deejay: “Who bi animal in craze-man skin? Na you I dey ask.” “See me see trouble o,” the deejay said. “Oga no bi me play the song now; na Fela. Na him you go ask.”
“Abeg no come de play dis kain song for us, you hear? Dis no bi de kain song we want you to play on this day. You don play Kolomental, we say no want am. You come dey play Fela’s “Craze World.” Between you and us sef, we no know who craze pass.”
“Na wetin you mean by “we?” a fellow standing behind him challenged. “Oga, you can talk for yourself if you want,”, he added “but don’t talk say we don agree when we never talk sef. Na wetin you and me agree? Abeg no bi for playing Faze or Fela’s songs o. Na beg I dey beg you o.”
On hearing that, the deejay changed back to Faze’s “Kolomental”: As you dey fall in oh/Make u take note oh/Say this party oh/Na ego craze people oh/ Make you mental oh/Make you display/Show your madness/Make you craze dey go/That’s nonsense/Make you no make sense/Na the concept na senseless/See I don kolo/Make una hold me o/If you no fit oh/Na come join me oh/Kolo, make we mental/Everybody make we start to mental.
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With the song still blaring away, our first party man turned to the man in front of him and said: “I don’t know what I said bad that should make you to attack me. I only told the man no dey play dis kain songs for here. Na wetin wrong with dat? Or, you think say here bi Lagos where one man was declared the winner of the state’s primary and the NWC panel annulled the primary and say dem go start another one? Who knows which name dem go call the second ‘primary.’ Maybe state’s secondary. Or, you think say here na Lagos where de governor look im Oga patapata for dem political heaven, for eye and said im no go step down for his oda godson? Or, where the Deputy governor voted against his Governor in the primary. Na dat kain place he fit go play these kain songs, no bi here. Here we dey kanpe weda Obasanjo agree or no gree.”
How about Ogun State?, someone asked. “No bi de place dem say there was sporadic shootings as thugs attacked the State House of Assembly’s Deputy Speaker, making soldiers to be deployed and schools to be shut? No bi dia that the governor, Amosun, accused Oshio-Baba of wanting to set his state on fire? Ehn, na dat kain place our deejay fit go play these kain songs, no bi here. He also fit go play dem for Imo where the chairman of the state’s Governorship Primary Election Committee declared one candidate the winner while his secretary declared another aspirant the winner. It is in those places where confusion don break bone that deejay fit play Faze’s and Fela’s songs, no bi here. I don talk my own.”
“I think our compatriot has a point there”, another party man agrees. Come to think of it, as we stand here now dey wait for our turn to vote for our candidates in the state’s primary this party no bi for ego craze people as Faze sang. And, no matter the number of times the deejay plays “make you mental oh/Make you display/Show your madness/Make you craze dey go/,” me, personally, I no go mental. I no go display or show any madness or dey craze dey go. If everybody wan start mental, make dem start, me I no go join.”
Party primaries and general election are all mental cases. They are something for which you need brain, a lot of it, to organise or to win, an interloper tried to lecture us. I didn’t even behave as if I heard what he was trying to say. I just pretended.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Reactions are welcome from readers