Sunday, May 21, 2017

SHORT MEN, LITTLE DICTATORS


Dearest Buhari, 

I think I am coping well with this long distance relationship, better than I thought I would. The tips I sent last week are helping. I miss you. 

This week so many things happened, things that make me worry for our house and for our future. I know you will not be able to run this house forever. Someone will have to take over when you retire but I do not like what I see. 

First off that little man who always swears that he loves you more than he loves suya, more than all of his wives — he is letting his position get to his head. He is arresting people who write things he doesn't like. He is threatening people. In fact it got so bad that someone took him to court recently and won. The court prevented him from harassing or attempting to arrest her for the things she has written. You know what baffles me Bubu? This man has the worst insults on his burnt lips. You know the man who used to run our farm before, the slow one, Jonah? Do you remember how the little one used to insult him everyday; you know, that time he didn't have work? He was on Twitter morning afternoon and night saying the vilest things about Jonah. Of course we mostly agreed, but no one said, “you this little man, how dare you abuse Jonah?” No one arrested him. Now he threatens people who write articles. Is it something about short people? Because I expect that now that he is in a position of authority and can sit on high tables and chairs, he should calm down. What if he is charge of the whole house? Will he start making people disappear? But then look at your deputy. He is also a short man. But he does not have that kind of gra-gra. He does not harass people who talk about him. He is short but he thinks before he speaks. So it cannot be about height. Not all short people are nasty. Having said that, I must say that I love that you are tall and there is no way I would have chosen anyone less to be my darling. Hugs. 

My dear we have to talk about these your workers and relatives. You were clear when you were leaving that your deputy would take over and run things in your absence. I do not know why they are trying to undermine him. I tell you that little one gives short people a bad name so everyone is afraid that as a short man your deputy will also behave like the little one. But your deputy is not like that. They don't want him to sign cheques and things like that. They are keeping it until you can sign yourself. Me I have told them to let him do everything you used to do. Apart from love me that is. I am faithful to you my darling. But he has to be able to carry out all of the other duties of the head of the house. Otherwise what is the point of handing over to him? Please tell them to stop undermining him and to let him have to full authority to run this house properly. Especially about the budget. The house cannot wait until you return to get the budget. 

Albishirin ka! Wallahi, you won’t believe it! So, that senator who does music videos and has ten cars, the one who is acting bodyguard to the senate president, yes that one — he said he wrote a book about how women selling tomatoes in the market can be corrupt. Wait let me laugh small first. Kai! The book was about corruption and guess who was there? The senate president who is being accused of corruption. Jonah’s wife — not the one we don't know, I mean the one with the tummy tuck who they told us stole from us. She was there with her fine gele sitting on the high table. I am not joking. My only annoyance while I was laughing is that one of your workers was also there. You need to talk to your workers and assistants. This is not the kind of place people connected to us should be visiting. You cannot have a gathering of people accused of theft celebrating a book about how to stop theft. That is like your former grass cutter secretary writing a book about how to keep fit. I wanted to buy the book just to laugh at home but I thought now that you are away I should save our money and not use it to buy worthless things. 

I will end like always, to say, again, that I miss you and that you should take care of yourself. But also that we should let that Shiite man go home to mourn his children, the ones we killed. 

Ps. The weather is nice these days. I wish you were here. We would have taken long walks and all.  Do you know that I have lost weight? I went into one shop and tried the large t-shirts just for fun. You know I used to wear extra large and wallahi it fit! It fit! Now I have to maintain that weight and not drink too much fura before you return. Both of us will be slim together. I am excited. 

Yours lovingly,


Elnathan John. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

HOW TO MAKE A LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP WORK


Dearest Buhari, 

Since you have been gone, I have been thinking. I have no idea when you will return. I have no idea if it will be like the last time when you were away for many many weeks. But I know for sure though that this time, I am ready. 

To enable me handle this without going crazy I have been doing research about how to survive a long distance relationship. I have summarized all the knowledge I have gathered and decided to share with you. Because sharing is caring. Both of us have to make this work. I know you have handed over the running of the house to your deputy but our love remains the most important thing to me. Please read this carefully and tell me what you think.

1.  Set some ground rules to manage your expectations
So, I believe this is pretty self explanatory. Ground rules are important. Without ground rules one of us will do something to annoy the other without realizing it. These are my ground rules: a.) Eat healthy. b.) Sleep enough c.) Don't talk to other visitors (like you did with the King of Morocco the last time) before talking to me. If you can receive visitors, then you can talk to me. d.) Be honest about your health and whatever happens don't let me be the last to know. 

2.  Make communication optional, organic and unconditional.
I was shocked when I saw this. I always thought one had to talk all the time. It is always good to learn. I have resolved not to demand that you give your family a regular broadcast — this was never your style. You have always been silent, talking only to your close friends and to America. I am not judging you for it. So, whenever you want, talk to us. Tell us you still care. That you still think of us. Of me. That you are still responsible for us. For me. Directly. Not through intermediaries. We know you are ill. We will not mind if you speak to us from the hospital for just a few minutes when you can. You know, any sentence beginning with “Fellow…”. I have missed hearing that from your lips. 

3.  Talk dirty with each other
Now I know you think I mean talking dirty the way white people do in all those bad films. “Harder, baby, harder…” That is what your enemies expect from you. They always want you to do things harder. Whether it is fighting corruption or the economy, they are never contented. They want you to go harder. But I am different baby. We can take this and make it a holy kind of talking dirty. How about I keep you updated on all the dirty things your staff are doing while you are gone? Like when someone is a thief or someone is abusing power or the security guards are harassing someone. You know, that kind of dirty. Let us try it. 

4.  Have a goal in mind
What is your goal? To carry on when you return until 2022? To retire in 2019? Let us think of these things so that we can plan ahead and people don't fight over our property. It will help all of us plan. It will also help us take time to decide who we want to run things when you retire so that you can focus on leading now. 

5.  Give each other pet names
This is simple. That is why I call you Bubu. What do you want to call me? Something nice and easy that rolls off the tongue nicely. I like it when I call you Bubu. Bubu…Bubu…Bu…Ok, I’ll stop. (See? I miss you.)

6.  Clarify your status
Me I know our status. You are my partner. You are my leader. You are my darling. And I will wait for you. But you need to do the same clarification. What am I to you? Will you demonstrate this by talking to me this time? Or will I have to find out about you from people I did not choose, people who are not responsible for me, people who have not sworn to protect me so help them God. You have WhatsApp. You have FaceTime. You have Skype. You have fast London WiFi. We have no excuse not to make this work. 


7.  Always have something to look forward to together
I look forward to you returning. I look forward to you building a hospital near the house that you can go to instead of always having to fly far. I look forward to training our doctors enough so that we can trust them to treat you. I look forward to knowing where I stand with you in 2019. I look forward to having that Shiite man released and having him off my conscience especially after we have destroyed everything he has and killed most of his children and destroyed his property. I look forward to having the herdsmen around the house and the farmers not fighting with and killing each other — there is enough land for them all. I look forward to these and more. What do you look forward to my darling?

Talk soon. (Ps. I miss cooking for you.)

Yours in sickness and in health,

Elnathan John