Hope Uzodinma’s Scrotum Monologue, by Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo

Important Disclaimer: This audio is not for public consumption, at least not in my lifetime. If you come into contact with him for any reason while I am still on this earth, please call 999.

I make it my audio diary because I hate reading and writing. Who books ‘elp?

For those who know me, I left school in the second class, but that’s when my education began. All my Federal University of Technology, Owerri degrees were obtained through adult education which we all know is a scam, especially for those who were already rich when we paid for and collected the degrees. So did my BA in International Studies and Diplomacy from Washington University in St. Louis. Na wuluwulu.

But it works. It worked for me, and it worked for the dancing senator Ademola Adeleke, who copied my model by picking up an American certificate in old age and later won the governorship of Osun State.

When it comes to intellectual rigor, I can’t compete with my beautiful wife, who went to school properly. So when the other day she called this audio diary series my scrotal monologue, I just shook my head. Once in the States, she tried to get me to see Eve Ensler’s play, The Vagina Monologues, but I refused. I told him, not you and me.

Anyway, in this episode, I wanted to address the 14 young people of Awomama and many others before them killed in the unstable axis of Oru by more than a dozen state and non-state actors overzealous states operating in this territory. I called them actors because they weren’t what they claimed to be. Having been on the streets myself, a youth leader in Imo State of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) from 1983, I know the streets. I know the killers and the killed. They are often misguided, misunderstood and mismanaged victims of the aftermath of a failed state. You can quote me on that.

Sadly, I will not address the issue of the death of our boys due to unnecessary controversy surrounding the so-called expensive wrist watch I wore to join other APC governors to go and greet President Muhammadu Buhari for Salah.

I know it shocked all of you wretched souls that I own such expensive watches. For the record, I was not poor when God in His ultimate wisdom appointed me Governor of Imo State. I had cut my life for a while before deciding to serve my people. I was a wristwatch jagaban before a useless, thankless, and hopeless job, and I will remain a jagaban long after I finish my second term and return to the senate. So you should all have this fact in your big heads. I was living big, riding in Rolls Royces, wearing million dollar watches even before the Supreme Court justices pronounced what was written and delivered years before I was born. In 2011, the Supreme Court appointed me Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against all odds. Amazingly, none of you noticed until my aides at the Supreme Court did it again in 2018. That’s when I shocked you all.

I’ve said it before in this series and it bears repeating here. I am not the first governor approved by the Supreme Court. Rotimi Amaechi was number one. So, to all of you who spend your energy on this, without caring about your business, I give you the middle finger. Come fight me.

As people in my media have told you, even if you didn’t like it, I had those statements before I even became a senator. Yes. In the lucrative business I was in before joining politics, we often collect these collectibles as an alternative to cash. If our business partners didn’t have cash, we grab the watches from their wrists as an alternative. This is how I developed the love for fashionable wristwatches.

It’s called a statement piece because I’m making a statement wearing it. These hollow, empty men with nothing on their minds are not only hypnotized by my political acumen, they are also impressed by my watches which proclaim to those who know the value of things how chic and sophisticated I am.

I am not a fool. I know that when elected politicians and office holders visit Buhari, they put on cheap clothes, watches and shoes. They do this to give the president the impression that they are not corrupt. I am not a hypocrite. I saw my security report, and the president saw it too. So, I don’t need to join the pretentiousness everywhere around Buhari’s Aso Rock.

I don’t know if I should mention it here. But why not? My expensive wristwatches make a statement to the EFCC, FBI and Scotland Yard agents of this world that the man they are looking at is wearing items that cost more than the money in their retirement account. He invokes undiluted worship.

It’s sheer poverty that makes some of you say that only empty shells make statements with the wristwatches, shoes, and clothes they wear. These quality emblems are the elements that enhance the personality of the distinguished. Not that you value what is seemingly beyond your pay grade. We’re not building mansions with two dozen rooms because we’ll be sleeping in all the rooms every night. We do this because he announces that we, the Ijeles of our dominion, have arrived.

Please, some people on my media team have told you all that there’s no way I’m wearing a wristwatch that costs more than any house in my state. You know it, and I know there’s nothing wrong with me. I don’t fake it. My fair complexion is a gift from God. My captivating poise that women fall in love with comes from heaven. I am the eagle that landed on a well-trimmed lawn for the world to admire. Unu anugo?

I go so far to explain what is not a matter of importance so that the historians among you can have the facts when you write the history of historical individuals of Nigeria like me. As Onwa-Netiri Oha 1 of Ouma, I want to ensure my legacy is unblemished. Nonsense stories like my so-called November 11, 2018 arrest due to my company’s failure to fulfill a $12 million contract to dredge the Calabar Canal should not hurt my stellar image. After all, ships are ducking and unloading cargo at Calabar Port as I speak.

Next week I will address the issue of the 14 young Awomama killed by the so-called Ebubeagu Security Network while returning from a wedding ceremony. Like some of you, I’ve seen clips of their dead bodies on the streets, some inside the gutters. I also saw local youths carrying the corpses of the dead in wheelbarrows and trucks as they protested. Despite the fact that none of these young people protested when my house in Omuma was burnt down, I will go beyond what Ogwu Mozambique, my beloved commander from Ebubeagu, told me, from whom I am very satisfied.

Until then, hasta la vista, baby. As Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character said in The Running Man, “I’m not into politics, I’m into survival.” No matter how many of you call me Hope the Barbarian, I will continue to fire any hotheads left. I’m not lying when I say, me, your pain in the neck, I’ll be back.

Udo, to those who want udo. Kata-kata to those who want kata-kata.

Yours sincerely,

His Excellency, Hope Odidika Uzodinma, the Grand Executive Governor of Imo State.

July 20, 2022

Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo teaches post-colonial African history at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He is also the host of Dr. Damages Show. His books include This American Life Sef, Children of a Withdrawn God, among others.


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