(Chanting of anthem)
Great Ife! Great Ife
Africa’s most beautiful campus
Conscious, vigilant, progressive
Aluta against all oppression…
Another great Ife is a counterfeit…”
Student leader: Ever articulate gbagba! Ever militant gbogbo! Greatest gbagba gbogbo…
(Bursts into an office, panting)
Professor Ajanlekoko: Ha! Professor Dick, there’s fire on the mountain! I drove past Awo Hall just now and I saw highly charged students clutching cudgels, ready for mass protest. They’re calling for the head of Professor Dauda! This thing is getting out of hand! Ha! And I always warned Dauda that girls with crazy curvatures are volatile. That’s why I go for pregnant and married students only! How do we clear this mess now?
Professor Dick: The situation is unfortunate. As for me, I only go for the willing ones; many of the girls out there are brainless and poor, so they’re gladly ready to roll in the hay with you. God will take control, sha. I’ve told Prof Amu to use his contacts and appeal to the students. Hasn’t Amu got across to the students?
Prof Shoki: You can’t fully trust anybody in this matter! Some lecturers are happy that this is happening to Dauda, a leading figure in our camp…as if they too don’t eat biscuit bone.
(Dick cuts in sharply): Stop calling Prof Richie, Dauda! Call him by his real name! Dauda the Sexy Guy was only a nickname he got about 25 years ago when he impregnated his secretary and her three daughters. The woman pursued him to his Ikire home, stripped naked and cursed him. I suspect Prof Jack, Prof Sting and co. are the ones pushing this girl.
Ajanlekoko: I suggest we continue to refer to him as Prof Dauda because we don’t even know if this office is bugged or not. As an expert in law, I know what I’m talking about. Let’s not call him by his real name, let’s continue to call him Dauda.
Shoki: Ok, I get your point, Ajanlekoko. Let’s stick to Dauda then. Has anybody spoken to him? I’ve been trying to get him since the news went viral this morning. His phone is switched off. I can’t imagine how’s going to face his wife, children and his church, where he’s the second-in-command to the bishop.
Dick: Let’s forget about the family matter for now! Let’s address this immediate crisis! I’ve been inundated with calls from the media, the police, the NDLEA…
Shoki: NDLEA? Why is the NDLEA looking for him?
Dick: They said they want to test him for hard drugs.
Shoki: Hard drugs? Why?
Dick: Because he said he was going to play five matches and potentially score 25 goals.
Shoki: I don’t understand.
Dick: But you listened to the audio now. Didn’t you hear him say he was going to play five solid matches? Knowing him for his killer instinct in front of goal, he would find the net five times during each match, and that makes a tally of 25 goals!
Shoki: Jeez! How could Dauda implicate himself like this? Even Messi and Ronaldo combined aren’t that deadly. This is what I’ve always said; how could you demand five matches for just seven marks? The foolish girl scored 33 marks and he said he was only going to give her seven more marks to make a pass mark of 40. So, why demand five matches? He should’ve played a friendly match and moved on. How can you play European Championship League in only one stadium? I guess that was why the girl refuse.”
Ajanlekoko: Can you believe I was eyeing this little girl, too? Her name is Eni. It’s God that saved me o. Is this how this final year student would have dabarued my life as she’s dabaruing Dauda’s life at 62 years of age? Can you imagine that this wayward girl admitted in the audio that she has a boyfriend? Is that what her parents sent her to school to do?
Dick: Do you want to hear the truth, comrades? Dauda should’ve known the mad girl was setting him up when she was mentioning his name repeatedly. Me, I don’t talk to any of my takeaways on the phone. I use a dedicated email. If any problem arises, I’ll deny. That’s how I escaped when that busty girl, Cossy, wrote the university Senate, alleging that I was demanding sex from her. Nothing came out of the senate inquiry! I just got some boys to subtly threaten her while I engage some girls to give her money. She never showed up at the senate inquiry!
Shoki: Really? You’re lucky. (Please, let me pick this call) Hello, who’s this? Ehn?! Who? Ha! Dauda! But this isn’t your number? Where’re you…? In your driver’s house? Where’s that in Ife? Moore? We’re at our off-campus secretariat in Moore, too. Text the address to me and I’ll come and fetch you immediately. Don’t leave the house o. Students are looking for you. I’ll be there in five minutes… Comrades, let me go and pick Dauda, he’s down the road.
Ajanlekoko: Ok. Please, be careful on the way; those students are very angry. (Shoki exits)
Dick: After this heat, Dauda should just retire.
Ajanlekoko: But he has eight more years to retirement?
Dick: His rod and staff need a rest. He should use the remaining years of his life to beg God for forgiveness.
Ajanlekoko: I think they’re back. Please, open the door for them.
(The office suddenly becomes agitated as Dauda sneaks in disguised like a woman. He removes his wig, blouse, bra, skirt, earrings, goggles and lipstick)
(Sweating, Dauda clears his throat) “Thank you, my people. The enemies will fail in Jesus name…”
Dauda: I fled the campus barefooted this early morning after listening to the evil audio. I changed my line when calls and texts messages nearly ran me mad. My wife and daughters have been calling me all day. One of my three pets in the church choir texted, calling me a wicked man; she said I was destroying other people’s daughters while I ensured my daughters got married as virgins. My Lord Bishop has been calling, too.
(More of his colleagues offer words of sympathy)
Shoki: As a professor of law, let me give a legal perspective to the audio recording.
Dauda: Please, do.
Shoki: Ok. To start with, you must deny that you ever spoke to that girl. When going to appear before the senate, take along with you one or two Indian films wherein the actors spoke Yoruba. You’ll play the film before the senate, and show that if technology could make Indians speak Yoruba, technology could make your enemies speak in your voice. Comrades, we have to destroy the audio evidence with legal technicalities.
Dauda: What if she comes up with fresh evidence?
Shoki: That’s why we should appeal to the emotions of her parents; that they shouldn’t allow her kill your career. We should beg them with real money. We’ll appeal to them to pressure her not to appear before the senate panel. If she doesn’t appear, you’re in the clear. You’re lucky the Federal Government is busy with re-election now.
Dauda: What if she refuses?
Shoki: Then, you’ll need to go to Jebako.
Dauda: What for?
Shoki: To see Baba Kokonsari Iponri Iku, the great juju man! He’ll cage the senseless girl.
Dauda: But many people know me in Jebako, I can’t go there to do juju again. May be I should call the girl?
Ajanlekoko: Oh! Ok, call her.
(Dauda prostates on the floor) “I hope she picks my call. (Pause) It’s ringing…God, let her pick it …Ah! Aunty Eni, bawo ni, ma? Ma, it’s me, Prof. Em, em, I’m begging you ni, ma. I’m flat on the floor, ma!… Ha! She’s cut the line! Aye mi, t’emi bami!
Tunde Odesola can be reached via: email@example.com