The day I will leave Nigeria.
The buzz will be loud. People will talk about it.
‘Wow, he’s finally leaving,’ they would say. Some that predicted I would leave soon will be feeling like gods, while there will be others that would think I won’t thrive outside.
Friends will call to confirm the news, and I will nod to help them believe their ears. Village people won’t be left out, they’ll check in too, but I’ll say ‘na media’, that I’m not going anywhere. I have to lie, maka ndum.
I will organize a press conference on the noon of my send forth party. TOJ members will be there and other important people like my siblings and their children, Lara, Bolafunmi, Fortune, Faidat and a few friends. We wouldn’t be taking much crowd, because, Covid-19.
Then they will call me to come and give my farewell speech before the press questions.
I will stand and cry, all of you will clap, I will cry again, my girlfriend will offer me a handkerchief to clean my face as the crying and clapping intensify simultaneously. When I would have got a hold of myself, I’ll begin my speech thus:
‘I’ve been in Nigeria for the past 2 and half decades and the love I have for this country is massive. I’ve given my all to see her flourish. I have returned lost purses, I don’t dispose of empty cans on the streets, I have given bribes to my friends — the Police, I even left change with conductors and supported the Okada ban in Lagos by trekking miles to get to work. Not to mention that I stand in queues, I don’t shunt. I was me and more to Nigeria — a good, law-abiding and compliant citizen.’
I will be speaking pure English, so there’ll be a translator to help translate to the few of my village people that still somehow showed up and Deji, the camera guy, will be crying as he does what he knows how to do best. They will miss me, I swear it.
I’ll look at my family and continue.
‘I wanted us (pointing to my fam) to continue staying here. It was our wish to stay. I did everything I could. I even once tweeted that I will work for free, but Nigeria didn’t say anything, instead, they banned Twitter. I didn’t want to go, I wanted to leave last year after the Lekki Massacre, but this year I wanted to stay.
I know one day I will return to lead a sector in this country, but right now, I have to go. You will hear different things about me on the news saying I won’t come back, don’t believe them, they’re all lies. I’ve been upfront these whole years and I promise not to stop.’
The conference will be televised through YouTube live streaming. Comments will be pouring in, people will say things like ‘Oh, he really loves his country,’ some will put out heartbreak and crying emojis. They will say they were not prepared for this.
One Twitter user will tweet ‘whether you’re a Vector or MI fan, Newton or Leibniz stan, seeing Victor cry like this is heartbreaking’ and it will go viral, people will munch it and upload it on their WhatsApp status.
One girl that doesn’t understand any of these things will rush to her status and give hot takes, likening how I’m crying to the way Igbo girls behave when their partners can no longer tolerate their excesses. I know it will happen, I swear it. All these Buhari apologists, tueh!
The time for press questioning will start and Etim from the Tribe will be the first to ask a question.
‘Now that you’re leaving, what will happen to your role at TOJ’, he will ask, feeling concerned and worry at the same time.
‘Don’t worry about that, Etim. I will keep pushing from there.’
‘We have a 5-years strategy plan I created in the drive and I’ll always be available to help with execution,’ I’ll continue.
Prosper will raise his hand to ask a question and will spend the first 3 minutes whining and hailing me, then when shouted at for time-wasting, he would go ‘Baba as you dey go so, no forget us o’. I would nod and assure him of my constant checkups.
My girlfriend, too, will cry and ask ‘Victor, what will I do without you?’
‘Don’t let us find out’, I’ll reply, adding that she should plan her Jakpa moves and come join me. She will wail some more, emotions will be in the air. Ladies will try to hold her, she’ll tell them to free her that they don’t understand what I mean to her.
By this time, my ex would have paid blogs and influencers to trend things I did not say at the press conference, but it will not fly. Congratulatory tweets and DMs will keep flying in about how I deserve this moment, wishing me all the best with my next move, telling me they will miss and love me forever.
Nobody will ask where I’m travelling to, or what I’m going to do, all they know and want to know is that I’m leaving, whether, to Burundi or Harare, nobody cares.
To wrap it up, Fortune will come read my achievements in my last 25 years in Nigeria and there will be a standing ovation with everyone saying ‘how did he do so much, in such a short time.’
We will go for a photo session and all of you will want to take pictures with me, from Dr Jerry my supervisor in EBSU to Benji, my football teammate in Ejigbo. TOJ boys will help control the crowd, they’re skilled with these things. They learnt from attending plenty of MI shows.
At this point, all of you will be expressing love either by saying how much I mean to you or how much you’ll miss me, I know it’s not entirely true, some of you just want to take some things I’ll be leaving behind.
My sisters will be on standby to plead the blood of Jesus on the parting gifts I’ll be receiving. My babies.
I would get very pressed from excessive flex and alcohol drinking at the send forth party that I would go to the loo to have an offload, but instead of peeing, I wake up from my sleep with soaked sheets and rays of light piercing through my eyes from my laptop, showing the scholarship essays I was writing before the swift arms of sleep took me to Lionel Messi’s realm.