The Nigerian Thunder League (NTL): Issue 7

(As chronicled by Voss)


I have just finished rereading Leslie Frewin’s biography of Marlene Dietrich, Dietrich: The Story of a Star, a slim volume of 187 pages. I love the book; it is written in agreeably simple prose. Unfortunately, there were so many things left unsaid in that book. About that, I refuse to be pinned to specifics. You should have an idea what the things are when you read Kirk Douglas’s autobiography, The Ragman’s Son.





Presidential Wolves = 3          ———–

Patriotic Stars FC = 0                

BH No-Pity FC =  3                 ———–

Corruption United = 0              

Natural Disaster Babes  = 4    – ———–

Hunger Stars FC = 0                 

Kalashnikov-no-Face FC  = 2     ———

Police Marauders FC = 0

EFCC Stars  = 0                       ———-

Corruption United = 2              

Hunger Stars FC = 0                 ———–        Kalashnikov-no-Face FC = 1   







(Hidden)          ———–

Presidential Wolves  ——

Corruption United

(Hidden)          ———–

Presidential Wolves   ——

Corruption United

(Hidden)          ———–

Presidential Wolves   ——-

Corruption United

(Hidden)          ———–

Police Marauders FC    —–

Corruption United

(Hidden)          ———–

Hunger Stars FC         ——

Police Marauders FC   

(Hidden)          ———–

Politricks FC           ——-

Corruption United




Presidential Wolves striker, Goodluck J. Okocha, recently asked an elderly buddy and chairman of Wolves, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur-Bebeto, to mentor more leaders. Question is, where is the leadership? Bamanga Tukur had not cared to restrain his son, Mahmud, from the pot of our patrimony… Maybe striker Goodluck J. Okocha thinks being in a position of power and authority makes one a leader. It doesn’t. Goodluck J. Okocha’s flattering comments have changed nothing.  Right now words are superfluous; they irritate the youths who unambiguously insist on rectitude and accountability in government. What Goodluck J. Okocha should have said to Alhaji Bamanga Tukur-Bebeto: “Rebuke your son in the market square and hand him over to EFCC (Stars)!”


The truth is morbid, but we have to face it: Oil has been a curse to Nigeria. It has cursed the country with showers of violence, instability, billionaire militants/ terrorists; it has flamed the cupidity and vanity of our elite… Some women of the Niger Delta recently sought for a peaceful and United Nigeria. Disunity and the attendant strife have been the ruin of many nations; these women know it; they said so. But is Power listening? Would Power act on that?


Let’s face another morbid truth: though some Nigerians (mostly the elite) are at present bawling their willingness to fight and die for Nigeria’s unity, they of course wouldn’t mind if Nigeria disintegrates this very minute: Nigeria interests them not at all. What interests them – Dubai, Zurich, London, Paris…


The Unbelievers! 😦 

The Cliché Collector/ Alchemist: Issue 14

My head cracked – a kernel of wonderment. Read why here. How sad and ridiculous, how wicked and pathetic that Dana Air should be striving to stop the inquest into he air accident of Sunday, June 3rd 2012. Their action should be taken for what it is: an attempt to mock the dead, to denigrate our psyche. The government’s decision to restore Dana Air’s operating license has more than empowered the company with the venom of arrogance and contempt.

We must not stand and stare; we should say no to such arrogance; we should insist on having an inquest. Not to do so would be to invite more disasters. Enough! 😦

“Until The Next Cenotaph”, a poem by Kenechi Uzochukwu (@Kaycee on, brilliantly captures the many faces of the tragedy. This poem was featured in the Naija Stories anthology So We Do Not Forget


The wails were distant

A far off news echo

We didn’t feel the pain

Not as much as we should

Nor as angry as we ought

They were just names

Only names on a manifest

And a tragedy on screen

Soon we forgot

The next was closer

Still we mostly wondered

And then questioned

And looked to blame

First God

He shoulda known better

We questioned Him

But God is a silent being

He didn’t say a word

So we shifted

To the authorities

And we got answers

Of ineptitude

And corrupt speak

With only a sigh

And a head shake

We chose again to forget

For we knew not the dead

They weяε mere figures

List on a manifest

They were unfortunate

We are survivors

They are the fallen

Frontline casualties

In this war of life

In the battle Nigeria

Are our hands free

From their fall?

Just a little check

A little caution

A little truth

And they might still be standing

But we did nothing


We took pictures

We updated profiles

We heard speeches

We sighed and shrugged

Life has happened

We did nothing else

And the arms of tragedy

Stretched even closer

Arms we could have delayed

If we only tried,

But look here our cenotaph

For we are dead

Now we have fallen

Now others sing the songs

Take the pictures

And ‘Like’ the updates

Most are compelled

Again to God

Again silence

But in His silence they are consoled

Always in the believe

That He knew and He saw

And He purposed.

So with a sigh

And resign

They set their hearts to mend

Until the next cenotaph


[The lab. ALCHEMIST is pacing around].

ALCHEMIST: I remember the words my neighbour spoke the day Mbari, another neighbour, was stabbed to death: “Mbari was a handsome, generous man, but his obsession with other men’s wives was a fatal flaw that cost him his life.” [Coughs, then yawns]. A FATAL FLAW – I need not tell you that’s today’s specimen – is an ancient relic of dramatic criticism. Back in the damned old days, to explain how the hero flopped in a play, you pick one of his foibles and say that was the fatal flaw… [Stops abruptly]. Those days are gone. This relic is better left buried. The day you resurrect this relic, you die… 😦

[Walks out of lab].

The Nigerian Thunder League (NTL): Issue 6

(As chronicled by Voss)


I am entitled to a lease of ire; I will take it.


11:30am, 31st August, 2012. In response to the Garden City Literary Festival’s call for entries for a workshop to be held in Port Harcourt in October, I had sent an entry, my sixth, to the email address given: Failed, like the five before it. 😦 (Before even attempting to submit, I’d navigated to their (supposed) website Unavailable).  My eyes hurt; these people kept me awake for two days – in vain. I should sue them…  😦





Natural Disaster Babes  = 2      ————

Patriotic Stars FC = 0

BH No-Pity FC =  2                 ————

Hunger Stars FC = 0

Politricks FC  =  1                   ————

Presidential Wolves = 1

Police Marauders FC = 1       ———–           Hunger Stars FC = 0







(Hidden)          ———–

Presidential Wolves  ——

BH No-Pity FC

(Hidden)          ———–

Presidential Wolves   ——

BH No-Pity FC

(Hidden)          ———–

Presidential Wolves   ——-

BH No-Pity FC

(Hidden)          ———–

Police Marauders FC    —–

BH No-Pity FC

(Hidden)          ———–

Hunger Stars FC         ——

BH No-Pity FC

(Hidden)          ———–

Politricks FC           ——-

Corruption United

(Hidden)          ———–

Politricks FC             ——

Corruption United



Police Marauders FC recently confirmed the return from Spain of 27 members of Hunger Stars FC. Of course they had not returned voluntarily; they had to be deported. Their deportation reminds me of my good friend Umunwaele’s old lines –


(V )

Saint Andrew

Has baptized your sons

And abroad is their sole anthem.

Amala. Eba. Tuwo Shinkafa.: 

It’s Spain or suicide

London or long live death!

BA waits at the table

Of Lord No Vacancy.

MA bolted,

Hyper-ready for the dirty dishes

Of Surrey.

PhD traversed the lake of shame

In the frigate Casuistry:

Before Prince Ton and Herr Vard,

Prostrate he lies, anxious for a better cake. J



In Maje town, near Abuja, a fuel tanker burst into flames. Two members of Patriotic Stars FC confirmed sold to the restless and impatient buyer – death. Dust and twisted steel are what remains of 29 buildings in the vicinity of the disaster. Now Nightmare marches an army across the brows of the residents.   


Flummoxed by ever careening vehicles, determined to check the lunacy of most drivers, FRSC Babes recently announced a compulsory eye test for driving license applicants.


Mohammed Manga, the man who bombed the United Nations building in Abuja, must be grinning in hell. Yes, hell; the bloke was misled into thinking heaven was his destination L. The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), a fractious and rebellious group at Politricks FC, criticized Presidential Wolves’ offer to rebuild the bombed building. It is misplaced magnanimity, CPC said. Presidential Wolves have been mostly reticent on the issue, indirectly telling the CPC: You know price of everything and the value of nothing.  <:)/X/:(>                


Please wait; let me write to the colonel …

The Cliché Collector/ Alchemist: Issue 13

A grebe leapt in my heart. My eyes, two lamps of light, held hers in glutinous intimacy. My lip muscles relaxed and my mouth hung like a virago’s in mid caterwaul. I took a step forward. She stood still, smiling wistfully. Suddenly possessed by ambition, I fell into her arms and together we sealed a lease of rapture. Your lips are caviar, I said, disengaging myself. She stared at me, two liquid bronze dots on her cheeks. I will call you Alhambra, I said. Without a word she took my hands. I found myself being led through a bend in the river… #My New Mistress September

[The lab. ALCHEMIST is observing everything within].

ALCHEMIST [relief stenciled on his face]: Maybe the lab is free of bombs. Maybe. But no regret having stayed away yesterday. [Coughs and swallows the phlegm]. We still have Ameh Comrade Godwin to thank for today’s specimen. Three rounds of applause for him, please. [Claps drunkenly. Stops as quickly as he had begun]. Someone must be eavesdropping: I heard a sound at the window. [Walks to the window and pokes out head]. Nobody visible… No, they must have hidden. [Moving away from the window]. I see death stalking me… [Shakes head]. Thanks, Godwin, for this –

Specimen – A BIG/ HEAVY BLOW

In the phrase Big and Heavy are robbers; you should have realized that. They are clumsy, but having the power of death, they slaughter without inhibition. Have you seen Ananaias of The Jero Plays? Congratulations if you have. Ananaias is a sterling representation of the murderous duo of Big and Heavy. A (brutal, enervating) blow has been dealt, not on the widow, widower, rape/ accident victim, e.t.c., as you would have us believe; but on the head of your story/ feuilleton. What we have now is a stunned page.  Grammar Nazis and linguistic snobs are sending you a free coffin…  [Grabs head, suddenly]

Headache? [Staggers out of lab].

The Cliché Collector/ Alchemist: Issue 12

Now August gathers her pants for a cold date with history. She had been a dull mistress and I am glad to let her go. I remember having looked forward to her coming; I recall the fervid conversations with her in my room. She had this zany habit of looking out the window and smiling whenever I am speaking to her. I had opened my box of troubles to her in the hope that she would take care of them – the abandoned essays, the turgid short stories, the bloody novel, and of course my enemy the poem. In retrospect, I should not have relied too much on her: she was a slut from birth. It is stupid to trust a slut. Go, August, go…

[Late afternoon. ALCHEMIST is seen sitting on a rock in the street just opposite the lab. Occasionally, he looks at the lab, uninterested. Pedestrians and passers-by watch him in amusement.

A VOICE [mockingly]: Your lab now scares you…

ALCHEMIST [Looking above his shoulder at the interloper]: Get behind me, fop: we have no business together.

SAME PERSON [helpfully]: Why roast in preposterous assumptions? You couldn’t have been a target. The bomb went off several metres away from your lab. [Walking away]. Your lab is safe; return to it.

ALCHEMIST [shrugging]: He doesn’t deserve another response, the fool. [Clapping both hands on his head]. More than five dybbukim gloat in Ameh’s article… [Spits out phlegm and stares right at it]. That’s one of them.


Hideous. Keep away from this devil; he belongs to the mad and stubborn. He is full of rocks and is entirely bereft of sauvignon. Expect rocks, not a sandal on the head: Your death has been decreed. By none but you. You will be stoned like Stephen. Unfortunately, a martyr you are not …. 

[ALCHEMIST walks off, shaking head in grief]

TCCA’s Loss

Is that it? My God, TCCA mourns the loss of today. The challenges are so, so many. Will be back tomorrow afternoon. Will pass round a treat just for putting up with TCCA

In tears, we say thank you.

~ The Cliché Collector/ Alchemist.

The Nigerian Thunder League (NTL): Issue 4

(As chronicled by Voss)

The Octopus. #FrankNorris. Engrossing. Go grab a copy

NTL is a very tough league; in another sense, an octopus. Often, you hear of Honourable This and Distinguished That. For the most part, however, the honour is of maggots, and the distinction is in cupidity and larceny. (Lanced by doubt? You must visit Nigeria). Rectitude, unfortunately, is mostly a waste of time. You are, nonetheless, encouraged to remain on the chariot of rectitude. Let us learn from The Ragman’s Son, Kirk Douglas #Nigeriamycountry. #JohnAnusie

Natural Disaster Babes = 2 ———– Hunger Stars FC = 0
Presidential Wolves = 0 ———– Corruption United = 5
BH No-Pity FC = 3 – ———– Police Marauders FC = 0
Hunger Stars FC = 0 ———— Politricks FC = 4
Legislathieves FC = 0 ———- Presidential Wolves = 0
Kalashnikov-no-Face FC = 1 ———– Army Arsenal = 2


Anarchically secret. Oh, In the Absence of Magic…
#Ernst Pawel

Ramadan is over; Eid-al-Fitr has begun. It is not surprising, then, that in a country as noisy and flatulent as Nigeria, a country justly infamous for state-of-[the]-failure facilities, everyone has swamped the village square with the gangan of mendacity; everyone is chattering like an isle of parakeets.

Determined to ride the rostrum of public opinion and of course prepare himself for the penalty shootout of 2015, Atik Abubakar Kalou, former Presidential Wolves striker, almost lost his tongue at the Eid-al-Fitr celebration howling for unity. Hey, hold it. What are you clapping for? Have you eaten a clapping mushroom? Have you not realized that Nigeria is a desperate lie? Now that you have realized, you should as well know: you survive by, and only by, the waters of scepticism. We are not surprised that Atik Abubakar Kalou is pushing the wagon of political clichés. 😛 That is one of the tricks of political survival in Nigeria. Nanga Minus Opportunity has taught them…

Hunger Stars, Patriotic Stars and other top poor in the NTL are miffed and acidic: They had expected a roaring denunciation of the barbarisms of d’Killa Don Sheq Park and other lunatics that rule BH No-Pity FC. Let them keep expecting. Lord GODOT Expectation would probably be around tomorrow… 

Goodluck J.Okocha of Presidential Wolves equally joined in the tongue game; he loudly commended Religion Dortmund (also known as Prayer Warriors FC) strikers (of the cross and the crescent) for exemplary leadership, sorry, rulership. You would want to ask… Oh, no, let’s skip it: it’s so depressing…

His Destructive Slyness Lord Poseidon recently assisted Natural Disaster Babes, Ocean Surge branch. They pounded Kuramo Beach, one of the smouldering nests of sin in Lagos. One confirmed dead.

Dead and ignored. Actually, what is thought of, and what is remembered, is the largess. You should be familiar with the politics of it. In Nigeria, largess is one of the doors to (political) success. Coastal strikers from Delta and Bayelsa states recently complained of discrepancies in the sharing of the largess from Big Brother NDDC…

My God, are the events in the NTL numerous! I’m hungry. I will stop right here… now…

…Because you aren’t buying lunch…. 

If you follow events in Nigeria, you’ll find that our chronicles are true, true as blood. You should have no difficulty identifying the characters. But remember: you must not add to the chronicles if you’re obtuse (sorry for using that word) about the message. Don’t even dare to – you’ll be funeralized.