Nse Ntuen and his toilet-walk comedy

Let me warn quickly that Nse Ntuen’s movie is not for children. In fact, it is not even for adults with good conscience and upbringing.

By Usoro I. Usoro

I don’t know if Nse Ntuen has a profession, but it appears he has just found some. Oh, forget politics. That’s no profession and any idiot can claim to be a politician. All it takes is audacity, spiced with a heavy dose of selfishness, greed and, well, capacity for mischief! The legendary Ray Ekpu calls it, “the courage to do nonsense!” People of the world, believe it or yes, I s-w-e-a- r, very soon, Ntuen will do wonders in runway modelling; film production or

If you doubt me, check out a viral video of his recent comedy skit. The struggle (to get it right) and the embedded appeal for pity in the short piece reminds me of a scene in a male toilet. A young man, seriously pressed, waddled like a duck into a public convenience. He could barely move his legs, apparently for fear of “something” dropping from his trousers. After what looked like an eternity, he slowly “rushed” towards the nearest toilet cubicle and tried yanking open the door. It was locked from inside. The occupant of the cubicle became furious. “Why can’t you knock and wait for an answer? Is that how it is done? You just pulled the door without knocking”. The offender felt he should be pitied, instead of being vilified. “Do you know what it took me to walk down here without soiling myself? Have you ever been forced to do toilet-walk before?” He then explained that he was too pressed to “waste” time knocking. By now, he had found an empty cubicle. Then, suddenly, swa-a-a-a-ah!

Ntuen, the former Akwa Ibom lawmaker, mirrors the offending toilet character. In the video making the rounds, he looks even more comical than Okon Lagos, a character played by Ime Okon. Ntuen, by the way, means “pepper”. But this one seems to have lost every spice. Recently, he de- clared himself the “Loud Speaker” of an Assembly in a play he acts and directs. He’s seen rehearsing how to walk and even talk like a Speaker. Normally, the Sergeant-at-Arm is a standard in every legislature, but he makes his own “Sergeant-at-Leg”. A retired civil servant out of touch with modern world. Ntuen teaches the phony character how to walk, talk, shout – yet forgot to “school” him on where to place the “piston” he carried in place of the “mace”.

Oh, let me warn quickly that Nse Ntuen’s movie is not for children. In fact, it is not even for adults with good conscience and upbringing. You see, already, my family is in confusion because of that short “courage to do nonsense”. My little nephew watched the video from a neighbour’s phone and has since changed his attitude and life plan. He woke the next morning to announce that he would no longer go to school. I asked “why?” as if I was walking on eggshells.

Nephew: “Uncle, I want to be a politician. Or a thug. I don’t need to go to school to be any of them”, he said. Chisos ke Ikot Ekpene!

Me: Where did you learn that from?

Nephew: “Uncle, I watched Nse Ntuen’s video and Broda Goddy said the actors used to be lawmakers. They are politicians and make so much money. Thugs too”.

I told him as firmly as possible that he needed to go to school to be refined in life – including in politics. And that being a thug is not a life! My father used to say no matter the quality of cloth you wear an animal, it will always be an animal. A thug will always be a thug.

Nephew: “Then, how come the actors of that movie are not refined? Didn’t they go to school? How come some thugs end up as politicians with plenty money?”

If you haven’t seen it yet, the location of the said video looks like a chamber, probably a boardroom. Ntuen shuffles with two left-legs behind an ill-tutored figure dressed like an undertaker. But, if Ntuen intends to survive as a runway model, he probably will starve to death. His gait’s too sluggish. Protruding tummy. And, well, scarcity of common sense! Oh, what a video! He tried to add “directing” to his CV. As he practices the toilet-walk, he also directs his boys how to shoot the movie with toy phone cameras. He suggests a preferred angle and orders who sits where. But he forgot to add the title of the movie! Must be a very low budget show, though. Too many pseudo characters – “waka pass”. Impostors, really. One pretends to be the clerk of the assembly. To hide the identity of one fake, the cameraman was instructed to take the shot from the back. Then, the “Loud Speaker” sits behind a table and fumbles with the gavel – an improvement from an earlier parody where he used his “iron-hand”! No legislative business. No motion; nothing! Then, he hurriedly repeats how to “dogwalk” – this time, out of the chamber! Extremely poor rehearsal. Very unwise attempt at comedy!

Nobody has a right to make a mockery of our democratic institution the way Ntuen and his comedy group have done in Akwa Ibom. Even if there’s an unseen drummer cheering them on, they should have the conscience to respect the chamber they once ate from. If their rights had been trampled upon in any way, shouldn’t they await the determination of the various cases pending in courts?

The 5-man drama at the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly says much about the quality of those who claim to be representing us. Sorry, let me correct my smelly mouth. It says a lot about the effect of imposition on the common man. “Representing us”? That was a slip of teeth or whatever. They only represent their pockets. And when they’re about to run dry, they exhume their capacity for mischief. Unfortunately, many of them are not so bright about it.

That comedy lacked plot. It was hastily executed. The script was poor or nonexistent. Only the aim was obvious – destabilize the state! The show was meant to attract negative attention to Akwa Ibom so elections get skewed in favour of the owners of the universe. The drama is to ensure the budget gets delayed so that the people will continue to suffer. If the state government can’t access funds for some people-focused projects, who bears the brunt? The people, of course! Yet, they claim they are representing the same people. Representation, my foot