Interview With… is a Zikoko weekly series that explores the weird and interesting lives of inanimate objects and non-human entities.
You have always seen the broom in the flag of the All Progressives Party (APC) political party. Have you ever wondered what it means, or more importantly, why the party chose a broom?
Also, how does the broom on the flag feel about being the number one broom in the Federal Republic of Nigeria? What are the implications of this great responsibility? Today on Interview With, we sat with the APC Broom to discuss its grace to grass story.
Zikoko: Hello and welcome to Interview With. We are pleased to have you.
APC Broom: Thank you, Mr. Interviewer. Me too, I am pleased to be had.
Can you please introduce yourself to the audience?
APC Broom: As how?
Just tell the readers a bit about yourself. You know, who you are, what you do, etc.
APC Broom: Oh, okay. [Balances well]. I am the First broom of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
As in, you and Aishat Buhari are sharing husband?
APC Broom: No, no. What I am saying is that I hold a position that no broom has ever held before. I am the broom on the APC flag, and I don’t need to tell you that APC is the ruling party in Nigeria at the moment. So, if I am the broom on the flag of the ruling party, what does that make me?
A ruling broom?
APC Broom: Yes. Just like Buhari is the ruling man and he is the first citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Oh, I see. So, following that logic…
APC Broom: That means when you count the brooms in this country, I come first. In that case, I am the ruling broom. In other words, the First Broom of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Rulers of this country have always had inspiring backstories. So, First Broom of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, what is your backstory?
APC Broom: [Takes a deep breath] You have asked an important question, and I too will give you an important answer. See, I am a broom of humble beginnings. My parents were poor palm fronds who struggled to make us their children happy. They allowed themselves to be cut down so broomsticks could be extracted from them. And even when we were spread in the sun for days, they made us understand that it was a necessary pain to go through. Before any broom can become valuable enough, they always said, it must first pass through harsh sunlight. See me today.
Wow. Did your parents attend any school?
APC Broom: My mother did not, but my father has a diploma in ATP from Dela Furotoye’s School of Motivational Quotes.
What is ATP?
APC Broom: Aspire To Papaya.
APC Broom: Nobody in my family thought I could get to this position. Even me, I never imagined I would be where I am today, but not once did I ever give up. I mean, look at my mates. Many of them have been cut short and are being used to wash toilets or mash ewedu leaves. Many of them are being used to sweep compounds, and many more are being used to wash gutters in Orile Agege, but here I am, living like a king on the APC flag.
Small broom, big God.
APC Broom: My brother, when God says it is your time, it is your time.
How did your time come? I mean, how did you end up on the flag?
APC Broom: Mr. Interviewer, thank you for that question. Many have said that I used bottom power, that I slept my way to the top. But I am a broom, where is the bottom? Even if I have bottom sef, who will insert something inside it?
Ah, don’t say that oh. Is this not Nigeria where a man was caught sleeping with a goat?
APC Broom: But am I a goat?
APC Broom: Anyway, I was on my own that day, trying to rest and recover. People had cut parts of my body to pick their teeth and I was just looking scatter-scatter. By the way, we should talk about that. Why do Nigerians leave toothpicks alone and instead, go ahead to break off a piece of broom and stick it inside their teeth? Did I follow you to eat the meat that is stuck in your teeth?
Some people are even worse. They will break off a piece of broomstick and use it to clean their ears. Keep at it, you hear. Just keep at it. One day, a piece of broomstick will pierce your eardrum and you will learn.
Ah, please temper mercy with johnson.
APC Broom: Mercy Johnson is in her husband’s house. Me, I will not temper any mercy with justice.
So, back to our story. You were on your own, looking scatter-scatter.
APC Broom: Yes, as I was saying. I was on my own, looking scatter-scatter and trying to see if anyone would buy me and take me home so I could at least leave the market. That was how this black car with tinted windows stopped and the driver rushed out to come and buy me. I was so excited. I thought I was at least going to enter someone’s house at last. And that was the plan.
But the person who bought me was on his way to an APC meeting, and as it turned out, they were busy redesigning the flag that time and the only thing remaining was a symbol. Sha, the meeting started. According to what I heard, they saw a cockroach flying around, and they wanted to kill it. Next thing, the driver was asked to bring me out of the car.
And you killed the cockroach…
APC Broom: Not only did I kill it. I also swept it away and kept that floor clean. That was how the leader said, “We have found our logo.”
One minute they’re lifting me in the air and hailing me, the next they are retying me and arranging my loose ends. Afterwards, they took my photos and sent them to a flag designer. All this in one day.
APC Broom: It can only be God.
Why do you think APC chose a broom as their symbol? They are a political party, couldn’t they have chosen something more… significant?
APC Broom: You want the answer to that question?
APC Broom: Then go to Aso Rock. It’s not me you will ask foolish questions.
No, I didn’t mean it that way oh.
APC Broom: Why do you Nigerians like to hate? You are asking why they chose a broom. PDP that used umbrella as their logo, why didn’t you go and drag them? APGA that used fowl as their own logo, shey you will go and fight them? This is Nigeria, Mr. Interviewer. Nobody knows why things happen. Anything your eyes see, take it like that and be going. It can be either good or bad, e no sure for anybody, na grace.
As for me, they saw the work I did and they realised that I would be a good symbol to show Nigerians that APC is a party that has come to sweep out corruption and every wrong thing happening in this country. Like I said, who soak garri for morning fit chop jollof rice for night. Everything na grace.
So, would you say you have achieved that?
APC Broom: Achieved what?
Swept corruption out of the country and all…
APC Broom: Shey this one dey whine me ni? Oga, I am just an ordinary broom oh. The people you should ask are your leaders in power. Besides, I want you to take a good look at me. Can you see my size?
APC Broom: Now imagine the size of the corruption in this country. Do you think I have the capacity to sweep it away?
APC Broom: Even if they bring vacuum cleaner, the level of to be cleaned will make it start to malfunction. But Nigerians love lies. And I cannot even blame them. When you have suffered for more than 19 years, even keke maruwa will look like a yacht. That’s why, when APC debuted me as their symbol, everyone was rejoicing. The price of broom went up, and at every political rally, people would carry brooms and shake in the air.
Me I was happy for my siblings, sha. At least they finally got to take a break from hard labour. They are back at it now sha, but that year, brooms were the happening babes.
Hmm. This is such an eye-opener.
APC Broom: I know what people are saying on the streets: that the APC Broom is doing the opposite of what they asked it to do; that I am sweeping corruption into the country and sweeping away the value of the Naira.
Okay oh, I agree. But can we also agree that I am sweeping Nigerians out of the country and sweeping them into better countries?
So you are responsible for the japa?
APC Broom: If you will blame me, you might as well tell the complete truth.
People have been clamouring that the APC logo be changed from Broom to Cutlass. What do you have to say about this?
APC Broom: Ordinary broom that is the party logo, the country is like this. Imagine if they change it to cutlass. What do you think will happen?
APC Broom: Good.
Thank you so much for honouring us. Any last words?
APC Broom: People have said I do not deserve this position. I want them to know that who God has blessed, no man can curse. Also, they should know that I am just out here living my life. You dey use envy look am, na why e be like show off. But take note of this: Battery wey low go still full, and battery wey full go still low. Our prayer be say make charger no spoil.
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