Interview With The Ghosts Of Lord Lugard & Flora Shaw

June 4, 2021

Interview With… is a Zikoko weekly series that explores the weird and interesting lives of inanimate objects and non-human entities.

There are a lot of things going on in Nigeria today. The NYSC DG has been reported saying that corpers might be mobilised for war, and as if that is not enough, the House of Representatives received a proposal to change Nigeria’s name to United African Republic (UAR).  

Today on Interview With, we decided to summon the ghosts of Lord Lugard and Flora Shaw, the two people who got us into this mess that is Nigeria. It’s time for them to answer for their crimes.

Zikoko: Hello!

Lord Lugard’s Ghost: Good day to you.

Flora Shaw’s Ghost: It’s good to see you.

Um, I’m not sure I can say the same.

Flora Shaw’s Ghost: Oh no, why?

In fact, I don’t even think I can say it’s good to have you here.

Lord Lugard’s Ghost: What’s going on lad?

Too many things are going on. But let’s focus on two of them.

Flora Shaw’s Ghost: Okay…

First of all. I may have done it this time. You people are ghosts and I know I have tampered with the spiritual realm.

Lord Lugard’s Ghost: Oh come off it. That doesn’t matter.

Flora Shaw’s Ghost: What he said.

Number two issue is that many people do not wish you well.

Flora Shaw’s Ghost: [Gasps] Oh no! Whatever did we do?

Ahan, is it me you are asking?

Lord Lugard’s Ghost: Oi, what’s the matter? Why do people not wish us well?

Not you asking me what the matter is. You too, do you wish yourself well?

Flora Shaw’s Ghost: Is this about Nigeria?

Thank God you know.

Lord Lugard’s Ghost: Listen, the amalgamation was necessary. It was a matter of national importance, and I was looking for a way to bring everyone together. 

Nobody is arguing that with you oh. 

Lord Lugard’s Ghost: I came to the country to foster development, progress and—

Oya, where is that development and progress? 

Lord Lugard’s Ghost: I—

Point it out, many people want to see.

Flora Shaw’s Ghost: It’s not something that can be—

Aunty Flora, please hold it. Just hold it there. Why did you join Niger Area to become Nigeria?

Flora Shaw’s Ghost: I saw an opportunity to create a unique name out of the elements available in the region, and I sat at my table to come up with something befitting of the mass of talents and potential that the new Nigeria is bound to have.

Clap for yourself.

Flora Shaw’s Ghost: Excuse me?

Lord Lugard’s Ghost: He’s proud of you, so he said you should clap for yourself.

Flora Shaw’s Ghost: [Beams in excitement] Yes!

I don’t like insulting ghosts, but the both of you deserve each other. 

Flora Shaw’s Ghost: Well…

Are you now aware that Nigeria is about to be named UAR?

Lord Lugard’s Ghost: United Arab Republic?

Flora Shaw’s Ghost: Oh no! Whatever happened to the name I chose? Beautiful Nigeria, melodious Nigeria.

Now, we are about to be called United African Republic. Can you see what you have turned us into?

Lord Lugard’s Ghost: This cannot stand! 

Flora Shaw’s Ghost: Something needs to be done!

Very good. That’s why I summoned you. If we are not at ease in Nigeria, you people too cannot rest in peace.

Lord Lugard’s Ghost: That has really been difficult to do. Every day, people keep calling our names and heaping curses upon us.

Flora Shaw’s Ghost: [Raises up her hair] See, all my edges are gone. They were snatched by the consistent dragging from Nigerians. Tell us, what can we do to stop this? How can we rest in peace?

Very simple. Arise and go and haunt our leaders.

Lord Lugard’s Ghost: What?

Flora Shaw’s Ghost: Honey, let him finish.

When they are about to make a foolish law, scare them back into their senses.

Lord Lugard’s Ghost: Flora, are you noting this down?

Flora Shaw’s Ghost: Yes, yes I am.

When the president decides to go on another world tour to promote his album, make it flop.

Flora Shaw’s Ghost: Yes, yes.

Scare him into speaking to his people.

Lord Lugard’s Ghost: Yes, yes.

Scare him into sitting his bumbum at home, in his country, where he begged people to vote for him.

Flora Shaw’s Ghost: That’s easy.

Good. Do this and you shall rest in peace. 

Lord Lugard’s Ghost: Yes, yes.

If not, the curses shall continue till eternity.

Lord Lugard and Flora Shaw’s Ghosts: [They nod their heads and float out of the room.]

Read next:

Interview With Nigeria’s Coat of Arms

Check back every Friday by 9am for new stories in the Interview With… series. Read older interviews here.

Kunle Ologunro

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