SO WHAT IF ELECTIONS DON'T HOLD?
Fellow Nigerians, this is not a coup speech. It is just my angry speech.
I have tried to suppress this anger for months. I have even tried to convince myself that it was an unnecessary anger but I couldn't. My despair and frustrations have kept me awake. And every morning I wake up to more frustrating news around the country. So, I decided to let it out, at least let you hear it. May be you can counsel me on how to forget this anger. But first you have to hear me out.
The airwaves have been filled with talks of whether the 2011 election is under threat or not. Grounds are already being prepared by both the National Assembly and the INEC for who should be blamed if the elections fail to be fair, credible and free. And I say who cares! If the elections don't hold next year, it won't be happening for the first time. If it is not free or fair, I will not be shocked. If we shift either polls or swearing-in date, it will not be the first time we are moving the goal post in the middle of a game. So, why should these politicians disturb me with their 'aggro'?
We have held elections every four years since 1999 but ASUU still goes on strike virtually every year. The educational sector is waiting to be buried. University education has gone to the dogs. The students speak bad English, can't write their mother tongue and nobody keeps to agreements reached with professors. Our children spend six years to graduate from a four-year course. No administration has been able to restore the glory of our universities. Private universities are springing up everywhere and you have to pay through your nose to get your wards through those ones. And I am supposed to be worried about whether elections would hold? Do the children of those people (if I use the word on my mind to describe them…) currently holding public offices go through what the average Nigerian parent go through? Will the next election solve the ASUU strike and public school woes? Will it? Are they going to even count those votes if their goons allow us to get near the polling booths?
I am more worried about how to get money to buy next year's JAMB form, pay the 'extra lesson' teachers, and fund the universities via post-UME forms. Not that there is a guarantee that these undergraduates will find jobs after graduation. Or will the next election in April or even in December 2011 fix that?
Tell me I have no reason to be angry if I am a more successful government than those pasting posters and defacing my wall with their dreary stupid A4 crayoned nonsense. I sink my own borehole, provide uninterrupted power and fix the road leading to my house and someone wants to distract me from my good governance efforts with constitution amendments. Let them shove their amendments where the sun doesn't shine.
The average Nigerian has more faith in his private security arrangement than in the police. Successive administrations since 1999 have budgeted money for our bad roads and shaking bridges. The House of Representatives and Senate Committees on works have been given money and beautiful cars and buses to do oversight functions on those roads and bridges every year for 11 years and those roads are still bad. So, if we hold the elections, will the next batch of legislators or governors or President fix our roads? No, they won't. Mark my words. That is why I'm angry. I have no faith in men and women who make promises, refuse to fulfil them and have no qualms about coming back to seek fresh mandates. They are not afraid of me or my God. I am very angry.
Now, my lawyer friend, Muyiwa, has proffered a solution, for instance to the Benin-Ore road impassable impasse. Let the people of Ondo state contribute N100 each to fix the Ondo end of the death trap. Let Ogun people contribute N100 each and fix their end. And the road will become passable. If we have to contribute money to fix federal roads, why do we keep spending money on elections? Why do some people go about in long convoys and say they are representing me? In the days of our forefathers when we ran monarchy, we contributed money and time to fix roads in Yoruba land. These days, I hear, 5% of our budget goes to make our legislators.
They have promptly responded that RMFAAC fixes their salaries so it can't be their fault and I say that is what the Yoruba call cat's ablution (aluwala ologbo) and I am not impressed. If one governor gets N35m as security vote and we are insecure out here, tell me why they want to bother us with their problems. And why won't there be rising debt profile when all we hear is big figures and even bigger grammar to confuse us?
Right now, I think we should cede Nigeria to Chile. My friend in Ikorodu ended up with a snake in his sitting room. The poor snake had drowned and was washed into my friend's house by the Lagos floods. What if the snake wasn't dead!? There were children in that house. Epidemic is likely to break out soon. But there was no epidemic in the Chile mine for 69 days. The miners were trapped underground, our flooded houses are in open space and we still may have epidemic. And then the public hospitals in Lagos are on strike as I write. LUTH wards are overflowing and the private hospitals are just that, private and expensive. In Chile, I know something better than what we have seen here would have been done about the floods. I guess we are waiting for 69 days, then someone will do something.
As far as I am concerned, Nigerians are governing themselves without elections. Let them spend all they can and borrow more for INEC machines. Let them ignore the doctors and university lecturers. Let them continue to dissipate energy on zoning. I am angry enough to tell them that God will send His angels to do oversight functions on those who are ignoring our pains. And soon too.
Long live Osisi ka nkwu
There is a kingpin of kidnappers in Abia state. He is the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Kidnappers Battalion, South East Zone. His name is Obioma Nwakwo. But it is his nickname that is awesome. Osisi ka nkwu. From experience, I know Igbo nicknames are always very meaningful and provide insight into who the bearer thinks he is or what his community thinks he's capable of doing. So, I went to Steve Nwosu, the Daily Editor, for interpretation. And here goes….Osisi ka nkwu means the tree that is bigger than the palm tree.
Are you thinking what I'm thinking? This kingpin is the real king of the South East. The Daily Sun of Monday October 11 has the young man's photo on its cover. He has been declared wanted. Imagine declaring a man like that wanted. These soldiers and policemen are audacious. Do they know what it is for a tree to be bigger than the palm tree? The palm tree that produces palm fruits for banga soup, palm wine to wash it down, palm kernel, and raw materials for brooms and baskets and yet there is a tree that is bigger than that. I guess that is why the guy has us all by the balls.
Osisi ka nkwu, I bow and tremble jare. Me, I believe in your reign and prowess. And on your behalf, I hereby dare law enforcement agencies in Abia and the entire South East to retrieve your kingdom from you if they are truly officers of the law. But if they can't, then all policemen, soldiers and political office holders in Osisi ka nkwu's domain must worship and bow down before him. Long live the tree that is bigger than the palm tree. Long live the man who has banished the Igbos from their land.