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A Nation That Imports Toothpick?

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I have almost confined myself to a bystander on Nigerian matters but each time I am trying to settle into my 'siddon' look mode, they...and hope you know the 'they'. The 'hmmm' people that we call leaders push the panic red button. The only thing that baffles me is why the bomb never detonates on this seemingly continuous madness.

  Like I said I was resting and it hit me, government lifts ban on importation of textiles and toothpicks. What kind of people are we?   Not that the ban made any sense because only recently, a friend of mine, was a visitor to the Aso Rock villa, unable to steal a golden spoon as memoir, he pocketed some couple of toothpicks and I am sure by now he will be feeling cheated as somebody may have made away with his own ...thousand dollars transport fare.

  Though he was given some foreign Aso Ebi wrappers by, don't ask me who?   A nation that imports toothpicks, spends billions on the importation of rice from Thailand, yet yearly billions are expended on fadama farming project, with nothing to show for.   While I rested, it was drama galore, it was bribe, no it was transport money, no we did not want a scene so we took the money to the hotel and then asked them to come and collect their money, not exactly, money, but 100 dollar bills, 50K in total.   So apart from importing toothpicks we import dollars too, as the dollar is the nation's unofficial currency, the de facto currency of such transactions. How many people was going to be transported with 7.45M Naira...transportation from where to where.   And one of the government men, say it's even a small money...Lord, but really it is considering what we spend on importing toothpicks for thieves that eat us dry, the monies we use in buying imported Aso ebi material, like the ones at the court when soon to be released Bode George was sentenced to jail is in the region of millions of dollars.   One can only ask, how about those that do not return their own transport fare. This transportation fare is under which subhead, all those old men that go to the villa, how much is their transport fare, how about if you fall ill on such visit, how much is hospital bill?   In a nation that these crooks cannot put 50,000 dollars into a local toothpick factory, it's funny that a minister is concerned about what name its citizenry calls the nation.   As Dorothy is Dora, Yemi is Yemsky, USA is Yankee, what is wrong with Nigeria being Naija, ooh, in case someone forget, even Nigeria sef is an imported name...courtesy of Mary abi na flora Shaw or whatever her name is.   As I reflect on Jonathan's transport fare, how could I just skip the decision of the nine wise men of the North, men that redefined wisdom to pick an "atikulatedly accused" man as its choice?   My attention was brought to a Voice Of America Hausa service interview with Atiku, on corruption, when asked how he would tackle it, his answer "what I will do to tackle corruption is to speedily ensure that all those facing charges must be prosecuted within six months and within six months Nigeria must see changes...   If we import toothpicks, who best to be at the helm of affairs then the ex-custom man himself.   The INEC timetable is out, the children without table manners at the National Assembly are fooling themselves, give constitution to president to sign, who sai? Instead they are concerned as to how they become party NEC members as if the millions they collect individually is not enough for foreign toothpicks?   What do Nigerians really want...I am so sure we do not know, how did I arrive at this, the typical Nigerian is content analysing the lies our leaders tell reporters daily at the News stand, watch events on NTA Events at 9 and on Friday and Sunday go and make all the noise. We have refused to demand our right to good governance from these leaders.   Why should after a few denials and counters, people say let's move on, lessons have been learned and the 50,000 dollars just go back into where it came from, and finito. Haba is this how we will witness the change we desire, is this change we believe in.   Two cannot fight except they disagree, and the fact is that the Nigerian populace have not fought government because they agree with the way and manner government is treating them. Using their collective sweat in dollars and pounds to buy toothpick and wrappers.   Five governors gone and we are celebrating the conquest of no other character than a Tinubu...Anyway besides that, what happens to the millions in salaries, allowances and jollification enjoyed by the usurpers in all these cases.   Except the monkey tastes strawberries it would forever believe that bananas are sweeter. We have suffered as a people to a point where phrases such as ""He is stealing too, but at least he is working", "The man don try, at least he did not put the money abroad, he helped his people in building factories". Is motive now a criteria in judging stealing of government funds?   We need toothpicks, in quantum, the local toothpick industry cannot cope, we need to import more because people do not understand that when you live in Nigeria, where we have promises of electricity and none to show, you need toothpick, and a wrapper to tie around the waist in the evening to maintain sanity.   How do we explain the billions alleged pumped into the textile industry, when people say it's cheaper to import because of the cost of production.   We credit Jona, Jona for the disappearance of fuel queues when the truth is that we are importing the product like tomorrow no dey. We have simply refused to build new refineries. And we have only applied a short term solution to a problem with long term effects.   Our daughters in the eastern parts have threatened they may go nude to protest several months closure of universities there, and each day I read Ohakim, Obi, Eze is working. What kind of work?   In UK Fashola stuttered to questions on corruption, he is a good man, but responsive and accountable governance is not a job for good men but strict disciplinarians with purpose. Doctors just called off a strike that lasted almost 13weeks in Lagos, and life goes on, like nothing happened.   And we remaining a tooth picking nation, wallowing in the debris of what should have been...Nigerians should wake up.     Prince Charles Dickson

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