by Tunde Asaju
I find it amusing when those outside government believe that they have all the answers. They even think that by heckling those in government, asinine decisions would be reversed. Imagine misguided women protesting the all-wise decision of Bala Mungu, to build a paltry N4 billion conference centre for the first wife. But nothing would stop this decision, not a mob protest especially in Lagos, the hotbed of opportunistic opposition.
Having people in government is the admittance by the unwashed masses that they have relinquished all capacity to think for themselves. It is the unequivocal coronation of those who stole the people’s mandate without recrimination. Every day, there are armchair critics who see politics as a dirty game and would not tarnish their bleached conscience with its stain. They sit on the reserve bench running commentaries. If the shitstem works, they complain; if there is silence, they complain – on Election Day, they seek the companionship of their television sets.
If the enemies had their way, there would be nothing to cheer under this regime. But the man of luck relies on his streak and those who live in his republic of lalaland swear that things are getting better. They are right – darkness is stable several billions of dollars after. On the level of insecurity, there is absolutely no cause for control; everything is under alarm. Anyone with tap other than borehole in the FCT this weekend would have noticed that the taps ooze fresh air. That was not what the Accidental Public Servant promised us when they started work on Gurara Dam extension. Something happened in-between transition.
We have the most effective fertilizer distribution system to any terrorist organization watering the crops with the blood of the innocent. As for the farmers who need them, they are getting transformation phones. As long as apps work, even if the heavens withhold rain, nothing can stop the bumper harvest. Investors are giving immigration officials more than recruitment scandals as they queue to showcase the best planes the world makes. Not even China with the highest foreign reserves has ever ordered 30 planes at a go. But then, Beijing rulers go by road, their corrupt officials commit hara-kiri or are executed; Naija governors go by air and the corrupt ones become ministers, or board chairmen. The day they stop taking health tourism in European and American hospitals, the health care system of those nations would collapse.
These silent revolutions hardly make it to the local media. Their proprietors have ganged up with the opposition to deny government the platform it needs to convince the inhabitants of hell that there is no alternative. The resilience of foreign PR firms and their loyal media partners are gradually breaking this conspiracy of silence. One such firm charged our government $60 million to break the wall of silence and delivered two CNN interviews. With World Bank trained economic managers on the train; a $20 million discount was negotiated. Just thought I should mention it, these experts once negotiated Naija out of debt but because of public ingratitude have now buried us back in. Reminds us all that the inventor of pencils also made the eraser.
The ways of governance are unknown to the unwashed masses and their critical collaborators. Through it all, President Jones displays the stoicism of an inebriate captain enjoying the ripples created by his sinking ship. Even in the comity of the clueless, this is an uncommon display of unbroken bravado.
In spite of the evil wishes of the enemies, it is now a historical feat that the Super Chickens, like eaglets hatched by a benevolent mother hen have shed their toga of docility and soared to unprecedented heights. By winning the AFCON Trophy the Transformed Eagles (as they should now be known) have offered succor to a forlorn regime always in search of celebration. Like the mutant HIV virus kills its victims with opportunistic infections, officials have latched on to this ‘victory’ to display the manifesto of the prodigal.
This pyrrhic victory creates the unique opportunity to burrow into the treasury and fritter its contents with reckless abandon. Poor Haruna Ilerika, born before his time. Sad reflection for the families of soldiers, daily sacrificed by Boko Haram; they swore to keep the nation one, and put their lives on the line for a country with no sense of gratitude. Sad day for retirees who die queuing for what the nation they served owed them but are given nothing in return.
These dollars, dinners and land for a 90-minute wonder are moments of reflection for the Gbagyi, chased from their ancestral lands, now sacrificed – landless, uncompensated, unappreciated, relegated and forgotten. The prodigal has unveiled its manifesto describing the new excellence and setting new parameters for the new patriotism. Who dares to disagree?
– This Best Outside Opinion was written by Tunde Asaju