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A Pinch: Presidency bans award winning journalist from entering Aso Rock over MINT controversy

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A Pinch: Presidency bans award winning journalist from entering Aso Rock over MINT controversy

By Stanley Azuakola

Nigerian MINT controversies

The feeding allocation for Aso Rock has been cut by almost half from the N1 billion budgeted two years ago, to N542.8 million in 2014. The reason for this reduction, according to our investigations was the fact that Aso Rock has replaced cassava bread with butter mint as the official visitor’s entertainment food. When Pres. Jonathan discovered that Nigeria has been lumped in a new grouping called MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey), he decided that it would be nice to serve butter mint at the villa so that he could start all his speeches by saying, “Do you know why we served you butter mint today?” Then he’ll explain how his presidency has made Nigeria to be so recognised that our brand is now sweet to the world like butter MINT.

Unsurprisingly, this MINT grouping has led to an ‘ideological’ war between Nigeria’s two leading parties. Whereas the presidency now serves butter mint in Aso Rock, the headquarters of the All Progressives Congress now serves pepper mint to its own guests. A Pinch… gathered that the APC decided to serve pepper mint so that its chairman can begin all his speeches by saying, “Do you know why we served you pepper mint?” He would then go on to describe how Nigerians have been shown “pepper” since Jonathan became president, and how Nigerians would continue to see “pepper” unless the Jonathan administration is swept away in 2015.

In a related development, Aso Rock has banned award winning journalist Tolu Ogunlesi from ever setting foot in the villa for “making mockery of the ongoing minty transformation taking place in the country.” A Pinch… heard from some of the president’s handlers that Aso Rock was upset over a letter written by Ogunlesi in which he told the president that “Nigerians are unimpressed that the president is only interested in MINT when all around us we are feeling the PAINS (Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria) of the government’s failures and when it seems like Nigeria is a nation where INSANITY (India, Nigeria, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Israel, Turkey, Yemen) prevails.” Ogunlesi further said that he did not intend to RANT (Rwanda, Armenia, Nigeria, Turkmenistan) in his letter, but he needed to do it to stay awake because hearing the president’s countless unfulfilled promises just makes him YAWN (Yemen, Afghanistan, West-Bank, Nigeria).

Nigeria is not the worst – Pres. Jonathan

Pres. Goodluck Jonathan has frowned at the Nigerian media for the way it keeps portraying Nigeria “as though our situation is the worst.” At a church service last Sunday in Abuja, he said: “Nigeria is not the worst; we are not alone. For any bad thing in this country, we have our sisters and brothers in other countries in the same boat. They say we have terrorism in Nigeria but terrorism is everywhere, for instance, see how bad things are in Pakistan. They say I am clueless but cluelessness is everywhere, for instance see how clueless Mugabe is in Zimbabwe. They say PDP and APC fight too much, but political fighting is everywhere, for instance see how in the US the two political parties are fighting everyday and it even led to government shutdown. They say I pamper my Princess Oduah too much, but you need to see the way the King of Swaziland pampers his many princesses. They say my wife is too overbearing… but… anyway let’s just leave that one.”

CROWNED CLOWN (CeeCee) OF THE WEEK

Some things must be out of bounds in politics. Certain topics – like tribe and religion – are too volatile to be used as weapons to win votes. That’s why despite being satisfied with the performance of Peter Obi as governor, A Pinch… still resents the man for his wicked use of tribalism and anti-Yoruba propaganda to win votes for the Igbo party – APGA – in last year’s Anambra elections. We must learn to rally our people without railing against those not like us. Fuelling hate should never be a campaign strategy.

Last week, Reuben Abati, the revered former newspaper columnist and now presidential spokesman, registered his name in the book of infamy, when he used his megaphone as Jonathan’s spokesman to push the story via several new media channels that the main opposition party APC is out to Islamise Nigeria. To be clear, despite the fact that the APC has a high number of Northern Muslims in its ranks, this is hardly due to an Islamisation plot. Jonathan knows that fact, and so does Abati.

It is a disgrace that Abati, and inferably Pres. Jonathan, chose to come out without tangible evidence and make such a lousy claim in order to divide Nigerians, heat up the polity and shore up their base in the South. Who would have ever thought that Abati would one day be the sower of such corrupt seeds of division? For his recklessness and lack of understanding about the sensitivity of the position he occupies, Reuben Abati receives the CeeCee this week.

Follow A Pinch on twitter: @stanleyazuakola

A Pinch... is the zero award winning weekly news recap column, who is consistently accused of committing satire. People used to think it was A Pinch... who said "If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you." It wasn't. A Pinch... is syndicated on The Guardian and YNaija. Follow A Pinch... on twitter @stanleyazuakola.

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