How to (Mis)Govern Nigeria and Get Away With it
first published at http://dailytimes.com.ng/blog/how-get-away-misgoverning-nigeria
Begin the celebration of your victory by acknowledging it as an undeniable act of God. Tell your opponent that power belongs to God and this year God doesn’t give a shit about him. Establish this fact by holding special lavish thanksgiving services where you thank God that due, only to his special and mighty grace, you escaped being caught for rigging or killing opponents or manipulation all of which you must swear you never did. God doesn’t like those things.
Renovations! Your predecessor dirty saboteur that he is, messed up the accommodation really badly. I mean he made the official residence totally uninhabitable. You must renovate your official residence at an amount that you can use to build a new residence. It is not your fault. They should blame the last bad belle. This is why you always preach about maintenance culture. Nigerians lack it. Let them pay the huge bill for the renovation and they will see how well you will maintain yours. If you can, let the money be used to renovate your personal house (because you are too cool for government house) and perhaps even get paid for living in your own house in office.
It is important to declare that the wind of change will come sweeping. How do you achieve that? I don’t know. Don’t be asking me hard questions like that. Just say it. It is good enough. But if you insist, there are things you can do to appear like there is a wind blowing, whatever that wind may be. One way to do this is to create what we call an Agenda. 3 point, 7 point, 11 point, it doesn’t matter. You may even christen your Agenda and give her a name. Call her, the revitalisation Agenda. The resuscitation Agenda or other such synonyms. Agenda na Agenda.
It is ok to be narcissistic. Repaint old projects with your smiling face. Commission plenty worthless, glossy books about your achievements, hard back books containing empty speeches you have and will make, and if your are narcissistic enough, a book about your regalia and cuisine. There are plenty hungry writers for hire. It is quite easy. If you are Governor, every state project must carry a large photo of you looking straight at your subjects so they know the secret behind this whodunit. Then let there be a smaller photo of your deputy by the side. The Deputy’s photo must always be on the left and smaller so they know who is boss. If it is a Federal Project, look for a huge photo of Mr. President and then yours, a smaller one by the left where your Deputy is supposed to be.
Make sure every small project is commissioned at an expensive elaborate ceremony, where a separate contract is awarded for the commissioning ceremony itself. This is how a country is governed.
So, you have no projects, no thanksgiving services and nothing to show for it. You are getting nervous because some nosy people have started raising hell in the papers which if not for that nonsense free speech you would have banned. They are talking on TV shows, criticising your God-anointed government and saying there are no roads, no hospitals, no schools, no electricity, no water. God will judge your enemies and devote a special part of hell for them. But before God does that you need to take care of the situation here on earth. Just like you took care of the elections. You can thank Him later. What you need now is a smokescreen. Some toys for the people to play with so they don’t bother you so much. Give them something to fight about. This is fairly easy. The country is full of people who like to be defenders of their tribes, defenders of their cultures, and everyone’s favourite, defenders of their religions and Gods. So, find a common enemy. Someone we can push the blame to and call their acts, dastardly acts, call them enemies of progress.
Like who? Ehen. Good question. We all know those gay people who are, yes, abnormal. Create a law banning them. What? We already have a law banning homosexuality? So what if it’s already illegal? Just create something that will give the Christians and Muslims something to cheer about. They are the majority, no other religions officially exist. Tell the gays, we know you are already illegal, but we want to make you even more illegal, and anyone who sympathises with you! Gbam. The holy people of this nation will praise you for coming to the rescue of God’s law in this particular serious issue. No, sir, God’s law doesn’t affect corruption or fornication with girls. As long as you are not gay, sex is fine, 13 year old, 14 year old, your sons wife, the neighbours wife, the secretary, the Youth Corp members. This is not covered by God’s law. Confused? It is simple, straight sex is good. Gay sex is bad. Gay anything is bad. Unafrican. Immoral. Yes I said it, unAfrican, we never had a single homosexual in African culture, all those stories about ‘yan daudu in Hausa culture and homosexuals in other cultures are all lies, perpetrated by heretics, agents of white people to destroy us. God will not let them.
You see in all that confusion, no one can possibly realise that not a single thing has been done, that prices are going up, that electricity is horrible, that roads are still the death traps they have always been. Before you know it, it will be election time, and God who did it for you before, will do it for you again. Do I hear an Amen?