*"Because I care" series #2
Because I care about this great nation, last week I announced my decision to run for president.
Since then I have thought long and hard about minorities and the way successive governments have treated them. What do we do when we find people who are either blind or hard of hearing or otherwise physically challenged? We start an NGO and treat them like specimen. The president promises to do something about them. The first lady visits them during Christmas and struggles to show that she is not irritated by cripples and orphans. My government will treat them differently. My government will treat them like the equal human beings that they are. Apart from smiling at them for no reason and saying please and thank you, it is my pleasure to announce that my running mate, although I haven’t chosen him or her yet, will have some form of disability, whether of the limbs, or of the skin- even if it is some tribal marks. Have you ever seen someone with tribal marks nominated to contest elections? I will end that discrimination.
Already the wisdom in my manifesto is showing. Any president who is serious about governance cannot afford to marry or live with a partner. Two things this week reinforce my position. Look at the promising South African ‘blade runner’, Oscar Pistorious, who ran his way to global prominence recently. Demons invaded him and the young man went and shot his live-in girlfriend four times through the bathroom door. I mean even if his lawyers turn out to be like OJ Simpson’s lawyers he will still go to jail for possession of unlicensed weapons. And I am not sure they allow prisoners take part in the Olympics.
Again, last week the wife of the president (soon I will call him my predecessor) had a resurrection party to celebrate her return to life from a protracted death. She came back after seven long days of death. God be praised. Some sources say that about 500million naira was raised, over six times the amount that was reportedly paid to Kim Kardashian to show her gorgeous sex-tape making self on stage for five minutes. I have not seen that sex tape. I would never do such a sinful thing. But I digress. Heaven bless Dame Patience. Think of how difficult it is to compete for the attention of Nigerians with a hot, white, slim, unafraid-to-show-skin-we-all-have-seen-before young woman. But by god, the Dame won. If the death of Jesus and his resurrection after a mere three days is anything to go by, then Kim has failed and failed forever. No wonder she ran away after two minutes on stage. As president I will insist that all celebrities who come into Nigeria fill a form declaring sexual history, amount of skin they plan to expose on stage and a CV showing at least one skill set- singing, dancing, playing Ludo. Anything apart from the ability to live, breath and have sex. But this is beside the point. Think of Jonathan without a partner, without rumours of a wife laundering millions of dollars, without the pressure of inter-First Lady land disputes, without having to host the most expensive resurrection party ever. That’s a happy Jonathan. And for now, Nigeria sorely needs a happy Jonathan.
After I declared my intention to run for president, something happened that bothered me. First my friend and father (he doesn’t know he is my friend yet but as my popularity grows, this will become clear to him) General Buhari announced that he was withdrawing his candidacy for a younger candidate. I was so happy that finally he had recognized someone like me as a contender in the race. I went out and celebrated with some cat-fish pepper soup (I am still working on being a vegetarian. It isn’t easy). Suddenly, a few days ago, he pulled an about face on us. It was reported that he said only death can stop him from contesting. I had already started preparing posters with my photo and that of a stern death-to-corrupt-politicians looking Buhari in preparation for his endorsement of a younger candidate. You can imagine the trauma this caused me. As president I will push for legislation to prevent politicians from changing their minds. The effects are just too disastrous.
I am a believer in last words. This is my one quarrel with Oscar Pistorious. People shoot people. We have been doing it for centuries. The world dumps the cheap small arms they are bored with in Africa. We have to use it for something. Who buys a new piece of equipment and just leaves it lying in a room-divider? The real issue is last words. Every person deserves a dying declaration. The least Oscar could have done was kindly explain to his girlfriend what the shooting was all about and maybe allow her one last post on her Facebook and Twitter accounts. Maybe with a hashtag like #dyingthingz or #hadIknown.
I will insist that we have laws that mandate killers to give their victims the privilege of last words. All these, because, I care.