So people, this is my big coming-out moment. I am running for President in 2015. It was a hard decision and trust me, I consulted neither friends nor family. It is significant that I arrived at this decision alone. Why? Because (and I love Winston in spite of his being an alcoholic and all) Churchill said that the best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter. Trust me, while I don’t mean to bad-mouth the people around me, most of my friends and family would fall into the ‘average voter’ category. Forget about the party I will run under. Focus on my manifesto.
I will go straight to the second reason why you will vote for me- the first reason being that I do not, like the average politician (who I admit is worse than the average voter) waste time on rhetoric and preambles. The second reason is that when I become president I will not change the names on government projects. I will simply add mine. This takes guts. To continue the projects of your predecessors without succumbing to that gnawing urge to do a 180 degree turn, change the names of roads and universities, to paint every government property with my name as if the money for these projects came from my pocket. Now the real reason for this might be that I have a huge ego and will be deeply hurt to see the president after me changing my name to his when he takes over but what does it matter to the average voter? Every country needs a president with a huge ego and I will be saving billions of public funds.
I will not wear a cap. I can confirm to you that this is a serious problem. Let’s face it: which Nigerian President has allowed gods good breeze to visit oxygenated air on his scalp? This surely, with all the heat in the Federal Capital Territory has to be at least partly responsible for stupid decisions like 4 billion naira mansions for First Ladies. I will, by not wearing a cap, save the nation from potentially dangerous policies.
I will ban the phrase “safe journey”. Enemies of our country have for long insisted that the government has failed woefully in building roads. Some even cook up examples and imply that it is a disgrace for example, that the road from Calabar to say an important tourist location like Obudu is bad. While I have not plied this road or others like the Abuja-Lokoja road, my gut instinct tells me these rumours are peddled by enemies of our collective progress who say things like “more people die from road accidents than any other disease” in Nigeria. What they don’t tell you is that perhaps we just drink too much. That surely cannot be the governments fault. However, to solve these problems I will simply stop people from implying that our roads are unsafe by using the phrase “safe journey”. The only other acceptable alternative will be “drive safe” because if a driver goes and crashes his car, the government should not share the blame.
I will not marry. Mention one first lady that has not been the object of attack by cavernous critics whose only joy is to cast aspersions on the good souls of president’s wives. Some even once implied that a certain first lady had as her stock in trade, laundering money and receiving kickbacks from contractors. Such blasphemy! To be sure, however, that such distractions do not plague my government I promise to defy every ‘settling-down’ bone in my body and keep my relationships simple; an unofficial partner at best, who will visit on the weekends. And no, my partner will not sleep over. That is how one gets roped into marriage, to the detriment of a whole nation. God forbid that such a thing should happen.
I keep a moustache. Just stay with me on this one. Tell me one decent head of state that we have had who has kept a moustache. That is, apart from General Buhari who had a small Hitler moustache and whose relative poverty is still cited as proof of his integrity. When General Obasanjo still kept a moustache in 1979, he had the good sense to hand over power on schedule and retire to his chicken farm without looting half the treasury. When he got into power again in 1999, what happened? He shaved. And lost his head so much that after eight years in power, he tried to arm-twist Nigerians into giving him another term! See what a moustache does to people? IBB, Abacha, Abdulsalam - all these guys who, like my friends would say, did Nigeria ‘strong-thing’ - all clean shaven. I will not fall into that trap. I will keep my moustache, so help me god.
As presidential aspirant, I have done my research. All the leaders who started wars, looted our treasury, destroyed the economy, sold us to the World Bank, and imposed weak and corrupt successors on Nigerians have one thing in common. Meat. They were all eaters of flesh. It has been proven time and again, that our stomachs are not built to handle meat. The violence involved in the killing of animals messes with your compassion and empathy. I will ban meat for all public office holders starting from myself. Only fish that die naturally would be permissible. I will be vegetarian. I admit to falling for some point-and-kill once in a while, but recently I made the conscious decision to treat cat-fish like people. The cat-fish won’t understand this, but no vegetarian ever looted his country.
I don’t like flying. I will sell off eight of the ten presidential aircraft. Nigerians can be sure that I won’t spend any crude oil money on presidential jets. It’s that blocking of the ears that does my head in. I will use bicycles. Nigerian presidents tend to put on weight in power.
Related to losing weight by riding bicycles is the fact that I wear slim-fit shirts. When was the last time a president of this great republic looked smart? Like in a slim-fit short sleeved shirt and nice slim chinos pants? For once a Nigerian leader that does not look like a greedy, flesh-eating member of a cultural troupe. Our respect among civilized nations will double.
I use a blackberry and I am very secretive. Which Nigerian president have you seen, in photos or in real life, handling his own phone? I will personally go on Facebook and Twitter to feel the pulse of the nation. While I will not give out my Blackberry pin for fear of abuse, Nigerians can be sure that I will personally read their tweets and not some young overzealous Special Assistant who will end up increasing my number of enemies online. Plus, I like Twitter and would like to return there and tweet funny stuff when I leave power. Why would I mess that up? Surely this is a strong reason to vote for me in 2015.
I plan to invade a small European country. Think of it. The past 200 years, black people have suffered one form of invasion after another by Europeans. I plan to put together a foreign invasion militia whose sole task will be to invade Switzerland. Because more recently they have been our worst offenders. I mean the British and Americans have allowed their guilty consciences to drive them to huge development investments through DFID and USAID. That is good guilt. Even the Japanese who didn’t do anything to us built hundreds of classrooms in Kano. And for all their sins- conniving with every Nigerian looter to hide their loot- what have the Swiss done for us lately? Nothing. I will plead with the Germans and Italians to stay out of it as it is a private matter. I owe it to Nigeria to at least try. If I succeed we will change the government, organize elections and try the heads of their rogue banks for war crimes- because looting the treasury is an act of war. And if I fail, well, at least I tried.
The choice is yours. Violent meat eaters or aspiring vegetarian. Clean shaven, cap wearing people or mustached and openly bald. Pot-bellied members of a cultural troupe or a smart slim president. These are the important choices, come 2015. I trust that you will, in spite of being an average voter, vote for me and for change.