Sunday, May 26, 2013


Because I Care #15

I have told people time and time again. There is a difference between superstition and respect for the supernatural. They are very different. Superstition is baseless. Respect for the supernatural is borne out of careful consideration of consequences, some of which may not be fully or immediately understood. Superstition is thinking that if you sweep at night evil spirits will be angry or that casting a vote for Chris Okotie will somehow help the Jerry-curled man win the Presidential elections. Respect for the supernatural is calling someone like Obasanjo and begging him to explain to us how and why he did it- hoodwink us into accepting his dangerous handover package. Also, respect for the supernatural means you will not deliberately invite troublesome spirits by naming your town Woolwich. Otherwise how else can you explain that a certain British Micheal with a Nigerian last name went out into the street and used a meat cleaver to slaughter a 25 year old British soldier in broad daylight. Then waiting for the police to arrest him. I tell you it is all in the name of that town. He couldn’t have tried it in any respectfully named town in Nigeria. Not the killing I mean. The waiting-to-be-arrested part. Because surely he would have been given a taste of any one of the two brands of made-in-Nigeria street justice: that given by our security forces or by good old angry civilian Nigerians. What was wrong in just naming the town Wool? I can never understand the British.

So this week I changed my mind about a certain running mate people have been pressuring me to consider. First, the man wears glasses. You must forgive me but I have something against people who wear them. I am not sure I can trust someone who sees the world different from the rest of us. Then the man went and proposed something silly in the state where he currently serves as governor. Babatunde Fashola wants to ban girls from wearing hijabs in public schools. Is that what he wants to do when he becomes Vice President under me? I don’t understand it. First look at the health implications of making all those girls come to schools with their hair uncovered. That is why cooks must cover their hair when cooking. I had very limited call credit this week otherwise I would have placed a call and asked him how the hijab hurts him or the people of Lagos. He thinks the hijab is like a bracelet or costume that you can just tell people to take off. Asking a woman for whom Islam is a way of life and identity to remove her hijab is like asking someone who has tribal marks not to come to school with their tribal marks. Or even asking someone with prescription glasses not to wear them to school. How would Babatunde feel if I asked him as Vice President not to come to work with his glasses? I am dropping him from my list of potential running mates. I have never liked lawyers anyway.

Chinua Achebe was laid to rest this week amidst much fanfare. Following a suggestion by my friend Tolu Ogunlesi, I can bet the 8,500 naira in my account that Soyinka is having an emergency meeting with his lawyers to include in his will what and who he does not want at his funeral. Especially the kind of people he does not want making speeches over his coffin.

I saw Rotimi Amaechi’s photo in the papers this week and by god he has grown lean! After those women started wearing ‘Amaechi Must Go’ t-shirts in Port Harcourt he must have stopped eating, suddenly realising that Jonathan means business. Amaechi should look within himself and ask what he did to the president. It may not be what he thinks. Did he shake the first lady too long? Did dust enter his eye and make him inadvertently wink at the Dame at a public function? These are important questions for him to ponder. Especially now that he has gotten re-elected as Governors Forum Chairman, I am genuinely worried about his health.

Ps. I attended the first general event marking Achebe’s final transition on Monday this week. I met two persons. Ogbonnaya Onu, former governor of Anambra and current Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party. And Peter Obi, the current governor of Anambra. The difference between these two men is clear. While Onu sauntered into the room in regal fashion, like a proud peacock with more gun totting security men than was necessary and a convoy of four cars waiting outside, Peter Obi walked in quietly with Achebe’s first son and chose to sit among the crowd for about 30 minutes so as not to interrupt the speaker. I did not see gun totting men around Peter Obi. He even pleaded with people to stop photographing him and focus on the lecture going on. When Mr Onu was leaving, and the siren of the pilot car blared to clear the way, he could have been any corrupt ruling party politician. So much for our ‘opposition’.

Ps 2. This week, in a lecture organised by the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, Malam Nasir El-rufai, bemoaning the high unemployment in Nigeria, declared that even with his connections, two of his daughters who had Masters degrees have been jobless for about a year now. I am worried for his daughters. Sadly, I do not make enough to hire now. All I can say is, if they can be patient until 2015 when I become President, surely, something will happen. Because, I care.

Ps. 3 I hope the Nigerian Army is observing how their erstwhile colonial masters are handling the 'terrorist' slaughtering of a British serviceman in broad daylight. The Brits did not unleash their army in reprisal killings in Woolwich. Just saying.

Ps. 4. Femi Fani Kayode needs to stop taking whatever it is he takes. Or go off Twitter and spend more time with his kids. Just saying.

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