Because I Care series #12
This world is not a fair place. People are born into poverty, war, oppression and slavery. The Nigerian Army keeps getting away with massacres. Banky W is bald and condemned to a life of cap-wearing. Robert Mugabe has a full head of hair. Kim Kardashian is rich and famous. I don’t have an Irish lover. Yet. And Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign posters for 2015 are out. Again.
Each of the things mentioned above give me a hernia, but the worst, by far, is the last: Goodluck Jonathan’s posters. Now I see where your mind might be going. You are nodding, thinking, how dare he condemn this country to another four years of instability, corruption and impunity. You are thinking of things like his bungling of the entire fuel subsidy issue and how long after, the things that were promised to cushion the blow of the fuel price increase are nowhere to be found. You are thinking of the pardon of corrupt politicians and how militants are now our security consultants. I am sorry but you are wrong. These things are the rumours of Goodluck’s detractors and I refuse to be associated with that kind of thing. There are two major reasons why I am sad that Goodluck Jonathan’s posters are out.
1. It is an unfair headstart. In any sport, whether sprinting or swimming, it is important that the contestants begin at the same time. Contestants who show no respect for this rule are usually disqualified. Jonathan’s early start feels like a footballer kicking the ball into the opponents’ net while they are on the side of the pitch warming up. Surely this is wrong. President Jonathan should have waited for all of us contestants to get ready, identify good photo studios and cheap but decent printers. More crucially, the president should have formed a committee of contestants who would meet and decide on whether we should allow coloured posters or only black and white, the size of posters to be allowed, if it will be allowed to use Photoshop to hide shaving bumps, tribal marks and birth defects- important details like that.
2. I totally misread his body language. I thought that he would be a gentleman and allow a real youth to take over. I know that the PDP’s youth leaders are typically between 50 and 60, but I just googled our life expectancy (I love google! More Nigerian politicians should use it) and as at 2012, it was 47 years. Goodluck Jonathan is 55. This means that he should be doing thanksgiving services for the eight extra years he has lived and for every other year after that, instead of contesting again. It beats me that he hasn’t figured this out. I thought he had. I really thought he had.
In spite of all of these, however, it is my fervent belief that I will overcome.
Last week Friday, Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s private plane was temporarily prevented from leaving the Akure airport. A journalist kept asking my opinion about this, ad nauseam and I snapped at him saying: “My opinion is simple. I don’t care.” I have since calmed down. I don’t think it is politics at all. They simply asked Amaechi to declare the flight manifest. He refused and they stopped him from flying. What is wrong with wanting to know who is on the plane? Just reminds me of my neighbour who was slapped and ended up spending days in a police cell because he couldn’t answer a simple question by the policeman: Wetin dey your bag? He argued and as they dragged the bag, the policeman fell flat on the floor. A slap from the policeman followed. And the rest, as they say, is history we all can never forget. Rotimi is stubborn. He should have just declared who he was flying with. Now we will look at the manifest critically ask questions about the young lady he was flying with.
Ps. As I prepared this article, I read about the attack on Marte Local Government near Baga in Borno State by gunmen in over 50 Hilux 4-wheel drive vehicles. I am stunned. How 50 Hilux vans could escape security agents in a war zone beats me.
Ps. 2. I am shameless in my love for the Irish. Not the good Ireland. The bad one. The guys Thatcher called terrorists. I learnt the difference between Belfast and Dublin: the accents, the dominant denominations, which ones were cooler. The Irish Republican Army made a grand entry into my impressionable mind through movies with smooth talking, rough-and-sexy, dark-eyed militants, fighting for a united Ireland. So I didn’t like Thatcher. And I dreamed of having an Irish lover. On May 1st, the two-week European Film Festival opened at the Silverbird Galleria in Abuja with the Irish movie, ‘The Guard’. I could not resist. Even though the (amazing) movie turned out to be about the good Ireland and the ambassador who sat just to my left in the cinema was of the Republic of Ireland, I experienced excitement of gargantuan proportions. That’s how much I love the Irish.