This week my presidential hustle suffered a setback. Right after the full list of delegates to the National Conference was published it became apparent that Jonathan had scored against me. After reading names of dozens of persons who had previously been out of work now offered a well-paying, albeit temporary job I was grudgingly impressed that this president was doing something about unemployment in this country.
If there is one thing that President Jonathan does that I may not be able to do, it is giving people second chances. Who would have thought that a man like Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha, who went through a traumatizing phase of not being sure if he liked men or women’s clothes, would get his groove back by being nominated to represent Jonathan's home state at the conference. Only people who have struggled with gender identity or sexuality can understand this. Do you know what it means to grow up not being sure if you are mostly male or mostly female; if in spite of the fact that society pressured you for over fifty years into wearing male clothes, dating and marrying females, you find yourself in old age being unsure? This can cause quite some internal turmoil. Perhaps this is what he needed all the money for- therapy in London. Perhaps he didn’t even steal Bayelsa money. Perhaps the same way he was not sure about what clothes to wear, he was not sure where the money should be kept- in cash in a handbag, in his personal accounts, or in the state treasury. No one will ever know. But we need to put all of that behind us. I have long disputed Jonathan’s claim of being first a child of god then a man of god. However if this full recovery and revival of Alamieyeseigha is what results from Jonathan’s act of forgiveness, then I say today on record that I agree that Jonathan is a man of god. Forgiveness is godly. That is why it is not easy. But only one thing is godlier than forgiveness: publicly admitting you are wrong and your political enemy is right. That is why in spite of Jonathan’s godliness I still deserve your vote.
I read on Premium Times that the kidnappers of President Goodluck Jonathan’s uncle and foster father, 70 year old Inengite Nitabai, have reportedly rejected N30 million offered by the family. I may have supporters and all but as an honest working citizen, I don’t even have one million naira to my name. Perhaps the president should look into creating a kidnap fund for all presidential aspirants so that we can afford the ransom when the time comes. It makes sense not to involve the police in sensitive matters such as this when we can just solve it with money. God knew why he gave us petro dollars. We need the police for serious things like fighting crime and helping the army with refreshments while they fight Boko Haram. Because I do not wish my enemies evil, I will join the Jonathan family in prayers so that the kidnappers will accept Jesus as their Lord and personal savior and stop kidnapping the relatives of important people like us. It is never too late to make heaven. They should take the N30 million and spend it wisely.
I forgot to talk about this last week: I watched Sanusi’s Aljazeera interview where he alleged that our 20 billion has been spent by those who stole it. It is not the money I am concerned about. He was wearing a casual shirt and his beard was a bit overgrown. He was missing his bow tie. He is like a man who decides to wear a bullet proof vest after getting shot in the chest. I had talked about how his bow ties would truncate his hustle. He didn't listen and got sacked. I just hope that others learn from this and avoid wearing those evil things. I also hope that Sanusi will get over this saga and start shaving regularly again.
I have just concluded plans to visit Zimbabwe for a workshop in less than two weeks. Finally I get the chance to meet Mugabe and ask the many questions I have been asking in this column. How, at about 100 years of age, do you have a full head of hair when at less than 40 I am halfway bald? What makes your face shine? Cocoa butter? Shea butter? Do you get Botox injections? How do you keep the skin on your face relatively taut? How does it feel to be almost a century old? Does Viagra still work for you? Do you fall asleep during sex or are you as alert as you are during political rallies?
Ps. On this year’s International Women’s Day, I celebrate the poor uneducated and vulnerable women of the third world for whom freedom means access to clean water, healthcare and food; the underage girls in forced, arranged marriages who have to endure oppression and violence; the women who have never heard the word feminism but who daily fight patriarchy, abuse and discrimination in their lives; the many women who endure rape from people as familiar to them as their husbands; and my lover who identifies as a woman. Because I care.