You can say I failed. I will not be offended. Unlike most of our past and present leaders I know when to admit failure. I was unable to meet Robert Mugabe during my two week stay in Zimbabwe. But I tried. I looked everywhere from the Eastern Highlands to the capital Harare and the closest I came to meeting Robert was billboards celebrating his being an almost-centenarian, people who said his name in whispers and rumours of crocodile farms which ensured internal stability. However, I finally discovered the secrets to his smooth skin and full hair. In less than 14 days my skin glowed and my hair improved in quality. Sadly in all my time there, I did not find a single person who liked Morgan Tsvangirai. It is a hard life if you are opposition leader in a dictatorship and people still don’t like you. Morgan should quit politics and start a golf club for former white farmers.
Since returning to Abuja, it has been interesting keeping up with the National Conference, the proposed invitation to which I turned down. I began a little confab diary to keep up with events. Enjoy.
March 25: Delegate demands cold water for aged delegates or have dead old delegates on nation’s conscience. I admire the courage it took for Kunle Olajide to speak up and demand water. In the Africa of my parents, a guest does not ask for food or water. In fact that is considered rude, but only because every host is by custom required to provide food and water for guests. Thus any further request would be viewed as wicked gluttony. However, I agree that if cold water is what this country needs to benefit from the wisdom of men in their 100s, let us supply truckloads of it. I hope my soon-to-be-predecessor Jonathan will not grumble about already paying them 4 million a month and save our country from potential ruin.
April 2: Delegates clash over religion. Christian leaders demand ecclesiastical courts to balance sharia courts in constitution. All you need to produce brilliant ideas is throw a few religious people in a room and the holiness begins to act like an enzyme on their brains leading to genius. Joseph Bagobiri makes me want to become a clergyman. I would never have imagined such a thing as ecclesiastical courts where people will be judged by the rules of Jesus. I have a few questions however: Would there be different courts for Catholics and Protestants? And another for Pentecostals? Will people be able to sue for things like delayed miracles, failed miracles or wrongly performed miracles (like healing the wrong person or destroying the wrong person by holy ghost fire)? Will victims of crime be asked to turn the other cheek? Will the Bible be used as rules of court? If so, what of that verse that says that women are not permitted to speak in public? Will women have to speak through their husbands? If so, what of women without husbands? Will they have to hire husbands? Also, I know Mormons are technically not Christians, but will there be a separate court for Mormons? What of Eckankar? And people associated with the mystical Rosicrucian Order like Prince Tony Momoh? But then I am sure the genius catholic bishop must have figured out all of that. I look forward to reading his proposals when I become president.
April 4: Delegates bicker over food. Some want it monetized. Another claims food has improved. Food is life. We cannot expect delegates to debate the future of Nigeria on an empty stomach. I am glad that J.I. Ebinum moved a motion to stop the secretariat from the provision of lunch for the delegates since many delegates were not getting the nourishment they deserved. However the response of Josephine Anenih also makes sense. Claiming that the feeding had improved, she went ahead to explain the real issue: “For the past two days we have been eating Chinese food, that was why they are all very happy. Delegates are complaining that the food has not been enough because other staffers of the National Judicial Institute, venue of the confab, have been joining in sharing the food meant for only 492 delegates.” Being one who enjoys Chinese food, I cannot thank the leadership of the National Conference enough for introducing this into the diet of the delegates. That thing which makes China a force to be reckoned with in global politics and economics and gives them a rock solid army, must be in their food. There is no better way of learning from a people than understanding their food. All that palm oil and salt must have affected our brain cells over the decades. It is time for a food revolution. God bless Josephine. It is things like this Chinese food business that makes me wonder if it was the right decision to turn down the proposed invitation to the National Conference.
Ps. Can the state governments who have herdsmen in their states work with the federal government to show real commitment to the issue of clashes between communities and Fulani pastoralists? Or will we wait for it to become another war within our borders?