Because I Care #32
I just want to take time off to reflect. On how things were before living in this country became like wearing wet underwear to school. This is how wars start: people failing to reflect. Reflection makes forgiveness easier because it transports you to a time before the infraction and that calms your nerves and sends nice messages to your brain which in turn loosens the tense muscles in your body. By now you have figured that there is something for which I seek your forgiveness. Yes. I forgot October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. I will make amends for it by dedicating this article to forgiveness and to at least one former girl child that I know.
Let’s start with forgiveness. I must set an example. I want to forgive Miss Stella Oduah for bullying the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority into paying Coscharis Motors 255 million naira for two of her official armoured BMW’s. This is why I have chosen to forgive her: Reflection. I reflect upon a time before Miss Oduah was Miss Oduah. No, not when she was Mrs. Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi. Long before that. When she was just Stella. When she was a chubby little girl child who didn’t know a million naira from a bucket of fried chicken. I see her playing on a swing with a lollipop in her mouth calling out to her sister Grace. Or after that at Zixton Grammar school where she became a slim, soft spoken, kind hearted adolescent. Then I pause. I remember that after leaving Zixton in 1978 she went off to America to continue her schooling. And I blame all this on America. Evil America took a harmless girl child and turned her into something that hurts our country. God will judge America harshly. If all Nigerians can think like this we will not waste our energies insulting the good Princess Oduah. She has had a hard life. She was ruined by capitalist America at an early age and has gone through unsuccessful marriages that have put strain on her name: First she was Stella Oduah then went through a couple of name changes before becoming Stella Oduah- Ogiemwonyi. Now she is back to being Stella Oduah again. How many of us can get our groove back after this turmoil? After my last major breakup I almost had a nervous breakdown. I mean I descended to things like killing wall geckos. (Who sinks to such depths- killing the most harmless of creatures?)
I will be honest with you. It is nothing short of an act of god that Ms Oduah is where she is today. And we all know what an act of god is: something that is beyond human control. For example, an earthquake. Or the size of my head. Or my love for the Irish. Or when an old, faulty plane falls from the sky. She deserves our collective forgiveness.
I must however commend all the treacherous Nigerians who do things like leak receipts and invoices of fraudulent government transactions and who leak scandalous text messages of government officials. But for the disloyalty of these snitches, stories of corruption would be baseless rumours. We would never know which government official is sleeping with who or which company was used to order the most expensive cars in the world. And more importantly, without their treachery, we would never have the opportunity of extending our forgiveness to them. God bless snitches.
If you ask me I think my soon-to-be-predecessor is a genius for beginning the process that will culminate in a National Conference. He should be commended for recommended really old people to the committee. It is good that even 85 year olds were nominated by the President because although the majority of Nigerians are below the age of 35, we need persons who will not be distracted by a fully functional body. We cannot have too many sexually-active males and females who will set the tone for the National Conference. We all know how dangerous sexually active men are- they started a civil war in this country. And we must pause and reflect on history so we can learn.
Ps. Amnesty International released a report describing the horrible conditions that the JTF are keeping suspects in Maiduguri. The reports describe how out of control they are. It quotes a senior military officer as saying that the JTF deposits on the average 5 bodies every day. These bodies are reportedly emaciated, some still having their handcuffs on. Giwa Barracks in Maiduguri, also called Guantanamo, is said to be the main hub of extrajudicial killings in Maiduguri military camps. We will never know how many innocent Nigerians are starved or tortured to death in JTF camps. A battle with terrorists is no excuse to keep death camps like Guantanamo.