So I spent some time in the police station last week and at the end of the episode I just shook my head and wept dry tears for my Country Nigeria. The whole place stunk of corruption; and the sad part was that it was seemingly impossible to distance one’s self once you stayed affiliated. It was a total disgrace and reminded me of all the reasons I hated my country.
As Tim Newman the British expatriate who recently completed a job stint over here said in his article -The End Of An Assignment In Nigeria- “The corruption, theft, and graft can take many forms...the list is literally endless. There is no beginning or end to corruption in Nigeria, it is a permanent fixture...You name the scam, it is being done in Nigeria. Eventually, nothing surprises you.”
Nothing truly surprises anymore.
-From the Yar’adua Part 2 drama series playing out in Taraba staring Danbaba Suntai.
-To friends and associates celebrating in absentia in Delta State UK-jailed convicted criminal James Ibori’s birthday.
-To the ignorant Rivers State lawmaker Evans Bipi calling his unlearned colleague Mrs. Patience Jonathan his “Jesus Christ on earth".
-To the hypocritical Governor of Plateau State Jonah Jang claiming electoral victory despite polling 16 votes as against his opponent’s 19.
All these phenomena, fanatical Christian youths are want to term “end time things”.
In the midst of the madness what has always kept me sane is clinging to any sense of intelligence and reason. A development that might have adversely affected my social and work life as I don’t go beyond acquaintances in many cases and keep my circle of friends compact in the virtual Facebook world and in reality. Little wonder I stuck to my guns and went all out becoming the only voter that casted a ballot for Ibrahim Shekarau at my polling unit during the last presidential elections in 2011.
I constantly get lost in the world wide web and on occasions when I stream clips of past leaders like Odumegwu Ojukwu, Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. etc. feeling the raw intellect hit me and comparing with our present day Ogas-at-the-top like the NSCDC’s Shem Obafaiye I get enraged at the now prevailing mediocrity. The difference is akin to comparing night to day. That’s why I fantasize that if I should ever orchestrate a coup these are the following policy decisions I will immediately implement:
1) Free and compulsory education up until SSS3 for all children. Education is the stepping stone we need to get kicking in the third world and any Guardian whose ward(s) are found to be going against this decree will be immediately jailed.
2) Making queuing/lining up sacrosanct. Possibly it’s poverty fucking with our minds but our people (…when in Nigeria) have lost all sense of decorum and transfer same to our kids. From sharing food at weddings up until buying kerosene at the filling stations. When I’m Head of State everyone must compulsorily form queues and line up. Everything must be done on a first-come-first-served basis. Going against that earns you jail time and community service instantly.
3) Entrenching a culture of merit. All employments must be deserved and man-know-man influences immediately eradicated. Application fees for employment into government jobs; State of Origin and Federal Character policy immediately cancelled. Federal Character will be considered only for deployment (of resources) and not for (work) engagement. Also on the road of return to civilian rule consensus candidature and godfatherism will be eliminated as public debates for aspiring politicians will become compulsory under a system of one-man-one-vote.
4) Starting a Two Child population control policy akin to China’s. This is self-explanatory. We need to make much better use of our human resources.
5) Immediate ban on State sponsoring of religious pilgrimages. Government expenses must be of immediate benefit. If self-actualization for you is only found overseas then you should put your money where your mouth is and sponsor the trip to Mecca, Jerusalem, India or Syria yourself.
6) Strict execution of our secular state ideals. Reason and rationale will be the only grounds for formulating laws. So cases akin to permitting child marriages on religious grounds will never arise. Opening and closing prayers at government functions will also be frowned upon. It’s like we have substituted our brains as a people in exchange for a book of Bible stories or its’ equivalent. Our conscience must be nurtured by reason…always!
7) Cost cutting in government expenses. This will be of very high priority as salaries of legislators and office holders will be drastically cut while salaries of men of the armed forces will be increased to raise work morale. Consequently banning of check points and reorienting their minds away from bribe collection will also be done. Perpetuators of revenue leakages (kickbacks etc.) will also be decisively dealt with as a secret shopper system will be set up and any offender will immediately forfeit such ill-gotten wealth to the State. Finally all agencies with duplication of functions will be merged into one. Example: The Police, FRSC and Civil Defence will become one entity. Many special advisor roles will become deprecated as well as many groups, societies, associations, and unions by executive fiat etc.
8) Entrenchment of tenancy laws. Possibly because we are our own government providing many basic needs/amenities ourselves the rent is too damn high! And so we’re living a dog–eat-dog world (especially in places like Abuja), moving about in a vicious cycle. But in my reign a policy akin to the Lagos State Tenancy Law will be drafted, assented to and vigorously implemented. Offenders forfeiting their property to the State for a period of 5 years!