Friday, February 24, 2017

TO THE NAIJA ROAD USER BEFORE THEY DIE

Dear Naijaman,

Before you cross the road, please look left, then right, then, importantly, left again. 

If it is a small village dirt road, please look left, then right, then, importantly, left again. 

If it is a small township tarred road, please look left, then right, then, importantly, left again. 

If it is a dual carriage highway with all vehicles supposed to be going in the approved direction on each half, please look right, then left, then, importantly, right again. 

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When on a dual carriageway in Lekki, you look right and then left, and then start to cross, you reckon without that rusted-ogogoro-filled okada rider or the other cheap-hemp-saturated danfo driver who has decided that driving "one-way" is no big deal. 

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You may think that you know your rights and that heaven will fall if you get knocked down by an errant driver. Well, maybe you know your rights. But if you get knocked down, heaven will not fall down. If you get killed, heaven will just go from being your dream to being your (possible) destination. 

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When all is said and done, when the driver has hit his victim and run, it is those who are left that get to determine who was right.

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On a small road, look left, then right, then left again. On a large road, look right, then left, then right again.

If there is a pedestrian bridge and you are a pedestrian, please use your bridge. The Nigerian road is a sea full of alligators called vehicles.

Friday, February 3, 2017

WHILE YOU WERE AWAY - DAY 10 OF THE PRESIDENT'S VACATION


Dear Mr President, 

Now that the vacation has ended, let me update you on events that took place while you were away from Nigeria, away from Facebook, away from Twitter,  and away from all the wahala that happens in those three social media websites. You don't agree Nigeria is a social media site? Don't worry. There are many smileys and frowneys today. You can react by using one or another. Not like those days when the only possible reaction was LIKE or when the only available news outlet was FRCN. But before you react, remember that on the social network called Nigeria, you have more people following you than Donald Trump has following him on Twitter. 

But I ramble. My task is to tell you what has happened in these ten days.

1. YOU FELL ILL AND THEN YOU DIED
Yesso. You fell ill, were urgently whisked away from the country where there are no doctors to the one where doctors abound. And then, despite the best efforts of the best doctors, you were placed on life support, and when your life couldn't use the support, you died. The announcement wasn't made by your friends and well-wishers. The announcement was made by your fiends and death-wishers. Your friends responded by making two announcements: neither was the standard professional demonstration of commercial sorrow; the first comprised pictures of you watching a channel on your television called CHANNELS with your feet on a coffee table; they called those still pictures proof of your life; the second consisted of twitterings from your aviary; those twitterings sounded like you had prohesied you would die and resurrect in 10 days. Just like your friends had two responses, your well-wishers had two responses. One group responded by praying for your resurrection in 10 days so you could return to Nigeria in a blaze of glory. The other group prayed for your ascension into heaven at the end of the 10 days so you could be our modern day Elijah. My questions to you: Are you dead? Did you die? When will you die again?

2. AMERICA BECAME THE APPRENTICE
Donald Trump picked near-quarrels with Mexico and Australia, gave Russia and Israel some head-scratching to do, created alternative facts, fired the word diplomacy from diplomatic circles, and pushed the green cards of many of your dependants that much closer to useless. Some of us now understand that when Wole Soyinka ripped up his green card, he was not only being comical (that too, but not only that); he was being prophetic. Besides, Trump is now giving the world an option: "You're either with me or you're with that woman". No, no, no. "That woman" is not UK Prime Minister May. She is not "that woman" although she could be "the other woman". "That woman" is Angela Merkel. Remember Angela Merkel? The F├╝hrer of West Germany? Trump says you must now choose between him and her. He does not like the Chinese, polyandry, or the Russian weather.

3. TUFACE GOT UNDER FIRE FOR PUTTING YOU UNDER FIRE
Tuface thinks you are doing a shitty job at stabilizing the economy. He may be right or he may be living in his own alternate universe where everything you do is wrong because the doer is you and no reason else. But this is a democracy and you and he have subscribed to this system. The system protects his right to protest whatever. Your friends are pissed that the system affords him that protection. They call him names for daring to protest anything. They forget that they - like I - took full advantage of this system in calling out the unprecedented cluelessness of your predecessor. They want to shut him up and shut him down. Shaa, me I like that his song, African Queen. I wish though he sang it on Key B-flat. 

4. WE GOT OUR SANDAL-FREE WEEK
I think this phone has has a problem. I did not intend to say sandal-free. We still wear sandals made of finest Daura leather signed off as Made in Dubai. I intended to say scandal-free.  We had a scandal-free week. No Dasuki. No Buratai. No Rann. No billions in the clearing of weeds. No scandal. Just the minor inconvenience of having a presidency that cannot convincingly account for the president when his whereabouts become a matter of national discourse if not national concern. Definitely minor. Not at all scandal-worthy.

5. MMM FINALLY DIED
In this case, unlike in yours, both its friends and fiends, well-wishers and death-wishers alike, agree it is dead. The only controversy is in how dead.

6. EWU GAMBIA FINALLY LEFT GAMBIA
You remember Ewu Jammeh Gambia? The one you sent troops to oust and then promptly disappeared on vacation? Well, he left. Finally. They say he left aboard Tinubu's jet. They say that that exit cost Gambians a lot of Gambian money, saved Gambians a lot of Gambian blood, and depleted the Gambian internal reserve of ewu by one.

7. MOROCCO JOINED THE AFRICAN UNION
I just included this bit so that those of us who are unaware become aware that in this post-West Germany world, Morocco is colonizing an African country called Western Sahara, the Saharawi republic and that this is the reason for many of Morocco's problems with the rest of Africa.

So you see, a lot has happened while you were away.

Now I am watching to see whether you will come back, when you will come back, how you will come back, and what happens when you do.