By: Ogunrinu Olanshile
The scene is the presidential palace. It’s obvious that an important meeting is about to take place in the large conference room. The atmosphere is tense despite the cool breeze emanating from the giant air conditioners. The President, His excellency, is present, so are the Vice President and other important members of the administration. It is time for the monthly assessment of security reports and, as usual, Alhaji Mongunoo, the National Security Adviser (NSA), is presenting the aggregated reports of the agencies.
NSA: (Adjusting his eyeglasses and flowing babariga) Mr President, sir, the youth are getting more conscious politically; they are clamouring for a lot of things. The Revolution Now movement, despite how we punished and are still punishing its convener, has remained unbroken and are planning to hit the streets again to protest. They are becoming increasingly more popular among the youth. Arewa Lives Matter too are planning a huge protest against banditry and killings in their zone. Borno youth are starting to ask strong questions over the long run of terrorism in their states. Some celebrities are also taking part by clamouring. Even artistes like Tiwa Savagee who is only concerned with “stew and sugar cane” is now leading some kind of e-protest with the hashtag #WeAreTired.
Mr President: Uhm.
NSA: Mr President sir, it is because of this that we believe that distracting them will be the best option to douse the tensed atmosphere of the nation. You know Nigerian youth, sir, when you called them lazy, you were right and only being factual sir; they will forget their clamours and agitations as soon as there is something to entertain them. They will forget their pitiable conditions and get so absorbed in the ecstasy of their temporary eldorado. That is our submission Mr President. (Takes a seat while bowing.)
Mr President: Thank you Alhaji, that was a brilliant analysis. (Turning to other participants) So, what do you think can be done to distract the youth from their newly discovered activism?
VP Osibanjoo: Mr President, I think sponsoring a virtual 100 days of praising the Lord by a popular daddy G.O. and popular gospel artistes will do it. You know our youth love the Lord so much and can be radical for Jesus. They will soon leave their fight to God and start tweeting about the countdown to the 100 days.
NSA: Mr Vice President, that is a good idea but it will only interest the Christian section of the populace and we need to implement something that cuts across religion or tribe to capture their interests. Who else has any other idea?
Garuba Sheuu: Sirs, why don’t we spread the news that Magu fed N100 billion to snakes? That will capture their interest, they will start talking about how to “solve the matter”. I trust they will even make comedy skits and music on the issue.
NSA: (Obviously pissed) Mr Garbage…Sorry, Garuba! Why must you reason like garbage? That’s a foolish faux pas to commit. Who has a sensible idea that is workable, please?
Laureta Onochiee: (Curtsying while standing) Sirs, I think creating a Federal Ministry of Happiness will be a good idea and I can help in heading it.
NSA: Haba! Laureta! Have you been sipping your palm wine again? Who even invited you to this meeting? Go out abeg!
Mr President: So, there is no one with a realistic way to water down the restlessness of our youth’s activism?
(Femii Adesinaa raising his hand quietly)
Mr President: Yes, Femi?
Femii Adesinaa: Sir, I know this programme that will capture their interest, they will be so absorbed in it that they will give no fuck … (bowing immediately). Sorry sirs, for the F-word, but they will be so absorbed in it that they won’t care about how much we add to the price of petrol. It won’t matter to them how many billions are being siphoned at NDDC. They will not even care anymore about their cries for justice for SARS victims. They will be so torn between being Titans or Team Lambo that it will not matter to them if their resumption to school is shifted to 2021. But sir, some of our conservative elders have kicked against this programme because it’s slightly raunchy.
Mr President: Speak up Femii, what programme are you talking about?
Femii Adesinaa: It is the one and only Big Brother Naija, sir.
NSA: Mr President, Femii is right and I believe this is the best way to arrest the situation.
Mr President: (Speaking to his aide) Contact the organisers of the programme, ask them what’s stopping the show, ask them to add 90 more days to the time housemates are to spend, suspend requirements for social distancing! Ask them to pack in the housemates as soon as possible. If they need food, give them 90 bags of imported rice.
Femii Adesinaa: (With a visible smirk) Now, we can sit and watch the lazy youth tweet about how enormous Diana’s boobs are, how razz Lateef is, and they will hurl insults at each other over the eviction of their favourite housemates, borrow money to buy airtime to vote every week, and go about erecting billboards and soliciting votes for their preferred participants. Let’s watch them clash online and block each other while we do our thing.
NSA: Alooter continua, Comrades!
(Rounds of applause and cheers till light fades.)