by: Toheeb Aremu Jamiu
The sonorous voice of the Mistress of Ceremonies is overwhelmed by the voices of the sycophant campaigners who sing same songs in unison:
Botie digbo, o ti wole If you are not voted for, you are deemed elected.(x2)
When candidate (Koleosho Kamoli Kelechi) is called on to the stage, he struggles to hold the microphone with his right hand and waves intermittently at effervescent audience with his left hand, smiling at no particular person. It is hard to decipher whether the trembling is as a result of glassophobia or a medical condition which comes with old-age. A loyalist at the podium quickly forces the embarrassing hand down. Then, our candidate starts speaking.
He beams the party slogan:
The audience choruses, “Our future lies on the aged”. Half giggling, half speaking, “Let me speak with the little sincerity left in me.”
The audience sing again:
Oniro paro foni ro o ei ei Only liars tell lies to liars ei ei (x2)
He continues to speak: “Good day, my fellow young promising colleagues. It is indeed a pleasure to stand before you all as your presidential candidate in the next election to present my manifesto. As someone who has seen the east, north and west of this great country in my four decades in various government services, I have undoubtedly been part of the government but I am not the one governing.
The tide has come, a new whale has swum into the sea. I have 7 points agenda. Great people of Nigeria, if you want this country to be great, you need the aged. Stop believing anarchists who claim youths are better rulers and give examples of Liz Truss, Emmanuel Macron, Gabriel Boric, inter alia. Nigeria is not a country in Europe where meritorious neophytes rule. We, the aged ruin, (murmurs from different angles) I mean, rule our young ones in Nigeria. That is why we need old ones who have ruled this country for more than two scores to keep on steering the wheel of this country. Thus, our youths are the leaders of tomorrow!”
Extravagant applause welcomes the rhetoric. Someone in the crowd evidently in his mid-30’s, shrills, “ride on, Triple K, the President.” The candidate replies with benediction, “you shall become old too”.
He proceeds, “I don’t want to promise anyone ‘change’ because it seems Nigeria is jumping from frying pan into embers, then into fire then into hell all because of the artificial change. Sustainability is what matters, consolidation is what is important and productivity is what is essential in the areas of; education, security, infrastructure, employment, police brutality, economic growth and development.”
“University lecturers would be starved, I am serious about it. No teacher should be earning what politicians earn. The highest form of corruption is for lecturers to compare their wages with that of a senator. No free education in Nigeria again during my regime because nothing comes from free investments. You see Awolowo’s ideologies are not practicable in this modern democracy. Let parents contribute to the education of their children. So, they could know the value of education.
Abdul, the youth campaign coordinator, sings to the microphone:
“Parents listen to your children,
We are the leaders of tomorrow,
Try to pay our school fees
And give us sound education.”
After appreciating the song with a hilarious smile, the presidential candidate continues, “We should stop singing into our children’s ears that they are the leaders of tomorrow without funding their education. Government alone cannot fund education in Nigeria. Besides, government cannot be funding those that would hijack its administration in the future. What we will do to cripple this country’s education sector is to force lecturers to go on strike. When they go on strike, punish them by not paying their remunerations; since students don’t learn from them, lecturers cannot earn from the government.”
“My administration will ensure farmers’ land are destroyed by another farmers’ cows. After all, Nigerians should learn to tolerate one another. Cows are special and the herdsmen should be given special treatment. For the crop farmers, we will ask them to take heart for any destruction caused by the herds of cows because there shall be tunnel after the light.” Someone quickly but muffledly spoke to his left ear. “Oh, thank you, I meant, ‘there is lightening after tunnel’. Look, no one cares about good English nowadays.”
Mo kogbon ori mi beemi o kawe I am wise if I am not academically educated (x2)
Iwe yato, ogbon ori malo je baba Formal education is different, intellect is superior (x2)
Mo kogbon ori mi beemi o kawe I am wise if I am not academically educated.
“Samu, I will consider you for the post of Federal Ministry of Education. Thanks for that evergreen song. As I was saying, I will command the soldiers to gun down anyone who has mouth to tell me they are starving. Another thing is that I will sanction the media if it reports banditry and Boko Haram activities. Those reports fuel insecurity in this country. Kidnappers and oil pipeline vandals when apprehended will be granted amnesty, with the aim of reforming them.”
“In my first four years, I would collect taxes to construct infrastructure in neighboring land, like Niger, Chad, Cameroun, Benin. These would do three things; it will reecho that Nigeria is the giant of Africa. Two, the external infrastructure would attract foreign investors to come into Nigeria because had Tortoise have a smooth scute, people would believe his internal is smooth. Three, Nigerians don’t need social amenities that is why they vandalize them. Besides, Nigerians are able to live with undeplorable roads, lack of clean water, absence of medical care, absence of railway road, unstable power, inter alia. Thus, the budgetary allocation for infrastructure will be hidden beneath big tankers so no monkey could feed on it and no snake will swallow it.”
“Nigeria is too populous, the first in Africa and the sixth in the entire world. No reasonable man would think it is humanly possible to provide job opportunities for the entire youth population which comprises of 70% of Nigeria’s population. So, what we will do is to ensure that white collar jobs are hard to come by. We will buy the conscience of the youths and they would see us as a benefactor. This will make them justify every action of ours in unprecedented way. We will employ the youths to disrupt any constituency where the votes are not favourable to our party. The hoodlum who successfully snatches the ballot boxes will have his bonuses increase. We will hang the photoshoot of 10% who get employed during our administration at the entrance of Aso Rock.”
“Bribe would be legally lawful for my country police. If you are too educated to argue that bail is free in a police station, you will eventually turn into the detainee. We will sponsor the youths who are comrades in Yahoo-Yahoo to lead the protest against the ban of EFCC. Activists would be battered in the presence of a court. Police officers could beat up a civilian without a justification. You dare not question why a police officer asks you to hand down your phone. If you are asked where you are going, and your answer is “somewhere”, you are a criminal. If your answer is “nowhere”, you are a bandit. If your answer is “why”, you are a criminal because only criminals question the police question. My administration will suspend the Constitution if it is against my policies. A 1999 book cannot be dictating how this country should be ruled.”
Economic growth and development
“Minimum wage would decrease. Economically, the high minimum wage we pay to the workers makes the rate of dollars keeps on skyrocketing in the last few years. So, we have to reduce that by improving poverty rate in this country. Nigerians are too overfed with corns that is why people get enough money to buy data and disparage the government. That is why they pay enough to media to publish the truth about those who embezzle public money. That is why ASUU members don’t lose weight after eight months of strike. We have enough. We will privatize most things for efficiency’s sake including the four refineries. The cost of repairing them is too much.”
“Our great leader who never says foolish things and never acts otherwise. When will tomorrow come for the youths to rule this country?
Koleosho Kamoli Kelechi says, “The problem of this nation is allowing youth to question people much older than their father. See, my last born from my fifth wife is twice older than you. So, shut up, and face your studies!”