… where sa-tyres never go flat

Prize for Satire

Made in Nanja

Made in Nanja

By: Isreal Winlade

Our democracy is twenty-one years old. This calls for a celebration; the type that requires Aso-Ebi and sumptuous jollof rice with chicken. It is a good thing to give thanks to God for keeping this unholy alliance together. Though many things have gone wrong in this our country, we are proud to flutter our flag though stained with the blood of innocent souls whose death always raises a dirge at nightfall in the North.

It is needless to talk about our economic feat, which has made us self-reliant by consuming locally made products like rice and fueling our noisy power generator with imported fuel. The standard of power supply in the country has also improved. The minister of power said many states now enjoy more than 20 hours of stable electricity every day. The names of these states have however been kept confidential out of the government’s modesty in not wanting to brag about their unfelt feat and probably to avoid raising tribal sentiments.

This year is very remarkable in our democracy. For the first time, the country is acknowledging that a president was indeed elected on the 12th of June 1992. Mr. President said he wants to ensure the younger generation knows about the historical freest and fairest election, which was annulled because of gross misconduct. Part of the history is how this President we never had died in the grip of tyranny sponsored by General Maigida. We must protect the image of Mr. President and skip where he was frolicking with General Maigida while the show of tyranny was live on the street. Mr. President is now a democrat. He even apologized with tears for being an enemy of democracy as a young man. His reason is that his khaki and gun pushed him to misbehave against the will of the majority.

To mark our new Democracy Day, Jàgbayìn lawmakers made a show of strength yesterday by celebrating Sharo Festival in the House with heavy punches. The Speaker was not lucky. When he got home, his wives had work to do on his face. The three of them surrounded him and plastered the wounds on his face with care. They didn’t ask him why his Chief Whip worked on his face with so much blows. As good wives, they knew their place was inside his kitchen and to be ready whenever duty called in the “other room.” His incredible effort in this “other room” is made evident with the fruits of the womb. No wonder he has twenty children and still counting.

We need to admit that the human resource is the greatest selling point of our nation. Our political leaders validate this. How many countries in the world have a group of politicians with outstanding talent to act as tricksters, part-time social media motivators and fulltime clowns without wearing a costume? Even the great U.S.A cannot boast of these talents. To add to these talents of theirs is the newly discovered skill in the ring. Instead of watching them fight themselves over who gets the lion share and the ant share of the House’s portion of the National cake, the Minister of Sports should try to convince the Chief Whip to represent Nanja at the next Olympics in the boxing category. With our set of lawmakers, it is glaring that Nanja is not just a country. It is a theatre of unending drama.

We must also commend the relentless effort of our leaders in creating a democracy that fits our own political context. To make it African, they carved an imaginary god they named inequality. Thanks to this god, we can accept corruption as a privilege the politicians enjoy with their acolytes and allies. They may even decide to explore the part of this privilege that permits them to jail uncouth critics like Dantata who may be bad influence on the people this democracy is created to exploit. To reward their friends for being Nigerian with privilege, they award them contracts worth millions of dollars that are mostly postponed to be executed when hens would have grown teeth and honey would fall like rain from the sky.

Several things inspire Mr. President to act. One of them is the urgency required to address a national matter. However, when it comes to insecurity, he loses his voice and picks up the quietness of a believer who awaits a divine manifestation because all power belongs to God. Wailers didn’t like that. They quickly nicknamed him Ghost president. To prove them wrong, he sacked his personal security agents who turned gun to toy. He had clashed with one of the aides of Madam First Lady. If only this man knew the Villa needed the peace that the people living in Damisa, in the province of Igbesunmomi, can’t afford.

The people of Igbesunmomi have amazing stories to tell; that of the atrocities committed by Apostolic Fighters for Seven Virgins whenever they raided them to seize their girls and butcher their men. When they seize these girls, they take them into their den located in the heart of Kingisa forest and make them procreate to sustain their apostolic arm struggle in honor of the god they serve. Many would think these apostles deserve to be beheaded when caught. But they are very lucky.

They have a sympathizer in the person of Mr. President to plead their cause. Once caught, they are transferred to a rehabilitation center with an additional package of fully paid scholarship abroad to wash them clean from every stigma of their past and fully induct them into the normal society. Well, for the soldiers fighting against them, they know their fate is in the hands of God. He is the only one that can reward them. They can fight and capture these terrorists. They can even die at the front. One thing the Government won’t fail to do is to give them a befitting burial with full military honor.

Last week, these sects of Apostolic Fighters for Seven Virgins explored technology and released a video showing how they beheaded a student and a cleric. Out of concern, all Nigerians gathered like the Americans gathered on the street to protest against the death of Floyd. In this case, the gathering was only on Twitter while the hashtag was #Nanjanas&Soldiers_lives_matter. I was happy we were showing courage from the comfort of our room. We looked serious. Even more serious than founding fathers who declared a #Revolution_Now during colonization against the Queen’s authority.

After one week of this trend online, our Dancing Senator released a video of him dancing to the song of Mafia Bob with his slay queen. That gist spread like harmattan fire and burnt every attention earlier given to the killings going on in the country. Mafians, the disciples of Mafia Bob were delighted to watch the incredible talent of Dancing Senator dancing to the music that inspires yahoo boys in their indiscriminate pursue of wealth.

In all these, my concern is that this new virus, which started among the rich should not tamper with the life of our politicians. I can’t imagine them cope with the quality of the healthcare they abandoned while patronizing first class medical treatment in Arabia. Since this virus called Covik-1,9 has been making the rich lose their peace and causing the government to declare national weeks of rest not mindful of the rate of hunger it would trigger, the poor boy that lives under the bridge had to raise an altar of prayer against the spread of the virus. The government instructed everybody to remain in their house. Again, the boys with no house to sleep understood how much the government cared for them. They endured being lonely until the lockdown was lifted and the street became noisy again. Covik-1,9 has made us tremble. It made Mr. President and his acolytes panic too. It caught his attention as if hunger and malaria had not been killing poor people in their millions too.

As we mark this democracy day, let us remember the victims of our made in Nanja democracy who await the wrath of God to consume our privileged leaders. These leaders know God’s wrath can’t be their portion. They are not only faithful tithers and consistent contributors of huge sum of money towards the building of more places of worship. They also dine with the mouthpieces of the Lord on earth. The only wrath that can have effect on them is that of the people. Would the people come to understand that the made in Nanja democracy exists for the salvation of the rich and the damnation of the poor? Well, time would tell. Pending this time, I wish everybody a happy democracy day.

I am Eniako. A citizen with the fading love of Nanja at heart, victim of a considered quality education producing poor results. I have invested my effort in writing this piece to give a summary of how far my country has gone ever since the fourth official return to democracy.

I am a graduate of French from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. I write, speak and teach effectively in three languages; French, English and Yoruba. Many of my works have received national and international recognition. Amongst others are Writers Space Africa anthology and Wreaths for a Wayfarer: an anthology of poems in honour of Professor Pius Adesanmi.

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The only thing you need to know about me is I speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth ―― well, except when writing.

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