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Lamentations of an Egbere

A new instalment of The Number Games film series premiers in Nigeria

A new instalment of The Number Games film series premiers in Nigeria

While Americans are eagerly anticipating a new installment of The Hunger Games film series, in Nigeria – a country that is globally renowned for always being second to none – a rival series franchise has chosen to release the latest installment of its movie series, The Number Games.

From the top to the bottom of the Federation, everyone has caught the flu of the highly contagious Number Games. And as expected, numbers have been flying all over the country – numbers that will make you doubt your sanity and Nigerian-ness but are nonetheless true, at least on paper.

Starting with the ongoing N-Power registration, reliable news outlets have it that over 3 million Nigerians have applied for the scheme within a week. In my considered view, this high number underscores the fact that this regime is doing enough to provide for its unemployed population. This number could have easily been in the range of a figure with two numbers preceding six “zeros” if not for the unprecedented efforts of the committed and fatherly president that we are highly privileged to have.

In the spirit of The Number Games, do not be surprised that only eminently qualified Nigerians will be considered and recruited into the scheme. In Nigerian parlance, to be eminently qualified means you have to come from one region of the country, profess a credo, or align with a political party. To be suitable for the tatty-kays, your application must be stamped by a big-number or a number that knows a big-number or an ordinary-number that knows a number that knows big-number. It is now normal that some sacred numbers are enrolled in the scheme as a form of tribute that shows that the country’s allegiance is to them.

We have not forgotten too that H.E. Muhammadu Buhari made a promise last year to either – depending on the news source one relies on – take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty or create 100 million jobs for Nigerians. I am certain that this N-power project will cater adequately for our job cravings. Finally, millions of Nigerian entrepreneurs and all kind of hustlers can take a breather from all their exertions and quest for survival.  The government needs not bother create an enabling environment for them to thrive. There is enough job and money to go round for everyone who is willing to work.

In another number-related development, a cleaner at the Nigerian Law School has been made thirty-two million richer by the country’s “apex legal academic institution”. I am meant to understand that the largesse the cleaner received in addition to the dressing allowance for fifty-two workers that found its way to the account of another individual was not done in furtherance of any corrupt inclination; it was rather done in the spirit of charity. While our courts have always maintained that they are no Father Christmas that gives what has not been solicited, the Law School is doing better by being more sensitive and charitable to the needs of the poorest of the poor of its staff. They deserve some accolades rather than condemnation.

Like any other game, in the hunger games there are bound to be winners and losers. I am sure that this time around the poor and those far from the echelons of power will have cause to smile once again as their hearts will soon be gladdened by the better-days promises of politicians.

Boko Haram will no longer kill innocent Nigerians but a number of people. The narrative will no longer be that Nigerians go to bed hungry and sick without livelihood and access to healthcare facility, but that a negligible number of our people have transited to eternal bliss. Monies meant to better the lot of a number of Nigerians shall soon be swallowed by a mosquito or stolen across the fence by a gecko only as part of the unreal suspense and the twists and turns of Nigeria’s Number Games.    

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is a Jalingo-based rookie lawyer. His preoccupation is meeting the needs of his clients. When that gets boring, he unwinds by writing. He is not a writer but on the few occasions that he is, he attempts giving sinews to the bones of his thoughts.

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