(A LAMENTATION ON THE DEATH OF AN INNOCENT JOLLY GOOD FELLOW)
Another May 29 is here. A day that was formerly set aside for Nigerians to celebrate a change in the system of government – a departure from the out of vogue Khakicracy to the aberration that looks more like democrazy than democracy.
Not long ago, Buhari, clad in his full regalia of integrity and egalitarianism, felt he could no longer withstand the fact that South-westerners enjoy an extra public holiday more than Nigerians from other geopolitical zones, especially his North-West. He decided to nationalise June 12 and trivialise May 29 – a fair decision I must admit.
The president with all his former military ruggedity n’ gragra cannot wipe clean the significance of May 29 in our hearts. Its significance is not just borne out of the fact that it is the anniversary of the dead of the former Democracy Day. This year’s 29th day of May is significant as it is on this day five years ago that Buhari declared the mother of all wars on corruption. His acceptance speech on that historic day in May 2015 marked the gradual death of Corruption. The story was told of how Mr Corruption could not withstand the superior firepower of Buhari’s highly motivated anti-corruption soldiers.
Upon a deep reflection on the life and times of Mr Corruption, I was provoked into shedding a tear or two for that innocent jolly good fellow. Who can say that the lot of Nigerians has not improved now that Corruption is no more? I dare such a person to come out from his closet and make bold his or her claim.
The officers of the Nigerian Police Force no longer regard brutality meted out on the citizens they are meant to protect as an act of corruption (in the broader sense of the word). SARS has now transformed into a Brutal Force that is loved by all. Theologians have propounded that in order to live long in Nigeria, you must do the following three things: 1. Fear SARS 2. Fear SARS 3. Fear SARS. I won’t talk about the road taxes they are collecting daily on behalf of FIRS. The Police are only covering for the ineptitude of our revenue collection body. It is only a foolish person that will call the noble and kind “Acts of the Police” corruption.
Since the death of corruption, the cost of living in Nigeria has greatly dropped. In Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Kaduna, Nigerians now go to bed with three sumptuous square meals properly lodged in all the crevices of their stomachs at the cost of N150 only. Very soon, Nigerians in other cities shall begin to enjoy same.
Who does not know that the economic class war died with Mr Corruption? As it is now, the only class we have is the upper class. The beggars we have on our streets are only a bunch of misguided persons who rejected the flamboyant good life on offer for an austere life in the trenches. Despite their decisions, the government is getting them to rethink same and return to Nigeria’s table of abundance.
The judiciary has regained its long-lost glory as the last hope of the common man, and as an incorruptible entity. Gone are the days that justice is perverted. But once in a while, they auction Lady Justicia to the highest bidder in order to sustain the plenitude on our tables. Na from wia man dey work e go chop, na why Mama Charlie people dey call am “workchop”. The last time that agents of the executive arm desecrated our courts and a judge presiding over his court had to run for his (not, her) dear life was during the lifetime of Corruption when FDF was the ruling party. The incumbent government happily and sheepishly complies with court orders – an unprecedented feat in the annals of Nigerian history.
But for the constraint of space, I would have loved to discuss the goodness of our roads, the permanence of the supply of electricity to our homes, the efficiency of our institutions, the security of the populace, the fairness of our elections, and the appropriate utilisation of Abacha’s countless gifts to us from the afterlife. I need not tell you that we are no longer the world’s poverty capital. That title is now Uncle Sam’s.
With the demise of corruption, Corruption as a word is now opposite in meaning to Nigeria. Buhari’s exploits in the warfare against corruption is well-documented and is being studied in military and war colleges all over the world.
Madam Abike Dabiri-Erewa and her diasporans are returning back to the country like the prodigal son, in their thousands, begging to be accepted back, even as fourth-class citizens. The fear of being exiled from Nigeria has made Nigerians the most-behaved citizens in the world. Shekau and his geng could not bear the possibility of being exiled to poor UAE or Saudi. They have therefore surrendered their weapons.
While we revel in our new found bliss, we cannot but pray that corruption continues to comfortably sleep in peace. It is of Corruption that it was said: “May there be many a summer morning when / with what pleasure, what joy,/ you stumble upon pleasures felt for the first time / …/ Corruption made us to do better / Without her dead, we would not have bettered our lot. As it is now, Buhari has nothing left to offer us / He gave us the marvellous life we are now enjoying” – (haters may claim that this satirist parodied C.P Cavafy’s poem, Ithaca).
On a final note, I call on the presidency to set aside May 29 for the celebration of our dearly beloved, Late Mr Corruption. Is it too much to ask of His Excellency?
Happy May 29 folks!