That’s when I knew that things are not right with our country because in saner climes where corruption is truly being fought the man would’ve been sacked
Even before the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, may Baba God bless him ‘flenty, flenty,’ said it in Abuja on Tuesday at the ‘National Dialogue for Democratic Stability’ organised by the Alumni Association of the National Institute, that things are not right with Nigeria, I knew it. It is only that I didn’t want to say it because I am not authorized to say so.
In Nigeria, to be authorized, unofficially to say something of that nature and weight without being sent an invitation for a warm handshake and a frown by any of the security agencies, you need to be born somewhere between Daura and Maiduguri. Without that, you are not authorized, to speak on behalf of anybody, either yourself or others.
So, all along, I have suspected that things are not right with the country, but I decided not to say so because a madman said he would not say anything to those who are walking around him with cutlasses, until he looks for his head and does not see it sitting on his neck or shoulder. That’s the time he would talk to them sternly, in a way that would make them understand that he was not totally in agreement with their decision to behead him.
The first thing that made me know that things are not right with my dear beloved country, Nigeria, are the commercial motorcyclists otherwise known as Okada riders or simply “Okada” that usually carry me from Igando to Ikotun bus top. Sometimes they would collect the usual N50 fare, at another time they would jerk it up to N100, with no justifiable reason. And, only they know why that is so. You, the passenger or ‘customer’ are not supposed to know. Neither are you supposed to ask any question as to why the fare should change from N50 to N100.
The result is that you can never really do any good budget with the situation because you may do so and suddenly discover that you have underestimated or overestimated your fare for the day. The same thing applies to commercial bus drivers who ply Isheri – Iyana Iba/LASU Expressway. You are never really sure of the fare you would pay until you are told by them or their conductors. Depending on their mood and what time of the day, you encountered them, they could charge you between N70 and N150 for a journey of N50. And, you dare not query them or ask for reason, otherwise you might find yourself trekking from Isheri to Iyana-Iba and vice versa.
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In Nigeria, the client, customer or passenger is not the king or queen. The service-provider is! That’s how I knew that things are not right. In fact, the other day I had insisted that they, both commercial motorcyclists and commercial drivers, should tell me what time of the day they collect N50 so that I could come out only at that time, and at no other time, but I soon found out that I was talking to myself because everybody just kept quiet, as a way of daring me, I believe, to find out by myself.
The second thing that told me that things are not right with Nigeria is when the Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf, ignored the three-month suspension order placed on him by the Governing Council of the parastatal, in accordance with Public Service Rule, over alleged financial and administrative improprieties.
Bragging that the Council has no such power except it were given to it by PMB (President Muhammadu Buhari), the only person he is answerable to, so he claimed, he reported to the office, contrary to the suspension order, with a convoy of 50 policemen and officers, when, yours sincerely, the Honorable Minister of Laughter, is looking for just one KAI (Kick Against Indiscipline) recruit, with nothing but baton as his weapon, to be my bodyguard. That’s when I knew that things are not right with our country because in saner climes where ‘quaruption’ (corruption) is truly being fought, the man would have been sacked, not for the allegations of financial or other indiscretions which can only be proved by competent authorities, but for disobeying what was a clear order. Now members of the Governing Council are threatening to resign en masse if the Presidency reversed his suspension and investigations of infractions against him. I support them totally with my pussy-cat’s lookalike whiskers. Things are not right with our dear native land.
The third thing that made me to agree with the Sultan of Sokoto that things are not right with our country is the threat on Tuesday by the Northern Youths Leaders Forum (NYLF) to withdraw their support for Atiku Abubakar if he does not drop his running mate, Peter Obi. “I cannot say things are right with Nigeria,” the Sultan said at the National Dialogue on Democratic Stability on Tuesday. “Things are not right with Nigeria.” I can say so too.
The fourth thing that made me to believe that things are not right with my beloved country is the threat, by the Federal government, to enforce the ‘no work, no pay’ labour policy any time the trade unions decide to go on strike. This comes in compliance with Section 43 of the Labour Act which Dr. Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour, said the National Industrial Court had earlier upheld. Well, the trade unions have threatened to down tools as from Monday, November 6, 2018 if government fails to meet its obligations and promises to the working, suffering and smiling Nigerians. I dey naff (laugh) o, apology to Baba, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. “Things are not right with Nigeria.” Dear Sultan, yours sincerely agrees. Totally!