The time has come once again. The season is here again. The season of the locusts. The season of the tricksters. The season of Professor Peller’s abracadabra magicians. The season of “the more you look, the less you see.” The season of masses’ gullibility. The season of political buccaneers, irredentists and turncoats. The season of the typical, archetypal Nigerian politrician. They call them politicians. I call them politricksians who play politricks. They have already started assaulting our psyche, insulting our individual and collective sensibilities, promising paradise on earth, banishment of poverty, enthronement of genuine and lasting democracy, observance of the rule of law, human rights and democratic dividends. They are already promising to replicate the Asian Tigers’ economic wizardry in our country. They will put to shame these Asian Tigers, namely, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. What can the Nigerian politricksians not do? Nothing!
Here comes the chameleon, the Nigerian politricksian. He has a dirty cocktail of merchandise to market. Dirty, odious wares of crass deceit, lies, tricks, doublespeak, perfidy, treachery. He has tons of perfidious wares of hallucinatory grandeau of delusion. He has them all, except clean wares that activate societal regeneration, a spirit of resurgimento and a spirit of nationalism. His merchandise includes political debauchery, larceny, libertinism, moral turpitude and economic peversion.
Empty and vainglorious promises
In canvassing for votes, even within his own political party as an aspirant, for the purpose of winning the party primaries, he has started his well-worn game of theatrics, empty promises of doing the impossible. He will relocate us from Mother Earth to another of the nine planets, possibly Mars, Neptune, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Pluto, Venus. He does not rule out the Moon, or even the hot sun. The sun’s hot rays will not burn us. He would provide the ready antidote. The Nigerian politricksian is the only homo sapiens that can cover the sun with his palm. He can even hide behind his finger and pretend no one is seeing him. His immersion in higgledy-piggledy, raggle-taggle behaviour is legendary.
He would storm the busy market and carry little children on his laps or shoulders, plait grandma’s hair and grind tomatoes, atarodo and tatashe for market women. He would visit hospitals, donate blood and visit orphans and leprosarium. He will suddenly remember to carry out works of philanthropy and humanitarianism, donating cash gifts, motorcycles, hair dryers, sewing machines and pepper-grinding machines to his impoverished village folks. He will ride “Okada” with peasants, sit down at the road side with the akara seller and drink pap (ogi, akamu) with her. His new port of call is cheap bukaterias and mama-put eateries. There, he would kill point-and-kill live tilapia fish. He would eat kpomo, shaki, edon, abode, roundabout, fuku and all imaginable offal. He will join the local people and dance atilogwu, mkpokiti, ugho, agbi, egbabonalimhi, igbokobia, swange, bata, agbaka, umale, omoko, udje, koroso, bankaura, sangaya, sharo, gurrunga, pamagirri, owogori, ikede, tsakan, maliki and kabulu.
The now desperate politricksian would promise to tar all the roads in Nigeria, when he takes over, to every nook and cranny of every city and hamlet. Indeed, some of the roads would be tarred into the forests and farmlands, to help our beleaguered farmers with easy movement of their non-existent or harmattan-blighted harvests from herders-ravaged farmlands to city centres. What can he not do, the Nigerian politricksian? Nothing! The farmer will be forcefully ordered to return to the farm, so as to stop polluting our big men’s air and clean environment in the cities.
Lest the farmer erroneously think he will be left alone in the lurch to till the soil, the politricksian will banish the use of antiquated hoe, cutlass, axe and shovel. He will purchase for the farmers’ use, harrows, harvesters, tractors, caterpillars and bulldozers. He would be given sacks, nay, barns of fertilizers, to ensure that the crops do very well. He will then be afforded silos to ensure the crops are well preserved. What can he not do? Nothing!
The Nigerian politricksian, with his children luxuriating in foreign ivory towers, and family swimming in blood money extracted from dying peasants and the hoi polio, talakawas, agberos and almajaris, will promise to build bridges on dry land and install dams in the wet, rainy Niger Delta. He will ensure that crops grow in our rivers, while fish will effortlessly swim on dry land. What can he not do? Nothing!
What about shelter for Nigerians? Oh, very simple! The politricksian is going to build houses for the about 214.1 million Nigerians (UN projection as at January 2022). He will not forget to provide shelter for the underdeveloped fetuses still in their mother’s womb, and those on their mother’s laps. All the houses will be furnished with latest furniture, modern gadgets and all conveniences. Even domestic animals will have special quarters to live in, lest they mess up the environment, or disturb our peace and tranquility. We, God’s own chosen people, must not be disturbed by mere animals. What can the politricksian not do? Nothing!
Medicare challenges will be a thing of the past. Didn’t we defeat Ebola? Are we not effectively fighting COVID-19? Are more advanced countries of the world, including the numero uno democracy, America, not now seeking our guidance and intervention as to how to curb the latest deadly terminal virus of COVID-19? So, for now, we are the new world whiz kids of medicine. If we can defeat Ebola and HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 will be a piece of cake for us to conquer. Fathers of medicine will applaud us from their cold centuries-old graves: the father of medicine, Hippocrates (remember his popular cliché, “desperate diseases require desperate remedies”?), Florence Nightingale (the most famous nurse ever, otherwise called “the Lady with the Lamp”, Archibald Mclndoe, Sigmund Freud, Marie Curie, James Blundell, Joseph Lister, Joseph Murray, Alexander Fleming, Edward Jenner and other medical pathfinders will celebrate us from their graves.
Owning cars, choice cars for that matter (the Nigerian politricksian will promise), will be as easy as buying groundnuts from a roadside hawker. Every Nigerian will ride any car of his choice, from Bugatti, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, McClaren, to Jaguar, Prado, Escalade, Expedition, Porsche, Cadillac, Lykam Hypersport, Koenigsegg, Excursion, Infinity, to Limousines; from Ferrari, Chevrolet to Ford SUV. Those who are tired of riding cars can fly their own private jets or helicopters. The Nigerian politricksian will ensure this. What can he not do? Nothing!
Cripples and other physically-challenged Nigerians currently on wheel chairs should better turn them into archival relics, because they would not have any need for them. All of them will drive cars of their choice. They only need to do one thing: vote the politricksian into office and, Bingo! All their problems of mobility are over. For those who prefer artificial limbs, oh yes, Indian, American, European, Chinese, and Japanese limbs will be imported in 40ft containers through Apapa, Tin Can and Onne seaports to substitute for their natural limbs. All our streets will be rid of beggars. Mansions will be built for them. Widows will be given new husbands, while widowers will be given nubile girls to marry. The politricksian will build shops and stores for roadside hawkers. Sex workers will be trained in skills acquisition centres.
The rented hallelujah crowd
The politricksian will engage a rented chorusing hallelujah crowd (the hungry hoi polloi that are given some yards of wrappers, mudus of rice, beans, salt, and paid between N200 and N2,000 to swell the crowd and give a similitude and verisimilitude of a crowd puller). In the midst of the surging crowd, the politricksian verbalizes:
“Fellow countrymen, my beloved kinsmen and women, I will not disappoint you. I will make a lasting difference. I am the redeemer and liberator you have been waiting for, the iconic avatar of your fortunes, the “Lamb of God” that taketh away all your sins, sorrows, pains, anguish, pangs, sweat, blood and serial disappointments. I will empower the powerless, give voice to the voiceless, strengthen the weak, give hope to the hopeless, encourage the downcast, the oppressed, repressed, marginalized and the hapless. I will defend the defenceless and enrich the poor by creating wealth. Read my lips: I will train all your children from crèche to the university and postgraduate levels. I will give wives to all the bachelors and husbands to all the spinsters. Never again will any of you be shoeless at zero age, even while in your mother’s womb, let alone walking shoeless at the age of 10, like our Otuoke-born President Goodluck Jonathan. You will be luckier than this Goodluck.
(To be concluded next week)
Sounds and Bites
There are two sides to every coin. Life itself contains not only the good, but also the bad and the ugly. Let us now explore these:
“Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure.
“Manhatma Gandhi said if there is an idiot in power, it means those who elected him are well represented.”
Thought for the week
“The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning.”