Are you following the incredible stories milling around us? Are you as worried as I am about the unfolding dramas around the country? It is good for story tellers and story-sellers but I do not think all these drama are good for us. Maybe there are explanations that I’m not aware of. Maybe someone can explain them.
Poor Professor Oloyede
Have you seen the face of the woman who said a snake swallowed all of N36m in her custody? Would you have believed she was capable of conceiving that kind of weird story that has left the country reeling in disbelief?
I most certainly don’t want to be in Professor Is-haq Oloyede’s shoes right now.
Not that I’d mind being a CEO of a prestigious body like JAMB but the kind of devious people he has to deal with on a daily basis would be enough to discourage even a Bishop. Come to think of it, do Reverend Fathers or Parish Priests who have to listen to confessions from their parishioner ever get to hear the weird stories Prof is subjected to every day? I can imagine him having sleepless nights but I’d need to ask him next time I see him how he encourages himself to get out of bed every morning to go to his office and face all those people in their designer ties, shoes, bags berets, hijabs, knowing that many of them have the kind of minds that will make even Satan make a dozen signs of the cross in one single minute.
Poor Prof, all our jokes about a snake swallowing JAMB money must have traumatized him. And the snake woman was not the first weirdo he’d had to deal with. There was the case of a mother whose naïve daughter was almost raped by a randy exam official. You’d think a good mother would be interested in getting the randy official behind bars but no, she wanted her daughter’s trauma converted to JAMB marks! Yeah. Rape trauma be damned. Award the girl 350 marks, she said.
You’ll be ready to feed some people to pythons if you know the number of wealthy JAMB workers who are not even directors but have choice properties in highbrow areas in Abuja. Add all of that to weird hackers who make as much as N300m every year from swindling students and their irresponsible and gullible parents. Parents who go to church three times a week or pray five times a day o.
Now, while the rest of us are saying ‘sorry o, Prof’, the snakes in JAMB are wondering why Prof Oloyede is spoiling their fun carrying anti-snake poison all over the place. They are even asking whatever gods they worship what they have done to deserve a registrar who won’t steal and won’t allow them steal.
Please if you understand what’s going on in the heads of those sneaky snaky thieves, do share. I promise to publish your anti-venom thoughts.
There’s a ball-squeezing game going on
This administration’s first major drama was docking its own, the Senate President, Olubukola Abubakar Saraki for code of conduct sins. Something about him not declaring all his assets or declaring assets that he had not even acquired. But those fine details are not the crux of the matter today. What I find weird is this. After putting the Number 3 person in the country in the dock and splashing his face all over the news, APC, the ruling party expects Saraki to buy it a dozen red roses and a beautiful card at valentine. Baba Oloye’s son didn’t. APC is pissed. I don’t understand. That’s number one. When the CCT trial didn’t go anywhere, EFCC went after the Code of Conduct Tribunal Chairman for another set of sins. The CCT boss ended up being docked by EFCC. I thought EFCC and CCT were supposed to be on the same page, going after sinners. Now, EFCC is telling the CCT Chairman that it is prosecuting to go and retry Saraki for all those old sins. I’m wondering how we are all supposed to understand that logic. From where I’m sitting right now, this is how it looks. EFCC has the CCT man’s balls in pincers and is threatening to fry those balls as a side dish for dinner. A man whose balls are being squeezed is usually not in a position to negotiate. All he can feel is pain. All he can think of is how to save the ‘family jewels’. So, if EFCC has the CCT chairman in a stranglehold, whose bidding will he do? Let me put it in another way; who will the CCT boss fear, the law, Saraki, the media, all of us or EFCC that is squeezing his balls, threatening to pull down his ‘generator house’? I mean, what shall it profit a man if he gains everything and loses his third leg? I’m just wondering why the CCT man being prosecuted by EFCC is the one to prosecute Saraki. It’s weird, isn’t it? Please if you understand the full story, explain it because I’m confused.
Annual fuel scarcity festival
Ehn ehn, the fuel scarcity thing, please has it come to stay? Is it the new Boko Haram or the killer herdsmen? We have crude oil. We get it out of the ground, out of under the sea on a daily basis and we sell it every day. But we do not know how to make our refineries refine it. Our old refineries are wiser than all of us, all the Petroleum Ministers we have had for two decades or so, if those refineries can talk, they will sue us for celebrating the N36m snake-woman. Really, can anybody tell us the exact figure our old-school refineries have swallowed since they stopped working at full-installed capacity?
The refineries must be having a good laugh. Every year, we make a budget. We sell bonds. We borrow to finance budget. Give bail out for salaries. We believe somehow that we can continue to refuse to refine our crude and expect our blessings to overflow. So we pay salaries with one hand and take it back with the other via increased fuel pump price and consequent price hike on all commodities and transportation. Why has it not occurred to those in charge of our affairs and funds that for as long as the refineries don’t work, NNPC will continue to lose money via subsidizing landing and ex-depot costs? As CEO of a young organization, I’d like to employ at least one more staff this year but because my overhead has increased under all other critical subheads, I am postponing that one employment till next year. If there are 5,000 other small organizations like mine, that is 5000 unrealised jobs in 2018. Because the refineries will still not be working next year and fuel queues will still be swallowing productive time and money in 2019, 5000 more Nigerians will not be employed. Yet all the universities and colleges will send more graduates into the labour market next year. Our rulers will continue to tell us that they understand our plight but the queues will show up year in year out as if it is an annual festival. The refineries will continue to laugh uproariously. And I will continue to insist that we are a weird race. Does anybody understand why we now have this annual fuel scarcity festival?
Let us share our confusions because confusion shared can also be confusion half-resolved. Or not.
Re- Three short stories instead of a letter
I say more grease to your elbow or better still, more ink to your pen.
This is to acknowledge that I enjoyed the clever way you wrote about the state of Nigeria using Yoruba stories. Quite insightful. I think as a corollary, that Oluode’s dog may also mean Fulani’s cattle which when “maltreated” usually invoke the wrath of the Fulanis, including President Buhari.
About this Lalude. A man who did not know much about the job he offered to do soon finds out three truths. One: the job is enormous. Two: he hasn’t enough tools or they are blunt. Three: he is too old or he hasn’t enough stamina. Should he call it quits or stay and achieve nothing?
This is interesting, and a masterpiece. No regrets spending #250 on Sunday Sun.
Your three stories today are didactic to the ruler and the ruled. In case they do not know, you are the reason I patronize the Sunday Sun. You are the amazon on the horizon of Nigeria’s journalism.
-Steve Okoye. Awka, Anambra State.
Three beautiful metaphors!