Do you have obnoxious friends? People who think it’s their God given preserve to be the life of the party, the ‘e’ in entertainment when you guys are together? Do you have friends who crack jokes and even if they delivered the punch line over and over again, it still wouldn’t be funny? I mean, even if you wanted to laugh because the person was your buddy, you wouldn’t find it in you! In all my fairy years I’ve had quite a few like that; these days I don’t feel bad when I dodge them.

Today, I have a joke; it’s fairly long so I’ll need you to concentrate; no use making me deliver the punch lines more than once. Agreed?

My friend’s father who is closer to 60 than he is to 50, told us that when he was in secondary school (about 35 years ago), General Obasanjo and co visited his school and told them they were the leaders of tomorrow. 35 years after, and people are still thanking God the 3rd (and maybe lifetime) presidency Obasanjo was denied him.

In a few months Nigeria will be 50 years old; there is no national carrier (land, air or sea); there is nothing that has not been sold, privatized or liquidated. Ethiopia’s Ethiopian Airlines is the largest single employer of labor in the country, paying salaries of more than 5300 staff.

In the last 10 years, industries like Coca Cola, Dunlop, Michellin, etc have removed their factories from Nigeria to smaller African countries because there is neither light, water nor other enabling infrastructure to run these businesses. Nigeria on the other hand is spending millions on international media begging or foreign investors. We’re had presidents who spent more time outside than inside the country, all in the name of wooing foreign investors. Foreign investors like Halliburton and Siemens?

Our government says education should be/is free and compulsory for primary and secondary, noble. What kind of education are we bequeathing to our children if they have to sit on the floor in windowless and doorless classrooms where they get beaten by severely underpaid, frustrated and sometimes inefficient teachers who keep hearing their reward is in heaven? And yet, our rulers send their own kids to daycares in Europe and the Americas! What can the kids here possibly learn; they don’t even wear socks to school!

Between 1960 and today, reports show that over 400 billion dollars has been embezzled by our rulers. In a country of approximately 150million people, 1% of the total population has pocketed has squandered that amount.  Write it out, count the zeros, and let’s see how funny that is.

By the way, one of the most over flogged phrases in Nigeria today is, ‘we are fighting corruption’. We’ve been ‘fighting corruption’ as a nation since 1960 but up till 2005 when the EFCC was founded (and I must add that not because Obasanjo wanted it but because Nigeria had been given a deadline to set up a financial crimes agency), not one person had been accused, tried and convicted (in that order) on corruption charges.

The minimum wage was recently increased to N7500; that is N30, 000 in four months. I remember the governor of the state that had the godfather of amala politics saying that his state couldn’t afford it. Yet our representatives at the National Assembly are bickering because they want their salaries (or allowances) to rise to N42, 000, 000 in four months.  42million naira or doing what, Royal Rumble? Or maybe some of them moonlight for World Wrestling Foundation.

Let’s take the jokes up a notch shall we? Nigeria plans to spend 10billion naira on the Nigeria @ 50 celebrations this year; I couldn’t find out if the logistics or the 155 people Mr. President took to the United Kingdom for a Nigerian summit came from that budget or if it came from the money-we-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-so-lets-waste-it fund. 10billion naira…. that money can easily put a brand new laptop in the hands of every undergraduate in Nigeria; that money can sink boreholes in every community in a state, build them functional hospitals, standard primary schools, and still have change! 10billion naira is 100million naira multiplied by 100! I’m laughing my heart out!

Still on money, Nigeria wants to be like America; as a matter of fact, we want to be like everyone else but ourselves. Of course it’s all talk but that’s not the funny part. The President of America earns 250, 000 dollars in a year, that’s 1 million dollars in four years. A Nigerian Senator (not the President), earns 1.5million dollars in one year; that’s 6million dollars in four years (and more if they stay a second term). Six million dollars is the Gross Domestic Product of some small West African countries! In the hands of one man? Haba! Then we get surprised when they misbehave?

The jokes get even funnier, but they’re on us now. Do you know the name of the councillor o your ward? The name of your local government chairman? The name of the person representing your constituency? How many no’s did you get?

Do you have a voter’s card?  How many people in your family do? Which politician is offering your people money to rig the coming elections for him?

How can we hold our leaders accountable if we don’t even know who they are? How do we change the cadre of leadership if we consciously exclude ourselves? How can enough be enough if we cannot (and of our own making) vote? Why we do we scream ourselves hoarse complaining about everything going south and deny ourselves the opportunity to change it?

What’s your plan, are you going to register, scrutinize, vote, and protect that vote? Are you going to do something? Because the truth is, this 50 year old joke has gone stale, and we are no longer laughing.

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Comments
  1. hajjo Issa says:

    the jokes on me and my dear nation, and I guess the whole world is laughing @ me and the rest of my nation. It is time to VOTE!!!!

    Like

  2. Soul Sista says:

    Yes it’s time! Great job FGS!

    Like

  3. ibrahim iliyasu says:

    Hmmmm … thinking about it dear, i actually think we have one hundred and fifty million jokes on our hands… Take a bow dear, remember i warned you you were going to turn out this GOOD! and even better… Take a bow.

    Like

  4. Eziaha says:

    Oh shoot darling. You totally kilLed with this one! Yeah we are no more laughing o. Crazy crazy ppl. 6.6b now abi. Im so upset. I dont like lucky jo. Never have never will. As President that is. The Luck in his name is wearing out. i WISH HIM failure IN 2010. Babes im fuming sha

    Like

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