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This is a good weekend for me. I am revelling in an aha-moment. Sometimes all you need is not to force something to work your way, but to find out how best a thing works. I have discovered how best Jonathan works. I have wasted the past year trying to get Jonathan to respond to my WhatsApp messages. I even tried to get his BB pin, but he wouldn’t add me. And it’s not just me. Oby Ezekwesili has been screaming herself hoarse at the Unity Fountain trying to get his attention, which earned her the title “psychological terrorist”.
However, when 17 year old Malala got on a plane and came to Abuja, I heard he ironed his best overalls with spray starch, didn’t drink, wore his prescription glasses and got all his aides to work overtime. As soon as he set eyes on her, he started talking, telling her everything, the things she wanted to know and things she didn’t really care about. Like apologising for the creases on his overall and for wearing the same colours all the time. He swore, by all the gods in the Niger Delta, that she had no reason to get angry with him, because he was doing his very best.
I appreciate this, because as long as a confession is made, it does not matter who that confession is made to. All that remains is for Oby Ezekwesili and the rest of us noise makers to channel our grievances, protests, questions, hashtags and tweets to the right office – the Malala Trust. Henceforth I will advise that requests should be made directly to Malala and copied to Jonathan. Tweets seeking the President’s attention should end with the hashtag #MalalaWillKnow. I’m not sure that Malala will have time to handle all our requests immediately. But I know one thing, when she does get round to handling it, our president will take immediate action.
After writing so much to Ebele Jonathan, I’m afraid for my career. I like to believe that I’m a good student of history. Sanusi wrote to Jonathan, he lost his job. Nyako wrote to Jonathan, he lost his job. Obasanjo wrote to Jonathan, I am sure that if he had a job he would have lost it too. For the sake of my job, I just want to tell Jonathan what we used to sing during football matches as kids: ‘Ba fada ba ne. Wasa ne.’ Rough translation: ‘No be fight.’
Speaking of Nyako, I hear that the old soldier disappeared right after he was impeachment for having a monopoly on corruption, together with his four wives and children. While I agree that deregulated corruption would have saved his job, I am more interested in Nyako for other reasons. First, I like mangoes and he owns the largest mango farm in the country. And next, he was somehow able to summarise his four wives into one office of the First Lady. In fact, it has been reported that in the appointment letter of the chief press secretary to the First Lady, signed by Mr John Manassah, the SSG, it was stated that he was appointed ‘as the chief press secretary to the wives of the governor’. And you know, I want to be like Nyako when I grow up: 71 years old and still able to perform conjugal duties with four women. I am certain that if his heart was able to withstand that quadruple level of activity, then we don’t need to worry about how he will take his impeachment.
Rauf Aregbesola has been on the campaign trail, begging the people of Osun state not to vote in Senator Iyiola Omisore, who was once at the centre of allegations in the assassination of Chief Bola Ige. I know the incumbent governor has reason to take his campaign very seriously, especially after the recent loss of his brother-governor Kayode Fayemi. But Rauf has nothing to fear. Even without uttering a word, his face and beard are sufficient campaign promises. They tell a story. And while people may look at Omisore’s face and think ‘See this big man’, they will look at Rauf’s face and go ‘See what life has done to this man’.
Apparently, 67 live giant African snails were seized at the Los Angeles International Airport early this week. The snails, which were coming from Lagos, made US customs officials panic and say that it was ‘the first time this pest has been encountered in such quantity’. Instead of sending it back where it came from, they proceeded to burn the snails alive. I just want to say that I’m disappointed in Jonathan. Of all the bad things he did this week, known and unknown, I find it most unconscionable that he would stand by and watch a national delicacy being called a pest. Why do we have a president, if 67 giant African snails can be burned to death with not so much as a response from Africa’s most powerful leader? Where are the animal rights groups that held global protests against the Chinese Yulin dog meat festival, because dogs were being ‘cruelly bound, confined, and slaughtered’. Which is worse: the meaningless torture and killing of 67 giant African animals or Chinese guys who slaughter dogs for consumption? I will send a memo to Malala on this. I trust Jonathan will listen to her.
Ps. My heart goes out to all the women, and boys of Borno still held in captivity by Boko Haram. Especially the school girls of Chibok who have spent almost 100 days in captivity. I cannot begin to imagine the havoc each day spent in insurgent camps wreaks on their lives. My thoughts are also with the bombarded Palestinians who have endured decades of military occupation, land seizures, blockades and death from the apartheid Israeli government. More especially those in Gaza labouring under the less than competent leadership of Hamas who by their ineptitude play into the ready hands of Israel and put Palestinian civilians at risk. In war, except perhaps for people dealing in arms, there can be no winner.
Opinion written by Elnathan John, an Abuja based writer.. Article culled from his blog
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