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Tough Times: Unwinding with a cocktail of oddities

I had just come back from morning Mass and as it has been in my character for at least, the past 3 decades I had to study ‘The Guardian on Sunday’ and came across this: ‘With worsening insecurity, alarming unemployment ( including misemployment-my own term), inclement conditions, skyrocketing prices of goods and absence of proven economic drivers…many Nigerians agree that getting on with daily lives has been pretty difficult and that the country is teetering dangerously on the edge of the abyss. ( Njoku et al, 29/8/21,P29). That has been our reality in recent times even though Femi Adesina & Garba Shehu try to confuse (not convince) us, that all is well. I don’t blame them because they live in a different and artificial world on the Rock. I remember how bandits attacked Aso Rock but they waved it aside as ‘nothing much’. And then, they desecrated our Defense Academy, killed some military officers, took a captive and demanded N200m. They have so traumatized the government and people of Zamfara, where even repentant bandits are enmeshed in armed robbery, that telecom services have been withdrawn from its 2.1m subscribers. Zamfara Katsina, Kaduna Niger, and Sokoto states have adopted a cocktail of desperate security measures including shutting schools, curfews, banning inter and intra state movement of cattle by leg or by lorries (open grazing) and closure of cattle and night markets. I do not know whether they acted jointly or severally or in conjunction with the FG. Well, down south a group of daring thieves led by the Boss of Bosses has just notified the people of Olosan in Abeokuta axis of Ogun State of their intention to pay them a ‘courtesy call’, promising dire consequences for those who did not keep enough cash-backed kola for them.

Read Also: Insecurity: Nigeria’s gambit with ‘repentant’ Boko Haram

In the last recruitment exercise of the Nigerian Civil Defense & Security Corps, 400,000 ‘idle youths’ struggled for 200 available slots. A trailer-load of Naira will now fetch a handful of Dollars while we have become so debt-drenched that our debt service ratio is now 90 percent+. And while ‘Injunctions-Exchange’ is vibrant and bullish in Anambra, the politicians there are doing their usual thing: hopping from one party to another, all ‘for the masses’. There is however, some good news in town as despite the above unflattering economic realities, the economy has grown by 5 percent+ while NNPC has declared first-in-history multi-billion Naira profits. The PMB led administration is working hard to pull 10m out of poverty and Yusuf Buhari’s wedding has shown us that many people especially the ‘political bandits’ are already out of poverty. The original bandits are also out of poverty: just calculate how much they collected from the Baptist School criminal enterprise! The distribution of N3.2bn credit facility was just launched in Kebbi by the AGF, Malami who abandoned all the daunting constitutional and legal matters on his table to explain how he has contributed in PMBs war against corruption, insecurity, economic dehydration and the entrenchment of democratic ideals. So, things are looking up!

Read Also: In a lighter mood: A festival of oddities

Anyway, in reality, there is nothing to cheer about in town and because of my altruistic nature, I went into my akpa-nwadibia( the native doctors skin-bag) dug up these oddities with the hope that they will lighten up your day even though that after that, just like those in the BBNaija house, you will still have to face the painful realities. Enjoy this moment while it lasts. I have been ‘depositing’ into my bag of oddities for more than 5 years now and as such, any time I peep into the bag, it is difficult to determine where to start. However, today, I wish to start from recent ones. BubaMarwa the boss at NDLEA has declared that drug-test should be a prerequisite to marriage and this motion was ably supported by his wife HajiaMuniratMaruwa. So, in addition to blood-group, genotype and socio-psychic compatibility, intending couples should soon need to obtain clearance from NDLEA before they say this ‘I Do’, a life-long relationship that is now more lived in the social media than at home. (But, when will Maruwa go and rest?). And as if that is not enough, DejiAdeyanju has abandoned his activist turf and delved into family matters, insisting that DNA should be a precondition for child dedication (at whose costs?). There is also other worrisome news for couples and others who indulge in ‘kissiology’: that people exchange up to 70-80m bacteria whenever they kiss, even if it is for a few seconds. When I read this in Guardian-Life (5/9/21,p12) I went to my wife’s wall-mirror ( which I have not patronized in recent months) opened and looked at my mouth and wondered how this innocent looking cavity could have hidden billions of microbes ( since it can transfer 80m per ‘do’). I was not comforted by the assurance that kissing helps to lose calories (do not ask me how) and optimizes facial muscles, especially when it is intensely passionate. There was this case of a lady who went to board a plane almost naked (just a bikini) and a hand bag. But even those who have the temerity to go naked understand the spirit of the times: she wore a face mask and thus, there was no reason to bounce her; after all she was exercising her rights. But a man who picks iron scraps for a living at Nise( Anambra State) was not so lucky as his scraps turned out to be a goat, chicken, and bag of rice. If he had known the Bible, he would have told them that ‘my God’ who turned water into wine had similarly converted the craps to living and non-living food items! Hunger and criminality have married.

God gave Moses just 10 commandments, written in a KISS model (KISS? Keep It Simple and Short). Religious authorities later raised it to 600+ and spent all the time enforcing, interpreting and laying ambush for the breakers of those laws. The people of IgboUkwu had added the 11th commandment: ‘do not fix anything (funeral, wedding, meeting etc) on Nkwo market-day’. But this is seriously being challenged by the ‘nattaad’ people (‘foreign’ Igbo-Ukwu indigenes). Some mischievous fellows even added the 12th: ‘Thou shall not be caught’. Our Lord Jesus Christ had however mercifully reduced the whole thing to 2: love of God and neighbour, with love of neighbour coming first because you cannot love God who you do not see if you have not loved your neighbour who you interact with 24/7. But while we find it difficult to abide by these two simple rules, some human beings are busy increasing the tally. One of them is Onyi Alex, an actress who has just declared boldly that it is a sin for a poor man to profess love to her (though she graciously allows them to admire and dream about her). Gideon Akande has also created two extra new-generation sins: that any woman who wears high-heeled shoes cannot make heaven and just as men who have ‘devilish haircuts’. In the later one, he is in tune with the Kano Hisbah Corps which had gone a step further to arrest Elijah Odeh for giving offensive haircuts.

The Bauchi State Government has just commenced the process of prosecuting 1115 Ghost-workers. I don’t know how they spotted those ghosts but my worry is how they would prosecute these ghosts? What law and language would they use (speaking in tongue) and where will the court be located: here down-below or upper above? The matter of 5429 illegal employees and 1712 illegal pensioners is easier to deal with. But I hope they first of all deal with the legal and living staff who were banking the money for the ghosts. My brother, EmekaNwajiuba Minister 2 for Education is begging ASUU not to go on strike, assuring them that the revitalization fund, which is now in arrears, has been paid but is only being delayed by the bureaucracy at the CBN. ASUU should thus note that their problems are with these Dot people ( Ngige, Nwajiuba) but when did the CBN become a party to the ASUU agreement?

I am calling on all young fathers and human rights defenders to rise in solidarity with Sabiti of Rubanda District, Uganda whose father in law has just recalled the daughter( Prize Twikirize) because of his failure to pay the bride price which stood at Shs6m,( about N750,000). This includes penalties and interests for delinquency. I however wonder where the in-law was while the man was working hard in the factory to the extent that he successfully manufactured 5 kids. He was also in such a hurry as if he knew that his in-law would come knocking: he had all these 5 children at the age of 29! By the way, was the wife kidnapped or did she follow father willingly?. In the latter case, she is an accessory after the fact! (Do not you know that I am an honorary lawyer). But then, as we used to say during the Biafran war of independence, a person surrounded by enemies should always be vigilant. Since the in-law has been threatening to withdraw his wife, he should not have left the doors and gate open. That was why the man had easy access

Still from foreign lands, a Hull Magistrate court has jailed Katie Oldridge for 18 months, banned her from keeping pets for life and also imposed 200 hours community service for her wickedness and neglect that led to the death of her dog. JillyDickinson, an Inspector with Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, conducted the investigation, and supported the case with a detailed Veterinary Doctors report. Just because a dog died? Well, I have no comment; yes, no comment. It just worries me that we live in the same world where people die of hunger every day. Different strokes for different folks.

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