A-Z of Nigeria
A is for AC or the Action Congress: A new political party set up to counter the AD. Its symbol is a hand holding a broom. Cynics say it is to sweep out what politicians and other parties have forgotten to loot from the treasury over the last 7 years.
B is for Babangida, a self-acclaimed ‘evil genius’. One of those responsible for Nigeria’s financial ruin, his toothy smile ensures Nigerians have selective amnesia when it comes to his wrong-doings.
C is for Chris- Ngige, Uba, Oyakhilome and Okotie. All with religious connections, whether to the Okija Shrine, Joshua’s synagogue or the Pentecostal Church. A multiplicity of the name ‘Chris’ would become ‘Crisis’.
D is for David Mark, once a military minister and now a senator. He made the classic statement: ‘Telephones are not for the poor’, years back. Since he’d used Nigerian funds to buy up golf courses in Ireland, there might have been some truth in his words.
E is for Embassy. It doesn’t matter which country’s. A favourite destination of Nigerians who’ve lost all hope or are just too leery of the future of the country. Embassy may be replaced with the word ‘High Commission’.
F is for Football, the painkiller of the Nigerian populace.
G is for the Governors- a motley crew. This band of brothers is regarded by many as one of the most corrupt to ever step to prominence in the country. Prominent among them are-
-Diepriye Alamayiesigha, Governor of Bayelsa who fled the UK on money laundering charges. He re-entered Nigeria disguised a s a woman and is now serving time in prison here.
-Dariye, the Plateau State Governor who jumped bail in England for money laundering offences. He was eventually impeached by 6 law-makers in a 24-legislator house. The disregard for the rule of law in Nigeria has its advantages.
-Ngige who connived with his godfather to rig elections that made him lord of Anambra
-Fayose of Ekiti alleged to be a thief and a murderer.
H is for helpless. The sinking feeling Nigerians have as they watch events like the above show the kind of people in power.
I is for India- Producers of 90% of the fake drugs on the Nigerian market.
J is for Janded- A peculiar class of Nigerians normally resident abroad. They may be identified by their accents, nice clothing and bewildered looks on the streets of Lagos in the mayhem everyday -Nigerians accept as normal.
K is for ‘Kill and Go’ also known as the Nigerian Police. The name speaks for itself.
L is for LASTMA- One of the nation’s most corrupt law enforcement agencies. Based in Lagos, officers of this traffic management authority seek to outdo the Nigerian Police and local government traffic officials in how far down they can sink in the mire of graft, filth and sleaze.
M is for the Middle Class. A non-existent social group in Nigeria which fled as the economy was systematically looted by its leaders. Members of this group foolhardy enough to stay, became paupers.
M is also for Medical Doctors- There are 25,000 Nigerian doctors practising in the U.S. Since our universities only produce 2,500 a year, it shows a decade of life-savers have sought a better life outside.
N is for the Niger Delta- A no-go area for Caucasians and oil workers because of its high abduction rate. Guns are bandied freely in its creeks and piracy is rampant. Half-Castes and albinos are subject to kidnap attempts in this region too. In the on-going ‘profitable’ fracas, many have forgotten the original cause of the ‘war’.
O is for OBJ, the Nigerian President who has placed far-reaching economic reforms unlike any other before him. Side by side with this positive trait is a vindictive nature without parallel. He does not forgive slights or perceived insults and has many times set houses on fire to catch erring mice. Go figure.
P is for the Passport Office. See the letter E.
Q is for "Quick, Hide!". The fear of E.F.C.C. is the beginning of wisdom.
R is for ‘Rugged Man’- A Nigerian musician. The name is also apt for all those who have survived in this environment for more than a decade.
S is for Salisu Buhari, the 29 year old who became the Speaker of the Federal House of Reps and therefore the 4th most powerful man in the land. He had lied that he was 35 and that he graduated from the University of Toronto. He was found out and sentenced to six months in prison or a N5,000 ($480) fine. The polo-playing Northern millionaire chose to pay the fine.
T is for Tafa Balogun, Nigeria’s former Inspector General of Police. His security skills were criticized but not his ability to siphon funds. He stole N17 billion from government coffers and was jailed for 6 months. This thieving lunatic’s final words in court? “I will bounce back”. ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the rest of your master’.
U is for the Uba brothers, Chris and Andy. Chris abducted Ngige, governor of Anambra, with the help of the Police and locked him up in a toilet. He had made Ngige governor and wanted his N5billion payback. Ngige who had sworn to do this in a pagan shrine before he was made Governor, suddenly had an attack of conscience and reneged on the deal. In the ensuing violent fracas that turned Anambra into a War Zone, Chris Uba overcame and deposed the governor. He was rewarded with a diplomatic passport by the federal government.
Andy Uba, Personal Assistant to President OBJ, has indicated his intention of becoming Anambra’s next Governor. The real winner of Chris Uba’s rigged elections, Peter Obi who came into power after Ngige’s removal, has been ‘impeached’ and himself removed in readiness for this. Unfortunately for Andy, there’s a claim that the FBI in the U.S. are investigating him for money-laundering related offences.
V is for Volcano. Where we’d like to enclose Nigeria’s politicians.
W is for ‘Dubya’ also known as George W. Bush. Too stretched in fighting wars around the world, he cannot send troops to protect American interests in Nigeria’s Niger Delta Region.
X is for X men. If only life gave us super powers: we’d set a new path.
Y is for Yahoo-Yahoo!, the new set of internet fraudsters in Nigeria. They pose as females or homosexuals on-line and seek out lonely, gullible foreigners who send large sums of money to them. Members of the group claim it is not advance fee fraud (419) but ‘Reparation’.
Z is for ‘Zambia shall be free’, since its unlikely Nigeria will be anytime soon from the shackles of ignorance, poverty and many other things.
© Wole Oguntokun 2006