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Michael Afenfia: Three Years Later, This is Nigeria!

Michael Afenfia

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So, I didn’t watch the President’s 7am Democracy Day broadcast.  I decided I wasn’t going to turn on the generator, burn my own fuel that I bought with my own hard-earned money, just to listen to the president tell us how much better the country had become, and how the country was now producing so and so megawatts of electricity since he became president. That kind of tomfoolery didn’t sit well with me.

If you ask me, it really doesn’t matter much what figures Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and all those responsible for the management of power in the country bandy around as evidence of improvement in that sector. What is important, to me at least, is that I still spend just as much money as I did before he became minister, if not more, on fuelling and maintaining my generator. In three years, that is a lot of money, trust me. And I know a lot of individuals and businesses that would tell you the same.

Considering the academic competence and knowledge of the workings of the power sector demonstrated by the current Minister of Power, Works and Housing during the campaigns of 2014/2015, I didn’t think I’d be needing a generator anymore. Thank God I listened to my wife and didn’t give ours away, when about a year into the life of the present administration it seemed the situation had changed in my neck of the woods. In reality, nothing has changed, if there’s any improvement, it is certainly not enough for me to proclaim uhuru from darkness.

Some of you are kind, and would say it was too much on my part to hope for a radical transformation in three years, when the other governments had 16 years to do it. Well, at its best, that argument is weak. Besides Fashola’s blustering, if a person had stayed 16 years waiting to become president of a country as large as Nigeria, shouldn’t they have taken that time to understand its complexities?

It isn’t for nothing we teach our kids to study before every exam, so they understand with perfect clarity what the questions are and what points to put forward or steps to take to make a great score.

It’s inexcusable to keep playing the it-wasn’t-me card at every turn, because let’s face it, the current president has had a shot at being the leader of this country before. He ought to have known that it’s not an easy job, before promising the sun, the moon, the stars and large chunks of heaven here on earth. That experience, and the fact of him being a statesman should have prepared him on how to immediately go about implementing his blueprint for change. The real question though would be: did he have a blueprint? Let me allow you be the judge of that.

I eventually got round to listening to a repeat broadcast of the speech when I turned on the generator much later in the morning, and when Reno Omokri, who is fast emerging as a presidential fact-checker, did a post on twitter dissecting the speech for truths and falsehood, I had to read up the full transcript myself to be sure the president wasn’t being misquoted.  Mr. President and the people who put his speech together have done their bit, I like the fact that he acknowledged the young people of this country in his broadcast, but think Omokri has a point, there’s no way the president was right about his claims on electricity, corruption, security and even the 2nd Niger Bridge.

If Folarin “Falz” Falana had released his This is Nigeria music video on the morning of 29th May, I’m sure it could have passed for a more believable account of what Nigerians have been served as the dividends of democracy in the past three years.  Falz only needed 3 minutes and 43 seconds to convince us about the true state of affairs in Nigeria. President Buhari used up a lot more time, and still left enough holes that another 4 years may not even fill.

In Falz’s Nigeria of today, which most of us can relate to, the killing by herdsmen and other terrorist groups is a present danger. Corruption and looting still go unchecked and incompetent people have somehow found their way into prominent positions, by reason of the transmission of an earlier omission by the electorate. The police is fingered in brutality and bribery, and no concrete action is being taking to curb the abuse of codeine and Tramadol. Surely, the son of a social commentator and legal luminary packed a lot in one song.

Because I’m a stickler for originality, I’m not quite sure I am a hundred per cent sold on why someone in the class of Falz should be doing a parody of another artist. But I guess it’s for a good course. As along as the right message is passed on to the targeted audience and no animals were harmed in the making of the video, I’m sure even the most ardent of his critics would allow him indulge in a little bit of copy and paste. Wehdone sir!
Photo Credit: © Craitza | Dreamstime.com

A proud son of the Ijaw nation and lover of Nigeria, Michael Afenfia associates with everything good and exciting about Nigeria.His ongoing work, the Mechanics of Yenagoa, is published on his blog every fortnight. So far, he has authored three critically acclaimed novels and a number of nonfiction writing, including a biography. He is @MichaelAfenfia on social media and can be reached via [email protected]

4 Comments

  1. Uberhaute Looks

    June 1, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    To be honest, I was just shaking my head positively when listening to that song and I didn’t bother listening to the speech. I’m done listening to lies.

  2. Uberhaute Looks

    June 1, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    By the way BN, have you noticed the feline in comment section? People like Californiabrawler, Mohammed, real Nigerian, Bruno etc haven’t commented in ages. Please find your Midas touch again ooo

  3. Uberhaute Looks

    June 1, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    *decline*

  4. Uberhaute Looks

    June 1, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Post my comment please

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