The Chronicles of Chill – Episode III: TRap’d.

After the throne of Ekitilopia was won and lost, a season of chill did come upon the Twillistines and the Social Medianites. Yode, son of Falasham had been declared the next ruler of the kingdom of Ekitilopia.

 

Lo, was there also a season of laughter, as Omishoram of Oshunlonica, highborn and of great wealth, had been seen engaging in the pretence of cavorting and revielling with the paupers of the land and eating their swill. Yea, did he descend from his golden chariot from the courts of Gejoshaphat, to ride on the commoners’ donkey.

 

Omishoram was of the House of Padipadia, same as Yode, and sought the favour of the Oshunlonicans in the manner of Yode, for his opponent, Arebshalom, the incumbent chief, was also skilled in the art of public lampoonery and yea, did they seek to outdo each other in turning the hearts of the Oshunlonicans.

 

In those days, there was a great prophet called TRappatoni from the island of TiPiHanna, in the province of Realittica. TRappatoni TRappatoni was known for his speech in Reallitica and had many a-people seat under his teaching.

 

It was his desire to also bring his teachings into Social Mediana and Twillista, such that the people might benefit in the same manner as the people of Reallitica. Full of the spirit, TRappatoni spake the tword unto the Twillistines and the Social Medianites. And at first the people welcomed him.

 

Twice did the tword go forth from TRappatoni.

 

The first tword was to the Men of Twillistia and Social Mediana and yea, was the prophetic utterance of the eternal secrets of husbandment come unto them. And yet was there still chill upon the land.

 

And lo, the second tword went forth, unto the Women of Social Mediana and Twillistia. And he spake unto them of wifery and all its appurtenances. But behold, there was a grumbling in the land, as the people objected to the Prophecies of TRappatoni.

 

Before long, many women and men of Twillistia spoke their understanding of the tword, against what TRappatoni spake, and suddenly, and with very little warning, there was an eruption of unchill.

 

Behold, again, there was no chill in the land, for chill was nowhere to be found. Not even with Jesse of Jessepotamia.

 

TRappatoni was unmoved by the grumbling and unchill of Twillistia, for his calling was to speak the tword unto the people, even unto the ends of Social Mediana.

 

And he suffered their indignation and endured impudence at the their hands. And yet, unrelenting, spake he the tword of matrimony unto them. And there was a chasm in the land as many sought to restore chill.

 

“Take what ye shall of the tword of TRappatoni”, they said, “and leave ye what ye find untenable. But speak ye no evil word against the prophet.”

 

But these were in the minority. For the people of Twillistia had grown weary of the tword of husbandment and wifery, first from Lekenus of Addlermantium and now of TRappatoni.

 

There was a great discontent pervading Social Mediana and lo, was there not a modicum of chill in the land.

Osita Chidoka a Minister? Oh no!!!

I do not know Osita Chidoka personally. So this is not an attack on Osita Chidoka the person. On the contrary, it is an attack on Osita Chidoka the public administrator, who has recently been nominated for confirmation as a Minister by President Goodluck Jonathan. People say he will fill the aviation slot vacated by Princess Stella Oduah and this scares the hell out of me. Why? Well, in his time as FRSC boss, he presided over some dodgy reforms in our road transport sector. I speak of his vehicle registration and driver’s licensing efforts.

 

1. Vehicle Registration – I remember in the late 80s, when my dad changed the registration number of his Renault 9 GTL from OY 727 X to BF 727 BDJ. Dr. Olu Agunloye (him I know personally) had been appointed Corps Marshal and this move was ostensibly to fix the government’s database and computerise all the records. Over the past 2 years or so, Osita Chidoka, has been telling us that the FRSC has been absolute rubbish at keeping records, so many of the Agunloye-time plates were not fully captured on issue. The FRSC lost many records in transit between the various licensing centres and the headquarters in Abuja. The worst part was that Nigerians had to pay to fix this wholly government-sided mess. Chidoka’s people then swapped the positioning of the characters on the license plate (e.g. to BDJ 727 BF) and slapped a messy green watermark in the shape of the Nigerian map behind them. Of course, the process could only be completed on time through touts. Several courts have ruled the process not to be properly backed by law but this being Nigeria, it’s probably safer to be our usual docile selves and just get the new plates to prevent harassment on the highways.

 

2. Driver’s Licenses – Again, Chidoka decided to decree a uniform expiry date on driver’s licenses, regardless of actual expiration and demand that we all get new ones. Cue the frantic rush to procure the interim papers that say you went to a state-approved driving school and passed a test (LOL, ROTFL), and thereafter be given an appointment to report for data capture. This FRSC data capture is the loooooooooooooooongest process in the world. You are assigned a date several months in the future only for that date arrive and the venue is a typical disorderly mess. Why there are so few centres, why the FRSC refuses to harness 2014 technology, why getting your picture and fingerprints recorded takes longer than NASA plans a rocket launch is absolutely beyond me.

 

I reckon Chidoka will have similar “reforms” in mind for the aviation sector. All aircraft will need recertification from a single authorised testing centre on the Bebi strip ( all 100 metres of it). So a tout will take your original papers to Bebi where there’ll be a couple of liaison officers from the government agency all in on the massive racket. They will frequently go on 3-day lunch breaks, you know, just because. I am not saying Chidoka is racketeer. However the implementation of his reforms to date has empowered racketeers.

 

Reform is a great thing. In fact, the good book encourages us to daily renew our minds. Reform is scriptural. Amen! But a reform that preserves the old, stinking order is no renewal. A reform that merely shrouds the status quo in a cloak of pseudo-progressiveness is utterly condemnable.

 

I have read somewhere that Chidoka has a masters degree in some relevant transportation subject from George Mason, so perhaps his attempts to reform are killed by the septic environment of the Nigerian civil service. Perhaps that will be his challenge when he becomes a Minister – to Nigeria-proof his reforms. Otherwise, do not be surprised if in 6 months from now, you will barred from flying locally without the snazzy new Biometric Utility Long Life Safety Harnessing Identity Ticket. You see my acronym?

THE 5-POINT ELITE AGENDA

Apparently, there’s a mekunu revolution afoot. For people who do not speak Yoruba, mekunu is the common man. The masses. The person who, if reports are to be believed, now has the entire Nigerian political stratosphere within the palm of his hand. Mekunu demands sacks of rice and servicing of his “stomach infrastructure” in the build-up to general elections. Mekunu wants to be employed, regardless of his unsuitedness to the job and will resist all attempts to introduce grading and competency tests. In this season of elections, vox mekunu vox dei, and the hoi pollitcoi gladly oblige hoi mekunu.

But I am not mekunu, at least not in the sense of the larger political subset. I am alakowe. I am omowe. I am amofin. In the context of today’s (i.e. post-Ekiti) political analysis, I am a member of the country’s elite (*Big, wide, grin*). That may be so, but I have dreams and aspirations too and Lupita says they’re valid. I too want to be seduced by these free-spending politicos, but not quite in the mekunu way. How will they get me and my, ahem, ilk, to spend 7 hours on the queue to cast my vote? Well, they can implement my 5-point elite agenda.

1. Immediate disbanding of superfluous government [road-management] agencies – most of us elites are generally honest, law-abiding people, trying to make an honest buck in spite of all the odds that this country stacks against us. However, it is easier for a bandit on his camel to ride through the proverbial eye of the needle, than for an honest person to traverse a state plying his trade without being accosted by a spectroscopic array of road-law enforcement officers. These people in their variously coloured uniforms demand all sorts of permits with all sorts of acronyms, meaning that there is never a complete set of motoring documents – if the agency represented is stupid enough, you will be found wanting.

2. Immediate implementation of common sense surgery for Local Government workers – or perhaps they could scrap the thing in its entirety. I have yet to come across a local government headquarters that isn’t anything other than a repository of nothing, dispensing permits poorly designed on PowerPoint. What do they do, anyway? They don’t fix roads, they don’t supply water, don’t really maintain primary healthcare centres, don’t really enforce standards, full of people that can’t be reasoned with except with the use of money. They collect parking levies and daily Okada tolls but we don’t know what they do with the money…

3. Ban everyone from issuing directives – Directives are the lifeblood of corruption politics. No point passing a law, or subsidiary legislation that would need to be gazetted before taking effect. No. Much simpler to create binding legal obligations with criminal consequences in your newspaper interview or at your press conference and throw the system into confusion. You see that swagger that American/British TV lawyers enter police stations with? Absolutely impossible here – because no lawyer can ever be sure they’re totally in the right. And even if they were sure, what’s to stop the police from giving you a hard time anyway, or claiming the existence of a new directive countering what you believed to be true?

4. Imprison all Public Transport Drivers – there is no salvation for these ones. These ones who make a way where there seems to be no way. These ones that cause 3-lanes of traffic to double at the slightest hint of brakes needing to be applied, who only use their mirrors when they’re reversing. These ones that honk as if they get a credit alert for each hoot they produce. These ones that abhor order and straight lines, that pray the gods to inflict them with colour-blindness, so that traffic lights and road-markings register nothing in their subconscious.

5. Give us 10GB of data free monthly (that WORKS) – this is where my own stomach infrastructure lies. Half, perhaps even three quarters of my living, is earned with the assistance of internet connectivity. You give me a dongle with 10GB data at your rally, and again on election day, you can forget all the previous 4 items and my vote is assured. You promise me that every month during your tenure, I will become a thug for you!! Data l’omo! Jeun s’oke Governor!! My guffnor is deejeetah!!!