Nigeria’s rickety bus trip to 2023
After years in a filthy, ramshackle park, old, boring drivers are revving up Nigeria’s wobbling bus again en route to Aso Rock in 2023. As you all know, on Monday, the kingmaker himself, tired of his consultancy role, hopped into the rickety vehicle to slug out the steering wheels with other drivers. Contrary to what many think, he boasted that he had the vision and capacity to build on the foundation laid by the incumbent king to turn the fortunes of the country around. Ee wo! Building on a shaky foundation? ‘No be juju be that’ as any suspecting, curious person would humorously remark. Going by the kingmaker’s statement, one can only pray that the project Nigeria doesn’t crumble like a high-rise with a shaky foundation if he succeeded in driving the bus to the Villa. Aside from the kingmaker who installed a flaky king, another ambitious driver who has yet to see through the baggage of state responsibilities hanging on his neck like a noose is eyeing the coveted post. Nigerians are expecting more drivers to come aboard as the race to 2023 heats up.
One compatriot expressed his grouse over the questionable characters of the drivers jostling for the most exalted position in the land. He even called them all sorts of names – ‘old cargoes,’ ‘old wines brewing in new bottles,’ ‘recycled products,’ and more, wondering when the power-hungry elders would give way for visionary youths. Are his worries valid? Perhaps, yes. But how do you, for instance, convince a kingmaker to jettison his “life-long” ambition and give bright, vibrant, innovative technocrats a chance to turn things around? Mba, never!
To be frank, there are little or no indications at the moment that any promising presidential hopefuls could hijack the dying bus from ‘the old cargoes’ as bland, uninspiring folks are informally known. Maybe we should hope that in the end, the past burden that offered two funny options and constrained many Nigerians to choose a ‘funnier’ one would not rise again. Meanwhile, as Nigeria’s vehicle continues to stutter, Eavesdropper awaits the likes of grandpa, with three failed shots at the helm of affairs, to shoot his shot again.
FG’s New Year gift
As the day was winding up on Wednesday, the Federal Government in its ‘magnanimity’ lifted the ban on Twitter on the directive of Mr Presido. Or was Bubu not magnanimous enough to reconcile with a platform bold enough to delete the tweet of a whole number one citizen, threatening to punish those “bent on destroying Nigeria through insurrection”? One friend, who described the lift as a remarkable achievement of the government in the New Year, said he would hire drummers and trumpeters to lead him in praise-singing to the Villa. When I told him it was too early in the day to celebrate such ‘height’, he said he feared it might be the best for the year. Also, responding to a remark made by one of the Presido’s talk-talk master welcoming Nigerians back to Twitter, @rabiugandi was full of praises. “I personally appreciate the steps taken by Mr President to control the use of social media especially Twitter,” he wrote, adding – mischievously – “We (are) looking forward to seeing what will be done on Tiktok, etc.”
However, after 222 days and the attendant loss running into billions of naira, many entrepreneurs leveraging the platform are confused as to whether to rejoice or take some time to count their woes. As of December 22, Nigeria’s economy was said to have lost N499.32bn to the Twitter shutdown since June 4, 2021. According to NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool, Nigeria’s economy loses N104.02m ($250,600) every hour to the Twitter ban.