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!!!