From a troubled mind and a wandering soul seeking redress; trying to find the coordinates of a map I made with my own hands. I made traps and tell my friends and kids it’s meant to catch meat, alas, the traps trap my kith and kin. Not that I cared though because, in these parts, there is no patience for the parochial, the lily-livered, the stay-in-place, not in Nigeria, not in the Nigeria we know.
It was the first day of January and, as a family tradition, we all spent it together at home. I woke quite early; my bedroom window overlooking the somnolent River Ethiope. I logged on to the internet to watch some live TV and there was the news that the former Governor of our oil-rich Delta State had been found guilty of embezzling 1.2 million Naira for self-aggrandizing purposes. He was to spend 25 years in solitary confinement on an island in Taraba.
Our new Government was working wonders! As I looked out of my window, a young man with a toothbrush mustache was breaking into Madam Omosor’s home, so I quickly dialed 1-1-2 and exactly 112 seconds, the thief was apprehended and would steal no more
Our new Government was working wonders
The Police were no longer our friends but our brothers. Camaraderie had long given way to brotherly piety
Work beckoned so I ran my bath water, went straight to the refrigerator and it was ice cold. Our new government was working wonders. All the promises they made to the electorate had long been fulfilled. I don’t even turn off my car engine while I do my Saturday shopping. As I looked out of my balcony, I was saluted by my gap-toothed gate-man Yankovich, who claimed he taught himself English by watching many Clark Gable movies.
The topic that morning centered on which orphanage we to donate to, a billion Naira – We agreed to do this quarterly after profits had been declared. Modesty was our watchword; we lived in modest homes and lived our lives modestly. Dad, with his normal routine; switched the channel to Al-Jazeera and there was a report that the North was producing more university graduates than the South. In the past, the North gave a pride of place to their cattle. It was once rumored they, allowed their cows drink before their children – Now, the reverse. The country had taken a new turn. There were fewer churches as opposed to the former trend where we were a bible-bashing country with churches at every bend. We no longer needed Jesus, Muhammad, and any other prophets. Our new Government was our new god and we worshiped it with orgasmic, pelvic fervor.
As we talked, a news flashed and it was the President of the country, teary-eyed, tendering his resignation following admittance of having cheated on his wife.
I felt uneasy. Was this a dream?
I closed my eyes.
Opened my eyes to find a mosquito feasting on me with wild abandon
Reality had peaked on me.
I brought out my Pentium 0.5 IBM laptop but, alas, power was gone. I sought solace in my I-better-pass-my-neighbour generator but the tank was bereft of even saliva. Fuck it. I had to get to work, so I went to buy water and firewood to make it warm.
Quickly, I dressed and ran to the bus stop to catch the company bus but the only thing I caught was the bus’ tail-light.
Dejected, I entered a public bus with no money on me. As the bus made to move, I got up to preach the gospel of Christ but the conductor bared his fangs and flourished his fists angrily at me. I looked at the scar that ran from his forehead to his chin, proof of a recent machete fight; I alighted from the bus and decided to walk all the way to the bakery where I made my daily bread.
As I walked languidly, a black Jeep revved past and stopped abruptly and men from the underworld jumped out, trotting sophisticated weaponry. As luck would have it, I called the police from a safe spot and gave directions. After the robbers satisfied their cravings and lust (for they raped a few women), they left. 30minutes later, the Police came on the scene in a bus that had some letters of their catch phrase missing. The new one read “T_e Police is your F_iend”. As the police investigated, some unlucky people were arrested. I was not lucky. As I tried to explain, my mouth was shut by several deafening slaps
After 72 hours, we were released without apology. As we made our way out, we discovered the country was awash with the news that the former Pensions Commissions’ boss, who stole several billion of Naira had been exonerated of his crimes and was now free to go home and sleep with his wife.
Some things will never change.