By: Andy Akporugo Jr –
A FESTIVAL OF NINE [NIGERIAN] LESSONS AND CAROLS THIS CHRISTMAS ????
LESSON 2 – Always Try To Be President. It Is The Least You Can Be.
Nigeria is a country of Presidents and Chairmen, current, aspiring or previous. Make sure that you are one and several. It’s the best way of staying in front of your right to be President of Nigeria, and by constant repetition would eventually leave everyone queuing behind you, your trenchancy having helped them adjust their ambitions for other positions.
Be the President of your street clubs, professional societies, recreational associations, anything. It would provide rehearsals for the top job. Be focused, never be content being a deputy. That’s being ‘‘the other woman’’ and you would only enjoy power when the President sneaks into your room at night. You don’t want to be delightful only in private. There’s nothing presidential about that.
In your pursuit of the ultimate job, you do not need to bother too much about books. Being first in a class is not a title and even if it was, it is not that of ‘‘President’’. So, leave that. But try and be a sports Prefect. It helps you look like a scholar even though all you know is to play or watch football. And why worry about books really when the ultimate job is not for bookworms but only proves the saying: ‘‘tha higher tha mountain tha cooler tha breeze’’. After all, while to be President of a Landlords’ Association demands that you are first a landlord, all you require to qualify to preside over Nigeria is to fail to get admitted into University. How difficult can that be?
It is almost imperative even, that you are only barely educated to be President. Nigeria revels with an illiteracy rate that makes its continent dark. To bring light to it then, is simply to be different and suspect – too much of a risk in a democracy that requires the endorsement of majority, the illiterate majority. It thus pays well to stay as close as possible to illiteracy; to earn by your sameness, their trust and brotherhood which democracy prescribes for their leadership, at least in the short term. And do not worry, when you win, it wouldn’t matter that you are not optimally educated. Professors will fall over themselves screaming to the world how much of a philosopher you are if you let them think, write and work for you.
But it even gets easier. To be a Nigerian President, although it helps to be a Nigerian, you don’t really have to be. It is enough that you make the claim. No one really keeps records of Nigerians or even cares to. Our nationality is vested by our purchase of Nigerian passports on the open market hawked by an immigration service that knows no more than you tell them. Those who haven’t saved enough to buy them are they who would have a hard time showing their citizenship. You are simply what your passport says you are. None there is who can vouch on their lives, that we have not been ruled by our Nigerien neighbours before. And in any case, your Chadian father is not going to step out and deny your ”Nigerianness” when you run for a political office that would butter their bread. And if anyone insists on being interested in your true roots, confuse them by weaving more fabric to your ”Nigerianness” by marriage.
Make a lot of money. You would need it. Seek it, find it and when small opportunities come, steal it. It’s the easiest way not to account. Who calls thieves to account? And without being called to account how can they fairly be called thieves or charged and convicted? When you steal, you will see that your first discovery will be that it really doesn’t hurt anyone. The people whose wealth have been stolen do not act like they even know or care. They have a way of not seeing money which is not already in their pocket as theirs. And in any case you can play Robinhood and be loved by them when you give them a bit. Anyone who screams your name should get something. They are not your slave. And your record of giving will come in handy when you require to show the people that you would truly care when you become President.
Look for a good looking wife for the cameras but realise she not a statue, allow her talk sometimes. Surely she would say something stupid from time to time. But don’t worry, her beauty will confer some immunities on her, especially when you allow her speak at the end of the event, mostly in a vote of thanks when almost all are already inebriated of spirit. We will forgive her stupidities. That’s the way we are. But if you cannot find a beautiful wife, just get a strong devoted woman with whom you would share a blood oath. She will work behind the scenes. That’s where there’s real work to be done for your Presidency; taking oaths and making covenants on your behalf at shrines all over, and for the attainment of your ambition. She may be ambitious herself and want some cash of her own and if you become president, demand a state for herself. Please promise to, and in fact do give her all she requires. The money truly has no individual owners who can feel personally deprived. It is everybody’s. And you and your wife are as much everybody as anybody can claim to be. As for state, 35 would remain for you and your friends. But do not let her stay in the face of your supporters. Remember they too want to be President sometime. They need to be treated with respect and for your peace, they would need to like and have a lot of patience for her. Yes, there would be differences from time to time between wife and friend for which you must stand with wife, but never allow your friends get angry enough to be ready to lose their own elections just so that she too loses power.
As for your children, always keep them away from scandal by making them unknown. It helps when they are not bright children and are really anonymous in school. Send them abroad but only to schools where Nigerian political leaders are wont to send theirs. They could make you in-laws that would matter in the fullness of time. In Nigeria the risk of meeting at the Silverbird Galleria with some silly boy or girl whose parents measure success in small figures and offices is just too much and must be avoided. You must avoid baggage. If ever a baggage is needed for your journey to President, let it be you.
Be a good Muslim. It allows you have four wives and a swathe of in-laws at each time covering four geo-political zones. And if you need to cover the remaining two, apply the well tested ‘‘rotational divorce strategy’’ that makes you have only four wives every time, even when you have more. If you are a Christian, do not worry. You can have one wife and cover other zones with girlfriends. They would want to have children for you. Let them. It keeps their loyalty and your brotherhood or ‘sonhood’ during elections. And truly as far as you have only one first lady, madam wouldn’t really mind. In Nigeria men are always known to be men and if someone tries to be sanctimonious about that and any other of your vices, you will have a lot of followers who own the description they label you with, perhaps even more than you, and feeling self-indicted, would defend you from the depths of their being. There are easy words you must keep at the top of the shelf to be hurled at such sanctimonious bastards. Learn them. Master them. Use them and people will believe you. Words like ‘my detractors’’, ‘‘my political enemies’’, ‘‘political jobbers’’ and the sort.
But most of all, this is important. Belong to all the political parties at the same time, but be prominent in the most prominent. In the others keep some accommodation, but never let them feel that the fact that you do not seek prominence with them for the moment means that you will settle for anything but president. You will hurt many as you switch between parties, but not to worry, it is not their hearts that you hurt but their pockets. Make deals, even under blood, that you will restore their prosperity and you will be forgiven especially if you make a ‘‘tithe’’ in advance of your promise. That is the way things work here
That’s the way presidents are made. You can’t go wrong if you follow the script. And when you win, so far the model that brings you to office was given by the West, even if you only climbed on its travesty, surely you will get the protection of the civilized world, and would take your pride of place as President of the most populous gathering of blackmen in the world.
All the best!