Top 10 election vexations

Nigeria is 50 and we are mere months away from the 2011 elections. In anticipation of the actual tedious voting itself here are ten things to look forward to.

1. Obama: He will appear on posters and be compared to candidates that he has never heard off. These people will also parade slogans about change that are variations of ‘yes we can’. (Note Obama can be substituted with Gandi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Jesus…George Clooney*)

    2. Ankara: Because nothing says I’m going to vote for this guy, like his face all over my clothes. The campaign trail uniform of choice for all wannabe first ladies and their entourage. They will be well cut and highly fashionable except for the unseemly awkwardly placed face print. We will forgive them after we decide that the patterns are lovely and cut them out of ovation for our personal tailors to attempt recreation.

3. Jingles: Of the broken English variety. As we all know the lower classes vote based on the ads directed at them. Each ad will sing the praises of the candidates who are ‘for we people,’ ‘dey kam-pay,’ and ‘go save we country’. All accompanied by native drums, beads and shrieking. Be warned, you will find yourself singing along.

    4. Songs: Not to be mistaken for jingles, which are shorter and catchier. With all the political tension in the air, up and coming artists will try and cash in on the power of song, to bring about change and skyrocket themselves into stardom. (it’s the equivalent of singing a football song that becomes the world cup anthem)

5. Rallies: aka parties for political parties. A huge turnout is guaranteed every time because Nigerians love free food. Mo gbo, Mo ya”

    6. TV specials: Candidates will dust off their one achievement and put it on display. That school they built 20 years ago or that hospital they refurbished (under duress) as governor 5 years ago, that lone road that happens to reach their village (with a complimentary street named after them) and don’t forget that orphanage with the fat, grateful, chatty warden and the mute anorexic children. Whatever the case people must know. For those on the fence they will be won over by molesting I mean the token kissing of babies.

7. Endless debates: Not about the issues but about the likelihood of free and fair elections.

    8. Green, white and dare I say more green. Everything will be draped in patriotic green and white, all in the most random locations, on the most pointless things (yes I’m referring to the sea horse that appeared in the middle of Lagos during carnival)

9. Smear campaigns and bogus boasts, disguised as politics. I believe in divine ordinance, but it is not viable political argument.

    10. Light: (Gotcha) I regret to predict the usual lack of light.

*for sexiness

Parking Mad

    Things in Lagos are hard (duh!) and one thing you can count on remaining hard is finding a parking spot. It is a fact that the closer you get to your destination; the harder it is to find parking. To be clear, there are spaces were you might perch your car but chances are, that the moment you encounter such a primo spot, you will be set upon by one of the following:
      1. A matching set of “no parking” signs chained together.
      2. Spots that perpetually say reserved but have never in the company’s existence been occupied.
      3. And the coup de grace; The MD’s space. This remains the most coveted spot, protected by uniformed stooges who will only materialize after you have performed your most incredible feat of parking.
    Banks are the number one repeat offender of this crime. Never mind the fact that their MD is often halfway around the world. Or that he has a driver that will pick him up from the front of the building; because lets face it people of his caliber are incapable of walking in the sun.
    As humble customers duke it out with uniformed guards for a spot that the MD has probably never seen, I take time out to issue blame. What stupid architect does not recommend parking? No, he probably thought that there should be more parking too.
    Yeap! Like everything else that’s wrong in Nigeria, this problem comes from the top. He, who pays the piper, dictates the parking. These are people who won’t think twice about putting a 20ft-shopping plaza in an area that’s possibly residential. You can get the state to approve obviously illegal construction, yet the idea of a parking lot is foreign to you.
    Here’s my point. To the CEOs, the MDs and all the other BIs (Big Initials) give up your spots and if you are so lazy, get your driver to do his job and pull the car around. In the end, try and think of the customers because we are getting sick and tired of this and a pissed of Yamika tends to key the cars of executives…Just saying.

Other parking offenses include:
• The total lack of handicap parking and access ways
• Bikes that take up whole car spots
• Badly parked cars (those lines aren’t suggestions)

Joy walker

    …get a car or get of the road!

    I don’t usually side with mopo (the mobile police) but I was filled with inexplicable glee, the other day, as they rounded up people who where crossing the road in spite of oncoming traffic.

    There is a new breed of road hazard much dumber than okada drivers and they are called pedestrians. While the worst behavior I have observed have been carried out by men, women are not the exception. I saw an obviously preggers teen walking around in the rain in bad traffic as if she where in her own living room.
    Like this young boy who cut me off the other day. I’m not sure what his mother was on when she had him but he is clearly an idiot as a result. I know this because he was wearing a sweater vest. He wasn’t wearing a uniform from a private school, therefore there is no way he was coming from an air-conditioned classroom. Meaning that his decision to wear said vest in this Lagos heat was for fashion purposes. Turing insult to injury this juvenile gestured for me to slowdown and began to cross before I even thought about decelerating. Mind you he had ample time to cross before I got there but I guess he wanted to poison my eyes with his vest monstrosity which FYI did not match his uniform (There is no eye drop in the ‘verse that can erase the sight of his purple/green sweater vest against his cream/red uniform) Had it been that time of the month that boy would have become paste.
    Obviously the road is public domain, but in a quest to follow the chicken across the road these people have become headless chickens. We already know that most Lagos drivers are homicidal. Why tempt us. Please, please, PLEASE: look both ways, use your walkways and if you cut across traffic make it snappy. The streets not your catwalk.
    This public service announcement has been brought to the good people of Gidi by the Don’t-be-a-maga corp. Seriously! Forget who born you people will start singing the ‘who killed the maga’ remix.