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

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Top nine of ’09

    I wanted to send-off 2009 by listing ten things that impacted me. I started with five things I really hated about Lagos in ’09 but to prove that I am not all about hate I decided to maintain some sort of balance because, hey maybe Lagos isn’t all that bad (I’m pretty sure it is, but just roll with me). So I completed my list with five things I absolutely loved about ’09. Unfortunately my balance kinda got askew. Instead of five by five I ended up with six things I hated and three things that I truly loved (fine I kinda liked them) Hey Gidi will surprise you like that. So at the risk of sounding like Miley Cyrus’s Seven Things, where the number I advertised ten, is actually more like nine. I decided to just keep on writing. Here are my nine:
  • 1. Barack Obama, I know weird but its just what he stands for. When people in corny movies say things like ‘you made me believe in people again’, I can finally understand. So I’m taking my new found hope for change and applying it to LIGHTUPNIGERIA. If a black man can become the president of the United States of America against many odds, then crazy dreamer that I am will continue to believe that 24/7 electricity is around the bend for Nigeria.
  • 2. Nicknamed Fash, the current governor of Lagos has actually taken steps to improve our city. I am not just talking legislation, but things you can actually, touch and feel. Of cause people are saying he won’t get a second term, that because they are not eating the public’s money anymore. I pray that he helps Lagos beyond what we Lagosians think is possible.
  • 3. The NYSC 15 (This is the polar opposite of the Freshman 15) due to a lack of freedom, sanitary conditions and food of any nutritional value. I lost in just two weeks what I could never shake in my whole college career. (my mother is currently attempting to undo that)

    ON THE FLIP SIDE I REALLY HATED

  • 4. The fact that there is still no light. Seriously, within hours of a rumor guaranteeing light in 2010 the minster of power refuted it. If only he was just as effective in finding a electricity solution.
  • 5. The continuous inability of People to keep time, though time is money and it time be refunded, still it remains a shame that talking to other Nigerians about keeping time is just a waste of … well time!
  • 6. Our Christmas day terrorist. I just want to thank Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab for tarnishing our reputation. As if Nigerians were not already hated by airport and embassy personnel alike. Getting a visa now will be beyond difficult. Just looking at his stats many more people now fit the terrorist profile.
  • 7. People remain unfair, you have to be someone before anyone cares. This becomes more and more clear to me when I continue to witness things like religious issues and ethnic prejudices that are purportedly on the way out. Try finding a job based solely on your qualifications in an industry were you ethnic group are in the minority and see what happens.
  • 8. To simply say ignorance, would be to undersell my point. My sister witnessed a sick child (she suspected he was one year old at the most) being bath in cow dung and blood in Abatoir market right here in Lagos. Worse than that the culprits were acting under the medical suggestion of a traditional healer and no one seemed even a little bit bothered by this
  • 9. Political unrest particularly rumors relating to President Yar’adua. I seriously lack the words. But I found an online dictionary helpful. Despair defined as a verb: To lose, give up, or be without hope e.g. to despair of humanity. Insert Nigeria between ‘of’ and ‘humanity.’ After getting over my depression I remember that I can still choose to be an optimist and that’s why I’m still here.