The Road to In­dia

Daily Trust - - OPINION -

If Sai Baba leaves the shores of Naija on Thurs­day with­out inau­gu­rat­ing the long awaited (and hope­fully) al­ready ap­proved fed­eral ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil; we, the fa­nat­i­cal sup­port­ers of change would see noth­ing wrong with it. The na­tion has been on au­topi­lot since the devo­lu­tion of power from Shoe­less Joe Clue­less and the heav­ens did not fall. It would align with the char­ac­ter of the leg­is­lathief arm, which has taken more hol­i­days than it has mak­ing laws and are buy­ing early-bird tick­ets for their well-de­served Christ­mas re­cess.

The demise of Gani Fawe­hinmi has robbed the na­tion of the po­si­tion of spe­cial au­di­tor of pres­i­den­tial jun­kets. Fawe­hinmi heck­led Baba Iyabo’s pen­chant for jet­ting out at the drop of a hat, not know­ing that he is prone to dan­ger­ous tyre bursts on the roads he didn’t mend. I could imag­ine priv­i­leged fam­ily mem­bers and friends of the pres­i­den­tial air fleet crew in­vok­ing Holy Ghost fire on any­one that would stop their bread­win­ners from mak­ing those reg­u­lar trips. The ex­otic gifts from all over the world are not things you want to toy with.

Se­ri­ously, not ev­ery ruiner can adopt the reclu­sive na­ture of Sani Abacha who in eight years would rather host peo­ple than visit them. There are those who swear that he would have lived longer and in­creased Naija’s pariah mileage if he had agreed to fly to Ger­many for ev­ery malaria or bout of ton­sil­li­tis. He saved us the forex that paid for Baba Iyabo’s jun­kets. Ab­dul­salami Abubakar who could have en­joyed that priv­i­lege found the seat too hot to han­dle. B es­ides, he was weighed down with the bur­den of con­triv­ing an un­work­able par­ody of a pres­i­den­tial sys­tem on Naija peo­ple to find the time to fly. But his enemies would swear it was ac­tu­ally the fright of fly­ing that bade him do the cross­over from the air force to the army in the first place.

If the trend con­tin­ues Sai Baba may beat Baba Iyabo and Joe Clue­less to the ti­tle of most trav­elled pres­i­dent of Naija. Ini­tially, he used to fly aus­tere, lead­ing to con­jec­tures that he might re­ha­bil­i­tate and turn Naija Air­waste into the African ver­sion of Easyjet. Psy­cho­log­i­cal quacks wrongly in­ter­preted that Sai Baba’s body lan­guage to mean he had re­ceived con­sul­ta­tion from Joyce Banda who auc­tioned Malawi’s only pres­i­den­tial jet to fund more press­ing na­tional needs. But Sai Baba was only ex­hibit­ing a style of mod­esty needed by any­one on the verge of in­her­it­ing 16 pres­i­den­tial jets. Once in the sad­dle, he did not waste time debunking the claim it makes sense that if we do not man­u­fac­ture planes, we should have no prob­lems col­lect­ing them.

To those who wickedly in­sin­u­ate that noth­ing has come off Mr. Pres­i­dent’s jun­kets other than pho­toops one of which nearly ru­ined Rochas Oko­rocha’s al­ready bad rep­u­ta­tion, I have an an­swer. At 70 plus, there’s ev­ery need to have a gallery of fa­mous hand­shakes at the Villa. Sai Baba has gone to Lon­don to visit both the Queen and the Prime Min­is­ter; he has been to Europe to drop a shop­ping list for the peo­ple who un­der­de­vel­oped Africa and he has made a few trips to America for that cov­eted hand­shake be­fore Obama be­comes a foot­note of his­tory.

With the un­cer­tainty over who clinches the Amer­i­can White House in 2016, this Obama photo-op is quite aus­pi­cious. It is now widely known (although of­fi­cially de­nied) that Sai Baba is shy with women; so, if Mrs Clin­ton be­comes the next POTUS, re­li­gious re­quire­ments might pre­vent that hand­shake. As for Don­ald Trump, he won’t be shak­ing hands with any­one likely to send shiploads of im­mi­grants to his coun­try even if that per­son was wear­ing gray gloves.

So by to­mor­row Sai Baba would be jet­ting off to In­dia for another talk shop, one with ter­ror­ism favourite meal on the menu. This is as good enough a rea­son as any­thing to go to In­dia. It is bet­ter to fly to In­dia than lis­ten to noise­mak­ers likely to dis­turb your si­esta with the lat­est blasts and the at­ten­dant body bags. Oy­ibo cal­cu­la­tors be­lieve that there have been more body counts in Naija since May 28 than there were in the last year of the Jones pres­i­dency. It is not the kind of news that makes us, the sup­port­ers of change jump with en­thu­si­asm.

So, we tend to find other is­sues to un­der­whelm the con­stant blood­shed. We may choose to dance agidiga in cel­e­bra­tion with Amaechi or against Wike or retweet the new mil­i­tary high com­mand’s last warn­ings to Boko Haram in the hope that they too would start giv­ing warn­ings be­fore they blow up dis­pos­able peo­ple. Sai Baba ap­pears to have said his last on the Boko is­sue it would be ex­punged from the po­lit­i­cal lex­i­con by De­cem­ber, although as sug­gested by Pres­i­dent Jones we would have to get used to the blood­shed. Amer­i­cans have failed in help­ing us end our mis­ery; with luck we may find the sil­ver bul­let tal­is­man on the road to In­dia.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.