An idle mind, they say, is where the devil likes to stay. I’ve tried my hands on quite handful odd jobs; the stipends I get at the end of the day not even enough to feed a rich man’s dogs.
But, as it soon turned out, things began to change – or so it seemed to me at first. Election time drew near again; politicians and their ilk quickly overwhelmed the streets, trying too hard to outsmart themselves in a game of lies and promises even they didn’t believe.
The one would say to the gathered crowd, “I will build mighty estates to shelter your old men and wives from the rains and blinding sunshine. And it will be at no cost to you all, I swear.” Another would chatter through sponsored radio jingles, “As for me it’s a job for every citizen, whether at home or abroad.”
And yet a third would shout at the top of his voice, “Please, you must all vote for me. I’m the one to beat. The others are just a bunch of lying idiots!”
Of course, most of us ordinary citizens were left to either show allegiance or feign unflinching support for the different political parties as their candidates took turns in the show of shame while on the hurriedly arranged elevated podiums they croaked into rented microphones, some of them looking like bloated poisonous frogs. We usually egged them on with praises and claps; for after all these were usually the only times they would willingly dip sinful hands into flowing agbadas and dole out naira notes to the teeming crowd in crass display of unwholesome wealth.
Politics in my clime had regrettably become analogous to a do-or-die affair, which was why the genuinely decent folks now shy away from investing their times. In such a corrupt venture that could quickly turn bloody in the twinkle of an eye and have a whole community clawing at themselves like hungry vultures, leaving observers from foreign nations to snigger away from the flashing cameras and later call us “fatuous niggers” behind peace and reconciliation conference tables.
I knew of a very popular elder, an iniquitous Jaguda, in the area I live. They called him Chief Muntari, and he was a popular figure inside the motor parks. He became so rich overnight with plenty of cash to throw around. It was just simply unbelievable. Though no proof he ever went to any known formal school, yet he was made chairman of a revenue firm – they said it was a compensation for a ‘job’ he carried out for an ‘uncle’ of his whom himself, according to how the story went, the police were still struggling to indict of massive corrupt practices.
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