I keep getting a flood of e-mails that I should run for something. And, it’s not the running away from a vexed girlfriend variety. Some folks, who I must admit, live in my fantasy, want me to run for elective office. They believe I would be a great leader.
I love being a leader but not a poor one. So, I asked a simple question. Is there money to be made in leadership? “Is the Pope Catholic?” the replied.
I got very patriotic. I am going to run for something. But, what? The national assembly seems like a village square where people love hearing their own voices. I’d rather work in radio. The state governors are always running to Abuja like executive beggars. Not attractive.
I decided my destiny is the Aso Villa. What’s there to lose? Fall into a ministerial position or ambassadorship?
But, I had a dilemma. In America, the battle for the next election often starts the day after the last election. You gather your team together, drown yourself in whiskey and beer then sleep away your loss. The next morning, you wake up, fix yourself the strongest coffee and start planning your way out of loserdom.
In Nigeria, it’s a lot different. First, you’re not sure when the seat will become open again because, with or without merit, you’re suing the winner and you may not have a judgment until a few weeks before that term expires.
I did what every smart aspiring politician does. I assembled a team. I wanted to know what steps to take before I ran for the presidency. 2015 is a mere three years away. Time to get the party started.
First thing, I was told to do is, start a newspaper or a radio station or a television station. Or, all three. In war, armies are organized into brigades. In politics, the first brigade is your media empire. With a media empire, you can bully your way down the power boulevard.
That was bad news. My media empire is restricted to my Facebook page and text messages. I was getting out of the race before I began.
But, my consultants found another way. Start a newspaper column, they advised. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing absolute rubbish or fighting your friends who you used to be in power with. Just write. Make sure you always take the opposing side from the government. If the government says the day is bright, tell the world it’s dark. And, if the government insists, go to court. Make yourself a nuisance.
Get a chieftaincy title. Make sure the title means leader. People love leaders. No one elects a man that is simply mister. I don’t have a title but I have uncles who do. I smell a traditional coup.
It always helps if you are the financier of a party that has at least one or two governors. That way everyone will know you’re a leader in waiting. And, just to make sure every dullard in the country knows you’re actually a leader, have your associates refer to you as “our leader” or “our father”. If anyone can’t take the hint, they need brain surgery.
If you have a fat bank account, you’re halfway home. Make sure you put the money to good use. Sponsor a few gubernatorial, senatorial and representative races. If you’re lucky to be on the progressive divide, then make sure you’re an activist.
That made me pause. I have a bank account and it’s fat with emptiness. My consultants said not to worry. I will sell my political soul to moneybags who will turn me into a puppet when I get to power. I was worried about that. But, they assured me everyone does that.
As I got up and started thinking of my campaign posters, one of the consultants said, “one more thing, Ose”. I was pissed. And, I let everyone know it. No one was to call me Ose again. I have become bigger than the Ose they know. From now on, they will call me “our leader” in the native tongues.
Everyone applauded. I am a fast learner, they realized. I could hear calculators going off in their heads. They will be Nigeria’s new billionaires as soon as I’m in power.
“In this age of Arab spring and the occupy movements, it’s advisable that you are an active part of an Occupy movement,” a consultant said.
“But, the labor leaders have already settled with the government. There is nothing to occupy except university girls and unemployed graduates trying to survive,” another consultant said.
Occupying young girls and unemployed graduates actually sounded appealing. But, I am a leader now. My affairs must not be publicized.
“That’s okay,” I replied. “I will come into Nigeria, travel all over the country and consult with opposition leaders. That will solidify my status as a national leader.”
My team was so excited they started singing the national anthem.