If I Were President

Justice and power must be brought together, so that whatever is just may be powerful, and whatever is powerful may be just” – Blaise Pascal
When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt” – L.F. Buscaglia

It might be fashionable in some circles for a man, after seeing a (usually cute) lady a few times, to walk up to her and share the content of a “divine revelation”. It usually goes like this “Ello shister! I am bro Sharles, the see-are-man of the youth group. I hasd a vision when I was prays last night. I was drowning in a river and you come to ehp me. Then, I saw a pishure of the two both of us. When I woke up, I know there is no any two way about it. Yelz, God said you are my wife! Please what is your lame?” In the very likely event that things go awry, “bro sharles” preserves that same story {with some formalin} for another lady. The veracity of such “revelations” is yet to be proven. Yet, I’ll abide by the popular innocent-till-proven-guilty concept and hold my tongue. I’ll say this though: I’ve never liked that approach much.

Of all the gorgeous ladies this earth is blessed with, one always dances a jig on my mind. This lady – more appropriately, woman – is only a few days shy of 50! Interestingly, she chases men all around the world despite having more children than she cares to count. Of course, not many of those children are proud of her; and who’s to blame them? What pride binds you to a “mother” who has more ex-husbands than January has hours – many of whom she had no hand in selecting? Many will say all sorts to become her new husband –but I’m not the guy to do a “bro sharles”. That’s precisely why I’m not going to tell you I’ve been called by God to be the president of Nigeria. The truth is: I haven’t. I haven’t even received as much as a flash from heaven on that note. In truth, if the position were offered me on a platter, I’d think twice, then once again!

Still, I often wonder, if I were president, what would I do differently? Will I also succumb to the pleasure-pressure – a desire to please anyone with a bulging pocket and/or belly? How would my time be remembered long after my face is forgotten?  They say “after all is said and done, more is said than done”. Would that also apply to me? If yes, will the “done” be enough to usher in a glorious dawn? I just wonder ……

If I were president:

I would have detailed out my will long before I make my campaign public. It would be a shame for death to deny me honour – or more subtly, for my country to deny my family my attention.

My first act in office would be greasy subterfuge. I would campaign on the platform of democracy, but I would be close enough to autocracy to guarantee genuine impact. We are reminded everyday that “popular vote” will get us nowhere. The votes always appear evenly split between camps with opposing agenda – often, the “other guys” even seem to tip the balance!

Knowing exactly how many people (excluding cattle) I’m accountable to (and for) will be top of my list! It would no longer cut it to say “Ours is a country of between 120-150 million people” during international interviews!

My time would be punctuated with random stopovers to buy roasted corn and leaving the saleswomen’s kids little souvenirs – maybe even taking pictures with them! Why would I allow the fear of death take away the beauty of life?

I would “constitutionalize” a Nigerian dictionary from which the word “minority” has been removed. It would no longer matter what tribe a leader is fromrather where he/she can take us! Why did it ever matter? Have great ideas been more at home amongst a particular tribe? Do pregnant mothers eat “future leaders’ diets” in some places? Needless to say “zoning” would become a distant memory!

Even a brothel would look like a church – given enough preparation time. Employing the element of surprise, governors would be in line for un-announced visits from a president seeking project updates. The onus would be on them to extend the courtesy to those under them!

Teachers would feel the pride they deserve. No matter how qualified the architect is, if the bricklayers mould wrongly, the house is doomed. Teachers are the bricklayers; they hold the future in their hands – though they sometimes belittle their own prominence! With this in mind, governors, ministers and members of the senate would be mandated to elect two of their former teachers as advisers.

Anyone vying for a post in the education ministry must have all his/her children in Nigerian schools. Why should a BMW executive drive a ford?

Lawmakers would be required to hand in their international passports before being sworn into office – only to be released for approved reasons and specified durations. Subsequently, lawmakers would be subjected to stringent annual scrutiny; the last of which would span over a whole year. It remains to be seen if they’ll condone indiscipline from their staff after going through this process! It shouldn’t take too long before the idea of bribing is pushed to the rear. If there was one indigenous anecdote giving a vote of confidence to bribery, it would be this “eni domi siwaju a tele tutu”. It means “whoever sprays water forward will tread cool grounds”. The saying has its roots set long ago in history – when most floors were bare. You’d agree a lot has changed since then. How about we make the country such a “marble floor” that whoever “dami si waju” will slip, fall and break a limb?

Mandatory quarterly sessions with human capacity developers and leadership teachers for all governors and members of senate would be organized – with attached examinations. The results of these would, of course, be made public. It’s about time the people how much intellect is present (or regrettably missing) within the corridors of power.

I’m yet to hear of a public office-holder who didn’t exhaust their daily “security vote” allocation. Why should a governor be entitled to about 20 million naira {and the president, about half a billion} daily under the pretext of security votes? The American government that initiated that scheme stopped it long ago when its abuse became glaring. But here, if the money isn’t siphoned via security votes, it is stashed away in offshore accounts or as foreign reserves – anywhere but within the reach of those who need it. Such spurious “votes” will meet their abrupt ends with me at the helms! If your basic salary won’t be enough, don’t contest!!! I’m sure the daring ones would still deal in “ghana-must-go”s – but, who needs a sac full of (non-gold) coins?

All governors and local government chairman would be required to complete a minimum of 70% of all domestic trips by road. It shouldn’t come to burying five of that crowd (in two months) from road mishaps before someone does something about the state of (and crime on) our roads!

What use is a foreign reserve, when the people have no domestic pride? It’s about time we called on those reserves for good use. Government primary and secondary schools would begin to serve free food. Either the kids eat to study or study to eat, they will study!!! Classes would be decorated with pictures of former students who have risen to fame (through the right path). If this doesn’t inspire them, nothing else would. I only hope I don’t cut too deep into the earnings of “motivation speakers” – but they usually have other jobs!

Ideas are like a good cancer – unpredictable in reach and impact! In a bid to flood these shores with the brightest ideas, there would be a government-sponsored section in every reputable newspaper where such indigenous ideas would be published.

A list would be compiled of places with the worst cases of environmental pollution. Then, I would have two gifts sent to them. The first would be huge sign-posts bearing pictures of starving Somali children and with this caption: “Dirty habits will do this to your children. Dispose of your waste properly”.  The second would be proper waste-disposal equipment!

Any member of the academia who can directly affect the economy by research outcomes and new findings would be granted national recognition and a 100% salary raise. It would no longer suffice to feed the new generation with recycled material. I remember, back in university, when a classmate raised a dispute over an industrial procedure. The lecturer simply told him he had used the same lesson note for over 20 years – and it was beyond error! Now, imagine that!

There would be a strict ban on the importation of oil. It’s like sailing on an ocean and importing bathing water – illogical to say the least! If our refineries won’t work, we’d have to invent cars that run on urine!

The best of public places would be reserved for people bearing tax-payer tokens – public parking lots, certain routes, etc. In time, it would become something to brag about! People would be happy to pay tax.

A close look would be given to such social vices as prostitution and area-boyism! Instead of banning, I would legalize them – but with stringent requirements! All prostitutes and area boys would have to wear ID cards bearing signatures of both birth parents whenever on duty”! And they would not be exempt from tax. Their own “tax” would be used to educate others on the perils of such “vocations”.

There would be an enforced crackdown on the importation of large generators. In fact, no government establishment would be allowed to run on generators for more than 5 hours a day. Hospitals would be the only exception! It should never be heard that we supply power to another country – and theirs is more stable than ours!

Significant investments would be made into the Agriculture and Steel industries. We made progress as a nation before oil clouded our judgment. Maybe things wouldn’t be this tense down south if the country were fed on a balanced diet.

There would be no more vision 2020. Rather, “vision nownow” would be in vogue. Why promise what you hope would have been achieved before you die? Tell the people what you would achieve before you leave office – and prepare to be judged by that. Period!

Though there’s no greater strength than the power of will, you won’t be judged for thinking “easier said than done”. Still, better to prepare for a golden opportunity that never comes than to stumble unprepared upon it!

If after achieving all this, I haven’t been brutally murdered and allotted a fancy grave, I must have woken from my mid-day sleep! Wishes are but lame horsesthey’ll get me nowhere! Alas, I am neither the president nor one trying to be. I haven’t even written my “pre-requisite” will. Instead, I’ve written this – maybe a future president just read it!

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16 Responses to If I Were President

  1. Honey says:

    lol. dis is very insightful 🙂 I wld defo go 4 dis. luvin d somali kids and d waste.. prostitues with i.d cards..lol.and parent signatures.. 'I thereby give permission to my daughter to offer sex to fat, rich men for money.' signed..' loving parent' ..lololexcellent piece 🙂 hpfuly a future president reads dis. Mayb d current one shld even 🙂

  2. ok, yang man, are you sure twas poison you ate? and maybe u had a outta body experience while it lasted?

  3. ibraheem says:

    mr imiscus osasona,you hereby presented with a thundering applause that will send some of the guilty leaders to there early graves..lolHonestly,this is a thorough analysis of the Nigerian context!issues of power sharing and rotation eradicated.yes!why should a minister of education not be educated in nigeria?how then will he be responsive to academic brouhaha?but imiscus,a marble floor will be too expensive.humorously insightful in the midst of all the topical issues!

  4. Moninuola says:

    You want to eradicate the "come and eat politics" in Nigeria or what? Please don't do that now. I am considering vying for the post of my local government chairman in 2011. I will definitely invite you to come and eat too. Ever heard about the word "sinecure". Politics in Nigeria is the quintessence of sinecure and I want that to be preserved. At least in a democracy, blockheads and lazybones as we have some of them in politics today should be given one avenue to become rich because there may be no other available for them.

  5. Moninuola says:

    Democracy will die the day I become the president. My rule will be characterized by nothing but meritocracy. Dogs now get votes in the US. A fundamental flaw in democracy. That is why in my home state, I don't know what to call the governor we have. He isn't a dog but…

  6. A close look would be given to such social vices as prostitution and area-boyism! Instead of banning, I would legalize them – but with stringent requirements! All prostitutes and area boys would have to wear ID cards bearing signatures of both birth parents whenever on "duty”! And they would not be exempt from tax. Their own “tax” would be used to educate others on the perils of such “vocations”.Now that is something..This is really cool…I like

  7. I love this. Seem like you have a 'dream' here. It appears to me things that you have been thinking about this (this post, maybe) for a while now. I like the part of taking 'minority' out of the dictionary though… many of today's presidents and prime ministers need to hear that. One reason why I like New Zealand somehow. Everyone is 'equal' here.Nice read Imisi. I enjoyed it.- LDPPS: Thanks for voting for my blog.. I appreciate you.

  8. Imisi says:

    @Honey: Thanx. Imagine "area boy here – powered by loving parents". looool@Tosin: musta been! food-poisoning only means the food had become poison prior to consumption. I'm good now, tho! Thanx@Ibraheem: Yelz borce! I bow with TRUE humility. Thanx a lot!@Fola: Chai! Ur own approach is even more "direct" than mine. Just invest in bullet-proof caps oh! looool.@Harry da poet: Thanx, bro. Congrats on u-know-what!@LDP: Me ke? I don't such dreams oh! lol. Ur blog is nothin short of inspiring; plus, 2011 is just around the corner, I need to start practicing how to put my vote where my mouth is. looool. Thanx again, LDP!

  9. darol2020 says:

    …..wow this is mind blowing… i will vote 100% for you if you decide to run for presidency… i really love your plans for them prostitutes and area boys….it is so very funny but i think it will work……infact all your ideas make a whole lot of sense i just hope as you said a future president reads this and gets inspired, great work!

  10. marian assin says:

    a lecturer of mine was complaining bitterly on the 'Nigerian situation', guess what? he's a clerk in the "house",who once proudly told a class of future leaders that ever since he assumed office'bills' have been passed not just d one ur thinking. i kept thinking here he is complainin but actually doing nothing to change it,instead he's aiding. i think the 1st person who shld read this should be this lecturer of mine.

  11. Imisi says:

    @darol2020: I'm delighted to know I can count on you – BUT I WILL NOT BE RUNNING. My hatred for politix outweighs my love for policies. My only hope (as u rightly said) is for concerned parties to take a cue. If u decide to run, I'd vote for you oh! lol. Thanx.@Marian: That'll be a great idea. Thank God he can't affect my GP – but I worry about yours…lol.

  12. Anonymous says:

    1. Ello shister! I am bro Sharles, the see-are-man of the youth group. I hasd a vision when I was prays last night. I was drowning in a river and you come to ehp me. Then, I saw a pishure of the two both of us. When I woke up, I know there is no any two way about it. Yelz, God said you are my wife! Please what is your lame…2. That’s precisely why I’m not going to tell you I’ve been called by God to be the president of Nigeria. The truth is: I haven’t. I haven’t even received as much as a flash from heaven on that note. In truth, if the position were offered me on a platter, I’d think twice, then once again….Imisi, what a lovely piece that, at times, sent me on a journey of paroxysm of laughter and at other times plunge me into a session of sober reflection and revolutionary intentions! I'll be glad if you'll change your mind and become the ironically much needed ''bro sharles''.Keep it up.ODUOLA O.

  13. Oh how I love these similes.Why should a BMW executive drive a ford?It’s like sailing on an ocean and importing bathing water.Very insightful article bruff. Maybe a future President just read this. Hmmm. every imminent issue was addressed. Only I wonder how difficult it is for any of our leaders to address any single one. Well, we have the power to keep the flag flying.

  14. Imisi says:

    @Prof Oduola: Thanx a great deal. It's such faith that pushes me to do the impossible. I will definitely alert you – but it might be in the next life!!! lol.@KENNISBLEGAD: Let's hoist that flag in full swing. Thanx, bro.

  15. Anonymous says:

    You just solved Nigeria's problem in one blog update *now forwarding to GJ*. LOL at the modern consequence of 'da omi si waju-ing' Joor oh.Nice one.HexyDre

  16. Imisi says:

    @HexyDre: Let's hope GJ would act right and not just go by "La Cram La …". lol. Thanx

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