As a graduate of Theatre Arts, I learnt to conquer stage fright early in life.
My acting professor, late Professor Ola Rotimi, reminded us that humans were toothless bulldogs.
If they didn’t bite, we had no reason to be scared of them on stage.
He always said “focus on one person smiling at you and damn the rest of them”
Focus, we did.
Fortunately, it worked.
As a Nigerian, I learnt to beat the system very early in life.
The system reminded me that our government was a fully organized machinery for corruption.
If I didn’t get caught, I had no reason to be afraid.
It was generally accepted that everyone was a criminal except you had a godfather
Since I couldn’t afford a godfather,
I fortunately created one.
I became a government to myself, for myself and by myself.
I had perfected the art of adjusting my PHCN meter to read a fraction of what I was really consuming.
If the PHCN guys ever came knocking, I would threaten to call a doctored phone number, which supposedly belonged to one of their bosses, and they would let me go.
I had become the self-elected, constitutional President and commander-in-chief of my armed forces.
I jumped traffic lights, drove against traffic and parked in “No Parking” zones.
If I was accosted, I simply dialed one number from my network of retired military officers who bailed me out.
I had become a one man syndicate
I could make two simultaneous withdrawals from an ATM and have it read as one.
I knew how to load one airtime recharge card twice and no one would ever know.
If I got a strange phone call warning me of my crime, I simply discarded that SIM card and bought another one from a hawker down the street.
I had become a global citizen.
I knew how to get passports of different African countries without ever showing up at their emigration departments.
Filling cannabis into empty groundnut shells was my way of contributing our national export.
As a matter of principle, I only ever traveled out from one airport;
I couldn’t afford to have too many Custom officers on my payroll.
After all, focus was the name of the game.
So, it surprised me when my employer threatened to fire me if I didn’t register.
I just couldn’t imagine myself queuing up for hours to get something that irrelevant.
I simply a collected one voter’s card from my colleague, scanned, redesigned it to fit my specs and printed.
I was only too pissed when I discovered that the card would be irrelevant at the polls.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my country.
I’ve gone from shame to respect.
I have no problem with religion, ethnicity or cultural leanings.
I don’t even care which party is in government.
I just want to drive on smooth roads, live in safety and enjoy constant electricity.
I know the government won’t provide these basic things so they shouldn’t get in my way when I try.
I don’t blame Mr. President for refraining from public debates.
He probably has no idea how the country is run anyway.
I don’t blame Dame Patience for bringing her quiver to the public
What better way to exhibit our inefficient educational system
I don’t blame INEC for switching from digital to analogue
They probably have many interests to protect
But I will be merciless with anyone who messes with my right to govern myself.