Wednesday 1 June 2016

Once Upon a Time, Nigeria Had a Minister of Darkness and Dark Forces Named Fashola

The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been" - Henry A. Kissinger. On this note, my only question is where the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola is taking Nigerians to as all indications point towards the 'stone age' of darkness. 

Babatunde Raji Fashola

Okoli is a young bricklayer in the masses-populated Ajegunle area of Lagos who makes money at the detriment of his health. He spends all the hours in the day under the scorching sun carrying bricks and other heavy building materials on his head from one location to another.
Life was hard for Okoli but he kept striving with the hope of a better future. One moment that eases Okoli of his pains is his sleep after torturous lengthy periods at work. He loves his deep sleep and his incessant dreams of making it big in the commercial city of Lagos full of opportunities. The power company would provide light from 9pm till 5am in the morning to facilitate his sleep. Then the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola came along and took away Okoli's medicinal sleep with his expensive darkness that was accompanied by biting heat. That was how Okoli started his long walk into depression and psychological distress.

Ramatu from Mokola, Ibadan is an orphan. She sold sachets of cold water at the busy Mokola roundabout area in the ancient city where she made little money to at least sustain her life pending on when Angel Gabriel will present her case file before God in heaven for subsequent blessings.

The coldness of Ramatu's water did the magic among commuters and passers-by in the busy area in the south-western part of Nigeria. They drank and expressed deep smiles as they ordered for more and continued their quests for their daily bread. Then Fashola came along and supplied Ramatu's home with his 'skin colour'. The temperature of Ramatu's water changed and almost passed for what could be used to make 'Eba'. This marked a negative turn around in the young woman's business as people patronized her with regrets and rejection. Her sales dropped, her finances became poor and Ramatu had to diversify her business to stay afloat with the resources between her legs as a desperate measure of survival.

And the story of Nigeria's journey in the power sector from bad to worse continues. Abubakar is a talented barber in Bauchi state, northern part of Nigeria. He never made so much but he was contented with the little patronage he enjoyed at Kafin Madaki local government area where he lived modestly with his wife and two beautiful kids in a one-bedroom apartment. His I-better-pass-my-neighbour generator was virtually out of use due to fair availability of electricity. Abubakar barbed hair for free to mark the inauguration of Fashola as a minister in the ailing power sector following his magic touches as the governor of Lagos state. Suddenly, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria became the clog in the progressive wheel of change. Electricity in Abubakar's barbing saloon became impossible as the repeated celebration of Sallah festival in a year. The happy Abubakar in the face of fuel scarcity started returning home to his needy family with empty hands till frustration pushed him into using his dagger to 'tax' unsuspecting business people at dark spots to augument his depleted pocket.

Mr Chukwuma, a resident of a low-cost street in Umuahia, Abia state is a civil servant who in quick successions had four children due to his undying passion for lovemaking and ignorance about family planning. Like every normal Nigerian, he forged ahead with life hoping for better days to ameliorate his economic situation. His four children love the popular Tom and Jerry cartoon which prompted them to stick to the television for hours after school. Chukwuma enjoyed watching his kids being engulfed with the TV while he also used that avenue to enjoy some sexual sessions with his wife under the fan oscillating at a very high speed to cushion the tension of pleasure.
Then Fashola came along with a 45% increment in electricity tariff without a proportional improvement in service delivery or his monthly income. Chukwuma's finances was not only plunged into stagnancy but later a significant setback.

Chukwuma gnashed his teeth in pain when electricity supply in his home became history coupled with the 3 months fuel scarcity. The poor man returned home everyday to darkness seeing his kids wearing sad looks as they battled with heat rash like Fashola's children. His wife wouldn't open the 'gate' for him due to the poor ventilation in his room.

To compound his woes, at the end of the month, he was greeted with assumed and over-bloated power bills that equalled the supply of sunlight and darkness. Chukwuma lost passion and happiness for his cherished home and found solace in Mama Nkechi's beer parlour where he drank away his pains all day.

Benson Osarugwe is a very promising entrepreneur based in Benin city, Edo state. He swore never to work under anybody in his life. He swiftly established a media company after his National Youth Service programme and within a short while started employing people. His business was booming with a moderate supply of electricity supported by a stand-by generator.

One day he visited South Africa for vacation and experienced the uninterrupted power supply as against the unsatisfactory state of electricity in Nigeria. He was so shocked. He returned to Nigeria and prayed for a change. Unfortunately for him, change happened but it was a negative one. He encountered the man with the best personal website and two stand-out boreholes in Nigeria. Benson's company paid more for electricity which is currently as rare as seeking a virgin-prostitute in a brothel. Benson buys fuel at cut-throat prices to keep his company running throughout the day. His running costs suddenly began to outweigh his profit margin. He adopted austerity measures of reducing his staff strength thereby killing his dreams of expansion. Business started taking a nosedive.

His religious leader swiftly sent him in the wrong direction by suggesting his village people had afflicted him spiritually. A disillusioned Benson believed and started starving himself of food all in the name of fasting for diabolic intervention. Gradually, his dreams of being one of the prominent entrepreneurs in Africa started fading away. He was afflicted with 'Fashola', the honourable Minister of Darkness and Dark Forces.

As one of the driving forces of negative change who reiterated in the year 2014 that a serious government would fix the power sector in six months continues to feed us with exorbitant excuses rather than results at the expense of our hard-earned money in this period of imminent economic recession, we shall prepare his epitaph and fondly remember him for his 'dark services'.

Once upon a time, Babatunde, the son of Fashola defied the biblical order of providence (Genesis 1 verse 3) of allowing illumination which he replaced efficiently with darkness and long nights of sweats. May history remember him for his 'good works'.

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