by Stanley Azuakola
Drama as budget is unveiled
For those who missed last week’s budget presentation at the National Assembly, here’s a recap. It began with a Christian opening prayer by a senator who pleaded for God’s mercy on both the budget presenter and the listeners for the “bull about to be said and heard.” This year’s budget was tagged “Budget of Starchiness” because of its three major pillars: starchy energy for all in form of cassava bread; starchy hardship for the poor (just as starch hardens cloths) after subsidy removal, and stash of cash for politicians to splash as usual. The budget presentation ended with a Muslim prayer by an honourable, who asked for God’s forgiveness on them all for “the cock and bull” they just sat through.
President Jonathan turns comrade
A statement made by President Jonathan has thrown his supporters and opponents into confusion. In a speech last week, the president vowed to “lead every pro-subsidy as well as anti-subsidy rally expected to sweep through the nation next year.” Explaining his decision, he said: “Subsidy must go, there’s no long story there. Government has sacrificed enough; it’s time for Nigerians to sacrifice too. We brought facebook to them, we promised them nice stuffs, and we begged our admirers not to rig for us in the last elections. Do you know the amount of sacrifice involved in that? So take it from me when I say bye-bye to subsidy and I’ll lead that rally.” He further said, “But I know people would wonder why I also intend to rally the pro-subsidy forces. My critics would say I’m clueless. What they don’t understand is that this whole subsidy removal thing was not my idea. I don’t support it either. I would rally against it. Nigerians should watch out for a new me next year as I transform into a pro- and anti-subsidy comrade at will.”
Top 10 predictions for 2012
We continue our Top 10 series this week, with our Top 10 predictions for 2012 in no special order.
1. Activism would become the most sought after profession in Nigeria.
2. Lagos State University (LASU) would be renamed FAT University to represent the shape some people’s pockets would take after students pay the increased N250000 school fees. FAT is also abbreviation for Fashola and Tinubu (FAT) University.
3. 2012 would see the rise of the cassava cabal.
4. Ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, the father of modern anti-subsidy movement, would repent and join the pro-subsidy camp in criticising the Jonathan administration.
5. Dame Patience Jonathan will organise rallies nationwide, explaining to her “fellow poor widows” that subsidy must go because only rich widows benefit from it.
6. Ex-convicts, Diepreye Alamieyesigha, Bode George and Tafa Balogun would receive National Honours.
7. The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) would embark on strike to protest their inability to meet up with minimum wage demands.
8. The budget for 2013 would be submitted late again in 2012 and the speaker would criticise the president for late presentation again and would be applauded by legislators again.
9. The price for buying a Nigerian youth would reduce from transport fare and full lunch to transport fare and cassava bread only.
10. President Jonathan would find a new pet project (not cassava bread) to talk about. Our bet is on Otueke fish, fortified with Vitamin F.
CROWNED CLOWN (CeeCee) OF THE WEEK
The decision by Gov. Babatunde Fashola and Vice-Chancellor of LASU, Prof. Oladapo Obafunwa to hike school fees for new students from N25000 to a whopping N250000 is one of the most inconsiderate acts of governance one might ever encounter. To make matters worse, students who couldn’t come up with the outrageous fees by the Friday deadline have been told to forget about their admission.
If Fashola doesn’t see the absurdity in this, then he has truly lost his way. Sad! All Lagosians must kick against this bout of senseless clowning afflicting the man they overwhelmingly gave a mandate in April. For a shocking lack of empathy, Fashola and Obafunwa receive the CeeCee this week.
Follow A Pinch…on twitter @stanleyazuakola
Editor’s Note: A Pinch of Salt… is satire – a riff off news over the past week.