Ondo 2020: Why run after progressive development when we can jog to Ondo to play Ludo?

‘Animal farm’, ‘cruise country’, ‘bunch of jokers’, ‘backwards-thinking country’, ‘country whose citizens deserve their leaders’ are just a few names you will hear Nigerians and the rest of the world call Nigeria. Oh! The country is called Nigeria? We almost forgot. Why won’t we? When we celebrate boreholes that work for one month, roads that have potholes one month after it was inaugurated, power for ‘about 15 hours or so’ (imagine a proud Nigerian at this point), schools that will perform better as empty cinema halls, add the rest.

Oya, wetin happen?

Following up to the Ondo election scheduled to hold October 10, 2020, politicians have given us more than all the cinemas can handle – the inter-intra party politricking being the crux of all the fuss. But, it got more interesting when pictures of politicians, or party representatives distributing bread, ludo and bathroom slippers broke into Twittersphere. Surprise package? No.

We remember how we tagged former governor of Ekiti, Ayo Fayose, a stomach-infrastructure governor; remembering those times when he will waltz into market places to either fry akara or sell fish. But this has been taken a degree higher.

There is no confirmation if the current governor of Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu, is the brain behind this breathtaking ‘gift package’ to Ondo voters, but when you find his picture on the half-month gift package, you might form an opinion.

But, before you form opinions, recall how Lagos lawmaker, Desmond Elliot, justified the reason behind his top-notch idea of placing wash hand basins at ‘strategic areas’ in his constituency. Nigerians on social media had questioned the rationale and how it might not do much, but the lawmaker lambasted bloggers and social media users for peddling negativity, and rarely doing anything to support in nation-building. He described his critics as ‘peddlers of negativity’.

Normally, I would have ignored them, but this has to do with life and death due to the COVID-19; a response from me is very necessary this time. I got a couple of messages from people showing me the backlashes and criticisms going on social media concerning my hand washing project.”

So, we might need Akeredolu or his cohorts tell us why bathroom slippers, ludo and bread should be distributed in the first place – add: why those items gan gan? Or even explain if they had anything to do with it.

While asking that question, we will need to find a way to stop politicians from using poverty as a weapon to keep controlling us. We will need to find a way to get out of the mess we already put ourselves. It has become a culture and might take a while to rid ourselves of such greedy dispositions (I must collect my own), but until we do that, we might be receiving USB cords, air fresheners and vaseline as gift packages too.

Meanwhile, since we hardly know what progressive development is, for now, let’s all jog to Ondo to collect our own ludo. It will distract us from what Nigeria has become.


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