The only way for Nigeria in polio and money laundering is up – and more in today’s news round-up with Cheta Nwanze

…the Army has gotten tired of waiting for the police in the bid to claim first prize in rescuing Prof. Okonjo, mother of our Minister of the Economy.

It’s a feel good Friday today, so greetings to those of you in Lagos, especially those who will have to enjoy the Redemption Camp traffic today. You see, the Prez will be in town. One wonders what will happen this year, given that he knelt before Daddy GO last time round. Maybe he will pick pin? Or open his mouth and suck something? You see, opening our mouths to suck something is an indignity that those of us travelling out of Nigeria from next year will have to face as the World Health Organisation has ruled that we will all be vaccinated for polio.

There are only four countries in the world that have polio, Afghanistan, Chad and Pakistan being the others. It has been eradicated elsewhere, so you can understand when earlier this year, Nepal announced that they will stop giving us visas. They don’t want us to come and infect their people. But then maybe, just maybe, eradicating polio is one of the things that will be on Mr. Prez’s prayer list when he arrives in Lagos to cause traffic later today.

Traffic, being one of the huge problems of this pretender to mega-city status, used to be eased (in a manner of speaking) by motorcycle taxis, better known as okada. Without providing much by way of viable alternatives, the state’s government severely restricted those okada. Granted the okada riders were a major menace, but this time around, they decided to at least try and act civilised. They took Lagos to court, and they lost. Lesson number one, when a law is making its way through the legislative process, pay attention.

Sadly, attention deficit is something that is quite common around these parts being that we spend a great deal of time queuing for petrol. To make us better citizens, our Senate yesterday approved the Prez’s request for offering money. It is said that the grant will enable me to have petrol in my tank when I drive along that road that Doyin Okupe claims to have fixed in just over a week’s time. What I find amazing personally, is the alacrity with which the request was granted. For our rather lethargic Senate, two days (the Prez sent the request on Tuesday) is Usain Bolt territory…

Speed is probably the best virtue in the Ogwashi-Uku area nowadays as people must be contemplating hitch-hiking out given that the Army has gotten tired of waiting for the police in the bid to claim first prize in rescuing Prof. Okonjo, mother of our Minister of the Economy. Following Delta governor, Uduaghan’s declaration 139 hours ago that Prof. Okonjo “would be released in 24 hours”, it took the police 76 of those hours to arrest two people in connection with the abduction. The Army has now stepped in, and in just over 24 hours has shown the police how to do it. 63 people have been, err, abducted, and are now singing Christmas carols at an army base not too far away. Meanwhile, Prof. Okonjo is still nowhere to be found.

Bits and bobs

Fresh from abandoning them in their hour of need, Nigeria’s government has suddenly remembered that our former citizens in Bakassi are being harassed by their new masters. Oh well, as the old proverb goes, better late than never.

Following the “kidnapping” of his son by errant EFCC officials, Jigawa state agbada, Sule Lamido has clarified that his son, Aminu, was not washing money for him. State parrot, Umar Jitau says that Aminu’s daughter, the governor’s grand daughter, has a spinal cord problem, and needed to be treated in Egypt. If only we had hospitals in Nigeria, the governor would not have been subjected to such monumental embarrassment…

Meanwhile we are officially the seventh largest money laundering nation in the world according to Transparency International, behind such nice people as the Chinese (manufacturing), Mexico (drugs), Malaysia (drugs), Saudi Arabia (oil), Russia (guns) and the Philippines (slaves). Expect a rebuttal from the Presidency by close of business today. But in my humble opinion, since there are no plans to change the way we do business, the only way up that list is up.



Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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