by Yomi Kazeem
In this day and age when every step is scrutinized and analyzed, one has to tread carefully. Very carefully. Nigerians are filled with angst, all of which is directed at the politicians of our time who have steered us away from proverbial Eldorado with steady, unnerving and hapless consistency. As such, in order to avoid being a potential target of curses and traditionally engineered spells, our leaders are sitting up. One way to ensure good governance is to listen to advice, irrespective of its source, and these guys are doing just that. Appointing a million and one advisers, they’ve shown Nigerians that they are leaving no stones unturned in reversing our fortunes.
Appointing special advisers across various fields, from politics to comedy and household affairs, Nigerian politicians are finally taking us seriously. Their concern for our well-being is no longer stereotypically one-dimensional; it has evolved into multi-faceted appointments, accorded to the Governor’s friends who doubtlessly have ‘our best interest’ at heart. Gone are the days when Imo residents have to worry about Inter-party or intra-party affairs, neither do they have to worry about comedy. There are handsomely paid advisers to do the worrying. They have a specially dedicated comedian to crack their ribs. They should be gracious. Ondo state folks need not worry their precious minds about Goodluck Jonathan either, there is a special adviser for Goodluck affairs, how noble and novel. In all truth Ondo people need not worry at all, the Governor has appointed 251 ‘special people’ to worry for them and advice him.
Nigerians can at last smile as in response to our woes – a perennial absence of electricity, a dearth of jobs, an epileptic economy and leadership characterized by insouciance – governors have gone ahead to appoint special advisers on Kitchen Affairs and Special Assistant on Car-Faults and Repairs. Some have even taken further steps to appoint advisers on Boko Haram affairs in order to make us feel safer and continue enjoying the taste of beer without an ear open for strange noises. Before jumping to judge them, please realize that they are only doing what is constitutionally required of their mandate: Job creation. By employing and installing a multitude of people who will do absolutely nothing in their regime, they have opened a new vista of job creation, they have encouraged us all be the best at what we are because truly the sky is the limit regardless of your vocation. If you excel at fixing shoes, one day you might end up in the government house as a Senior Special Assistant in a continued bid to increase the cost of governance which is ostensibly over the roof already.
But like all things Nigerian, levels must dey. There are Advisers and there are A-D-V-I-S-E-R-S. Advisers get portfolios that sound like Lagos liaison which essentially means living in Lagos and making the one odd phone-call per week to their states of origin, A-D-V-I-S-E-R-S get portfolios like Investment Management, these are THE guys. When a Toyota Corolla drives by it’s an adviser, when Mercedes Benz CL63 AMG, 2011, 6.2 litre, 536 brake horse-powers, V8 gasoline engine zooms past you with an almost- silent engine, that’s an A-D-V-I-S-E-R. The adviser meets the Governor in the office, the A-D-V-I-S-E-R meets the governor at the country club. When the adviser sees the Governor he calls him Your Excellency, when the A-D-V-I-S-E-R sees the governor, he calls him Tunde, or Padi. But feeling any ounce of pity for the adviser will be an erroneous discharge of emotions because be that as it may, adviser or not, while you have to sweat on a 9-5 job, all he has to do is drive his Toyota Corolla, meet the Governor at the state house and make it look like its hard work, whilst envying the A-D-V-I-S-E-R along the way and invoking his name at the homes of traditional doctors.
My fellow paupers in humility, do not despair, our time will come. Just as the adviser turns into an A-D-V-I-S-E-R, and the A-D-V-I-S-E-R turns into a governor, our time will come. Be steadfast in your hope, irrespective of the fact that you have been hoping for years.