Tolu Ogunlesi: “Okonjo-Iweala for President” (YNaija Frontpage)

What are you up to this time? I’ve seen you making frantic phone calls and generally appearing busy
Oh boy, tings are happening. Campaign don start o
Campaign? Isn’t 2015 a bit too far away at this point?
Who’s talking 2015? We’re talking 2012 Sah! Iweala for President
As usual you’re to be found at the end of the queue. Our own dearest Aunty Ngozi Iweala is in the running for President of the World Bank.
Oh that. I know about it? But why are you the only person getting excited?
You have a knack for misreading situations. Next week, when the first batch of aso-ebis land, with Iweala’s face boldly emblazoned on them, you will know that the excited are a-plentiful
[laughter] You people are making campaign aso-ebi?
Be there looking
And you think it is your ankara-of-many-colours that will get her the job?
It will make a difference
Because the World Bank presidency is descendants union politics abi?
We’re not saying it is. But you just imagine the buzz, oh my God, when, next week, Nigerians, and even Africans, in capitals all around the world start turning out in colourful ankara with Aunt Ngozi’s face on it, marching and chanting: “All we are saying, Give us World Bank”
Your fundamental ignorance – and there are several – is in thinking that it is the world that chooses the World Bank President. It isn’t. It is a conclave of powers, chief of which is America, which of course has anointed a candidate.
That is theoretical thinking. In the real world, anything can happen
The anything that can happen is the anything that America decides will happen. End of story.
Wait and see. Shebi they say it is America that is holding the yam and the knife. Let them cut, na we go first pick portion
[laughter] Confirmed: Nigeria harvests and exports more delusions than any other non-country on this planet
You obviously haven’t read this story that first appeared in Forbes, over the weekend? [pulls out newspaper] “Harvard Professor Slams Obama’s World Bank Nomination”
What does it say?
Let me read a portion. “Amidst early praise for President Obama’s nomination of Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim as head of the World Bank, Lant Pritchett, a tenured professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government who worked at the World Bank for 17 years, is blasting Kim’s nomination as ‘a terrible idea.’ Says Pritchett, who teaches courses in the practice of international development, “It’s an embarrassment to the U.S. You cannot with a straight face say this person is the most qualified to lead the World Bank.” Gheun-gheun! And that’s not all! Listen to this line: “There is no way you can say with a straight face that this man is more qualified to head the World Bank than Ngozi.” End of effing story!
When did this become about the most qualified, ehn? When has anything ever been about the most qualified? There is a standing unwritten rule, America leads the World Bank, Europe leads IMF. You think Obama will sit down and watch things fall apart under his watch? Because it will benefit his African sister? You’re of all men the most to be pitied
Look here, we will take care of Obama.
Like, as in, bribe him, ehn? [chuckles]
No. We will put pressure on him. Four years ago he was an underdog; few gave him the chance to lead America. He understands what it is to be the person no one gives a chance. We will appeal to that part of his soul
Brilliant! So Barrack will feel pity for your Africans and tell the world, ‘hey, ignore my candidate, give Africa a chance. Give my father’s continent a chance.’ Riight.
Your cynicism is beginning to piss me off. Why am I even discussing this with you? Four years ago you were laughing at us, when we were printing Obama ankara in Lagos. Who had the last laugh?
So it was the Obama ankara you printed that earned him a place in the White House abi? It was the fundraising you people did at MUSON that paid his way to power. Seen.
You will never understand. Poor you. Consumed by cynicism, unrepentant even in the face of superior wisdom – and action.
[laughing] You know I had actually forgotten that you printed Obama ankara four years ago. You Nigerians will not kill me with impotent swagger
Do you realise that we could spin the argument that this is Obama’s time to reward Nigerians for their overwhelming support? You know how many Nigerians convinced their relatives in America to vote for Obama? My uncle refused to collect Western Union from his seven children in America until they swore by Sango that they would vote for Obama.
And they voted for him?
Are you asking me? Sango na Santa? And don’t forget, the arrowhead of that Nigerians for Obama campaign was a Nigerian woman, in person of Dr. Mrs. Ndi Okereke Onyiuke. A Nigerian woman with a PhD from America. Now, at this point in history, we are asking Obama to repay that favour, to another Nigerian woman, also armed with a PhD from America. Yes He Can. Yes He Must. The spirit of our forefathers will not forgive him if he turns his back on Africa at this point. And of course Aunt Ngozi is arguably the most qualified of all the candidates. So it’s not like we’re asking him to support mediocrity. And by the way, if you won’t support us, just shut the hell up.
There we go again. No tolerance for dissenting voices
You’re not a dissenting voice. You’re an irrational pessimist and condemned cynic. Nigeria doesn’t need you
Alright then, I shall shut up. And I shall await the miracle you prophesy
God will keep you alive to see his goodness to Nigeria. Even South Africa is supporting us…
Ah, South Africa. [mimicking D’Banj] Our South African friends call us: “Yellow Card”
[Both men start humming ‘Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika’].

Tolu Ogunlesi has worked in management consulting, corporate communications and journalism. He was awarded a 2009 CNN Multichoice African Journalism prize, and recently served as Features Editor and Editorial Board member for a national newspaper. He regularly contributes to local and foreign media on Nigerian affairs, and tweets at @toluogunlesi |



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Comments (15)

  1. Lol, how riveting. We both or rather you both know Iweala won't win though.

  2. Asia (china) is the greatest contender and challenge before the world economy ,Nigeria is not , that is what is guiding the choice of Obama .

  3. Lmao, our forefathers will not forgive Obama, I wish they cud beat the crap outta PDP…our forefathers are snoring somewhere…..Aunty knows better I'm sure.

  4. This is hilarious! Nigerian's idiosyncrasies well captured

  5. I love this…."impotent swagger", "sango na santa. Lol

  6. Laffing out so loud..tolu..dis is so un-nice but makes over sense…u try….Our South African friends call us: “Yellow Card”lol…abegi…NOI my foot…let us hear wordi….

  7. Distribute the ankara with Aunty Ngor name sharp sharp oo. me i want to sell for Warri oo

  8. U make it look sooo easy! Another great one from the master!

  9. Well, you're right; Sango no be Santa my brother. Let's wait and observe the Miracle of Ngor!

  10. Tolu Ogunlesi is soooo funny. Made a lot of sense too.

  11. Sango na Santa? Lmao!!!

  12. LOL. Tolu, i think you have split personality disorder…But i enjoyed it.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail