Government By Body Language

By Ikenga Chronicles February 14, 2016

Government By Body Language

Nigeria is a funny country. Strike that off. Nigerians are very funny people. We have this unique way of finding a way to turn very serious issues into comedy. This has so become a part of our lives that when we even try to say something serious, the comic part of us makes us sound like comedians. Some have equated this to the extreme level of hardship in the country and our in-built ability to always survive. So we just look for the comic aspect in every situation. That way, we have been able to survive several bad governments and still come out as happy people.

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Recently though, we out did ourselves. First, you-know-who bragged to the world that the improvement the country currently witnesses in the power sector was not as a result of any concrete action by the government. Rather, it came about simply through the president’s ‘body language’. Suddenly, many supporters of the current president went to town, telling everybody how the president’s body language is making the country better. I have wearied myself trying to find out what ‘body language’ means, but not to worry, I am yet to get to that exalted level where such esoteric coinages can be comprehended by me.

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Next, Ogoni people are jubilant. They say that President Buhari, by re-structuring the composition of HYPREP and approving an initial funding of US$10Million, had within a few months accomplished what ‘took Jonathan four years’. Forget the fact that the phrasing of the assertion grammatically means that re-structuring HYPREP took Jonathan four years to do, and focus on the fact that the action taken by President Buhari was nothing but altering what had already been set up. Then you will ask (like I did) why the unprecedented jubilation by the Ogonis. Their reply was simple; ‘the President’s body language shows that action will be taken this time in the clean-up Ogoni project’. There again, you have it! Body language. Later, it became evident that part of the reason for the jubilation was that the Ogoni people got representation on the board. As a great Ogoni man (Celestine Akpobare) will say, “That’s the body language of our system.” So nothing significant had changed, just body language. Fast forward to several months later, and nothing has changed(at least significantly)

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‘Stealing is now corruption’; ‘A new sheriff is in town’, and his body language is the only thing he is using to change the country.

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Nigeria is a great nation filled with intelligent people. I hope that we will soon realise that body language(whatever it means) will not pay salaries, fix our roads, fix our economy, improve the worsening security situation in the country, etc. But for now, let us enjoy the comedy of government by body language.

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