EXCUSE ME: Of Lagos heat and random insomnia

EXCUSE ME: Of Lagos heat and random insomnia

Lagos heat makes
you feel like waterleaf left in the sun for hours. Elections are over,
NEPA has resumed toying with power supply and you can no longer sleep,
as the air becomes as hot as a blacksmith’s bellows. At night when the
generator hiccups to silence and the whirling fan blades slowly let the
heat slap you, the counting of sheep to keep insomnia away begins. You
tend to figure out the fragility of the filament of unlighted bulbs.
Because your sleeping clothes now feel like nylon glued to your skin,
you toss and turn in a grand ball dance with relentless mosquitoes.
When you cannot read or watch the news and your BB has glowed out, you
begin to dwell on the aftermath of recent occurrences, both far and
near in zigzag formation: thoughts like Obama, Osama and trauma.

Your thoughts are
random because you are the audience to the Orchestra of the Anopheles.
If the current administration solves the power problem, comatose
industries will wake up while you sleep at night, the unemployment rate
will be halved, the crime surge will dwindle and Lagos’ heat will not
be anything to write home about. But you will stop before you drive
yourself insane with daydreaming at night. If what Bush couldn’t do in
eight years, Obama did in 40 minutes, how come we can’t have such good
luck in the power sector? Like, what kleptomaniac generals and thieving
politicians couldn’t do in 51 years, a shoeless boy who became a
president will do in six months? The heat is getting to you, driving
you to lofty insanity.

If a country really
gets what it deserves, yours deserves some good luck. You look to a
positive future because the impossible is beginning to happen around
the world, and something positive might happen to Nigeria too, like
constant power supply to slake the Lagos heat. The word Lagos makes you
wonder how much Osama paid to the omoniles and area boys when he bought
that land in Abbottabad. And if the building was already there, how
much commission did the real estate agent make — because a Lagos agent
would have made a killing, literally. One hundred years rent in advance
with 50 percent agency/legal fee — cash please.

But your mind has
moved on to other things, like at what point did Obama tell Michelle
about Operation Geronimo? And what was her reaction — did she pick up
the phone, call her best friend and go, “Girrrrllll, you won’t believe
what my husband is up to… let’s meet for coffee and I will gist you,”
like some people you know would have done? Or was she caught by
surprise like the rest of the world, which you know could earn Obama a
good couch in the doghouse — president of America, her foot.

Your mind will
return home to your own president and his wife. Like what does
President Jonathan’s wardrobe look like now? What is the afterlife of
those various traditional outfits he wore during his campaign? Will he
auction them at some point to raise money for charitable organisations
so they can afford 7KVA generators and diesel? Is it President Jonathan
who will solve our power problem and finally put it to rest like Obama
did Osama? And by the way, what pet project will the first lady come up
with? Every Nigerian first lady has to have one, because they can’t
just sit at home all day complaining about NEPA. You would love to see
the Dame do something for the rural women who rallied round her,
something memorable like re-awakening Maryam Babangida’s Better Life
for Rural Women. Your leaders should continue from where others
stopped, that is how developed countries do it. Bush chased Osama and
Obama caught Osama — see how logical that is. Building on what is
already ‘on ground’ saves money and time. Your first lady should think
of how easy and time saving it would be for a woman to wake on Sunday
morning and discover that her face has already been smoothened by
layers of foundation and all she has to do is add a little pancake here
and there.

Talking about
facial beautification, now that Akala is no longer the governor of Oyo
State, how does that affect the cosmetic market and the price of Tura
cream and Shirley? The heat is gnawing at your senses now and the
mosquitoes are on their fifth concerto with blood filled throats.
Sleep, like the supply of constant power, is still a pipe dream.

In search of a mental cool spot, you find yourself in Obudu Cattle
Ranch and that makes you wonder why President Jonathan chose Obudu as
his after election cooling spot? Is Obudu going to be our Camp David in
the next eight years? Instead of counting sheep, you are now counting a
thousand cattle in the dewy hills of Obudu. Gradually you glide into a
dreamland, that peaceful corner that gives you hope for your country in
the face of hopelessness. Obudu morning dew, like an opened deep
freezer when there is full light, welcomes you and the Lagos heat
becomes bearable even though your eyes are wide open to welcome a new

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