flash fiction – of clergies and politicians

on

Bukky said that the federal government of Nigeria was making a great mistake by the removal of subsidy and she has turned her twitter account to a town hall meeting. She has quite a large following and she is planning to stage a protest.

I do not share her opinion. I rarely share an opinion with her. We are twins, born two minutes apart. But in character, we are two galaxies apart. While she loves bright colors, is extroverted and loves philosophical debates, I am more conservative and fascinated with arts.

I watch her talking animatedly with Lanre and Dele about the corruption in the system and the hypocritical stance of the political class, who prescribe a bitter pill for the country without swallowing their own prescription.
“How can the ruling class be living lavishly and luxuriously and then demand sacrifice from the masses? The senators buy new cars whose costs triples the market prices, and collect mind boggling allowances, which despite the recession they have refused to cut down despite cries from the citizens; the president spends billions in feeding, buying cars and maintaining fleets of jets, yet he says he understands the hardship of Nigerians. In which world? What does he know of blackouts, and queues at filling stations, and hunger? “

Lanre says something about spiritual discernment and everybody laughs. There was silence, sudden, and abrupt, the type that we said meant an Angel was passing by.

In the silence, snippets of a preaching from a church service holding in the church two buildings away wafts in through the open window, from speakers blaring too loudly for the church size. It was encouraging the members to not be distressed about the hike in petrol price, that as long as they believed in God, He will provide the means to afford it.

“Now that is another problem we have in this country” it is Bukky again, her voice rising a notch as she paces the living room, and then stopping in front of the window overlooking the fence, from which the top of the church building could be seen.

She points in the direction of the church and turns to face us, her audience “We always hide behind religion and take crap from the government. Even the religious leaders are complicit, after all, these leaders go to consult with them. Rather than condemn the immorality of the government and guide the politicians to walk the right path, they spew halfhearted litanies and prophecies. It is like applying petroleum jelly to an infected wound.”

I want to counter her arguments, to tell her that in times of trouble, when the system of men has failed, and there seems to be no hope, that the only one to turn to is God. And, that is the crux of the message of the preacher. His job and calling is to point man to God, not attack corrupt politicians and as far as I see it, that is what he, and others are doing. I do not talk however, I am content to just sit and watch her.

It is almost 8pm, I note as I glance at the wall clock and settle comfortably on the sofa; ‘East meets West’ is about to start on Zee World.

 

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Adeleke Julianah says:

    Hmm…
    Two of them are the ‘East meets West’ walai.
    But I understand both of them. I do. I’m like a bit of them both. While I try to watch from the sidelines, I still can’t help but wonder what is wrong with our country and the world in general.
    Brilliant narrative Topaz.

    1. topazo says:

      thanks Jules…
      you are playing for both teams I see…

  2. Yemie says:

    When in 1963, during his inaugural address as the next in line to the Presidential Seat of the United States; the most charming and charismatic John. F. Kennedy reeled out these perfect lines as part of his speech…’Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country’; am guessing of ilk of leaders who’ve hitherto been paraded on these shores got together in a meeting of sorts and unanimously decided to rewrite those lines to becoming…’Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country can do for you’! 😞*tsking

    Its all just a curious thought that they’d think yanking off oil subsidy’s a real capital deal as opposed to maybe reducing drastically, to the barest minimum the cost of governance at all levels to also include the slashing of the take home pay and emoluments these self-serving, amoral, highly insensitive and unpatriotic lots; which an investigative journalist of British descent awhile back termed ‘Obscene’; having come to the realization that these ‘public servants’ rank top the world over as the highest paid and I ask myself…’HOW’?! Unto wetin???? 😏

    And it gets even better…as at this morning, our lawmakers were agitating and advocating for pension to be paid ’em upon vacating their seats and offices! I mean, its a bit understandable that the legislative arm with a maximum tenure of 8years, will be considered for pension but isn’t it pretty appalling that lawmakers with a tenure of 35years; especially for those who may be lucky to retain their seats for that long, atop the outrageous monies they’re getting as salaries and benefits would even think to conceive receiving more money in form of pension for the rest of their lives? That’s just being plain greedy….gluttonous! Plus, it does look like they’d be getting their way while the citizens suffer, grin and bear their excesses like we’ve always done!

    Yet, some folks cast aspersions at the British Prime Minister for daring to state the absolute obvious ’bout our dear country being ‘A Fantastically Corrupt Nation’! That’s like saying the corruption going down on these plains is totally unbelivable, incredible and inconceivable….GRANDIOSE! 😈😆

    As for the Clergies, they can only do so much so as not to be miscontrued as being allies with ’em ‘Politricians’! Most just resort to good old wisdom in dealing with these lots while assuring and encouraging their flock that ‘all would be well’! And who would blame ’em? Certainly not I! 😊😄

    In closing, your portrayal of the twin siblings, thick as thieves yet as different as day and night’s absolutely spot on! That part’s by far my best part of this beautifully spun tale Sir! Thumbs up and more ink to your pen! Nuff respect! 👉😁

    1. topazo says:

      yea, Yemie, we are fantastically corrupt, we are just fantastically averse to the fantastically audacious public declaration of our fantastically corrupt situation as a nation. we like to wear our dirty linen and not want people turning up their noses at us…
      very fantastically insightful and thoughtful comment…. the passion! reminds of someone…erm, yes, reminds me of Bukky! LOL

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