14th December, 2012
By: Abdulai Braima (United Kingdom)
FREETOWN IS ON A HIGH STATE OF ALERT! Coded colour “BLUE” they call it. There is word on the street, and it is keeping SOME people very jittery.
Pulses are doing a pole vaulting cyclical somersault. Doctors are being summoned to late night medical consultations by THE BIG ALEJOS!
EBK’s DECISION TO KEEP PEOPLE GUESSING about his decisions has forced some MINISTERIAL HOPEFULS to keep far away from food and sleep for a worryingly long period. The antics of some ‘mischievous saboteurs’ to flutter different lists around, suggesting the names of those who “have made it” to the almighty CABINET CLUB is adding to the belly-aching heart-wrenching confusion.
So the VULTURES are still hovering. (Big fat things with long bent beaks); waiting to land on the MEAT MOUNTAIN! But the wait to CLEAR the LANDING STRIP is proving a hell lot harder than the election FLIGHT (fright) itself. The greediest would be swooping down for the meatiest part. They would n’t have it any other way!
The real bitterness will start to surface after some crash-land and smash their hungry open beaks on empty dry ground… (HARARA!!) Then the feverish anticipation would turn to bickering protestations. My hope is that some of the disappointed lot won’t revert to self-harm. Dr. Nahim’s number at “Kraze Yard” has been published to ensure that people know where to call should they bump into any of the ‘implacable disappointed’, distractedly mumbling to himself on the streets.
As the days roll on, it is going to get even tougher for our VULTURES and a lot more interesting for the public. I SO WISH EBK COULD KEEP THE LID FIRMLY PRESSED FOR A WHILE LONGER. A lot while longer! It would be nice to see men who ‘carve’ their profiles out of intimidating their fellow countrymen, actually sweat and shriek.
Some of the vultures religiously believe that they, and nobody else, deserve the fattest SHARE and they would be sulking mightily long after the MEAT has been shared out. Be ready for expressions like “BO ME AR NOR GLADI BEH! PAN ALL DI TALK TALK, DI DANS DANS EN BOKU KLAP KLAP LOOK WAITIN AR GET!” . To which the other disappointed vulture may retort:” YOU BETTEH WAE NAR JIS LABO LABO EN SAMPA BISNESS YOUBIN DAE PAN. LUK ME NAR YAR….(the tone would drop to a conspiratorial whisper) BOYS…AR SLEEP NAR GRAVE YARD 3 DAYS EN 3 NITES FOR LEH WE GEH DIS TIN YA”
People like these will never be satisfied with the mere ‘entrails’ (like, the ‘Deputy Ministry of Labour’- “WAITIN DAE YANDA BO? SO SO HARDUP MAN DEM DI LOOK FOR WOK!) .
Even the ‘Ministry of WORKS’ would not do to placate some “die hard loyalists”, because you can only ever sell broken shovels and ‘Belgium’ pick axes at this ministry.(“ WHICH TEM MAN GO GATHER NUFF SHOVEL MONEY FOR BUILD IN YON OSE NEAR DI VP IN MANSION NAR IMMAT?”)
Some vultures would only start to speak proper OYIGBO English when they get OFFERED the really ‘juicy gravy bowls’ (”NOW YOU ARE BEGINNING TO TALK SOME SENSE, BROTHER!”).
Let’s say, the ‘Ministry of Internal Affairs?’ (Here, you could at least threaten a few Paramount Chiefs out of their goats and cows). Create a chiefdom crisis in Kabala and milk their cows for free!
‘The Ministry of Defence’ needs a long hard thought. For apart from the ‘oily’ nature of this branch (imagine all the kickbacks you could bag simply by signing some bogus deals that would allow the Russians and the French to flog all those useless newly polished non-firing pre-second world war tanks), you equally have to be really careful not to put some overtly ambitious fellow in charge of all those aging Kalashnikovs at COCKRILl: in case they actually fire in the wrong direction? Perhaps the Wiser thing is to KEEP that ministry in your own pocket.
When it comes to profitable ‘portfolios’, any president couldn’t do much better for themselves than appointing a First Cousin (who can’t tell the difference between STATE money and SELF money.)
Take the ‘Minister of Finance’ for example. Of course his very first ‘State Duty’ would be to make a quick trip to Europe and find out which banks there are really ‘discreet’ and could be relied upon to safely and quietly keep a ‘Big Man’s’ secrets …and his HARD EARNED currencies!
“Foreign Affairs” did you say? Oh well, it’s always better to appoint a lady here who could genuinely smile at the cameras while hunting for “Foreign Donors”. You don’t want to appoint some obese male figure as it may be so hard to get one who would not transform the foreign missions into ‘Sugar Daddy havens’ filling them up with …well you know what!
The president shouldn’t scratch his head when it comes to the NUMBER of highly qualified personnel to fish from. Choose somebody as ‘Minister of Labour’ whose only job is to ensure that nobody else gets a job, anywhere. There is one ex-Ambassador seriously in need of a Job. His initials alone makes him the fittest person for this one: think of any man called J-ob…L-ess. And the Minister of Information should be the meanest maddest liar of them all. My aunty is ready! AR NOR MIX PAN CALL NAME “O’’ B ra!
‘The ‘Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources’ Wow! Now you talking ‘foreign currency’- Here, the president would need someone who can easily manufacture reasons why it is in the absolute interest of the state to keep the COLD ROOMS at GOVERNMENT WHARF in their rusting state. Additionally, this person should be fluent in Chinese Mandarin, so that the “business of state” is tastefully transacted on the high seas without the embarrassing need to bring all those foreign trawlers close to the coast where the BISA BODI eyes of our sleepy Navy Boys would see them from their rickety boats. We don’t want them asking daft questions about things they shouldn’t know. Let them sleep in their boats, smoke dope and CHOP COOKERY at the wharf!
‘Transport and Communications’? BINGO! The stubborn DIASPORIANS are in for a ride! The occupant here should have just two really simple tasks:
A): Make sure that the AIR FARE to Freetown remains thrice as expensive as the furthest point in Africa. That way, you would be satisfied that those meddling Diasporas wont pop into the country as much as they would desire, to stop them soiling your nice little set-up.
B): The PHONE LINES to Sa Lone has to be kept at its 60 percent higher rate than all other African countries. This has the unique benefit of making sure that the babbling Diasporas never stay on the phone long enough to talk about POLITICS and going on about who is doing what- as though it were any of their business!
As president, you have so many appointments to make that you NEED A YEAR to sail through half. LET THE ‘HOPEFULS’ wait and sweat! What, with all that projected Crude oil find? Man, you could sing and swim in the gravy! So keep a Ministry like ‘MINES’ (My Own), last in your list of appointments. Better still, add it to ‘DEFENCE’ and make them your very own.
The days of TRUST in Politics are long gone! You should know that, because you are a POLITICIAN!
And of course, if your presidential sensitivity is offended by any of the NAMES given to the Ministries…so what? (NAR YOU NAR DI PAPA, NAR YOU GEH YOU POWER). You can do anything with PEOPLE, never mind MINISTERIES- there are so many beautiful combinations to conjure up such as the HIGHLY USEFUL ‘Portfolios’ like “the Ministry for Collective Clapping and Delirious Dancing’ or ‘the Ministry for Protecting Presidential Powers and Padlocking People who cause Problems’
And should the opposition be daft enough to BEG you for a SHARE (shameless troublesome lunatics) by starting to talk about “the great need for a unity government”, don’t panic.
Don’t remind them that you nearly got 70 percent of the votes. Play the great benevolent political goody-man.
Call a giant PRESS CONFERENCE, and Give them three Ministries: The Ministry of Education, where teachers would be laying an ambush daily, waiting to fist the Education Minister and all his entourage, for months of overdue salaries.
The Ministry of Agriculture which has three working tractors and sixteen sloppy Power Tillers. Sharing this among the Sierra Leonean farming population is a privilege that should be left to the OPOOSITION to enjoy!
But the Ministry that should be the absolute reserve for the trouble-seeking Opposition is ‘Health and Sanitation’. The suffering Nurses would be waiting… with a smile and a kiss! (“NOT TO ALL THIN U FOR SPELL OUT TO FOOL MAN”).
I have heard strange stories about Doctors and Nurses who know exactly what to do with their needles (which may not be particularly pleasant in some given circumstances).
And NO! You don’t have to be a Harold Shipman to crave the crazy desire to be within a striking distance of the jugular vein of an employer who is incapable of paying your legitimate dues.
If This Ministry should go to the nagging Opposition, then one has to insist, as a fair condition, that the Minister, and all his families plus the hangers-on, take up official residence closest to any main hospital with a working mortuary. That way, the poor porters would n’t have to roll their loads over an unbearable distance.
For the Opposition Leader, give him the title of HIGH COMMISSIONER and send him to BELARUS so that when you start to give those lazy Prison Officers at Pademba Road a “full House” in the form of “subversive elements of the State”, fax messages to and from Belarus would cost the opposition party so much money, they would prefer to believe the news from AWARENESS TIMES and SLBS, that some of the opposition supporters might have “voluntarily strayed into the comfortable zone of Pademba Road” where they prefer to live for a little while without the discomfort of paying rent.
But readers, I hope you would have caught the joke in this post! Though our troubles are not comical, sometimes we should just swim over them on a floating mirth.
That way, we may survive to the next island of Sanity.
But of course, I am hoping that our incoming MINISTERS and all public appointees WOULD BE MEN OF IMPECCABLE INTEGRITY AND IRREPROACHABLE MERITS; EFFICIENT, SELFLESS AND PATRIOTIC.
They would not be Vultures. They would be virtuous! THAT IS WHAT WE ALL WANT!!!!!!
We are watching! We are waiting!!