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Democracy-day-

Image source: Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

All over Nigeria, except for a few states, there will be a litany of plagiarized speeches. A lot of them will be highfalutin, good-for-nothing balderdash spewed from raised platforms as new and old politicians are sworn into office. It will be filled with, “I will do this and that.” There will be loud cheering by the party faithful and supporters. As usual, the events will be filled with pomp and pageantry. The speeches will mostly be in English, even when more than half of those attending don’t get the hang of it.

The newspapers, radio, and TV stations will have a field day. Friends of friends, cronies, various “movements” and “associations” of this and that, as well as politicians lobbying for appointments, will jostle for prominence in every available ad space. They will congratulate, swear allegiance, and hail the incoming “Excellencies.” The “excellencies” will be sworn in with either Bible or Quoran (I still look forward to ayílála prominently featuring as a swearing-in option in the ritual).

The motorcades will be as long as the river Nile. The security will be tight around the men and women of the hour. A mammoth crowd will throng every street leading to the venues of these auspicious occasions. Huge funds would have been withdrawn from the state coffers to cover the expenses and the after party where political friends and foes will pop the champagne, thank their stars and broker new deals on the sharing formula.

Afterward, the noise will subside. Everything will continue as they’ve always been. Yesterday, for some reason, will be looking rosier than today and tomorrow. The purveyors of our dysfunctional system will carry on as they are wont to do. Until the next election, there will hardly be any meaningful speech that connects the desire of the citizenry to the promises of May 29.