Koko: What are you doing with so many candles? Are you starting a new line of business?
Kaka: Not exactly. This is a spiritual matter.
Koko: Is someone ill or dying? This spiritual matter must be serious for you to need cartons of red, blue and even yellow candles.
Kaka: It is a very serious matter, my friend. But nobody is ill. The candles are for long sessions of intercession prayers to avert trouble.
Koko: You must really love this person you want to pray for. Is he one of those rich men with countless enemies always giving them nightmares?
Kaka: He’s not a rich businessman jare. He just has a special gift of putting his foot in his mouth until he starts to choke.
Koko: That is a bad habit. Shouldn’t you just warn him?
Kaka: Warn Sanusi Lamido Sanusi? Since when did he start heeding warnings? If he runs out of feet to put in his mouth, he will go and borrow from the next compound. I’m tired of the man and that is why I’m seeking divine intervention. Sanusi needs to be protected from himself.
Koko: Are we talking about the Central Bank Governor here?
Kaka: The one and only SLS. He has finally gone to use his head to stir the hornets’ nest.
Koko: What did he say this time? Who did he take on?
Kaka: Plenty of people. In fact, the whole country, the entire system. Why do you think I need so many candles? He said the federal government should sack workers otherwise it will never be able to develop the economy. He said the state governors will also have nothing to show for their four years in office if they spend 70% of their allocation every month paying salaries and they should also downsize their workforce. My friend also said the country does not need 774 local governments and that most of the 36 states of the federation are not viable anyway and…
Koko: He said all that?
Kaka: And more…
Koko: I don’t want or need to hear more. These candles will not be enough. You will need to summon Muslim clerics and even traditional worshippers to bail out Sanusi from this one o. What was he thinking, taking on everybody at the same time? He wants us to start merging states when some people are threatening to secede if we don’t create more states and some states are creatively creating more local governments and calling them LCDAs. I don’t even want to imagine the number of buckets of swear words and bags of curses being thrown in the man’s direction right now.
Kaka: I will start with the blue candles and follow with the red ones…
Koko: If you like start with black candles, Sanusi is in real trouble this time. He has talked himself into our trap. We will show him how not to talk first and think later.
Kaka: What is all that threat about sef? Is it because I’m worried enough to assemble candles on behalf of a friend in need that you think you can assemble threats too? Did the man say anything we don’t already know or are you saying the man lied about the fact that this economy will remain a pygmy of Congo if all we do with our one-track resources is pay salaries?
Koko: So we should sack civil servants, ehn? When did beheading a man become the cure for his headache? Don’t we already have enough unemployed Nigerians on the streets? Look, your friend has overstepped his boundaries this time and we will…
Kaka: You will do nothing. The truth is, a man who earns N12,000 per month and hopes to save for the raining day when he has stupidly married four wives and fathered 16 children is either mad or living in a fools’ paradise.
Koko: So the man should throw the children out on the street and divorce the wives?
Kaka: He needs to rearrange his priority, stop making babies and get his head examined. Nigeria needs to do things differently if she is going to get different results. We must start getting value for what we pay those civil servants. We must also face up to the fact that we have more workers than work. We can make retirement attractive and encourage the people we are letting go to start small businesses that will employ three to five people.
Koko: Let Mr Sanusi sack some of those aides he surrounds himself with. I bet he has a dozen of them plus one who carries his phones.
Kaka: You could end up in jail for saying stuff like that, you know.
Koko: There is also the rumour that the CBN Governor travels only by chartered flights or private jets within and outside the country.
Kaka: Blasphemy. Something tells me you will be needing candles and an intercessory prayer when policemen arrest you for saying SLS does not use commercial flights.
Koko: It looks like you are getting angry…
Kaka: I just don’t want you choking on any bone.
Koko: Thank you kindly sir. Now, think about it, why have a bloated Ministry of Transport when we could trim the workforce so that we can save money to bring back the train, clear the waterways and explore water transportation?
Kaka: Save money for what? A dey laugh o. Don’t we know what happened to such savings in the past? We save N100bn today and the looters will come up with all kinds of proposals to swallow everything tomorrow. These gluttons are already waiting for that savings account as we speak.
Koko: So we should continue like this? If you don’t feed a child, won’t it starve to death?
Kaka: We are feeding this child, maybe on improper and unbalanced diet, but we are feeding it, trust me.
Koko: My friend, do you know the number of conferences, seminars, workshops and other unprofitable talk shops that will take place this week alone and how much it is costing this country? Didn’t your friend stir the wasps at one of those events?
Kaka: It was not a conference o. It was a capital market retreat.
Koko: Great, and what is the difference between six and half a dozen? And anyway what is the big thing happening in the capital market that we need to have a retreat, considering that my money is still trapped in there? All these money-guzzling jamborees that should be outlawed. We talk too much in this country.
Kaka: Retreats are different o. But you have a point there. Everyday, every week, this country spends so much on meetings that benefit nobody really except the folks who collect the BTA and sleep in presidential suites of five-star hotels. Well, the television stations who air them live also rake in their millions.
Koko: They just go there, speak long long turenchi, discuss papers that achieve nothing except profit hotel owners year in year out. How did we even end up with leaders who talk about what they feel should be done but do nothing? How can you believe they can even think when all they do is deliver papers and present graphs and power-point percentages at boring conferences?
Kaka: What about the lawmakers, 109 in the red chambers and 360 in the green chambers? Aren’t they too many?
Koko: This is a big country and we need many people to represent us. Why we need to buy them brand new SUVs every four years is what I don’t understand. The perks of office in this country is mind boggling, maddening. Is it not only in this country that businessmen travel economy and civil servants travel business class to all kinds of conferences that add no value to our lives?
Kaka: And then there are still ministries that have no business being in existence in the first place. Like the man with 16 children, we need to shuffle our priorities.
Koko: Yeah, I am still wandering what Ministry of Water Resources does with its allocation when we need money to give policemen decent accommodation. There are critical areas of our national life that are on life support but we are gallivanting all over the place pretending to be rich.
Kaka: What about the states that are not viable, should we start merging them?
Koko: Any merger now will start a second civil war. Let those lawmakers we buy big big cars for start earning their keep by making laws that will ensure each state starts looking inwards to make money outside of the beggars’ meeting they attend every month in Abuja. They should also stop taking bonds that will cripple unborn generation otherwise they too will be needing candle-burning sessions and prayers to ward off evil from their doorsteps.