The lies of Lai, Nigerian stories and one pound

October 31, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

NAN photo



Prince Charles Dickson

So I decided to read a Lai related news item, and that was when my admonition for this week took shape…

“The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has assured of the determination of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to improve the economy and make food available for all Nigerians.

Speaking with journalists yesterday in Asaba on the sidelines of the 46th National Council on Information meeting, Mohammed said that some of the steps taken so far to address the recent economic recession include job creation and the ease of doing business among others. The minister said that the government was also taking steps to urgently address the Niger Delta crisis, which has severely affected crude oil production, the mainstay of the Nigerian economy.

The minister, however, predicted hard times during the forthcoming Christmas as a result of the current hardship occasioned by economic recession, noting that the Federal Government will ensure an improved production of crude oil to kick-start the economy.

He said: “Everyday the government is recording success. Only recently both the IMF and World Bank released a quite encouraging report that measures the government is taking are definitely leading to a great deal of progress.

“I can assure you that before Christmas we will be able to resolve a lot of the challenges that we have, especially in the Niger Delta area. And once the production improves, there will be more money in the system. There was this seven big wins that was launched by the president in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources which are the steps Nigeria is taking to ensure that even if we are diversifying the economy, oil and gas still remains a major pillar of our economy and these are things we are doing to revive it.”

“I want to assure Nigerians on behalf of the Federal Government that we are working day and night to ensure that the hardship of Nigerians is reduced.”

These ‘people’ can ‘lie’; when government officials talk like this, you know we are in for a one-pound situation, when in one breath, we talk about moving to agriculture, then we are still in that mentality of the “oyel”, there is problem, a BIG ONE at that when we are still dependent on the Brentwood class monitors for a list of noisemakers on how our economy is improving.

We all know that Christmas would be hard, Sallah was hard, everything is hard, it is not the fault of the Buhari administration, it is GEJ‘s fault, and we all know that, but in common, we want to see solutions, repeating the obvious is nowhere near the solution. Nigerians know that the government is working, but really it is the result that we simply are not seeing, the citizenry are going through expectation fatigue.

The Nigerian stories, last week, Reuben Abati, top class columnist and opinion molder was guest of the EFCC, and with him were other past government dudes. It is now an epic from the EFCC, one week, one criticism, one arrest, all the self praise singing from Magu does not translate to one pound in the lives of the everyday Nigerians as we are still being entertained with weekly tips of the soap opera, ‘Patie, her million dollars and more.’

Nigerians are hungry, but really this government is at a loss as how to navigate the murky waters. So we keep ourselves informed, entertained in all sorts of manners, like burning tires in Ondo State, at least that is what Jimoh Ibrahim called it.

Meanwhile, as I consoled myself that it cannot get worse, my friend and brother had this to say about our plight…”Unlike First Republic politicians who brought a measure of intellectual rigor to debates and quoted extensively from books and philosophers to advance their arguments, he lamented the low intellectual capacity of the current breed of Nigerian political leaders at all levels. He also said politicians who have libraries in their homes consider the books as a mere part of the architecture rather than a serious resource of materials to be consulted to advance democratic values.

In his words “I’ve said it also that one of the basic problems we face today is the declining level of our intellectual potency and value of our national discourse. If you go through the conversations of the politicians of the First Republic, when they speak, you see them quoting Socrates, Pluto and other philosophers. You see them making references to renowned authors. But that seems forbidden in what we have now.

And one wonders why we are in the current state where Nigeria is rapidly on the decline; from fleeing airlines, to closing business, skyrocketing prices, and the pound and dollars coasting clear everyday of the Naira with a widening gap, while the government keeps making excuses.

I would end my admonition with the following, being the lyrics of the song one pound by Brymo:


Ah ah

Eh eh

Hoore eh hoore eh hoore eh hoore eh

Hunger dey eh

Hunger dey eh

I dey waka dey go obanikoro to look for where to dock ah

Wahala dey

Conductor jack driver eh

E dey owe am 250 naira

E never get something to chop


I dey waka my way

I dey look for the place

She dey look at my face

She wan follow me play

One boy dey shout up NEPA

The other dey drink pure water

One woman dey sell pure water

She say you must call me later

Emi ni poun kan

Je n ra bata poun kan fun e

Sho le wo aso poun kan

Mo ni ife re gidi gan

Omo iya ile okan, mo ni ife re gidi gan

Ayanfe, a ni mo ni ifere gidi gan

I empty my plate

I no wan be late o

She dey head for my place

I dey hurry dey pace o

One man e get potbelly

He dey run, e dey shake like jelly

The load e carry heavy

Oga give me more money


Fun mi ni poun kan

Ki n lo je iyan poun kan

Ki n je sere poun kan

Ikun mi fuye gidi gan

Omo iya ile okan, mo ni ife re gidi gan

Sho le se be poun kan

Ayanfe mi gangan ah

Sho le se be poun kan

Ayanfe mi gangan

Sho le se be poun kan

Ayanfe mi gangan


Our nation Nigeria needs to face the truth, acknowledge that all is well and lay out a clear plan of redemption, because for now, all we are engrossed in is lies, when from ambassadors-designate or designate-rejecters, the underbelly of this beautiful nation is soft, we have made the mistake of a Jonathan, if we continue like this, trust me I have not said anything—only time will tell.











Prince Charles Dickson

Currently Prince Charles, is based out of Jos, Plateau State, and conducts field research and investigations in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria with an extensive reach out to the entire North and other parts. Prince Charles worked on projects for UN Women, Search for Common Ground, and International Crisis Group, among others. He is an alumnus of the University of Jos and the prestigious Humanitarian Academy at Harvard and Knight Center For Journalism, University of Texas at Austin. A doctoral candidate of Georgetown University

Born in Lagos State (South West Nigeria), Prince Charles is proud of his Nigerian roots. He is a Henry Luce Fellow, Ford Foundation grantee and is proficient in English, French, Yoruba Ibo and Hausa. Married with two boys, and a few dogs and birds.


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