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Fools, idiots, the king and queens of stupidity

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The person who inspired this column this week was not sure what to call these Nigerians. They are Nigerians who the writer dare not name. He can give them mere generic names. They are ‘idiots’ = “a stupid person, a person of low intelligence”. They are ‘fools’ = no equivalent supposing everybody knows what a fool is. Stupid kings and queens = “the rulers of their types”.

Dictionaries don’t bother to define them except dictionaries for seven year olds who wonder what their teacher, who makes rude faces, when he calls them fools, makes faces when he calls them fools which their parents never call them fools… so on and so forth. Such people still do not have archetypes in Literature. There are archetypes in greed, in hiding money, in being cruel to children, but in being foolish in spending money, we do not have archetypal character for spending money foolishly.

Yet this is our chance to make a major contribution to English literature and through English literature to European literature. The idiots who buy mint print new to ‘spray,’ to ‘spray’ = throw money away without caring who is picking up the money. I’m sure you have seen one of those films where desperate robbers who know they will never live to spend the money they have stolen. You would have seen desperate burglars who are sure they will never survive to spend the money in the suit case willfully throw the money down from the 24th and 25th floors when they encounter 22nd and 21st floors burning from below and from above…

Before we enumerate what these men and women buy with other people’s money, we must except rich Nigerians who made their money working hard for it. Such people might prefer to spend their money on toys their parents couldn’t buy for them when they were babies. It is their well-earned money, not our money. We could do checks and balances as to how they made such money as to spend foolishly in the first place. Once they are cleared they could be advised not to spend well-earned money foolishly because it is hard to earn money. It should be spent well.

Those who spend money stupidly buy an aircraft. Or they might buy two aircrafts. Or three. Even four. Five nko? Others having bought so many ‘biggable’ cars are told that they must wait six months for their car of choice. So, they wait and salivate until they are drooping at the lips. And when the car arrives it is missing a part so positioned even common villager who saw a roast-royce’ in Lagos, on 4th Mainland Bridge in a traffic jam and he laughed so loud the owner of the car saw him laughing. He wound down his window and said, “we are in air conditioned traffic jam, look at you.” ‘You wound down to look at me!’ by which time the driver had wound up the window. They argued until they got to their village if the owner of the car heard what the man said from the wretched car or not.

After cars what next? Houses of course. Each of the thirteen children would have two houses each. He was not sure of the fatherhood of the thirteenth one. So, only 12 houses. Anyway 13 is unlucky. Remember so and so who celebrated his 13th child because he/she was a boy. He died the following day. And one after another the girls died. Don’t let’s tell bad stories at night. May bad thing not happen to us o, Amen.

After houses, they bought the most fancy cars in European car sales shops for each of the children. If the children didn’t like the one’s daddy bought for them, they got to keep the ones they don’t like as well as the ones they liked.

Now it was the turn of daddy and mama to choose their own toys. For mama, jewelry of 101 designs. And of bronze, of silver, and of gold designs, all of them decked with diamonds. It is well and good to deck gold with diamonds doing decoration with like. But silver and diamond? Bronze with diamonds ke? Eewo! Daddy put his money to buying a yacht, 82 feet long. This is the occasion when he will finally learn to swim, something he was too poor to learn at school. And the sacrifices placed near the river scared him and he never went near the river.

But what time does he have today to learn to swim and dive and be like fishes in the ocean?
The issue is what should they buy if not wastages and what they buy one day and they discard the day after. Is that not the way of the thief, to get today, waste tomorrow and look for something new to thief the day after? So, let it be with them. But hear what they should use their money to buy. Nigeria has no stead electricity supply. Why can’t they poll their money together and create great electricity plant and let it create it for every village and every hamlet and every household in Nigeria? Look at Nigeria’s educational structures, none without libraries any equal of what existed in colonial Nigeria when the colonials ran the country. Whether you speak of secondary school or tertiary and university places of learning, where are they to show their faces?

Why should private wealth, stolen or properly put together, do what governments should do for their people? Of course, we do know the wealthy people built halls and huge Cathedrals in holy testimony to their God. But most only towards the end of their lives when they begin to think what the future will remember them by. If our people will remember them by except how many Rolls Royce they buried with mother. If that is what they will show off inside the ground, let it be so.

Government has responsibilities to its citizens! Governments do not have responsibilities to thieves except to throw them into jails. If people who make their money decide to spend it any way whose business is it. Let governments do their duties, build electricity plants, build good roads and structure businesses that make profit, they have them in India where communists run businesses to make profit for state governments who are allowed to spend their money on themselves. Beat that, if you can.


In this article:
Kole Omotoso
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