To survive till 2019, switch off your TV

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If you watch TV for too long, you pick lies from government officials – both from their lips and heads. And you might go deaf as the opposition shouts itself hoarse.

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Usoro I. Usoro

For a successful 2019 birthday, switch off your TV set. No? Yes! It’s in your own interest, if you want to live that long. You see, TV does a lot of damage. Ask your local technician and a neighbour who owns an electronic store. I swear, if they are true Nigerians, they might testify that TV has a bad effect on your breath! Very hard to ‘brush’ off. And that’s only half the truth.

Okay, here’s the other ‘half’. And it only applies to those who: (1) own TV; (2) enjoy electricity power supply; (3) hear, and; (4) can differentiate the lies. TV causes hypertension! And, apart from ‘damaging’ your money (on maintenance), TV also causes low blood pressure – ‘sucks’ your life fluid. And then, ‘finishes’ your eyes. It destroys valuable time, too. Your children – no more read. And, man! It ‘spoils’ your wife! You just get home and there’s nobody to give you food because, hold it, everybody is watching ‘Telemundo’ or ‘Nickelodeon’!

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Anyway, that’s not even as bad as a recent survey suggested. From now on, if you want to remember the names of your children, turn off the TV. Eat fish, read fiction and do crosswords or play word-shuffle  – so says the survey. The reasons are simple. If you watch TV for too long, you pick lies from government officials – both from their lips and heads. And you might go deaf as the opposition shouts itself hoarse. Or you get angry finding out how much they’ve truly stolen on our behalf – while using noise to ‘fight kwaraption’.

Eating fish relieves your anger and helps you talk less. Especially, if you swallow the fish bone. Because if you eat meat, especially when angry, it might continuously make you want to eat some politicians. Government officials, Baba, and some rogue INEC officials, inclusive. Ask my barber!

Barber: Oga! I hear say that lifeless Baba don refuse to sign the election act again. Abi, him vex say Yul Edochie go fit win am for erection, sorry, election? Person no de follow Baba de play again?  Yul jus de play nah. Sebi de guy na actor? I hear say, Baba quarrel say na so dem trick am make e sign “Not Too Young to Run” Act into law. And that even though him trekked from mosque to him house, Yul, Sowore and other youths fit outrun am. I hear say, Baba de worry say if the youths pass am for the run, e go confirm Trump’s opinion say him be lifeless.

Me: Where did you hear all those ones? You talk too much.

Barber: Ah! Oga, dem show am for inside my TV. I no fit remember the station-o. But dem talk am say Trump call baba lifeless. That thing vex Baba so musch de man begin trek from Abuja to Lagos. Na for Ore some of him boys go catch am say make him no go fall. Na him Garuba Shehu come announce say de man dey fit to run from now till 2019. After, Yul come shout say he fit run pass Baba. Jus make FRSC and INEC clear road well well. But me, I know say that Yul boy get mouth well well. Na only  actor him be o. No be athletics o.

Me: Who is talking about athletics? I thought we were talking about election?

Barber: Tans sa, I no know book-o. But weda athletics or election, de important thing be say, run de inside. No be why Obasanjo warn Buhari make him no run make e no fall?

Anyway, the problem with my barber is that he watches too much TV. So sometimes, he invents stories in his head – like Lai Mohammed – believing he saw it on TV. The other day, he claimed he saw a documentary, where primary school children invaded Aso Rock and carted away the recovered Abacha loot. $322million! Then, the naughty pupils pocketed the bucks and used them to buy sweets in the name of School Feeding programme. That was why Buhari went to borrow $328 million from China to replace the ‘shared’ loot. Ask Atiku! The same China that Obasanjo got loan from years back.

We get so deliberately misinformed in this country that we don’t even know when they are telling the truth anymore. When the lies come from government, they aren’t termed “fake” o. We take loan for this and loan for that. Loan for infrastructure. Loan for election. Loan to fight erection, sorry, erosion. Loan to fight ‘kwaraption’. Loan to pay back loan. Loan to fight terrorism. Yet, we remain “lifeless” – in ideas and implementation. Nothing concrete to show for the unending loans by subsequent governments.

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Even my barber isn’t impressed. He’s so concerned about next year’s election and the security arrangements. Talks of acquiring high-tech equipment and dogs to monitor terrorism and electoral fraud drop from his ears like water from the back of hen. If humans can’t curb crimes, how can dogs? he queried.

Barber: Wicsh terrorism and kwaraption dem de fight? Common drivers dem no fit fight make dem no drop or pick passengers for express, na kwaraption and terrorism dem de fight. Wicsh one? Election-rigging terrorism; abi armed-robbery terrorism? Lifelessness terrorism? Unemployment-terrorism abi no-food terrorism? EFCC-terrorism abi poverty-allocation terrorism? Nansense and ingredient!

Me: That thing is ‘poverty alleviation’ and Osinbade, sorry Osinbajo says government has done a lot in that area. At least, everybody around the government houses can testify. Their pockets, at least, are now ‘alleviated’!

Barber: Oga, abeg no vex-o! But anoda customer tell me say de thing na ‘poverty elevation’. And dat man head big pass ya own-o. So, wicsh one I go believe? Because e say apart from trekking for 800 metres, (abi na milo-ketres?) Baba Buhari’s next achievement na ‘ poverty elevation’.

How do you teach a block-headed adult the meaning of allocation, alleviation and elevation? The more I try, the more confused he gets.  It’s hard for him to understand that words don’t always mean what they seem – especially in Nigeria. If only he would reduce his TV-watching habit. I heard if you watch less TV, you recall political lies easily. You may even detect some lazy security excuses from Buhari’s security chiefs – who are busy “cracking their brains” while the nation burns. Look, from now on, I’ve warned my dogs to ‘shine’ eyes. We must catch all these liars, okay?

Reading more fictions is better than watching their lies on TV. Very annoying to see them look straight into the camera and well, lie Lai! Only Buhari knows how to lie without looking into the camera.

For instance, the day he elevated “security and national interest” above rule of law, his eyes stayed down – on a piece of paper. Hence, no lawyer could ask him who would interpret what is “national interest” without the rule of law. And what if, as 2019 election approaches, someone “mistakenly on purpose” raises APC/Buhari interest to the level of national interest? Soyinka says we should be careful o. Hence, when “they” fill my TV screens to sell half-truths, in anger, I switch it off! Nonsense!

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