Koboless Christmas

Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

Most Nigerians are koboless – I mean, they have no kobo coins in their pockets, let alone naira notes, and they must perforce celebrate Christmas.

When a kobo is so hard to come by, all talk of having naira is totally abolished in the Nigerian scheme of things. The matter of kobolessness in Nigeria is not funny at all because the lack of cash in Nigerian pockets is beyond the cashless policy.

All this galls in the same Nigeria in which one highly irresponsible Nigerian politician behaving like an adult in crèche was captured in a picture drinking with a fellow ex-governor a bottle of cognac that costs all of N10 million!

It is as though it is enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution for the koboless masses to keep on voting for giddy politicians loaded with dollars, pounds sterling, yen, yuan, and plenty of naira as loose change! Call it renewed hope in hopelessness of kobolessness!

I deserve a prompt invitation into the presidential yacht for my poetical gyrations in praise-singing! Sahara Reporters has just informed me that even the soldiers did not receive their December salaries such that they are equally koboless. A koboless man carrying a gun at Christmastime is highly dangerous – so where is my ballistic helmet as I venture into the street?

There is no escaping the fact that every Nigerian, except the happy-go-lucky politicians, exists within the ambit of endangered species.

The Nigerian police officers have since established more police checkpoints than can be counted with a calculator, especially on the eastern front. Travelling koboless on these roads without the quid to settle the diabolical policemen of the checkpoints is an open invitation to a beheading!

The guarantee of security during the yuletide is neither here nor there.
Without any security all over the land, death has become a clear and present danger that cannot be countermanded.
The Wise Men of the East cannot make the journey to cherish the new-born Christ because Christmas falls on a Monday which is a sit-at-home day! How can Christmas ever be celebrated on an empty pocket when the prices of all goods and commodities have more than quadrupled since the new sheriffs landed on power?

Let’s just agree that the tragedy of this Christmas is the culmination of a very bad year like no other. In this evil year, the naira was devalued, and the petrol subsidy was removed with a wave of the hand, and petrol price has kept soaring like an uncatchable jet fighter.

There is definitely no year anywhere in the world that can match the Nigeria’s year of Our Lord as per 2023 AD. The impossible records of this year ought to annex deserved places in the Guinness Book of World Records.

There were the general elections in which computer glitches ended up writing and announcing the presidential election results. A shot of ogogoro for democracy! “Go to court!” is the mantra of the land where judges and judgments are bought and sold like akara and suya.
The Christmas palliative of the caring government is the distribution of rice across the land, but it does take the fighting skills of the boxer Muhammad Ali and the martial arts skills of the karate master Bruce Lee to survive the struggle of getting the smallest bag of rice.

There is the 50 percent palliative on transport costs but most passengers who paid half the price as offered by the government ended up being beaten black and blue before being dragged out of the buses.

The fights in the many motor parks of Nigeria have given many a passenger the black eyes of conjunctivitis. With Apollo eyes many Nigerians now lack the vision to know the way to their villages, as happened in Lagos the other when a man who paid to be ferried to Akokwa in Imo State ended up in Akoka in Lagos! In a koboless Christmas, anything can happen.

The miraculous wonders worked by the palliatives of this government carry more magic than the magical realism of discovering ice in Macondo in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude.

I have just been informed that the students’ union, NANS, is now a wing of the presidency, and I have been thusly advised to take a trip on a guided tour of the presidential yacht to get my final briefing on writing this epistle.
A tear for koboless Christmas!

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