Hurrah! We failed to make it! This calls for a celebration. Yes, we must celebrate our failure to appear top on the list of wasteful counties.
This is no mean achievement. We put to shame the naysayers who had predicted that we would top the list. Well, to be exact, we were not even among the top three most wasteful counties. We learnt this long before the list appeared in the media.
It was his Popularity the Governor of our county who broke the good news. It was long since I saw him wear such a bright face and speak with so much passion. The importance of our achievement to him was evident in the fact that he chose to come in person to our Assembly and break the news.
Escorted by a number of county executives, he strode into the chamber one afternoon. The moment we saw his team, we knew there was something on the offing.
“We will suspend our business to listen to our beloved governor. He has an important announcement to make,” said the Assembly Speaker. We were all ears. The county supremo stood and said he did not want to take much of our time because he had been told we were in the middle of an extremely important debate.
It was true: Before he came in, we had been debating on whether unmarried MCAs should be allowed to nominate persons to benefit from the Spouse Allowance we had recently introduced.
“Honourable members,” said the governor,” I proudly announce that we were not listed among the top most wasteful counties. I would, therefore, like to congratulate all of you for the prudent way in which you helped us manage our funds,” There was a thunderous applause. He then continued, “Those who love literature as I do must have read a book by this Nigerian writer called Chinua er…er Chinua Abacha…”
“Achebe,” someone corrected him. “Yes, that one. You know it is long since some of us read these things. And by the way, why don’t we invite him to talk to our students? That would help them pass examinations,” he said and turned to the Culture and Sports executive who was in his entourage. “Think about it and give me a report,”
“Yes Sir,” responded the executive. “Anyway, as I was saying, this writer talked of a lizard who fell from a tree and was not praised, so he praised himself. Let us also congratulate ourselves because nobody is doing so.”
Perhaps he should not have said at this point that we needed to form a committee to come up with a way of celebrating our achievement. The disorder to this suggestion created in the House was, to say the least, embarrassing.
Well, every MCA was entitled to an opinion on how to constitute this committee, but did we all have to voice the opinions aloud at the same time in the presence of the holder of the highest office in the county? What a shame!
It took repeated pleas from the Speaker to restore order. When the county boss resumed his address, he expressed confidence in us and promised to support whatever way we chose to celebrate our achievement. “I look forward to receiving a report on your decision within a week,” he said. He and his team then left.
As soon as we were on our own, the Speaker gave a chance to MCA Chonjo. This was one member we trusted to come up with well-thought-out ideas, so we were all ears. “Members, let us not squander this golden opportunity. However, we must also not look extravagant and undo what we have achieved.”
“Straight to the point!” someone shouted. “ I suggest as a way of celebrating our success, each one of us is allowed to go and look for an investment opportunity.”
The MCA was swallowed alive, well, almost. It took the intervention of the Speaker again to restore sanity. “Let him finish,” he pleaded.
“I meant to say each of us should be allowed to go and look for an opportunity in the US. After all, America is now only 15 hours away!”
The applause must have cracked the walls of the chamber. At the end of the session, we unanimously agreed that the governor is asked to make arrangements for each of us to travel to the US and stay there for a month scouting for investment opportunities.
One far-sighted member even suggested that we could hold some of our Assembly sittings in New York City. Si tumeona mbele? [email protected]