By Prince Charles Dickson
There is no manner of death that is inconvenient for the chicken. (One is game for whatever propositions might be made to one).
The phrase 'oga at the top' some forthnight ago went viral. We all know how the NSDC Lagos state commandant and 'Channels TV journalists' exchange resulted in that now viral four-word-axiom.
We have since seen 'oga at the top' shirts, cups, fez caps, ringtunes, movies -- you name it. In fact, I was quite fascinated seeing a Nigerian UK-based TV use the phrase as the new catch slug. This is Nigeria. Do you recall how, at Jonathan's first coming, people named their kids 'Goodluck'.
Well, this is neither much about Mr. Shem, who uttered the phrase, nor about his ignorance; it is not about the journalists who unprofessionally rattled him, it is not about Nigerians who seem lost on the real thematic problem in that phrase or people whose new pseudo are 'oga at the top'.
So, what is it, that this writer is overflogging? Follow me in the next few paragraphs and let's see Nigeria.
My name is El-Emeka Adebayo, I work with the Federal Civil Service, I am what you call an 'oga at the top', not so many of us, but enough to wreck havoc on the Nigerian dream, that is not if we have any.
You call us Perm Sec, Directors, Assistant this and that in various ministries and parastatals, and extra-ministerial platforms.
Many of us have been around the top for ages, some as far back as 1976, 79, and early 80s. We have put in two-three decades ruining Nigeria.
This is my story, by our set standards I work hard; I do not know what the general standards are because they vary depending on situations, persons, time and other factors.
In one year I can hardly tell you how hard I work, but for sure I work hard, traveling for all sorts of seminar, workshops, and conventions. Did you notice my name, I go on both Hajj and Pilgrimage to Saudi/Isreal depending on how I feel. Its an entitlement, and did I tell you, I have been 60years old several times, and I have forgotten my real age now.
I have a wife, I could actually have four but I put up a decent face de jure in public. Really my concubines, girlfriends and babes are as many as the 36 states of Nigeria. There are just a few of them that don't have a car gift from me, several of them live in houses in various GRAs across Nigeria. I pay the bill. As for children from them, I have lost count.
I have 'just' 6 houses in the FCT, a few in Lagos, and a shopping plaza in Port Harcourt and then my country home mansion. With six kids, I am not spending much on Ivy league schools, the first lad just finished from MIT, not so intelligent but money does cover up for that, one is in UK, two in US and the last two in Canada and Australia respectively.
My wife deals in gold and other jeweleries, smiling, I am sure it's a good excuse for our source of income. Never mind she only buys not sell. Her holidays per year are like her 'menstrual flow' are.
I spend an average of 2hours a day, and four days a week at the office and that's when I am not in one of those marathon meetings with the honourable minister, a governor or some legislative ogas at the top. Calculate that!
Don't mind me, I will soon be done, I have as of the last time I counted, three official cars, some regular cars, not sure if three too, my personal luxury, a Mercedes Jeep, and another luxury Sedan for my country home. These excludes the cars the kids drive when around. Well, quite a garage you 'd say.
We have a family doctor, actually three doctors, a family lawyer, few family teachers, drivers, gardeners, some domestic helps, several utility personnel, all well paid monthly, and excluding tips.
These also excludes my external family social services, you know how it works, I am an oga at the top. My generosity knows no bound.
I have a sound-proof power generating set, so has PHCN improved? I cannot say, though I have a whole transformer met for a community in my house, sorry I mean mansion. With those AWD luxury jeep with four tyres costing same amount for a second hand car. I can't tell you the roads are bad because Sule one of the drivers maneuvers them nicely.
My office pays other bills, water rates, some insurance things, and other utilities. I really careless about pension, paid myself that, a long time ago.
My sitting rooms, several of them, are an example of real life 'argos mall catalog' for electronic gadgets etc and some powerful industrial scanfrost refrigerators, and choice bars, both in bedroom and parlour.
My kids don't know hardship, struggle or stress, they have all been on some form of allowance since their 14th birthday and these excludes some few millions in their various accounts both home here and those domiciled abroad.
And guess what? I am not exactly smart. How much do I earn? I do not know again sef...but I steal "whole budgets"...so who cares.
I expect gratification, a cash-backed thank you, I cheat the system, after all its government, and still I am at the center of all sorts of reforms, promises and clichés, but sadly no result because the system itself is premised on a faulty foundation.
Whether you bring in academics, politicians, or the so-called career civil servant like myself, the result is still largely the same, more crooks are bred.
Well it remains to be seem, my story is similar everywhere, very little difference, from Zamfara-Abia, Sokoto-Abeokuta, in the police, army, mdgs, even in our churches and mosques.
We are the ogas at the top, and with a few at the corners we thrive to deal with those of you below. We are game for whatever propositions might be made, Nigerians at the bottom, are not ready, we are at the top, are still game, if we want change, only time will tell.