Home Opinion Introduction to Motorpark Economics (ME 101)

Introduction to Motorpark Economics (ME 101)

by Isiyaku Ahmed
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Ahmed Yahaya – Joe

This is a two-part piece. The first is a political satire based on an imaginary proposal for an academic course of study to a strike-weary HoD by a mischievous lecturer. It is strictly fiction.

The concluding part is based on my personal assessment of the ASUU/FG conundrum as an angry parent. I have entitled the second part after a question I recently stumbled upon in Ross Terrill’s 1999 book “Mao: A Biography”

This course is envisaged to familiarize prospective students with the very important national intervention simply known as “Balablooblooblubulaba”

ME 101 is therefore premised on a moot question:

If X had succeeded in becoming a presidential flag bearer (instead of the composer of the lyrics earlier quoted) would Y branded campaign vehicles not have been by now plying Nigerian roads using Z sourced from outside the banking system?

Note Z is what Wike recently referred to as “logistics” otherwise known as “Kayan aiki” in the North. It can be stored in a farm produce store or hidden in a soak-away pit depending on the level of creativity and fear of EFCC.

While X  had never personally announced his ambition and has disassociated himself from any support group purported acting on his behalf back then in the procurement of Y how valid is any plausible deniability by a bureaucratic politician widely believed to have been angling for his preferred party’s presidential primaries?

Then there is the methodology of how gloss can be used in repainting texcote while changing the color of the cowries.

Does redesign not mean a significant difference from a pre-existing design?

 That is why all rumors, innuendoes, other forms of supposition, and unverified evidence sourced from beer parlor and Mai-shayi table banter including pillow talk pertaining will be thoroughly evaluated. Also, conspiracy theories and related grandstanding will be conscientiously examined during the duration of ME 101.

 It is against that background the main reference materials for the proposed course shall include questionnaires to relevant stakeholders in the paint job to avoid the proliferation of fake news.

 While the statesman thinks of the next generation and the politician in the next election how is X supposed to recover the expenses of Y? Will the new color improve the value of the cowrie? How much did the exercise cost?

These are the kind of irrelevant questions bordering on hate speech that would not be tolerated in the lecture hall and during tutorials.

There shall be Continuous Assessments (CA) during an examination at the end of this course unless the lecturer is made a Returning Officer in the next cycle of elections at a constituency of his choice preferably in Port Harcourt near any G5 PoS. This is non-negotiable.

A temporary appointment as a middleman with a free pass to any commercial bank branch to deposit a humongous amount of old notes in exchange for new ones on behalf of Ayu will be well appreciated to remain obedient.

On the lyrics “Balablooblooblubulaba” for their meaning and interpretation, we shall meet at Bourdilon under-bridge.

“How would you make a cat eat pepper?”

The cat is obviously ASUU and the pepper is the casualization of academia in Nigeria.

 This implies the introduction of tuition fees irrespective of who is the next president. Notice how the leading candidates ahead of 2023 are avoiding the topic.

Unfortunately, it took so many excruciating months of a labor dispute to reach this inevitable point of no return in the bid to commercialize tertiary education.

In fairness to the government of the day, Nigerians would have openly resisted the direct introduction of tuition fees with extreme prejudice.

But now that everything has unraveled it is obvious with the benefit of hindsight that ASUU was indirectly ensnared. It is currently left with little or no strategic options for the kind of maneuver that would unhinge the FG with legitimate demands.

The nation is at crossroads. Poverty has been successfully weaponized against our best brains.

It was to the Chinese premier Zhou Enlai and Communist enforcer Liu Shaoqui that Chairman Mao asked, “How would you make a cat eat pepper?”

Liu answered, “That’s easy. You get somebody to hold the cat, stuff the pepper in its mouth, and push it down with a chopstick.”

Mao was horrified at such a response so Zhou volunteered, “I would starve the cat. Then I would wrap the pepper with a slice of meat. If the cat is sufficiently hungry it will swallow it whole.”

Mao unimpressed with both gave his own take, “You rub the pepper thoroughly into the cat’s backside. When it burns, the cat will happily lick it off.

The moral here is no longer an issue of 8 monthly backlogs of salaries but a matter of full salary every month end going forward. No doubt the strike period arrears will gradually be cleared by hard-pressed Nigerian parents and guardians like this writer anxious to keep our children and wards in the lecture halls at any cost.

But how did ASUU members get so easily blindsided like Mao’s pepper-licking cat?

University lecturers are mostly abstract thinkers motivated by evidentiary reason and critical analysis. Unfortunately, smart people make dumb mistakes.

Prof. Tukur Sa’ad’s advisory back in August remains instructive, “ASUU lives in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. When we face the government, we fall into its trap. We end up relatively worse off than we started.”

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