Hello, there, Little One! Okay, why are you eyeballing me? You are barely an hour old and already you are showing signs of defiance. I’m glad; shows you are the true daughter of your father.
Yes. Fortunately (okay, maybe not) for you, this lanky handsome is your father and that amazing beauty, breathing her lungs dry, is your mother. Nine months ago, we played a game of “push-me-I-push-you” and mummy’s tummy grew big. Then there was a flurry of activities that included registering at a hospital, taking drugs and exercising before you arrived. I remember one day you nearly made an early entrance into this world because our current president decided to block the road during a Lagos rush hour. That day I wrote him a letter; he never wrote back. Maybe, I should have addressed myself as a MEND leader….
First off, I must apologise for that drone you hear. Sadly, it is one you have got to get used to fast. You see, the leaders of my country have made it my responsibility to provide you with all the basic amenities. So, this hospital-and everyone in it- generate electricity with a generator that grows louder by the day. I got to pump water or have one mallam fetch for the house. I even have to patch roads to our home at times.
I apologise for not having enough money to send your mum to give birth to you in the UK or the US. Just by giving birth to you here, we have made your life that much more difficult. Now, we have to queue for hours to get anything. The hospital will be too full when we take you for checkups. The traffic will be heavy when you are being driven to school. The man at the passport office will ask for bribe before even seeing your face.
That is the way things work here dear. Nothing goes for nothing. And those leading us have the same IQ as you, or why else would a grown man say the ex-president (Lord, rest his soul) could rule from the moon? How would a woman who stole hundreds of billions get only six-months of jail time spent at a posh lodging in an Ikoyi Hospital? when a bread seller bags two years for reporting a crime? That’s the anomaly you’ve been born into.
I must also apologise for Grand Pa. He wanted to be here for this moment, but the man will soon be. He just needs to work out how much “toll” he would have to pay to those men in black between Kaduna and Lagos. Then, he has to calculate how much fuel he needs and memorise all the one-way streets in Lagos. One wrong turn and he might have to give up all the money he wants to dash you to a LASTMA official. And that man hates to waste money, seeing he never threw me a birthday party. Not even a birthday card. He was too busy being angry with a guy called Maradona.
Ok, think I have been giving you too much information too soon. You will understand the terms pretty shortly. And I promise to give you holidays and big birthdays. I will buy you cars and send you to the best schools, so you don’t suffer a loss in confidence like the Super Eagles. I will ensure that your classmates are children of ministers and senators. That way, you will be in good company.
How will I pay for all these? Well, it is my hope that I won’t have to sell my conscience, nor my favourite appendage, to give you quality education and health care. I hope the Nigeria of your time will be a lot better than today’s.
Baby, I look forward to a time when our best brains would work here instead of populating the streets and alleys of New York. I hope for the time when my passport will not double as my death certificate. I hope for a Nigeria that will protect your interests and make you proud. I hope for a Nigeria where thieves would be ashamed to show their faces and true heroes would get national awards.
Sleep, dear one, sleep. Sleep and rest while I dream of a better life for you and a greater Nigeria for all. Rest now, because you are one of the many who will make this dream come true; my job is to lay the grounds for you. Rest, now dear, rest, while Daddy goes to war for a New Nigeria. It is possible.
PS: Daddy needs you to take care of mummy while he’s gone. Whatever happens, remember this, Daddy loves you more than life!
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