WhatsApp Intellectuals! Elect08

I belong to a WhatsApp group named Elect08. It is a group of men and women who attended college/university, studying in the same undergraduate program, together. Sometimes we discuss issues concerning Nigeria and this usually leads to interesting conversations from different perspectives. I reached to my college buddies on that group to ask for their permission to make the content of our conversations on the WhatsApp group public, while compiling The Resilient and Cynical Nigeria anthology, and they gave their blessing. The conversation takes somewhat of a Socratic Dialogue shape.

I have also made some minor corrections here and there to some of the content, with respect to grammar and vocabulary, where necessary. And I have, in italics, tried to make sense of the conversation and explain certain things within what I presume to be the appropriate context.

So this conversation started with me asking the permission of my colleagues to use the content of our group chat. And Ogonna makes the following statement:

Ogonna: What if Buhari (the president) tracks us down

‪Khafe: Thank God I supported him
 Khafe: I cannot even be explaining to SSS (State Security Service, Nigeria’s most elite security and intelligence agency)

John: With all naija issues I doubt he would

Ogonna: U Don see how SSS dey handle people they capture
 Ogonna: ?

John: U won’t be able to explain sef

Ogonna: Guy

‪Khafe: Guy first hand oo, its not like VIO that u will be talking back to (VIO — Vehicle Inspection Officers in Lagos. They are known to give motorists a lot of trouble)

Ogonna: I come dey even pity the boko harm guy
 Ogonna: If u see that kind of treatment, you must make heaven

Ugo: DSS hahahahaha (DSS — Department of State Services — another name for the SSS)
 Ogonna: Nothing will make u sin again
 
 ‪Ugo: Funny enough people would do it for him 
 Leslie:major fuu…

Ugo: Look @ d Joachim guy dat was arrested for naming his dog buhari

Department of State Services

Khafe: Whats GEJ’s plan? (Khafe asks this question, probably from a previous conversation about the plan of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ), the former president, probably to compare him to the current president — Muhammadu Buhari)

Ugo: In a Democratic govt?

Khafe: LOOOL
 Leslie: Same here

Ugo: Khafe d devil u know is better Dan d saint u know not. (Ugo trying to imply that Jonathan, was a lesser evil than Buhari in the last February 2015 election)

Khafe: U would not use parable to confuse me, I ask for plan u are talking proverb

President Buhari and Jonathan. With former Military president, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar in the background.

Ugo: True guy he did a lot in 2yrs
 Ugo: Rather than where we are now though

Khafe: Plan plan plan

Ugo: With no form of restructuring or plans of doing so

Ogonna: Ugo you cannot win this

Leslie: This guy na setup king

Ogonna: Without a plan

Leslie: Like he doesn’t get it

Ugo: Lemme let it rest (in plain English: leave me. Let it rest).

Ogonna: Yeah bro

Khafe: I wish u can tell me really so I can have clarity

Khafe: Its fine sha, GEJ did a lot really but where there is no direction then we can’t really grade him
 Khafe: it was business as usual
 Khafe: Yarádua had a plan
 Khafe: like it was clear
 Khafe: But Jonathan had no shoes

Ogonna: But really, apart from the looting, was Goodluck so bad?

Seun: Yes
 Seun: He was a soft leader

Ogonna: We need someone harsh?

Khafe: Let me put the looting in perspective for u, We as a sovereign nation have no cash in excess crude account

Ugo: Same may happen with dis regime also
 Ugo: We would not have anything left (referring, I think, to the dwindling Reserves of the country)
 Ugo: the way dey are going

Ogonna: But Khafe how are you sure about this

Ugo: Jonathan never took 110 delegates abroad (this has to do with a recent trip to the United Nations General Assembly, where Buhari took over 110 people — for a country currently in a recession, Ugo probably believes this was not a prudent idea)

Ogonna: Like is it because Lai said it? (Lai Mohammed — the current Minister of Information for the Buhari Administration, and was also influential in the election of Buhari)

Lai Mohammed

Ugo: What are dey looking for ?

‪Khafe: Guy see if there was money we would know
 Khafe: and PDP would have said they left

Khafe: He had no plan
 ‪Ugo: Have dey never been to d USA before? (Still referring to the 110 delegates to New York)

Khafe: PLAN

Ogonna: Holy Spirit for let us know

‪Khafe: asin
 Khafe: U agree GEJ left nothing abi
 Khafe: So OG (Ogonna) u see how dismissive we are to corruption

Ogonna: Lol
 Ogonna: We know corruption dey
 Ogonna: We know
 Ogonna: So even if we aren’t dismissive, it makes no difference. (OG stating that Nigerians know that they is corruption in the country but are willing to do nothing about it — this is a phenomenon call Institutionalized Corruption)

Khafe: We have to fight corruption

Ogonna: Corruption go still dey (Expressing concern that even if we fight it, there would still be corruption)

Ogonna: But you cannot measure it

Ugo: PMB said he met nothing left in the reserves now. (PMB, President Muhammadu Buhari, made a comment when he took office, that there was no money left in the state treasury, and the country had been left bankrupt by the past administration)

Ogonna: We don’t know what is true.
 Ogonna: We just know what they tell us

Ugo: How are we sure he said the truth?

Khafe: Ugo (Ugo) if u leave money in your account and OG said when u gave him your ATM, to check your account balance, there was nothing there would you not say OG was lying

Ugo: Khafe (Khafe) if u understand why the new government is here u would understand where I am coming from

Khafe: GEJ & PDP never made a counter argument (Referring to the past president and his political party)

Leslie: Like! And if there is money won’t OG voice it out that there’s an error or something?

Khafe: First Sir, I want to understand the plan

Ugo: We don’t know
 Ugo: The media buried most of what PDP said
 Ugo: Our media isn’t even helping

Ogonna: Did you even hear of GEJ after he left office
 Ugo: No 
 Ugo: The media killed his existence (Jonathan has been very taciturn since he left office, only seen in public a couple of times — I like to think this has a lot to do with the “Winner takes all” politics practiced in Nigeria)

Khafe: LOL AIT is PDP so would PDP bury PDP (AIT- Africa Independent Television — an influential News Network that was unabashedly Pro PDP and Pro Jonathan during the last electioneering period)

Leslie: Cos there’s a possibility of making issues worse if he does
 Khafe: Someone that left empty purse ? u want to hear him, poor man dey talk
 Ugo: AIT threaded lightly with it’s boss in EFCC net. (EFCC — Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. A Nigerian law enforcement agency that investigates financial crimes. Apparently the AIT boss — Raymond Dokpesi has been indicted for some illicit activities with respect to Jonathan’s administration )

Leslie: You can’t tell me if GEJ has something to say that we won’t hear it, so I don’t agree with this

Ogonna: Why are we even talking about only PDP corruption (The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the political party that has won every presidential election and most gubernatorial seats, until the political landscapes changed in 2014/2015)

Khafe: Guy calm down jare, him be fish

Ogonna: Make I even google sef, I’m sure there is an article with PDP saying they left money. (Ogonna believes the last Administration left some money in the treasury)

Khafe: cause for we to talk about babangida we would have to be really old (Khafe brings this up, because Babangida was one of Nigeria’s most corrupt dictators, before the current republic begun in 1999)

Ogonna: I’m talking about APC (The All Progressive Congress APC, is the political party leading the country under Buhari. There is a concession that some of the chieftains of that party are extremely corrupt).

Khafe: Loool. guy if you find that story I would punch holes in it

Ogonna: Amaechi them (Rotimi Amaechi, a former legislator, governor and current minister of transportation was said to be extremely corrupt as a governor and legislator for his state. He was the chairman of Buhari’s election campaign).

Rotimi Amaechi

Ugo: If you know what the no 1s children are up to u won’t say all this except u get to eat from them

Khafe: Governors? ok since we have to go that route

Ugo: Both parties are same

‪Khafe: But before then, my point has always been, GEJ led us here and mismanaged the economy
 ‪khafe: We cannot see any benefit of the 145 USD a barrel. (Jonathan was extremely wasteful, Khafe refers to the time when a barrel of Oil was 145 USD, during the Jonathan Administration. Nigeria made a lot of money from this, but at this moment has nothing to show for because of the institutionalized corruption. And for those who do not know, Nigeria is one of the largest producers of oil in the world. So this is an extremely important point)

Ogonna: You brought up corruption

Ugo: At least GEJ didn’t ask unemployed youths to return offer letters the government already gave them

Ogonna: My point is, we only know what they tell us

Khafe: we cannot see infrastructure

Ugo: OG you get the point

Ogonna: Huh, who did they do this to?

Khafe: Ok before we digress this discussion

1) Buhari has a plan GEJ ruled for 6 years without one

2) As a result of the above Buhari has my trust

3) GEJ led us here

4) why wasnt GEJ scrutinized like this

5) UGO please what was his plan

Ogonna: Moving from petroleum to Agriculture
 Ogonna: Building roads
 ‪Ogonna: Building schools
 ‪Ogonna: Fighting corruption

Khafe: GEJ’s plans?

Ogonna: Yep
 ‪Ogonna: Same as everybody else
 ‪Ogonna: Providing employment
 ‪Ogonna: Populating the middle class
 ‪Ogonna: If not for anything
 ‪Ogonna: I saw the road that was built to east

Khafe: Ok in 6 years did we diversify the economy from Oil to Agriculture? Nope!
 Yeah he built roads. How many schools? 
 Corruption fought him instead.

Ugo: Immigrations collected back offer letters given to young graduates, because recruitment was done in GEJs regime. (Apparently during Jonathan’s administration, there was a mass recruitment exercise of young graduates by the Immigration service. The Offer letters given to the graduates were rescinded by the immigration service in Buhari’s administration).
 ‪Ugo: Khafe your guys had no manifesto

Ogonna: It wasn’t there before goodluck

Ugo: All this was in Jonathan’s plans
 ‪Khafe: HUH populating the middle class? Please elaborate.

Ogonna: Khafe you asked for plan
 ‪Ogonna: We have given you
 ‪Khafe: Sorry let’s forget who did the employment oo, lets skip and not remember that immigration doesn’t recruit that way
 ‪Ogonna: Did we say he finished all of them?
 ‪Ogonna: Oh yeah

Ugo: Jonathan has constructed the most KMs of roads in the history if this great country

Ogonna: Even power significantly improved

Khafe: OOOOO BMH we should be using horse. (BMH — Burst my head. Is an expression of surprise, exasperation, etc. Khafe uses it after he makes a cynical comment about horse and roads in Nigeria)

Ugo: Arch Onolumemen did this with him

Khafe: If u like let it be NOAH

Ogonna: No sarcasm please, we are giving you facts
 ‪Ogonna:

Khafe: Ok let’s be serious

Ugo: Power was going to change as against what OBJ did (OBJ — Olusegun Obasanjo, a former president who purportedly spent billions of dollars in the power sector with little or no improvement in the availability of power in the country).

President Olusegun Obasanjo

Khafe: Jonathan’s plan was to do this and that can we judge him by what he actually did in 6 years, since we agree he had a plan

Ogonna: Jonathan had 5 years in office

Khafe: 6

Ogonna: One of the 5 years wasn’t even his per say

Khafe: 6

Ogonna: When did Yaradua die? (Yaradua The president who passed away in office, catapulting Jonathan from being Vice President to President).

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua

Khafe: May 5, 2010, Abuja

Ogonna: When did buhari take over
 ‪Ogonna: ?

Khafe: I give u facts

Ogonna: Sha

Khafe: May 29th 2016 Abuja Eagle’s square
 ‪Khafe: Facts

Ogonna: My point is
 ‪Ogonna: 2015

Khafe: so 6?
 ‪Khafe: sorry my bad 2015
 ‪Khafe: kai Buhari sef done tey. (“tey” means “a long time”, hence Buhari has been in office for a long time)

Ogonna: Lol
 ‪Ogonna: My point is

Somto: Bmh after people nearly died to write the exam (Somto referring to the Immigration recruitment process in Jonathan’s Administration. Some people were killed in a stampede to during the recruitment exercise. Hence, how dare they rescind the offer letters for those who were successful?).

Ogonna: Oh one more question

Ogonna: When did Boko Haram start? (Boko Haram, the terrorist Islamist organization terrorizing the North East of Nigeria since, many believe, 2009)
 
 ‪Ugo: This same man when GEJ won said he wud make naija ungovernable for him. (Naija means Nigeria. PMB made a statement that Nigeria would be ungovernable for GEJ if he lost the election)

Ugo: And d north actually did
 ‪Ugo: Even after he gave dem most of d power
 ‪Ugo: Did a lot for dem (the following comments made by Ugo has a lot to do with the North-South ethno-political tensions in Nigeria. Jonathan is from the South (Ijaw) while Buhari is from the North (Hausa-Fulani)

Khafe: I don’t know really say 2013? (Khafe, Answering OG’s question)
 ‪ 
 ‪Khafe: But OG & Ugo, did Jonathan do well not comparing him to anyone but did he do well?

Ugo: Even slyed his guys in d process and dey still turned ma guy into a crying drunk. (Ugo is implying that Jonathan tried to pacify the Northerners, even against the better judgement by his own people, and the Northerners still did not take him seriously) NOTE: I might be wrong as to the implications of Ugo, so don’t quote me.

Khafe: By any standard

Ugo: With BH disturbing every other week
 ‪Ugo: The man Jonathan is a legend hero
 ‪Ugo: He let peace reign

Khafe: When I ask and u bring up excuses
 ‪Khafe: U have low standards

Ogonna: My point is, in his 5years, 1 year wasn’t his, 2 was Boko haram’s, and 1 was trying to get another term. (Ugo’s analysis of Jonathan’s term)

Khafe: Under a government people shared arms money and tried soldiers for mutiny. (Jonathan’s government I presume. Some soldiers mutinied in the war against Boko Haram, because they said they did not have adequate supplies to fight the terrorist group, and the terrorist group were gaining grounds on the Army at that time).

Ugo: At least capital projects were executed in his regime

Ogonna: I keep saying this, when he wanted to remove subsidy

Ogonna: Una riot (Referring to the time, Jonathan removed the subsidy on petroleum products and the country took to the streets in protest)

Khafe: U want to remove subsidy in a govt that shared arms money?

Khafe: In the grand scheme of things what are capex ?
 ‪‪Ugo: As compared to dis government that would promise and not release money

President Jonathan Inaugurating new railway projects all over the country.

Ugo: Capital projects aree suffering since last year
 ‪Ugo: Only Lagos is executing state projects

Khafe: Ugo u are not answering me
 ‪Khafe: lets have a discussion

Ugo: Khafe let’s leave dis for another day
 ‪Khafe: What are capital projects
 ‪Khafe: or u want to go first ?
 ‪Khafe: My point exactly. Cause if we really discuss this issue u bring up we would know what GEJ did and didnt do
 ‪Khafe: U don’t answer, u just talk alone

Ogonna: Khafe how do you rate buhari so far?

Khafe: 3/10

Ogonna: Lol

Khafe: he’s doing poorly

Ogonna: I’m actually on the fence with that one sef

Khafe: But in contrast to GEJ when you say capex you mention KMs of road

Ogonna: My problem is that with Jonathan, at least you will see him on NTA every other week. (NTA. Nigeria Television Authority. The government owned News Network. Which largely acts as the voice of the government)
 
 ‪Khafe: Ahan! for a 5 year President? (Ahan! An exclamation)

Ogonna: Lol you have finally agreed

Khafe: his CAPEX for longest road !!!!!!!!

Leslie: Bmh, can we say buhari has 3 years?

Khafe: I agreed since jare, it just stuck in my head that it was 6
 ‪Khafe: So OG since Ugo has gone again, can we really say that GEJ progressed the Nigerian people?
 ‪Khafe: Can we really say he knew what he was doing? Cause at 145 USD to a barrel of oil unemployment was not at a record low. Really?

Khafe: I want to understand
 ‪Khafe: banks were still sacking people
 ‪Khafe: salaries were still delayed
 ‪Khafe: so let’s put things in perspective
 ‪Khafe: Well I can’t really get how UGO supports GEJ maybe it’s a Biafra thing sha. (This might be a shot at sacarsm again, because,though Ugo is Igbo he is supporting a president who is not Igbo, but Ijaw. This comment might come from the fact that South- Eastern and South-Southern Nigeria has the Igbos as the major ethnic group, and other minority ethnic groups live among them. So Jonathan is from the South-Southern part of the country but not Igbo)

Ogonna: Lol he has as long as he wants (Referring to Somto’s comment on Buhari having a couple of years under his belt).
 ‪Ogonna: Just let him tell us his plan
 ‪Ogonna: Because Khafe doesn’t know his plan either. (references to Buhari).
 ‪Ogonna: Was any federal staff salary delayed?
 ‪Ogonna: Was it not under Johnathan that they did that 25 bank thing? (Referring to the Consolidation of banks done in Obasanjo’s administration. Where all banks were asked to undergo a N25bn recapitalization in 2005. It was part of the some banking reform sponsored by the country’s apex bank. It led to the mergers and acquisitions of many Nigerian banks)
 ‪Ogonna: I have forgotten the name

Khafe: OBJ

Charles Soludo — The Central Bank Governor who oversaw the =N= 25 billion Bank recapitalization in 2005.

Somto: Point?
 ‪Ogonna: Are u saying banks are in the same position today as they were two years ago?

Opeoluwa:

Ogonna: See I don’t even give a damn about GEJ

Leslie:

Opeoluwa: Ugo, where are u? Lol

Ogonna: But Khafe you have been asking for GEJ plan
 ‪Ogonna: What is buhari plan?

Opeoluwa: I thought same also. Lol

Khafe: Nope. Cause 2 years ago banks were holding FG money and had no reason to be inventive now u see banks pitching monetary solutions to companies.
 ‪Khafe: Take a second and think about it, we sold oil at 145 but forex didn’t drop significantly wasn’t that a pointer.

Ogonna: And I know you will say TSA is Buhari’s idea (TSA, Treasury Single Account. A financial policy strongly supported by Buhari to have a single account for the Government at the Central bank, and payments to and from Ministries, Government agencies, etc all move to and fro the Account at the central bank with commercial banks an intermediaries)

Khafe: Guy I can recite it in my dream

Ogonna: Obj and yaradua nko
 ‪Ogonna: Okay
 ‪Ogonna: Recite

Khafe: Who idea epp? TSA was implemented during this administration

Ogonna: Same as train was Implemented during his tenure as well, abi?
 ‪Ogonna: You aren’t even getting me
 ‪Ogonna: I don’t care
 ‪Ogonna: GEJ Fucked up
 ‪ 
 ‪Khafe: Reduce the cost of governance — makes money available for other sectors
 Battle corruption — which has sucked us dry
 spend big on CAPEX — which would open up the economy
 provide jobs — as a result of the above

Ogonna: But truth be told
 ‪Ogonna: If not for Boko Haram. ‪

Ogonna: He would have achieved more in his 5 years
 ‪Khafe: 4
 ‪Ogonna: Lol thank you

Ogonna: So Ugo can come and defend his Biafra
 ‪Khafe: So OG if u as an individual know where u are going to wouldn’t u have laser focus

Opeoluwa: Personally. I dislike both Buhari and GEJ. In the last election, I hoped for a third alternative. But in d end, I just felt Buhari is d lesser evil. That GEJ guy ehn, just disgusted me

Ogonna: To me, Biafra should remain in 1967
 ‪Ogonna: So if u plan to go on a trip with your family but your house is burning.. Because of ‘laser focus’ u won’t put out the fire?
 ‪Ogonna: You think it is Star Wars abi, Darth Khafe?

Khafe: why would my house be burning.
 ‪Khafe: I am not under recession na have u forgotten
 ‪Ogonna: Guy this laser focus BMH

Opeoluwa: But we should really consider restructuring the entire country

Khafe: Ok stuff happened in GEJ’s time and we didn’t know why?
 ‪Khafe: U dey talk am like say u wan restructure your series folder for your lappy. (Another cynical comment by Khafe, with respect to the restructing idea by Opeoluwa. In plain English: You speak like you want to restructure the country the way you would, when restructuring folders on your laptop)

Ogonna: The north didn’t want Jonathan to have a governable state
 ‪Ogonna: But that’s by the way

Ogonna: And still southern propaganda

Uche Asher: 8 years (excluding the 2 years in Yaraduas regime) 
 
 Uche Asher: 8 please (Asher referring to the number of years Jonathan was in office)

Ogonna: Asher has come with his math now

Khafe: The thing that BMH the most in the discussion was when Peter mentioned angola (from another conversation not mentioned here)
 ‪Khafe: I couldnt get over that

Uche Asher: Lol

Ogonna: Let Angola free na
 ‪Ogonna: Angola is on its own thriving

Khafe: But OG, maybe it’s just me sha, but Alex Badeh stole 500m every month (Alex Badeh, was the Chief of Defence staff, literally the number one soldier in the country at that time. He has so far been Indicted on corruption charges)

Alex Badeh. Former Chief of Defence Staff.

Khafe: Angola that has population of lagos

Uche Asher: Why does it look like it’s just the Ibo people that are anti PMB ..Sommy, OG and Pindus???

Khafe: See 500m
 ‪Khafe: imagine what 500m would do for Abiriba or Nnewi

Khafe: Its an Ikemba 1 thing OJUKWU (A casual reference to the leader of the Igbo people in the fight for Biafra during the Nigerian Civil War which took place over 45 years ago)

Uche Asher: I don’t support what GEJ did with our economy sha…he actually ran us down

Khafe: They feel marginalized (Jokingly, I presume, referring to the comment made by Asher about how only the Igbo guys OG, Sommy and Pindus are against Buhari)

Ogonna: The guy said he didn’t care about the east na
 ‪Ogonna: Abi no be so

Khafe: When the most incompetent cabinet member is igbo

Ogonna: And other people are anti buhari

Uche Asher: Well, they said they’ll fling us into the Lagoon
 ‪Ogonna: Na just say dey prefer to read

Khafe: God bless u bro

Uche Asher: Who exactly?

Khafe: Yoruba pple said that, plus why are u among the they?
 ‪Khafe: CBN governor
 ‪Ogonna: And the son na ur guy oh
 Uche Asher: Restructure how? Break out?
 ‪Khafe: How I wish I was Yoruba
 ‪Ogonna: You go dey insult him papa here
 ‪Khafe: No be my guy, na why i no dey choose am for my set
 ‪Ogonna: Lmaoooo
 ‪Ogonna: I go just munch this chat send to the soccer group
 Uche Asher: !!!! He was a disgrace
 ‪Khafe: khafe has left the group
 ‪Ogonna: Lmaoo
 Uche Asher: BMH. Ogonna: Why
 ‪Ogonna: You don’t want to be marginalized too?
 ‪Khafe: Kos I would be singing OBJ’s praises for bring GSM
 ‪Ogonna: See Ehn, that’s the most stupid achievement, I keep hearinf
 ‪Khafe: Guys Jakande traffic has cleared
 ‪Ogonna: Like if without Obj
 ‪Opeoluwa: Lol, by the way, not to change topic, but have u seen “The Get Down”. Its a nice one
 ‪Ogonna: We for still dey use landline
 ‪Khafe: make face house
 Uche Asher: Cheers!
 ‪Khafe: Nice one ? hmm (At this point, the fellows are just making fun of eachother)

Ogonna: How long is it taking u to finish typing what ur typing Babs?
 
 ‪Opeoluwa: No… Rebuild the system. Firstly, Reduce number of states and cut waste, remove redundant houses, have a more efficient system, give more power to the fewer states to control resources and production, and for room to be created for healthy inter-state competitive rivalries. Reduce power at the federal level. There’s a lot I can’t type, but I think experts should have a debate on this and come up with a better and more efficient system. The current one sucks. (Ope (babs) defending his point about restructuring the country)

Opeoluwa: Lol, I don finish

Khafe: In a nutshell practice true federalism (it is important to know that Nigeria tried to practice this form of government — in a way — when they modeled the 1st republic after the parliamentary system of government, practiced by the British)
 ‪Opeoluwa: Yeah.

DISCLAIMER: This piece represents the views of the authors and the authors only. The Resilient and Cynical Nigeria gives creators the right to do whatever they want on its space but mandates that they and them alone be responsible for the consequences of their expressions.

DISCLAIMER: This piece represents the views of the authors and the authors only. The Resilient and Cynical Nigeria gives creators the right to do whatever they want on its space but mandates that they and them alone be responsible for the consequences of their expressions.

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