BBC’s Resident Presidents Question Rationale of Having Africa’s Capitals in Africa.
Olushambles and Kibarkingmad, characters on BBC Africa radio’s satirical program, Resident Presidents, have questioned the rationale of having the capital cities of African countries in Africa. They used President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent stay in London, United Kingdom, as their main focus of parody and query. LinCornellah’s blog followed last Friday’s episode of the program where this question was raised and brings you a verbatim transcription of those characters’ dialogue below.
Please enjoy its humor and learn its lesson.
Kibarkingmad: Yes, Olushambles
Olushambles: What’s the capital of Nigeria?
Kibarkingmad: Oh yes, yes, I know. It used to be Lagos, now its Abuja.
Olushambles: What is the capital of Zimbabwe?
Kibarkingmad: I am sure it is Harare.
Olushambles: What is your definition of a capital, Kibarkingman?
Kibarkingmad: A capital is a seat of government.
Olushambles: Exactly! It is where Presidents hang out, where we issue decrees, pass laws, make long speeches and sign arrest warrants.
Olushambles: And where does the President of Nigeria hang out? Abuja?
Olushambles: And the President of Zimbabwe?
Kibarkingmad: Robert Mugabe resides in Harare.
Olushambles: Oh, no, he doesn’t.
Kibarkingmad: It’s a fact!
Olushambles: Robert Mugabe spends a huge amount of time in a hospital in Singapore. President Buhari may be back in Abuja now, but it is a rare visit. For most of this year he has been in London receiving medical treatment. So, to all extents and purposes, the seat of Nigerian government is in London.
Kibarkingmad: Hmm what’s wrong with the man?
Olushambles: No idea. It’s a secret.
Kibarkingmad: I expect Nigerians know.
Olushambles: Don’t be stupid, Kibarkingmad. Nigerians are forbidden to ask. When he is in London they were only told that, “He is recovering well, and he will be back in Abuja soon”. And after a very long time, he comes back home, “fit as a fiddle,” they say. And after doing nothing for a few weeks and not appearing in public, off he goes, back to London for more medical treatment. Nigerians have to pay for his hospital bills but they are not allowed to know what they are paying for. It is outrageous!
Kibarkingmad: What is?
Olushambles: Spending all that money on one man’s hospital treatment while ordinary Nigerians can’t even afford an aspirin let alone a visit to a doctor. Where is good value for money in my opinion.
Kibarkingmad: You must be joking.
Olushambles: No, how much does it cost to send Buhari to London and keep him alive?
Kibarkingmad: It could be millions.
Olushambles: How much does it cost to run Abuja and keep it alive?
Olushambles: All those buildings, all those civil servants, all those telephones, the office furniture, then there are the hundreds of parliamentarians claiming their allowances. The road sweepers, the garbage collectors, the sewage disposers, what does all that cost? Billions and Billions! Hey, keeping Buhari going is cheap in comparison.
Kibarkingmad: No no no no, it is a stupid comparison. Abuja is there. It has to be paid for.
Olushambles: Why? It doesn’t have to be there at all. Lock it down. Who needs it? Bring in the bulldozers, raze it to the ground. Now that London is the capital of Nigeria, Abuja is obsolete.
Kibarkingmad: Sometimes, Olushambles, you talk rubbish! The days of sit tight dictators spending fortunes on themselves is over.
Olushambles: I don’t think so, Kibarkingmad. The golden days of sit tight African dictators is only just arriving. With modern day technology all you need is a good cell phone, a good signal and a few sycophants to carry out your orders and you can rule your country from anywhere in the world. I mean, who needs Harare, Kampala, Abuja, Nairobi, Cape Town, Free town, particularly, Banjul. Nooo, I certainly don’t need my capital.
(Picks a phone)
Hallo, it’s me, President Olushambles. Here are today’s orders. Lock up the opposition leader, shoot those demonstrators, sack those doctors, close down the hospitals, burn down the schools. Yes, yes, you heard me?
(Coughs) Oh yes, yes, yes,yes, thank you for asking. Paris is beautiful this morning. I had a lovely breakfast, a panochola! Off to New York tomorrow, Maldives, next week, Cherio! Have fun!
Oh, oh, and by the way, if you don’t carry out my orders this instant, consider yourself dead! Bye!
(Drops the phone)
Oh dear, so what’s up Kibarkingmad?
Kibarkingmad: I’m just reading about Buhari’s latest problem.
Olushambles: (Laughs) What? Bad headache? His wife has left him?
Kibarkingmad: He may be back home and ready to resume work, but he can’t.
Olushambles: Heart attack? Stroke?
Kibarkingmad: While he was away, rats moved into his office, damaged the furniture, ruined the air conditioning, and he just can’t work there. Which particular rats were these? Opposition rats? Or maybe the Vice-president who fancies his job. Hmm!
- Cornelius Ellah
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