“You’re an idiot.”

“Ok. I’ve heard that one before.”

“You’re a compound fool.”

“I’ve heard that one, too. Don’t you have anything new?”

“Whether you like it or not, President Jonathan will remain president until 2019.”

“If the Nigerian people reelect him, who am I to say no? It’s not in my hands. It’s in the hands of the people of Nigeria.”

“You don’t even know anything about the country you write about. Idiot!”

“I hope you know that idiots count, too. If you look beyond the fact that we are idiots, we do have a little something to offer the rest of humanity. If nothing else, we make the rest of you bright people feel better about yourselves.”

“See your little head. If you’re put there as President will you perform better?”

“Being able to perform better than the people leading your country is not a prerequisite for anyone to express their opinion on how they are governed.”

“The way I see the hunger in your eyes, I bet you’ll do worse if you get there.”

“Again, being able to do better is not a prerequisite for anyone to express their opinion. In any case, that is a moot point because I’m not running for president.”

“So why won’t you leave the person that God put in there to do his job?”

“I don’t remember stopping him from doing his job.”

“But you’re a distraction.”

“How?”

“By all the stupid things you do.”

“We’re in deeper trouble than I thought if they lose sleep over these little things we do. Please tell them to ignore idiots like me.”

“Who do you think you are? You, causing sleepless night? Get over yourself. You must be a fool if you believe that.”

“I thought as much.”

“You people are irritating- like mosquitos.”

“All that the critics are saying is that we can do better as a nation.”

“These are the best that we have and we have to support them and work with them and if we have ideas that will work, we need to pass those to them through the normal channels.”

“If these are the best that we have, we might as well turn off the light and walk away. What am I saying? Which light? My friend, the goal of the critics is to bring out the best in leaders by pointing out where they fall short and how things can be improved for the common good.”

“Do you know what’s the problem with today’s critics? You people are not constructive.”

“How do you define constructive?”

“You praise what the person is doing right and point out where he is falling short and, most importantly, offer solutions.”

“Beside, the praise part, that’s exactly what we do all the time.”

“Why won’t you praise someone for the good they did so that they will be encouraged to do more?”

“I don’t see a deficiency of praises around our leaders. In fact, I see excess of it. With all the sycophants around them, they have misconstrued praise for performance.”

“Look at your stupid self. Ok, when last did you offer solutions?”

“All the time. When you establish that something is wrong, right there you’re recommending that it should be stopped. What other solution do you want? In any case, the praise that matters, ones that the leaders should be going for, is not mine but the praise of the people they serve.”

“But you shape the opinion of the people.”

“I’m not going to let you mess with my mind the way you mess with the minds of our leaders. There is nothing that I present out there that is not in the minds of people already. In fact, I believe that what makes you and your fellow travelers uncomfortable is that you fear that by the things the critics do, what is being said in the dark is coming out in the open.”

“You’re putting wrong ideas and bad ideas in people’s heads.”

“If you believe that then you and your people do not know the people you claim to lead and you do underestimate their intelligence.”

“It’s stupid of you to say that.”

“Ok. Look at the response to Ebola. At the end, did it matter what the critics said? The government performed reasonably well and the world acknowledged it. That performance brought Nigeria good public relations that the $1.2 million that we gave the U.S. PR firm, Levick, could not bring. Why waste time grumbling about what the critics are saying when you can go out there and prove them wrong each day with stellar performances.”

“Perception matters, Mister man. And the perception out there is a factor of what you people in the media tell the world.”

“But reality trumps perception any day. The world does not wait for Nigeria’s media to tell it what is happening in Nigeria. The world is in Nigeria and Nigeria is in the world. Even the president acknowledged it himself when he said that, if $20 billion was missing from the NNPC America would know. He did not say that the Nigerian media would tell America.”

“Nonsense. All I know is that propaganda is part of war.”

“Yes, but nobody has ever won a war by propaganda alone. If you say that the second Niger Bridge is up and people go there and use the bridge, it doesn’t matter what the critics say. But if people go there and see that there is no bridge, it doesn’t matter the propaganda war you wage. In the end, the mist that propaganda creates is dissipated by performance. It’s ultimately he who performs that wins.”

“President Jonathan has performed better than all his predecessors put together.”

“So why are you worried? The people will soon be on the street dancing in his praise.”

 “It would have been happening now if not for people like you.”

“Why me?”

“You poison the people’s mind.”

“So how does Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) gather the tens of thousands that fill up stadium in support of Jonathan?”

“Leave that one, bo.”

“If you say so.”

“Just know that Jonathan will remain president until 2019.”

“And after that?”

“After him an Igbo man will become president for another 8 years.”

“And after that?”

“Maybe we find a MiddleBelt person. We will never let those Northerners govern this country again. They don’t own Nigeria.”

“Forget about why you want to do that. How will you do that?”

“You will see.  Never! They almost ruined it for all. Why you don’t see this is what baffles me.”

“I only want the best man or woman to make things better for all of us. No injustice has ever been corrected by another injustice. Instead, one injustice begets another and another until perpetuity, unless someone put a stop to it.”

“Why didn’t you guys stop whatever you want to stop when the other people were in power? Why must it be now that my person is in power that you want to stop things- corruption, stealing, violence- as if they just started.?”

“Today is still early.”

“Tomorrow is pregnant. It’s the thing that we chopped today that we will take with us to the great beyond.”

“Suit yourself.”

“Your problem is that you believe in all these nonsense ideals. Nigeria is a jungle and the only justice people understand in a jungle is jungle justice.”

“Well, in that case, enjoy your Nigeria.”

“I’ll do. And I hope you do too- you paid agent of the opposition.”

“Thank you, Mr. free thinker.”

“You can accept it. You’re paid to embarrass our president.”

“I’m not even going to fall for that game of accusing every opponent of being paid. Some people follow a masquerade just because it’s in vogue. I understand that. But who follows a masquerade without asking who is in it? Paid or not paid, it does not matter as much as having an open political space where ideas are free to interact. Let the best idea win.”

“I’m for that.”

“But you’re the one irritated by the ideas of others.”

“Whatever!”

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