The Bus Parliament [2]

You need to first read Part 1.

Then, it seemed Mr. A suddenly remembered that the ongoing session was triggered by the radio caller, and he abruptly burst in, “Thunder fire that guy. Before I talk your papa, now take, your mama.” “All these small boys that manage to buy recharge card and don’t know anything about the country”. Mr. D tried to let him see that the caller only made known his point of view, which he was entitled to. 

The parliamentarians then began discussing the recently concluded National Conference, with reference to the agitation by some groups for more youthful representation. “Is it people that would be pressing their phones during deliberations, that would have been sent there?” asked Mr. B. At this point, Mr. E started recounting his experiences during the annulled 1993 elections and the protests that followed. Mr. A was adamant that young people don’t know their bearings, dress wrongly, and so should not have had any business discussing national affairs, “You need to understand the past before you can plan for the future”. I sat next to him, knowing fully well that he was making an incorrect generalization, but not wanting to burst his bubble.

The parliamentary proceedings continued fluidly, covered provocative dressing, increasing rape by paedophiles, and returned to the opening discussion on the Chibok girls. Messrs A, B, C, E and Miss. L believed that “if the girls were actually kidnapped, the parents were likely at peace with the situation since they had been ‘settled’”. They based this thought on the culture of early marriage in the North, with Miss. L saying she heard the parents had been “settled with one million naira each”, and claiming that the Bring Back Our Girls protest was now political as “no parent came out to protest”. Only Mr. D opposed this view, saying “no parent will sell his/her child”. All the others retorted that “if a Yoruba or Igbo child was among the kidnapped girls, her parents would not let matters lie”.

At this point, the discussion turned to Boko Haram. Mr. A put in, “I’m just pitying those soldiers that are just being killed anyhow. Those soldiers are stupid”. “If I’m a soldier, and you tell me that I’m going to fight Boko Haram tomorrow, this night, I’ll sneak out, take Young Shall Grow and run to my village. It is better to die than to be killed”. Other parliamentarians tried to let him know that desertion was a crime, and the army would hunt for him. To this he said, “Catch who? I’ll go to Amadioha in my village, give the chief priest a cock, let anyone come and find me, thunder go fire that person”. The discussion then focussed on the reported lack of equipment by soldiers, and the alleged massive corruption in the military. During this phase, despite the insults thrown at the military, the soldier kept quiet, he just bowed his head, smiled periodically, but never made any contribution.

After Boko Haram, the debate turned to the upcoming presidential elections, with parliamentarians discussing the incumbent president’s chances against the challengers. Questions were asked about Buhari’s age, his earlier pledge not to contest again, Atiku’s source of wealth from his customs’ background, and Goodluck’s performance.

Finally, after over an hour, we got to CMS. What a relief for me! My head had been pounding during the deliberations. In case you’re interested, the Bus Parliament meets every day. Just enter a bus with enough politically-minded individuals.

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