Scientists have long understood the value of rats in conducting their experiments. Rats:
1. Don't have a union.
2. Don't complain about hours of work.
3. Swallow whatever they're given without complaint.
4. Work for cheese! That's right. Chesse!
Anyway, the list could go on and on, but today isn't about the value of rats to the scientific community, however misleading the opening paragraph might have been. In a way, though, it is about the value of a certain kind of rat to a certain kind of scientist. (For the purpose of this thesis, we shall hereinafter refer to the rats as Maradona, Turaki, or Fine-Boy etc., and the scientist will simply be called "Baba".)
Now, anyone who has ever spent time watching the Discovery Channel will see how rats are put in a maze with cheese at the centre, and then have to find their way to the cheese in the shortest possible time. And, while it may be fun to watch, it also serves a valuable educational purpose in that it shows that the rats can actually learn the maze, and the one that proves the smartest is usually upgraded to the testing of potentially dangerous medicines for the betterment of mankind. We can't have an army of smart rats running loose you know.
Anyway, Maradona collected a "form" a couple of weeks back, and in keeping with his time-honored tradition of keeping everyone guessing, has refused to state exactly what office he would be contesting. This has led to numerous column inches in the papers speculating that he'll be going for the Presidency, we might all be surprised, and he'll declare for dog-catcher.
Turaki has continued his valiant fight to clear his name/triumph over his enemies/humiliate Baba (take your pick) and duly declared for the Presidency. The logo of the party he would be contesting under was, however, conspicuous by its absence. Some people had suggested he would be declaring for the Aksion Congress *koff* *koff* *wheeze* Sorry, dust from all the broom waving. I duly pointed out to them that Turaki, while not a very subtle fellow, was hardly a foolhardy one. Declaring for a party other than People Deceive People would see him impeached and a guest of Uncle Nuhu in record time. He didn't disappoint me. The first Independent Candidate, anyone? Anyone? Bah, you guys are no fun.
Fine-Boy-No-Pimples, or Fine Boy for short, also threw his hat into the ring after much Julius Caesaring around the issue. Despite his "overwhelming" support, however, all his pretty boy looks can earn him is a spot as some other guy's mate. Not that kind of mate. Sheesh. Get your minds out of the gutter.
The Doctor of Thuganomics has been flexing his muscles, but after claiming from every rooftop he could forcibly commandeer that Baba was the only one for us, his campaign seems rather hollow to me. Even though he has gone to the trouble of putting up billboards on virtually every junction in Abuja.
Obong has...Obong is... Obong will.... No need.
Anyway, which brings us to the Ringmaster of this particular circus, the General-who-never-fires-blank, Commander of all Garrisons, and all round tough guy, Baba. What more could I say about this guy? Every time you think he's pulled the ultimate stunt, he tops himself. The way he's handled this particular sequence of events must have even Maradona (no slouch himself) fairly swooning in admiration. The Voters' Registration machines aren't nearly enough to go round, we have soldiers in every state capital waiting for the other shoe to drop, every Governor walks around terrified of his own shadow, and we are all waiting to see whose head rolls off the block next. In the midst of all this, Baba continues clearing his throat (could someone please suggest he see an ENT Specialist?) and assuring us everything dey kamkpe.
Anyway, the rats have been released into the maze, some more handicapped than others, and we're all watching to see which one gets to the cheese first, if he'll get to enjoy it, and more importantly, whether Baba will even let the race begin.