As I write this fellow Nigerians, I have spent three days in Abidjan and that means 72 hours. And in those long hours, light has not blinked in the Ibis Hotel abode of the Nigerian basketball delegation. No buzzing of generators anywhere near the area.
Some people may say that the hotel is in the highbrow area of Abidjan but I beg to disagree that it has nothing to do about the steady power supply here.
Recently I was at the Eko Hotel and Suites for an event and in a space of two short hours, light went out twice, in Victoria Island, not in Ajegunle mind you. The fact is that Ivorian leaders are just better managers than our leaders who have enormous resources, far much than their Ivorian counterparts have, but yet don’t know what to do with it except siphon it into their private bank accounts.
We say we are giants of Africa, yet our smaller brothers all over Africa manage their small resources better than we do. Yes you could say there is corruption everywhere in Africa but I make bold to say that ours is of monumental proportion and nobody cares. The people are helpless but can’t they really do something?
Remember Russia just made it a crime for any public officer or his relation to own a foreign bank account in their bid to check official corruption. And the very day it was announced, a junior minister whose wife had one, had to resign from the cabinet.
Can that ever happen in Nigeria where public officers celebrate their first one billion Naira with private jets that dot all the airports in the country? Go to the local wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport and see how Nigerians are competing to park their private jets. And this is in a country that can’t boast of steady power supply for three consecutive hours, at least in Lagos where I reside.
It is really a big shame to our leaders.
Drama in the Lift
At the Ibis Hotel where the Nigerian team are lodged, six other teams are here. They are Egypt, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Central Africa Republic, Mozambique and Mali who are incidentally Nigeria’s only group mate in the same hotel.
The hotel has three Lifts with one reserved for the workers of the hotel who visit each of the floors regularly to ensure that everything works well for the teams. Each of these Lifts is supposed to take eight persons or carry loads not more than 630kg.
That means that each of these eight persons shouldn’t weigh more than 79 kg approximately. But on this day, four Nigerians including myself had entered one of the Lifts but suddenly two Egyptian players sauntered in, making us six which was not more than the stipulated requirement.
As one of us pushed the button to get going down, the Lift jerked and started making a funny noise. The two Egyptians looked at each other and decided to step out, since they joined last and pronto, the lift started moving down.
These Egyptians were really massive and tall. The lift in which Olumide Oyedeji, one of the tallest Nigerian players stood without bending, these Egyptians bowed a little to be able to fit in. From my calculation, both of them could have had a combined weight of more than 320kg, more than what we the four Nigerians weighed for the Lift to scream.