Aunty Florence Goes To London

Posted: November 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

By Prince Charles Dickson

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I do not want to court controversy. I will try in my admonition to keep sane. Sadly, the operational word is ‘try’, so if I don’t, it’s not for lack of trying. It is only a case of how one keeps sane in a nation that chose to exist on its head. So enter scene one; “…Took my daughter to school in London…. I visit my 14-year-old daughter in the UK every three weeks. I won’t say because I am the first lady, stop playing my role as a mother. I have to care for my daughter. As a minor, she has to come home every three weeks. And I don’t have any other child there that can look after her.

“My son is in Birmingham, which is far away from where my daughter stays. So, I am going to keep performing my role as a mother to my daughter. If I have to go back tomorrow, I will, as long as I am not using government funds. I went on an official visit to Taiwan with my husband and we did not go to London from Lagos as reported. We went to Dubai, Hong Kong, Taipei, Dubai and London, back to Lagos.”

These were the words of Alhaja Florence Ajimobi, JP (Jerusalem Prigrim), Oyo state first lady, as one report addressed her. For the fashion designer wife of Oyo state governor I honestly see nothing wrong with her comments regarding an alleged arrest over ‘money laundering’ in the UK, but everything is wrong with the Nigerian state and those that parade themselves as leaders or wives of leaders; an Aunty Florence, who has only displayed sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

From the inconsequential to the serious, what is the testimony for a first family whose 14-year-old child cannot get a Nigerian education from even a primary level? It is no surprise that we have conducted a funeral mass on our education. It is no surprise that teachers are not paid, while quality and standards are left to the dogs. At 14, our kids are in London and with ‘public-private funds’, aunty Alhaja can visit every three weeks or less, in fact, if need be, she would “visit London everyday”. I did a poor man’s analysis; if a return ticket was just 100k, and 52 weeks in a year, divide that by 3 weeks and multiply by a 100k. Add mummy buy biscuits, and tuition, etc. We have approximately a well equipped local pharmaceutical dispensary in any local government area of Nigeria.

I love the fact Oyo is an ACN state that prides in doing things differently. Unfortunately, there are few bark and bite dogs in PDP to take them on. Otherwise, one ponders, what they are doing differently than stealing the same way all politicians and most government personnel do. Mischievous ‘crappy’ official trips to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Dubai, the same state that approved for legislators’ wives to go to UK to learn how to cook ‘oga must come home stew’. Conscientious stupidity, really must aunty talk? Yes o, they must…our leaders talk before they think because followership equally has a battered thought process. So we are in not too many words told to ‘go to hell’.

I have no problem with elected officials that decide to school their wards abroad – they can go to Alaska or Iceland. I have no problem if a government decides to go to Somalia to seek investors, after all these days Germany is the 37th state where all is taught about Nigeria. Sadly, for all the 14-year-olds that go to UK, what do we get in return? The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria says barely 53 per cent foreign-schooled doctors failed induction tests and that only 94 out of 200 passed assessment tests to enable them practice in Nigeria.

What do we lack, that makes a UK education or Indian health system better? It is sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity, the type that makes a state spend $45 million on an aircraft and can’t spend $20 to educate pilots at home or build a hospital to cater for crash victims. The money for the new toys (planes) being purchased by Rivers and Akwa Ibom states is from a Trust account; shaking my head sadly, such sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Like our aunty JP, no one has asked you not to be a mother, no one has stopped a governor from buying a kite or jet but we have asked, provide responsible governance at home.

If Oyo state is experiencing rapid infrastructural development, education and health turn around, nobody would care about who goes where and at what interval. Aunty Florence for all we care can go to Afghanistan-Rwanda-Syria before London, na she sabi. If the Amaechis and Godswills want to buy airports or like a governor whose son is currently studying ‘how to milk a cow’ in Siberia, na dem sabi.

The end of the story is while in Anambra state, at some flood camps, kids have not been to school for six weeks, aunty Florence has gone to UK twice, just to visit her little daughter.

Sad economic fortunes, lack of initiative, and failed government have combined to make living so hard, yet our governors are buying jets because really we can’t do anything than watch. Aunty Florence and her ilk need to know that some can’t afford a less than 1000k a year education; families can’t send kids to public universities of 30k per year. Our public officials go to UK for everything while we sit at home for nothing. Time will tell.

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