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The One Day Governor
One Day Governorship Contest
As part of the action plans to fulfill one of his election campaign promises of bringing democracy dividends to the grassroots and ensure practical youth participation in governance, my newly elected state governor, initiated a two-day youth governorship programme. The two-day youth governor was to be selected solely on merit through a two-page leadership action plan agenda essay competition, and the winner will be given an opportunity to handle the state affairs for two days, implementing one or two of his action plan agendas. The programme was launched one year after the swearing in of my state governor, and it was carried on all national dailies. I was overjoyed when I saw it on the news- truly this is an action governor, I mumbled to myself.
As an unemployed graduate roaming the streets in search of a job, including a peanut day pay job, which was not forthcoming, I poured out my heart in my two-page action plan agenda, which stated clearly in a precise and feasible two-point agenda, how to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths, through clear entrepreneurship development initiative to be solely implemented by youths themselves.
I didn’t believe my eyes the very evening my dad returned from work and handed me a national daily where my name was boldly carried in front of the newspaper as the winner of the two-day youth governorship essay competition, it was unbelievable and a dream come true. Minutes later, I received a phone call confirming the news, immediately I rang James. James was my childhood friend, and we went to secondary school and university together, and obviously he was to be my two-day vice during the two-day governorship. James found it difficult to believe me until he went to the vendor and bought another daily that carried the same news on the front page, he ran straight to my house and we started jubilating to the extent that we almost broke the ceiling of my father’s dilapidated two-bedroom apartment. The next day, a postman came to my house and delivered an invitation letter which I was to use as gate pass to the statehouse.
Haven informed all our schoolmates, neighbors and everybody we knew to make sure they stayed tuned to the state television for the live telecast of our swearing in, I and James looking so unruffled in the new governorship and vice governorship outfits provided by the governor’s costumer- a long sweeping damask with a tall cap to match, mounted the governor’s limo, in company of the governor’s aides, and followed by a long queue governorship entourage. I sat royally at the back of the governor’s limo, with James beside me, holding a wine cup filled with green champagne- James loved drinks right from secondary school, and the glittering color of the wine that reflected on the wine cup, tempted me to drink, but I didn’t because I was consumed in the thought of facing the crowd that must have gathered at the state stadium, to witness my swearing in and to also listen to my speech.
I was still meditating on that thought when James turned to me and whispered, “this is an opportunity for us to alleviate our poverty,” I pretended not to hear, and he shoved closer me, “we need to utilize this opportunity, remember what our moral instruction tutor used to say then, opportunity comes but once,” he mumbled. His last statement pinched my heart, so I turned to him and asked, “So how do we utilize it then?” “Implement a policy that will favor us, you know this is just a two-day program,” “yes I know, but what policy do you think will help us achieve that?” I asked, skeptical, “endorse a contract to site an industry in our community,” replied James. “That is a good idea but it won’t be implemented the moment we leave, because it is a long term project,” I replied, still working out better plans on my brain, and finally, one came in.
“What about implementing a policy to pay all unemployed youth graduates?” I mumbled, staring at James who reacted immediately with a broad smile, “that is it!” he exclaimed, “but how much?” he inquired, staring at me excitedly, “$1000” I mumbled, and the car stopped abruptly, one of the aides rushed out immediately and opened the door in the most prestigious manner, as I was about stepping out of the limo, James mumbled, “$5000, no bargaining,” I nodded and stepped out.
The crowd was enormous, as school children lined up the street, waving their hands; I took notice of one spotless looking girl carrying a placard with ‘I love you my two-day governor Gozi!’ boldly written on it. I continued waving hands as I walked side by side with James to the platform where the Chief Justice of the state was already waiting to swear us in.
After taking the oath of office, I proceeded to deliver my swearing in speech, where I was to make known my two-point action plan agenda for the state. I was still reading the first paragraph of my speech when the microphone I was using to deliver my speech turned to a megaphone. I ignored it and continued with my speech, then the crowd changed to Arabians, seconds later, it changed to horses, I turned and James was nowhere to be found, I turned again and the crowd had changed again to the pupils in my elementary school at C.M.S Grammar school where I graduated from some ten years ago. As if they were timed to occur sequentially, the platform disappeared and I was standing in front of a dilapidated hall, promising some crowds of unknown pupils that as the president of my country, I was going to pay every citizen daily, both employed and unemployed citizens, and the pupils started chanting: “Na you we know! Na You we know!” as I was waiting for the noise to reduce so as to continue with my promises, one of the pupils, huge and tall, came and pushed me away as I wake and saw my immediate elder brother hitting me on the back to please stop snoring, that I was disturbing the entire house with my snoring habit when sleeping. My heart was filled with anger and pain as I used the back of my left hand to wipe the sleep off my eyes.