At a time like this, we begin to appreciate things we took for granted before the Coronavirus pandemic turned our world upside down, gave animals free reign on some roads in America, and made monkeys and others assume ownership of swimming pools abandoned by their owners.
Reading books was one of such things for me. In the last two years, I have read an average of 50 books annually: from novels to collections of short stories, biographies and autobiographies. But since the pandemic descended on our world, this past time has not come easy.
Now I struggle to read. The smooth ‘The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives’, which I read quickly some years back, took longer than necessary for me this time. I have seen myself reading more poetry to communicate to my soul and assure myself that this one too shall pass.
Fridays and Saturdays were my movie days and you were most likely to catch me at the Genesis Cinema in Maryland or the Silverbird Cinema at the Alausa City Mall. Since the lockdown, I am either on my bed or on the dining table.
Reading no longer comes easy. The world is on holiday and dragging my mind with it. The freedom to go out when I want is no longer there and that has made me appreciate freedom more.
One thing I have found myself doing more while the world is on holiday is to spend time from one social media to the other, and I have discovered that politicians will always be politicians.
This game of theirs knows no season. One area in which they have continued to play this game is in the distribution of so-called palliatives.
From Ogun State, a video emerged on social media. In it, a woman whose face was hidden was carrying a bowl containing beans. The beans looked dirty. She claimed it was given to her by agents of Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun to cushion the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic.
In the video, which crept out of Ijebu Ode and went viral, she rained curses on the governor and the Chairman of Ijebu Ode Local Government Transition Committee for giving her and her family food that could give them ‘COVID-25’.
I never for once believed a sane government would give such food item to anybody, so I was not surprised that the following day, she released another video, this time showing her face, in which she claimed she was ‘merely playing’. This was after security agents nabbed her over the viral video.
From the second video, it was clear the lady and many others in her area share a different political ideology from the governor. One of the leaders of the area clearly said they did not vote for the governor during the last election, and to starve off punishment for the lady, he promised they would now join the governor’s party.
Chief of Staff Abba Kyari, who died exactly a week ago, according to some people, passed on three weeks ago. Their evidence: A report by a self-styled Best Investigative Journalist in Africa about a death at the Presidential Villa. There is also a ridiculous claim that the body that was buried last Saturday was not Kyari’s but someone else. I do not understand the reason for such a claim.
There is another case in Osun. A man used his Facebook account to announce that the government imported Coronavirus into the state. The culprit, Saheed Akinloye, was nabbed, tried and a Magistrates’ Court has dumped him in detention where people who play games or politics with issues of life and death should be.
My final take: Dirty politics deserves a holiday and this pandemic season is the right time for it to have that well-deserved break. The world needs all the calm it can get at a time when there are some two million, five hundred thousand cases of COVID-19, and some 200,000 people dead.