NAIJA ROONEY COMMENTARY
Tonye David-West, Jr., Ph.D
e, the ever so dedicated staff members at Naija Rooney commentary [NRC] were so shocked and dumbfounded to read some of the slogans adopted by the various states in Nigeria as inscribed on the license plate issued by each state. In fact, if you have been to Nigeria lately, you would know that states are going crazy over slogans as each is trying to outdo the other in coming up with a befitting and most appropriate slogan that captures the essence of their state and the reader's mind as well.
One of the worst offenders in this regard is Lagos state which has this slogan, "The Centre of Excellence" emblazoned on the license plates issued to its residents. "Excellence?" In what? Armed robbery and 419 crimes? Please, spare me the grief---were we born yesterday?
Even a two year old knows that one cannot mention "Lagos" and "excellence" in one breath without risking instant death by lighting. What is so excellent about Lagos? Have Lagosians forgotten that they have slums like Oshodi and Mushin that would even scare the wits out of Superman? Have they forgotten? Need we talk about the assorted crimes that beseech Lagosians each minute of the day?
Then we have Abia state which has this for a slogan, "God's Own State." What a laugh. So what about the other thirty-five states? Do they belong to the devil? And if I may ask, what part of Abia does God reside? Is it in Aba or Umuahia? Does He have a four-bed home with boys quarters or a mansion? I'm surprised that they do not have this for a slogan, "God is the Captain of Our Soccer Team-The Enyimba of Aba."
Boy, if that be the case, wouldn't it be nice to see how a God-captained team would be whipping on the opponents? Headlines would read---"Enyimba Clobbers Sharks FC by 18,000 goals to 0. Enyimba's top Scorer, #10 Jersey, is a prolific and mysterious striker known only by three letters, GOD." Talk about the stadium being sold out and I pity the defenders who would mark God---talk about disappearing act only for Him to reappear in the net with the ball. Now you see Him, now you don't.
And Rivers state says it is "The Treasure Base of the Nation." Which nation? The Ogoni nation? What happened to Bayelsa, Delta, Akwa Ibom, all of whom can lay claim to the same slogan? Our states have really gone amuck in this wise. So for the avoidance of any doubts, and in an effort to ensure that these states do not lay claim to lofty slogans that do not portray their true essence, we, the humble staff at NRC, in line with our objectives of rendering public service to Nigerians, have come up with the following befitting slogans for all thirty-six states [including Abuja]. These slogans have emanated as a result of weeks of exhaustive research and intense traveling and consultations in all thirty-six states, Abuja inclusive and as such, their appropriateness cannot be questioned.
It is our hope, at NRC, that these states would be full of gratitude for the meritorious creativity of our staff and that they would rush and embrace the new slogan we have given them. Its worth noting that some of these slogans are responses to those of other states. And so we begin with none other, but the biggest [population wise] state in the federation --- Lagos.
2. Niger: "The Home of Dictators. Which Other State Has Two?"
3. Kano: "Shut-up, Niger, Have you Forgotten Murtala Muhammed and Sani Abacha?"
4. Ondo: "Boy, Where Have All Our Bright Ones Gone?"
5. Ekiti: "Thank God, We Got All The Bright Ones From Ondo During State Creation."
6. Cross River: "Can Someone Tell Us If We Are Nigerians or Cameroonians?"
7. Ebonyi: "Damn It, Cross River, Who Cares?"
8. Sokoto: "The Ajucation State."
9. Benue: "Home of the Brave Ones. Remember Okar, Iyorshie & Malu?"
10. Plateau: "We Once Shared The Same State With The Brave Ones. Hip! Hip!! Hip!!!? Hurray!!!"
11. Bayelsa: "Thank God for Odi, Our Claim To Fame."
12. Kaduna: "Are There Really More Christians Than Moslems in This State? We Want A Recount."
13. Borno: "Does Anyone Know How to Spell Boroonu? Please Help?"
14. Kwara: "To Be Yorubas or Hausas--That is The Question."
15. Akwa Ibom: "Our Women Are The Best Lovers."
16. Jigawa: "Bring Those Sinning Akwa Ibom Women & We Shall Flog Them."
17. Zamfara: "Home of The One-Armed Citizens."
18. Bauchi: "We Took Out The 'B' in Biafra."
19. Enugu: "Watch Your Goro Mouth, Bauchi?"
20. Ogun: "In The Words of Our President--'Go To Hell'."
21. Oyo: "There Are Only Two States in Nigeria--Oyo & Others. Ye-whooooo!!!"
22. Edo: "How Many of Our Girls Did They Deport From Italy Today?"
23. Delta: "Who Cares, Edo? We Stopped Counting Years Ago When We Became a Separate State. Hehehehehe."
24. Imo: " 'I' for 'Igbo', 'M' for 'MASSOB' & 'O' for 'Ojukwu'. Yeah!!!!"
25. Kebbi: "Come Drink in Our State. We Don't Care. Just Don't Stagger Into Zamfara."
26. Taraba: "We Almost Had Oil."
27. Abia: "Our Governor is More Handsome Than Yours. Eat Your Heart Out."
28. Adamawa: "Nun-Cents, We Are The Edukayshion Slate. No Sokoto. Tafur"
29. kogi: "We Love Our State So Much That We Will Spell It for You--'K' as in 'Cupboard', 'O' as in 'Nothing', 'G' as in 'Jesus' and 'I' as in 'Eyes'. Yeah!!!."
30. Nasarawa: "Kai, We Almost Had Oil Too."
31. Anambra: "Okadigbo, Never Heard of Him."
32. Yobe: "Our Claim To Fame: Major Hamza El Mustapha."
33. Rivers: "Eat Oil, Sleep Oil, Drink Oil Like Ogogoro."
34. Osun: "Are We Really A State? We Are Confused?"
35. Gombe: "Zombie O' Zombie."
36. Katsina: "Leave Us Alone. We Are Still Thinking of a Slogan. We Are Slow Thinkers."
FCT--- Abuja: "The Centre of Corruption."
Join me next time for another edition of Naija Rooney Commentary. Until then, this is your very host, TDW, Jr., signing off and saying, so long, worthy compatriots.