Dear President George Bush,
Fraternal greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We hope this missive finds you well. If so, doxology. We know these are busy times for you as you prepare to move back to Crawford, Texas, where we expect you to continue to serve your country as the Father of Modern America and as Life-Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Republican Party. May the good lord grant you the wisdom to discharge your post-January 20, 2009 responsibilities for the betterment of America and her Nigerian admirers.
Please allow us to introduce ourselves very briefly. You can tell from the syntax and diction of the first paragraph that we are Nigerians. We are members of the newly-formed National Association of Nigerians for Status-Befitting Weddings (NANSBE). This new association rose from the ashes of the defunct Nigerians for Obama 2008 Organization. It is still the same membership. We are all very prominent Nigerians. We are big men and women. Each of us has a minimum of three titles with which we prefix our names. Some of us are old money. Some are new, yahoo money. Local media here refer to us as the movers and shakers of Nigeria. Some of us are Godfathers. Some of us are Area Mothers. Some others are Party Chieftains. We are more pro-America than the folks in Sarah Palin’s pro-America areas of America. Nigeria and Nigerians have gained a lot from America. We are always learning from you. In the spirit of give and take, we also believe that Americans sometimes have a lot to learn from Nigerians. No less a person than Professor Maurice Iwu, our respected umpire of rigged do-or-die elections, stated this fact recently. We would be remiss in our duty if we didn’t bring such areas of possible American apprenticeship to your attention.
The name of our new organization speaks for itself. We assist water in finding and maintaining its level. Yes, your Excellency, water must find its level, especially in the area of marriage. You must therefore understand our consternation and embarrassment when our research and documentation officers stumbled on documents revealing the rather austere nature of the wedding you organized for your beautiful daughter, Jenna, this year. From the facts available to us, it is obvious that you committed a number of unbelievable class and status crimes in putting together your daughter’s wedding. We are told, for instance, that you declared it a private, personal, or family affair. Haba, President Bush! Multiple news sources reported that the guest list was limited “to family and close friends”. We are told that the National Guard did not move to Crawford with horsewhips to “control the crowd” on the day of the wedding. We are told that major roads in Crawford were not blocked and locals went about their business. We are told that state Governors, Party Chieftains, Heads of all Federal ministries and agencies, Founders and General Overseers of major evangelical groups, and Mayors of all American cities were not mandated to be in Crawford. We are told that contract seekers did not buy centre spreads in all major American newspapers to congratulate your family on the occasion of your daughter’s wedding. One could go on and on with this disturbing list of incomprehensible transgressions but it is better to make you understand the gravity of this thing by telling you about a Nigerian equivalent from which we expect you to learn one or two things.
A prominent member of our association, His Excellency Alhaji Chief Bayo Alao Akala, the Executive Governor of Oyo state, recently organized his daughter’s wedding in his hometown of Ogbomoso. Now, Chief Alao Akala is a man who, unlike you, understands and practices our philosophy of status-befitting weddings. Please be advised that he declared that family affair a “state wedding”. That is the way we do things in Nigeria. That is the way you ought to do things in America. Please note that had Chief Alao Akala not declared it a state wedding, the followership – the people of Oyo state – would have concluded that “his head is not correct”. Declaring it an official state wedding cleared the path for splashing the sum of 100 million naira (about USD 1 million) only on a ceremony so important to lives of the people of Oyo state. Please note that Governor Akala is a frugal and responsible Nigerian leader. One million dollars for the wedding of a whole state Governor’s daughter is chicken change by Nigerian standards. We wager that you did not spend that much on Jenna’s wedding and that is a shame. We also can’t put it beyond you that what you spent was your own money and not the dollars of the American tax payer. What a pity.
Because it was a state wedding, it would have been suicidal for the Deputy Governor, all Commissioners, all Permanent Secretaries, all Local Government Chairmen, all traditional rulers, the Vice-Chancellor of the State University, and so on and so forth, not to abandon the business of the people for at least one week as they all prepared for Ogbomoso. That would be toying needlessly with one’s job. All civil servants in the state would have been compelled by the body language of the Governor’s office to get the legendary “aso ebi” and report for duty in Ogbomoso. Now, were you able to compel White House staff to buy tuxedos and gowns and report for duty in Crawford? We must inform you that two of Nigeria’s biggest musicians, King Sunny Ade and 9ice, entertained guests at the epochal state wedding. It is sad that you could not assemble Elton John, Madonna, and Andrea Bocelli for Jenna’s wedding.
If Crawford ignored Jenna and went about her normal duties, Ogbomoso stood still for Governor Akala’s daughter. In Nigeria, when power is in town, it is disrespectful for citizens to go about their daily routines. They are forced into a voyeuristic contemplation of the orgies of power. The police and security men had trouble beating the people into shape and order. Luckily, Governor Akala had had the good sense to impress it upon the Commissioner of police to make provision for enough horse whips and pankere for crowd control. We must tell you that some of the Governors and their madams who graced the occasion were only there to gauge the strength of the competition. They now know the minimum standard that must be maintained when they give out their own daughters in marriage. For starters, that budget of 100 million naira or 1 million dollars will have to be upwardly reviewed to about 300 million naira for the next state wedding. In Nigeria, we always make such adjustments to accommodate inflationary trends.
President Bush, this is obviously a very modest summary of the grandiose day of the Alao Akalas. We would have written a much-detailed letter but we have to respect your extremely tight schedule. As it is already very late to rectify the ordinary and disgracefully modest wedding you organized for Jenna, may we suggest that you try to put a state wedding together for Barbara, her twin sister, before January 20, 2009? That is the only thing that would appease us and make us happy. It is unhearable that a daughter of the President of the United States married in circumstances that the daughter of a Local Government Chairman in Nigeria would have considered insulting. Ko see gbo!
If Barbara does not have a fiancé, find one for her with immediate effect. If money is the problem – Americans often have the temerity to ask what their leaders are doing with the tax payer’s money – leave things to us. We raised one hundred million naira for brotha Obama just by organizing one fund-raising dinner. If we put out ads for a fundraising dinner for the wedding of the US President’s daughter, the President of Nigeria would be the first to donate generously on behalf of the Federal government. He may even table the matter at the AU and urge his brother Presidents from the rest of Africa to donate. Ex Africa semper aliquid novi. Never doubt that.
Yours in status-consciousness,