It was the long-awaited 60th birthday celebration of my grandaunt. Months of planning had turned to weeks, then days and voila! the day was here – ‘Mama Dele’ {as she’s fondly called} was finally 60!

The thanksgiving service at her church which took almost forever because older Yoruba women do not understand that dancing up the altar during a thanksgiving isn’t a platform for showcasing Micheal Jackson’s ‘moonwalk’.

After 5 long hours, we headed to her house for the big mo gbo, mo ya (I heard and I came) reception. With Ebenezer Obe bursting the speakers, Jollof rice and well stewed cow lungs on my plate and a coke in hand, nothing could go wrong… well, maybe.

The photo sessions had just ended with all the say cheeses and say mushins when the worst happened,

Mama Dele’s 3-tier birthday cake was missing!

The Caterer had hidden it in her metal ‘Saki’ pot at the point it was being prepared to be cut and shared to salivating guests and carted away with it in her catering van but no one had noticed.

We searched under the tables, chairs, cars, in the bathroom, jewelry box…anywhere for our 60th birthday cake but we never found it. All we had were pictures of the beautifully designed grand cake sitting in the photographers camera film waiting to be developed into pictures; the party was very over.

It was this chaotic situation I remembered when like a scene from a children’s playground, playing the children’s rhyme of ” who me, yes you, it couldn’t be, then who” news filtered in that the 2016 National budget was missing.

My first reaction was ‘huhn?!! Our National cake? How can it be missing? but it’s  allover the internet!” Indeed, the ridiculous news had been announced by the Senate Leader Sen. Ali Ndume during a 90-minute ‘closed door’ session and wasted no time spreading like an outbreak of Ebola in the slum of Guinea.

I took to twitter and had a swell time scrolling through pictures of people searching for the road map of the most populous black nation in the world under their carpets because push had come to shove.

Minutes later, a widely read newspaper reported that the senate president had rushed down to Aso rock to explain to ‘Baba’ how the budget which he personally delivered amidst pomp and pageantry;  and,  before the very eyes of Nigerians wrapped like Santa’s gift to Nigeria could go missing. We would later discover that a missing budget wasn’t even on the agenda of this meeting.

Reports state that when the meeting was over, journalists pressed for answers on how and why the budget went missing and all our senate president could say was “Haha!”

Read here: Nigeria’s 2016 National Budget Goes Missing

MissingBudget Drama (3)

Haha??? Was it a weird case of April fool in early January? Did an entire nation decide to use the ‘my cat ate my homework’ excuse? Was it that season again when little things like $20b would mysteriously catwalk out of the excess crude oil account. Were  we back to that time when Nigeria’s satellite got missing in space because kidnappers from Mars had abducted it?

Was it that time again like when over 200 human beings were abducted from school at night or when they said our President’s school leaving certificate was missing? Exactly what time is it? Guys, Time to stop running Nigeria like a beer parlor.

Apparently some ‘very concerned’ Nigerians had called on security agencies to ensure that members of the Senate do not start withdrawing ‘cheques a la missing budget’ (maybe we would have had #Budgetgate by now *sigh*)

Read Here: Senator Saraki Says There Are Two Budgets

Read Here: Ita Enang and the Altered Budget

Before our very eyes, a committee was formed to investigate the claims of the missing budget and like a dramatic twist in a telenovela, the Senate President announced that there are in fact two versions of the budget:

One signed sealed and delivered by Mr President at the December 22nd, 2015 Joint Session of the National Assembly,

A second from the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang. Funny allegations arose that Mr Enang had on his way to deliver the budget to the senate, remixed the budget and that it was this remixed budget that was in circulation in the Senate.

Hmmm…Rulers are like hills; when darkness falls, they all speak alike. ~Ugandan Proverb

MissingBudget Drama (1)

My fellow Nigerians, here’s my 10kobo:

In the first place, this news wasn’t meant for public consumption that is why it was announced during a closed-door meeting. A closed door session is not just about shutting the door behind you; confidentiality is the main essence of such sessions.

The selfishness of some of our politicians and the uneccesary need to embarass each other is written all over this missing budget matter. I think that a phone call could have solved this exalted madness that is ongoing. Say, call Mr President and humbly ask for a new copy of the original budget while dealing with the carelessness  of whose custody the first one was when it went missing. This is common home management.

First, the Senate says there is no missing budget then we hear there are two versions of the budget, one which has been tampered with and the original no where to be found. So, insecurity has become so bad in Nigeria that even sheets of paper are abducted? Na wa o! Meanwhile, can the Senate organize itself before releasing statements? Thank you.

Now, on the allegations brought against Mr Ita Enang the supposed ‘remixer’ of the budget, I hope that there would be some sanction for such audacious criminality if true.

The crux of the matter is that the Senate needs a signed unadulterated copy of the budget from President Buhari in order to begin deliberations so that it can become functional and begin steering the nation towards progress before we buy 1 dollar for 1million naira. However, one wonders why Mr President has put out a seemingly quiet I’m-minding-my-business attitude with regards to this issue. What has prevented Mr President from sending the senate another copy of the budget? There’s no need to ‘Baba-go-slow’ on this matter, biko.

You can already imagine how the rest of the world sees Nigeria by now especially Switzerland who is ready to return some more Abacha loot. Missing budgets better not result in missing monies because Nigerians would not take another #Dasukigate lightly.

Enough of the missing budget. Already, Nigerians need action not drama. The oil price keeps sinking, January is almost over and we aren’t running with the 2016 budget yet. Our leaders need to wake up and smell the coffee. Time is money.


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