In today’s mixture of polite sarcasm and social irreverence, we will take a look at the ordinary life and times of Mr Doyin Okupe, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs. Of course, I don’t even know who he is and neither do you and we both don’t care. Both of us have more things to worry over than the President’s Senior Special Assistant. For that matter, I don’t even know what a Senior Special Assistant means and I’m willing to bet half my salary that you don’t as well. C’mon, folks, let’s be serious here: is there, like, an Assistant, a Special Assistant, a Junior Special Assistant then the Senior Special Assistant? Is the President an invalid that needs a series of Assistants to jackboot him up from his arse every morning like a pensioner’s old Peugeot 504?
Whatever the case may be, the fact is we, you and I, have collectively, and along with Good Ol’ Jo, donated all the “damns” we had to offer on any issue affecting the country. Jonathan may have just run out of “damns” as recently as his messed up television interview in June informed us, but we long ran out of damns to give ourselves since NLC sold out every Tom, Dick and Harry in January 2012.
So why even bother to write about this at all? Simple. Its because some people (meaning, opposition parties) are of the opinion that Okupe is a hypocritical old man and is just a mere “attack dog” for the president. As usual, the Nigerian press did a good job of making me even more confused over the use of words. Apparently, the idea behind “attack dog” is to downgrade Mr Okupe somewhat by likening him to an imbecilic domestic pet, but a Google image search of “attack dog” will convince you of the inappropriateness of the nickname.
Meanwhile, the man gets on a record high with the sleaziest of all Senior Special Assistants—Snoop Dogg—and calls himself an “attack lion.” WTF? Seriously, WTF? Google doesn’t even have an image for that combo. And Google has an image for everything. Go on, try googling any shit that comes to your head—just don’t blame me for whatever weird porn fetish that fills your screen. Anyway, the point is this: too much unnecessary attention to an everyday, ordinary, chase-danfo Nigerian has given Mr Okupe the confidence that he is now to be considered as a lion of any kind.
Well, so why are the political parties, the press and everyone else who cares on Mr Okupe’s case? Because the guy is good at his job. True story. You see, Nigerians are so used to mediocre work attitudes that when someone comes out full steam and wows us with some superlative performance we can’t help but hate. Mr Okupe was hired to make the president look good. Its irrelevant whether the president is an overachiever or an underperformer—
–whether he is a good guy or a bad guy, a doer or a talker, all that matters is that Mr Okupe is paid to make him look good, and by hell, Mr Okupe is trying his best to make him look good. Mr Okupe is downgrading the president’s opponents, exalting the president’s abilities and generally showing the enthusiasm of a new employee looking for a double promotion. Yet, for all you and I know or care, Mr. Okupe didn’t even vote for the president. Mr Okupe probably despises the president, in fact, it’s possible his private views on the state of the nation are just the same as yours and mine. But then, isn’t that how we all feel about our bosses at work? Don’t we all think one thing and do another? Aren’t we all part of the smile and bow, smile and bow brigade? From the Deputy MD to the gateman, everyone has to pay lip-service to the upper level, no matter how much said everyone despises said upper level—and in that way, Mr Okupe is just the same as you and I. Typical.
The long, and short, and long again is that Doyin Okupe is just another Nigerian earning a salary without any care for the state of the nation. He has a family to feed and friends to entertain. Screw the the mental state of his boss—as long as the guy on the top keeps paying his salary, then the job has got to be done. And damned if he’s quitting because other people who don’t influence his salary don’t like what he is paid to do.
Reuben Abati—on the other hand—that s one lying, turncoat, hypocritical, treacherous…arrgghhhh!