The story of ‘Angazi’ has stuck with me ever since I read it off the pages of my Primary School English textbook several years ago.
Just in case you have never heard of Angazi, here is a summary:
A certain traveller visited a beautiful foreign city with amazing infrastructure and breath-taking edifices. As he toured the city, he saw a beautiful skyscraper. He turned to a man standing nearby and asked: “Who owns this magnificent building?” “Angazi,” the man replied.
“Wow! Angazi!”, the traveller exclaimed.
In another part of the city, he saw a fanciful car zoom past. “Who on earth owns this luxurious vehicle?” To his utter amazement, a woman who stood close to him responded, “Angazi!.”
The traveller exclaimed, “Angazi again! That man must be filthy rich!”
By the end of the day, the traveller had seen the best part of the city, Architectural beauty, posh shopping malls, beautiful parks, luxurious hotels, all of which was said to have belonged to the same: “Angazi upon inquiry.”
As he boarded a taxi to where he would spend the night, he saw some rioters destroying valuable properties. Out of fear, he asked the driver what could have led to the riot; surprisingly, he got the same answer, “Angazi!”
‘This life no balance’, he thought to himself. Angazi is not only rich and powerful, he is also notorious, he concluded.
He was still reflecting when he saw a crowd of mourners conveying a corpse in an expensive coffin. Upon asking who the name of the dead person was, he received the shock of his life when they told him it was “Angazi!”
“What a life!” he exclaimed! “The same Angazi that owns most of this city is now left with a piece of grave and the expensive coffin! Of what use is his money now?”
Much later, the traveller realised how ignorant he was when he learnt that “Angazi” was not a name but a sentence meaning, “I don’t know!” Everyone he had spoken to did not understand the questions that he asked, but his ignorance betrayed him into making hasty conclusions!
For the past two weeks, our federal lawmakers have been touring the country collating the views of Nigerians in a bid to amend the 1999 constitution. In the process, they have not only met Nigerians who want several things, they have also met those clamouring for the creation of their own State. In all, nothing prepared them for Mr. Adeleye Jokotoye’s bombshell.
A tax consultant in Lagos State, Mr. Adeleye wants the name of the country to be changed to United African Republic – to reflect the hundreds of ethnic groups that comprise the country. This suggestion is still generating a lot of controversy among Nigerians.
Like our traveller in the story of Angazi, could it be that Mr. Adeleye do not understand the tasks ahead of the lawmakers?
Are you wondering why I am worried?
As of December 31, 2020, Nigeria’s Total Public Debt was N32. 915 trillion. This figure includes the Debt Stock of the Federal and State Governments, as well as the Federal Capital Territory.
Come to think of it, if the country’s name is changed to United African Republic, who will offset this huge debt?
Written by John Olugbemi.®