Nations around the world (or at least some of them) are known for their tall-standing, vertically prominent structures, which ultimately go on to serve as cultural (and even social) references. There’s the Statue of Liberty in New York, The Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Canton Tower in Guangzhou (China) and the Ostankino Tower in Moscow. For so long, there hasn’t been anything of that nature in these parts, but all that is about to change. Many thanks to our political terrain, there has been an attempt by some unknown well-meaning Nigerians to stand up to the world’s tallest buildings, never mind that it doesn’t come in the form you would usually expect.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's just a really large broom hoisted in the direction of the sky.
Residents of Abuja would be “pleasantly” surprised when they make a short trip to Unity Park, located in the city Centre, to see this magnificent structure. I’ll go out on a limb and say that this is probably the largest broom anyone or any group of persons has ever erected anywhere in the world.
Who says Nigeria doesn’t have any tourist attractions? Of course, the Obudu Mountain resort sits majestically in the famous Sankwala Mountains in Cross River state. There is also the Gashaki-Gumpti National Park in Taraba State, as well as the Ngwo Pine Forest in Enugu State. But none of them, and by that I mean none, measures up to the famed World’s Largest Broom.
The All Progressive Congress (APC), the ruling political party in Nigeria, denied any involvement in the construction of the large edifice. So which well-meaning Nigerian thought to himself, “the cobwebs in the sky are becoming a bit unbearable, oh here goes, let me construct a broom, big enough to cobweb the entire sky of cobwebs”?
Where did the idea come from? Rochas Owelle, maybe? I mean, he’s a usual suspect, since he is the brain behind several unique statues erected in Imo State.
"My people, my people, are you not impressed?"
We’re not exactly saying that he’s the one behind this one, we’re just, you know, speculating...
How much did it cost? The broom allegedly cost N250 million. To put this into perspective, that’s equivalent to the cost 100,000 thousand bags of cement. It also adds up to 125,000 Zinger burgers from the Kentucky Fried Chicken Franchise. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) allegedly asked for N1.1 trillion, so we know other areas this huge outlay of national funds could have gone to.
Reno Omokri, a chieftain of the Peoples’ Democratic Party and famous for his #RenosNuggets on social media had this to say on his official twitter handle, addressing Vice President Yemi Osibanjo:
“Sir, Nigerians say we can’t point to a single project initiated, started and completed by our administration in the last 4 years.”
Tagging the President's official twitter handle, he continued, “Ask then to go and see the big broom at Abuja City Gate”.
What happens if the party loses the general elections scheduled for February 16th? It will be a real egg-on-your-face moment if after going to these lengths to garner support, the APC is unable to sway the opinions of citizens into keeping them in office. Every single day you pass by the broom, you’re immediately triggered, like a boyfriend who was dumped by his girl without seeing it coming: everything you see afterwards gets you in your feelings.
Elections come up two days after the Valentine “storm” would have subsided, and citizens are advised to fully exercise their franchise. Of course, if you’re an architecture enthusiast, there’s hardly any guessing where your pendulum should tilt.