Ukwa in New York
The country representatives in the UN General Assembly were dozing as yet another world leader came to the end of a long rambling discourse on the rule of law, a subject he was never willing to discuss in his home country.
But then suddenly, and most surprisingly, things began to perk up. The Chairman came to the microphone and announced ‘In order to brighten up the proceedings we shall now have a short entertainment organized by Africa’s most famous comedian! Put your hands together for the Fastest Quip in the South, the one and only Ukwa, President of Ukwaland!’
As the audience woke up and cheered, and the auditorium lights faded, the spotlight fell upon a dapper little fellow in a white Mao Tse-Tung suit who glided onto the stage and up to the microphone, and then fixed the rows of dignitaries with a baleful eye.
‘What are you people doing here?’ he asked. ‘Who elected you? Nobody! You were just appointed by your governments! Unelected representatives, coming here and pretending to rule the world!’
‘The money’s good!’ somebody shouted.
He pointed at a gentleman on the front row. ‘You, Mr Pinstripe Suit! What is your name? What are you doing here?’
The pinstripe suit obligingly stood up. ‘I am Sir Alistair Corruthers Heseltine-Bowen, British Permanent Representative to the United Nations.’
‘Unelected Pinstripe!’ laughed Ukwa, as he put two fingers in his mouth and gave a loud whistle, whereupon a line of twenty heavily armed police came running in from the wings. ‘Search this man for property corruptly obtained from Ukwaland!’ he ordered.
‘A colonialist!’ laughed the crowd. ‘A plunderer in our midst!’
‘You see!’ announced Ukwa triumphantly, as the police handed over the personal possessions found on poor old Pinstripe. ‘One Rolex gold watch, one diamond ring, one solid silver pencil and a Mont Blanc fountain pen. Now it’s pay-back time for the British looting of Ukwaland during a hundred years of colonialism! We must follow the rule of law!’
‘Ha ha,’ laughed the Third Word. ‘Quite right! Follow the rule of law!’
‘I beg to differ,’ said Mr Pinstripe, showing more courage than is normally expected of a British diplomat. ‘According to the rule of law, there has to be a complainant.’
‘Ha ha,’ laughed Ukwa waving at his supporters. ‘We are the complainants. If we want to fix our enemy we just send our police to find out what they’ve done wrong, and then the police arrest him.’
‘Exactly,’ people laughed. ‘We all live in Ukwaland!’
‘Suppose they haven’t done anything wrong?’ asked Mr Pinstripe.
‘Everybody has done something wrong,’ laughed Ukwa, ‘and it’s the job of the police to find it. That’s what we mean by the rule of law.’
Just then a small group of protesters walked in carrying a large banner reading We protest against the ban on protests. But as soon as they appeared Ukwa’s police pounced on them and beat them to the ground and carted them off.
‘What did they do wrong?’ somebody shouted.
‘What a silly question,’ laughed Ukwa. ‘Obviously if they are right, and there is a ban on protests, then they have to be arrested for contravening the ban.’
‘But if there isn’t a ban?’
‘Then obviously they have published false information calculated to mislead the public and cause alarm and public disorder, so they must be arrested.’
‘Very good,’ they all laughed. ‘The law must always rule!’
‘You laugh too much,’ Ukwa sneered into their laughing mouths. ‘I have now seen that you people are unelected, laugh at freedom of expression and the rule of law, and are also plunderers found with stolen property. Furthermore, I have seen that you spend all your time arguing with each other over petty matters instead of getting together to unite the world and solve our common problems.
‘Therefore I have no option except to exert my authority as the only elected leader in the room, and take over as President of the United Nations!’
‘Hurray!’ they all cheered. ‘The Great Leader we have been looking for.’
‘Accordingly,’ he continued, ‘I am appointing a Commission of Inquiry into the composition of the Security Council. Within ninety minutes I expect their report advising me that the Security Council should be abolished!’
‘Hurray!’ they laughed. ‘A man of action!’
As he spoke a Christian Choir drifted onto the stage and began to sing I am the World…
There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
Our leader is saying
It’s now our time to give him power
The greatest gift of all
Then the entire cast walked slowly off the stage, to the loud applause of the audience, with Ukwa loudly singing the next verse…
I am the world, you are my children
I am the one who makes a brighter day
So I’ll start ruling
It’s a choice I’m making
I’m saving your own lives
It’s true I’ll make a better day
Just vote for me
‘Marvellous!’ they all cheered. ‘Encore!’
Now the Chairman returned to the microphone. ‘Thank you Ukwa for another fantastic performance. Next on the agenda is His Excellency Dr Cycle Mata, who is going to talk about the rule of law in Zambiana.’
As Cycle Mata came to the microphone, the American Representative, Mr Texas Ranger, leant over to Mr Pinstripe and said ‘Doesn’t this one look like the previous fellah?’