BURNING POT BY DR. PRINCE CHARLES DICKSON

 

The rat in that Abuja hotel

pcdbooks@yahoo.com

 

 

In a shocking twist of events, a prestigious luxury hotel recently welcomed a new VIP guest that has undoubtedly set the hospitality industry abuzz. Say hello to the hotel's uninvited but determined guest - the rat! While most hotels strive to attract high-profile celebrities and dignitaries, this fine establishment seems to have taken a rather unconventional approach to hospitality.

 

Gone are the days of red-carpet welcomes for Nollywood stars and royal, and political families; now, the hotel staff must be on their toes to ensure they offer the same level of luxury to their furry intruder. Will the rat demand a personalized welcome letter, a gourmet cheese platter, or perhaps a mini-bar stocked with only the finest morsels?

 

The rat's check-in experience was nothing short of spectacular, as it effortlessly outsmarted the hotel's security measures and navigated its way to the most exclusive suites. Evidently, this rat is a true connoisseur of luxury, seeking only the finest accommodations for its impromptu stay.

 

Guests are encouraged to remain vigilant during their visit, as the hotel's newest VIP guest has already managed to make itself comfortable in various corners of the property. Some guests have reported spotting the rat nonchalantly lounging by the poolside, seemingly basking in the sun as if it were the newest member of the hotel's "Rat-telier."

 

While the hotel management may have initially been taken aback by the rat's surprise appearance, they have quickly embraced the situation with humor and creativity. The hotel's marketing team, in a stroke of brilliance, has even developed a new slogan: "Experience luxury like never before, with our exclusive rat-telier guest!"

 

In a surprising twist of fate, the rat seems to have become a symbol of the hotel's avant-garde approach to hospitality. Guests now eagerly share their rat sightings on social media, turning it into an unintentional marketing campaign that no PR team could have ever dreamed of.

 

For the culinary team, it's been an unprecedented challenge. The rat's preference for exquisite delicacies has elevated the hotel's gourmet offerings, as chefs compete to craft the perfect dish for their newfound connoisseur.

 

Yet, amidst the hilarity and unconventional charm of the rat in the hotel, there remains a glaring need to address the underlying issue. The management assures guests that pest control is diligently working to ensure that the rat is safely relocated to a more appropriate habitat. However, some guests seem reluctant to part with their newfound furry friend, claiming it has added an element of excitement and adventure to their stay.

 

As we bid adieu to the rat's brief but unforgettable stint at the luxury hotel, we are left with a poignant reminder that the hospitality industry is indeed unpredictable. Whether it's rolling out the red carpet for celebrities or welcoming unexpected VIP guests like our fine, furry friend, one thing remains certain - hotels continue to offer an extraordinary and unforgettable experience. After all, where else can you say you shared your stay with a rat-telier guest?

 

The story above is about us, all of us Nigerians. And this is it, in the last three weeks I have been everywhere, from Nairobi to Burkina Faso and then Abuja. On getting home, and needing to stop in Abuja for a function, I was put in a four-star hotel in Abuja, first let me absolve the organisers of the program.

 

This was the first time in almost three decades of hotel life that I saw a rat in a top hotel, I saw it in the lobby of the rooms. Another colleague experienced the rat's brief but unforgettable stint in his room. The rooms were damp, they served complimentary room tea at 4PM, the towels were neither white nor brown.

 

This experience got me thinking, most of our problems are simply a case of a nation that its citizens have refused to take responsibility, a handful of us rather than change hotels, where okay, giving several reasons. An overwhelming number of Nigerians are more interested in going to heaven than making their country a better place. Indeed, many would burn Nigeria down to the ground just because they believe it will facilitate them going to heaven.

 

If this hotel was run by either of the two major faiths, they would have known a thing or two about cleanliness being next to godliness. We are too passionate about their religious faiths, but do not follow it one bit.

 

For Nigeria to grow, institutions must work, whether private or public, we must start to ask our local council or ward councillors what they are doing, we must get governance at the local government level or forget it. On the other hand, erroneously, Nigerians believe that the federal, state and local governments have the capacity to solve all of society’s socio-economic woes. I am sure we would blame the rats’ presence on the government.

 

While some of us complained about how bad the entire episode in the hotel had become, including giving participants food made with bad vegetables such that half of those in the hotel had issues with their tummy. Many still found time to get a bottle or two, Nigerians love parties, ceremonies that should be contributed to cooperative societies to create jobs

 

This hotel was big, it was massive, making me reflect on our misguided orientation has led us to believe that how much material wealth you have is a measure of your worth. I am sure the sheer size of the facility and all the paparazzi gave the impression that all was well. Indeed, the giant of Abuja, or is it the giant of Nigeria, with rats everywhere. Probably most destructive of all is the fact that we love high-end products, yet produce none of these goods ourselves.  As a people, we are shamelessly happy to import all our consumer goods. Like rats that we are!

 

Everything is wrong with us; we think that public transport is for the poor. Gustavo Petro once said: “A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It's where the rich use public transportation. I looked at the below par Keffi, Akwanga roads, the Chinese road is already being depressed by use. We have not managed to get one thing right…

 

The reason why is that we are stealing the irons on the railroad on the Kaduna axis, and doing the same at the new Niger Bridge. Rats everywhere!

 

The hotel like Nigerians do not want to take responsibility for their action or inaction. They blame everyone else but themselves. They do not believe that they should take the lead in making the country a better place. We believe in begging. We beg and beg and beg other people to take responsibility that is purely theirs—May Nigeria Win