Since after 1983, the last election was the next time I voted in the Nigerian general election. I came out in spite of the weather and the very challenge of our model of election where you have to queue for hours to cast your vote. I joined others to prove a point, that someone from the so called ‘minority’ can be the president of Nigeria. I believed that if we could make that change it would be a major step towards making the many more changes we need to make to the characters in government and our model of governance. It is very unfortunate that the South-south part of Nigeria are now telling us that he is their son and Nigeria will burn if anything happens to him. As much as I will not want anything to happen to GEJ because we can’t afford it now as a nation his ‘brothers’ are making the rest of us that voted for him feel like fools. It is very annoying that this country is now at that point where every action must have an ethnic colouration.
GEJ appointed 43 ministers and a good number of special advisers and assistants (I don’t know the number), we have over 300 representatives and 109 senators at the National Assembly. That implies that there are over 500 elected and appointed officials between the executive and the legislative arms of government and each of them has a team of staff. In the darkest moments of this country when things have ground to a halt and the masses are groaning, you see them on television pumping hands and laughing. They know we are watching but it doesn’t really matter to them because we are their ‘mugu’ who they ‘conned’ into voting for them or pushing for their appointment. It is painful and very annoying because when I see the laughter I know they are laughing at all of us and our ‘stupid’ show of anger.
Today, all the best houses in the country and largest business empires are either directly or indirectly owned by politicians and retired military officers who are either in government or were in government. We know them, we see them as they flaunt it and all we do is applaud them and queue at their doors to get some pittance. We worship them to enable them give us the crumbs from their table so that we can survive. We admire them and pray for our turn to get into government or for someone related or close to us to get in there so that we can have our own piece of the action. This state of the nation has created a state of brazen impunity where our common wealth is abused right in our presence and we have settled to the fact that it has to be like that. We just follow them helplessly as a Sallah ram being led to the slaughter. They do not give a damn about how we feel because they are aware of our collective docility. It is very annoying to be part of the group called ‘the Nigerian masses’ because I know that the label portends foolishness.
Our governors are the Lords in their own kingdom where no one dares challenge them. Where they seat in power and buy up all the prime properties in the state capital and any other commercial city in the state, plus Abuja. Where they run the local governments as an appendage to their kingdom. Where they drive around in long convoys of cars chasing the masses that elected them into the bush while trying to maneuver their way on the bad roads that have become their (the masses) bane. Our governors share state appointments to as many as they need to ‘settle’ their boys or their godfathers without any concern about the depth of the purse of the state. The recurrent agenda is to not only leave the treasury empty at the end of their administration but also increase the debt stock of the state. The only legacy they leave is in the hearts of those they assist from the common purse of the state. When they finish their tenor they join the rising rank of political billionaires who decide the future leaders of the state and the country. You see them every day and remember that most of them were ‘nobody’ until they had access to our common wealth yet we accord them all the respect as they are further adorned with national honours and doctorate degrees for raping our national dignity. It is very annoying because I can do nothing but talk and shout in pockets of arguments in restaurants and barbers’ shop.
Our budgeting system in both the federal and state levels have become a joke. It is skewed heavily towards recurrent expenditures to sustain the exuberant and extravagant lifestyle of our leaders; their madness. Even the little allotted to capital expenditure will have headings like: reconstruction of the state house, construction of new governor’s lodge in Abuja, purchase of aircrafts to increase the fleet; and every other project that will benefit the leader directly. We the led are not even in consideration because we are contented with waking up alive each day and we give special testimonies in the churches about how we woke up alive. We pray regularly to Allah thanking Him for His benevolence of blessing us with survival. The only reason why we went into the streets is because they (the leaders) saw that our common purse was getting dry from their consumption and now decided to deep their hands directly into our personal wallets and hand bags to collect more money to augment what they will ‘chop’. If not, have we ever cared? We are angry that they refused to leave us in our state of stupor and headed for our pockets, wallets and hand bags. The feel of it woke us up and we stopped work and businesses and went into the streets. It is very annoying that we will soon go back to our state of inertia and doze off again while they continue their jamboree.
It is very annoying that wastefulness, arrogance, greed and impunity have become the leadership qualities in Nigeria and it only gets worse with each new administration.