My return flight from Little Rock Arkansas back to Milwaukee was scheduled for around 1.20pm that Monday afternoon. As I dragged my tired feet towards the boarding gate in a saunter, I noticed this massively-built white man to my left sitting down by himself and working off of his laptop. I didn’t pay any serious attention until he looked up. Immediately I recognized him. It was Governor Michael Huckabee of the State of Arkansas in the United States of America.
This was some years ago. Then the question came thumping in my heart: So it is possible for a Governor to be sitting by himself at the airport without a gamut of mean-looking men in black blazers around him? Is it possible that with a governor there will be no gun-toting cops, no visible private security personnel, no P.A, no S.A, no C.S.O.? Readers, none that I saw around the governor of President Bill Clintons home state. This can only happen where a state government official is neither flaunty of his position nor afraid of anything or anyone to bring him harm or hurt. I then approached him and said “hello, governor”. With a big smile on his face, he thrusts out his hand in a firm and authentic handshake as I introduced myself. “Nice to meet you, sir, please, continue to pray for us. Have a safe trip back home and God bless you”, he warmly said to me. Friends, most politicians in this part of the world know they are not God.
In my land, Nigeria, the extreme and absurd contrast is the case. In my land, governors, ministers, and all of the army of political apparatchiks are gods. Yes, they are. When they misbehave or commit unthinkable atrocities, they get away with it and are never brought to justice. To the people who voted them into power they are untouchable, unreachable, inaccessible, inexplicable, inscrutable, intricate, complex, very high-handed, overbearing, overreaching, over the top in their dealings, and ridiculously superfluous. They are gods. At least they think they are. When they travel, roads are shut down, when they fly out, the airports are cordoned off. They will never travel except in a motorcade and convoy, because they are gods who don’t travel solo. When they speak, it is loaded with haughtiness and pride, when they dress; it’s very far from being modest.
Nobody works WITH them, people work FOR them, if you know what that means. When you work WITH them you are perceived a team member, when you work FOR them, you are a hungry slave. Ask those who work FOR them, and they will tell you that many of these gods are control-freaks, and most of their spouses rule their states, ministries and parastatals. With all of these audacious attitudes and amassing madness, these gods are still afraid! They can’t go places by themselves, can’t travel by themselves, and can’t even sleep by themselves without some form of bodily company or companies who may not necessarily be their spouses. Oh, what a life! These people believe they are gods. But to my consternation, these gods are afraid!
What are they afraid of? In my land, many of these elected officials hate to lose. They hate to lose elections, hate to lose authority and power, hate to lose support, hate to lose their voices in the mix of things, and are always afraid to lose their lives. And by every means necessary, these interests are guarded aggressively. But the ferociously aggressive guard of the plums that come from being a government official, minister, commissioners, et al in my land directly hits the heart of the nation’s economy and is drowning it. Have you checked out the security votes in each state of the Nigerian federation? That much money in the hands of homo sapiens? They will definitely feel like gods who can never die!
The security votes allotted each government and controlled in a draconian fashion by the sitting governor is mind-bugling. Daily, it is shoveled out to provide “security” for these officials. When jeeps are bought for chiefs and kings, to them it is a security issue and security money is expended. When opponents are bought over, to them it is a security issue and security money is applied. When child is getting married, to them it is a security issue, and security funds are funneled. When a memorial service is held for Mummy who died 25 years ago, to them it is a security issue, and security votes pay for the merrymaking. Many of our governors, ministers and political apparatchiks are gods, but shockingly, these gods are afraid.
…to be continued