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Friday, 12 April 2013

Season Of The Ignoble Heroes By Gbenro Olajuyigbe

For a  people that have been persistently and consistently ; violently raped for years, a slap on their faces will be considered by them  an act of generosity. To such people, an overhead bridge in Uyo, five star hotels that has no service value to the ordinary persons on the streets of Uyo, elitist ventures like an airport  and forty kilometer roads across Ikot- Ekpene are features of ‘uncommon transformation’. To them, it does not matter whether Ikot- Abasi and over 70% of the landmass and people in Akwa Ibom have no access to good water, motor able roads, good health care and other basic services.
As long as there  Senators, People in the ‘Chop – our- money, we –don’t care’ government of the prodigal Governor Akpabio can fly in and out of the Uyo Airport; even, when their kinsmen  back  home can barely access services. It is Godwill for Akpabio to use government money to buy Prado Jeep for Tuface Idibia but not Godwill for him to pay the outstanding 16 months salary of Akwa Ibom Football Club. Godwill to donate Akwa Ibom money to feed PDP delegates to the ill-fated reconciliation in Rivers State; not Godwill to productively engage the multitude of  unemployed Akwa Ibom youth who daily go to bed without food in their stomach. Although, the National Working Committee of PDP through Olisa Mentu has defended this as ‘ Akpabio’s act of generosity. So, like party, like Governor!
Nigerians always lose sense of history. Years back, Chmaroke Nnamani, former governor of Enugu nearly deceived even the very innocent with his EBE A NO, ---TO GOD BE THE GLORY  transformation mantra, employing the media as the tool for the grand deception. Akpabio’s ‘uncommon transformation’ is the Akwa Ibom version of EBE A NO! Even this shall fade away and Akwa Ibomites shall discover the wool pulled over their eyes! Agents of true transformation don’t behave the way ‘Akpabio and his Federal Comrades’ are squandering public funds; converting public trust to private licence for reckless adventure.
Just recently, the rash and harsh response of the Federal Government to the allegation made by Oby Ezekwesili that the YAR’ADUA/JONATHAN’S Government fettered away 62 billion dollars left behind by Obasanjo’s government revealed a government that has sunk into infamy of non-accountability. A government that needed to be reminded of its obligation for accountability to the Nigerian people. Without Oby’s allegation would the Jonathan administration ever told Nigerians that Obasanjo left behind the 45 billion dollars it later admitted? The most obviously upsetting and nauseating  force of this bravado is the arrogance of  the Mid-Night economists like MR. Labaran Maku and DR. Doyin Okupe who rose to insult the personality of a Nigerian who has the right of holding her government accountable, building on the knowledge she had both in government and outside it.
These Good-lucks, who at best are power pirates,  have snatched away Nigeria from her citizens.
The Economic Voodooists  have become the Nigeria’s Star-gazers; who have become  exclusive necromancers, the only persons who have  the magic capacity to  diagnose and talk about our  dying or  dead economy, presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan. They are the President’s Prophets! The gods and goddesses that have made the President in their own images, yet wise enough to hypnotized  him to feel he is in charge. In their fiefdom, they are the beginning and end of knowledge. They are the treacherous teachers in school where all other Nigerians are dull and unintelligent pupils! In their own proud estimation, they are the never wrong and ever right jury of Nigeria’s destiny; the Good-lucks who are fast becoming Nigeria’s crudest and cruellest undertakers!
If Oby, a former Minister, a former World Bank’s Vice- President is considered by the Jonathan’s presidency as Obasanjo’s robot, as adduced by the lackeys, then you can imagine how  not- helpable  the President has become. What is certain is that Nigeria can not afford keeping a government that is governing  with a victim – mentality. This mentality of Jonathan’s Presidency is worrisome. When a government becomes fixated to a level where any opinion contrary to its own is recklessly regarded as hand work  of opposition, that government has lost its capacity to recover from the abyss. The  relentless insults and assaults on critics of  incongruent policies and practises of Jonathan’s Government  by these voodooists has catapulted  mediocrity in governance  to national infamy. Nevertheless, this can   be understood in the context of leadership that has gone out of control in a nation where deceits, lies and the suppression of truth have become tools for governance.
 We are indeed paying for the venality and corruption of the people in government who have subverted structure, manipulated processes and perverted policies to accommodate their passionate hedonism. How does one also  place the contraction that a legislator who, by law and preparation of the Revenue Mobilisation Commission  is to earn between 754,000 and 957,000 Naira per month now  criminally rakes home between 20 million and 30 million Naira every month ? It is this strange behaviour and inconsiderate attitude of the political class that has imposed on Nigeria unnecessary economic burden. Nigerians fought and some died for democracy because they saw in democracy opportunity to actualize the benefits that are embedded in just, good and democratic governance.
They saw in it, governance for the people and they never envisaged that it will turn to another imperialism whereby  the people become servants and government officials, the new gods who must be served and worshiped. Nigerians anticipated a democratic and just governance that becomes the machinery to drive the cause of civilization, where people occupy the centre- stage of issues. Where their welfare, safety, security and happiness become the primary purpose of government as in civilized democracies, not a government run by cads whose bellies are their gods and greed, their prophets! Over the years,  our budgets have  not been  serving the people. They are operated to fund legislators’  tastes and lawlessness, and executives  recklessness. A nation where people continue to grope in darkness because of power failure, where schools have become centres for cruel crime and where unemployment and crime are growing in geometric progression despite ritual budgetary allocations to combat the orgies can not be said to be running governance. The guinea coefficient of Nigeria today presents  the worst gap between the rich and the poor in the world. We are not ready for state formation. Our concept of governance and democracy if not reviewed to align with that of honest and civilized people will turn us to  colony of beasts, where  people become  prey and their governors,  the vicious predators!
Gbenro Olajuyigbe`
Human Security  Manager,
ActionAid Nigeria,

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