MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
The trending video in the social media in which the indomitable female social crusader and activist, Aisha Yesuf laments the recent news of plan to officially buy SUV for each member of the House of Representatives with nothing less than N130million for each of the vehicles is a sad reminder of the belief in some quarters that most Nigerian politicians are greedy and selfish, irrespective of their party affiliation.
Aisha’s commentary with respect to the involvement of Labour Party members in the House of Reps in the attempt to milk Nigeria dry through such acquisition of exotic SUV ironically brought to the fore, the fear that Labour Party law makers are not going to be different from others who see their election as an opportunity to “chop.”
The Labour Party members contrary to the advice of their party National Chairman, Barr. Julius Abure that they should shun the SUV, have chosen to ignore the advice. This is a clear indication that they are all the same and the situation graphically tells Nigerians that our politicians are all the same mindless set of people.
It is quite saddening that at a time, millions of Nigerians are grappling with abject poverty, the lawmakers are justifying why acquisition of SUV is imperative. Their defense as revealed by some members of the House through various fora clearly shows that their intentions do not centre on promoting the interest of the people who elected them but simply to glorify and glamorize their positions as honorable members.
Since the days of Muhammadu Buhari in office as President, it became fashionable for the country to go for foreign loans which ordinarily are supposed to be for developmental purposes but ironically end up in private accounts. Buhari’s administration under the leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) plunged the nation into endless spate of loans that were used on wrong purposes.
The administration depleted Nigeria’s foreign reserve terribly and one had expected that his successor in office, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the same APC would have done better by adopting a structural adjustment mechanism that would cut down on the reckless spending in public places.
Regrettably, BAT administration has worsened the situation by upscaling the squandering regime in thousand and one ways amongst the elites while the poor masses are left to die in droves.
Tinubu who came into office in controversial circumstance of election manipulation failed to learn from history that power is always transient and therefore must be handled cautiously. Regrettably, from the first day in office, he chose to incur the anger of the masses by increasing pump prize of fuel without providing a genuine alternative to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal on the poor masses.
Instead of fixing at least one of the nation’s dilapidating refineries before removing the subsidy, he cunningly announced the release of billions of naira to provide what he calls palliatives for the less privileged citizens. As usual, the billions were actually not meant for the poor masses but for the settlement of the political class irrespective of party affiliation.
Their evil intentions are currently exposed in the public space. There are reports of how communities populated by thousands of poor masses are given few bags of palliative rice to share. There is a trending video of a
Community Development Area Chairman in Ogun State telling Nigerians how he was given a bag of rice to share for 147 house holds. Rather than address the issue in an honorable manner, a government spokesman chose to berate the elderly Chairman of the CDA with an irresponsible assertion that the rice is not meant for everyone.
The question is, where have all the billions of naira released to the states for palliative gone to? There have been resentment, complains from the masses across the nation over this palliative issue, yet BAT administration has not shown much interest in addressing it.
From all quarters, what is happening in Nigeria in contemporary time is an open bazzar for the political elite at all levels. It is evident that only few politicians are mindful of the future of Nigeria and Nigerians. The nation is unarguably skewed towards economic destruction championed by those in leadership positions.
How do we explain a situation where a good number of serving Senators and other office holders like ministers are former state governors are still drawing pensions from their various states in addition to their present salaries, allowances and other perquisites of office?
How do we explain a situation where some serving lawmakers and other political appointees have cases with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yet they are elected or appointed into office irrespective of whatever indicting information security agencies like Department of State Service (DSS) must have provided on such persons.
Nigeria undoubtedly needs an overhauling in every respect. Regrettably, no matter how smart or creative the Tinubu administration may seem to be, Nigeria would continue to get worse in every ramification as far as greed is on the horizon.
There is certainly no way Nigeria can be better in a situation where elected lawmakers, governors, appointees, ministers and the President himself live in ceaseless affluence at the expense of the masses. It is not a curse, but the truth is that Nigeria is fast heading towards destruction both economically, socially, politically and even morally.