Friday, July 19, 2019

An encounter with a one-man government

An encounter with a one-man government
November 07
11:03 2017

Two years ago, I came across a comic story on facebook and it really cracked me up. The tale was about Nigerians being their own government. The man who cracked the joke said and I quote: “at 7pm, I’d wear my “agbada” and cap and switch on my generation, because I am my own minister of power.”  

Nigeria is probably and doubtless the only nation that is so rich in natural resources and money, yet her citizens are daily languishing in the dungeon of power-outage. After 57years of being in existence as a nation, we have spent so much on electric power supply, but we are seeing little or no result. Each administration spends heavily and profoundly on electric power supply, but till now, Nigerians are wrestling power-outage as Hulk Hogan would wrestle Big-Boss Man in a contest. What an infamy!

On the 3rd of November, 2017, a man walked into my office and we got talking about his community that has been swimming in the cesspool and septic tank of power-outage for about a decade. About a decade? Yes, about a decade in 2st century! When he told me that his community is now on power grid, I was happy for him and his community. Now, this is not what I want you to see. This is what I want you to see: It was the people in the community—who contributed money to put an end to the problem of power-outage in the community. They contributed money to buy transformers, electric poles and cables. He told me that the community spent more than eleven (11) million naira to kiss power-outage goodbye! What a country!

In a nation where virtually every citizen is his own government, what exactly is the purpose of local, state and federal governments? Also, how legitimate is it to expect the citizenry to still pay taxes when they are their own government? In my neighborhood, we are paying profoundly to provide our own water, paying a great deal to protect ourselves and burning fuel daily to defeat the bolshie whale of power-outage.

Some years ago, I took the snapshot of a very ugly and an unsightly “Akute-Ishasi” road in Ogun State and tried to create awareness on it, so that his Excellency, the governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun could do something about it. While he was campaigning to become the governor of Ogun State, he essentially promised the electorates who are living and working around that area that he would construct a good road for them. Without a gun and bullet, the road I am x-raying has killed many cars and citizens. Roads that are worse than “Akute-Ishasi” road can only be found in hell!

The citizens—who are living around “Akute, Ishasi, Adigboluja, and Oluwakemi” are daily groaning in pains, but no one in the corridors of power seems to care. About two months ago, some citizens living around that axis and bloc contributed some money to work on a very tiny portion of the road that winds through “Adigboluja” and “Bemil.”

And when they could not finish working on it, they came up with a 3rd world idea. What was it? They did barricade it and would not allow anyone drive on the road without parting with some cash. Today, the road is fast recovering from illness, because those citizens took care of it.  Travel round Nigeria today and you would find out that many dreadful and deplorable roads are being constructed by the citizens just by pulling together—their scarce resources. They are their own government.

Our problem in Nigeria is not money, but how to spend money. Our political leaders prefer to waste money on cars, even when the citizens are daily dying as an effect of deplorable roads. In a nation that is still struggling to come out of a very tough time of recession, eleven (11) million naira was recently used to procure and acquire each car for some of our political leaders. It is a sign that those who are leading us really hate us.

Recently, I was speaking somewhere as an effect of the sudden death of the first son of the national leader of the APC. A few days ago, through the medium of social media, I read through the comments of many Nigerians on the tragedy that struck the home of Asiwaju and my heart sank. Nigerians have gotten to a level where no matter who drops dead, they do not care too hoots. Someone asked: “How did we get here?” This was my simple answer: “We got here, because since 1960, our political and military leaders have deliberately, viciously and wickedly raised desensitized citizens.” When you do not care about your citizens, they’d in turn not care about you.

A few days ago, the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria approved that Chief Alex Ekueme should be flown abroad for medical treatment, but when the helpless citizens of Nigeria take ill, they go on radio, television and social media to beg for money to treat themselves. This is the ugly state of affairs of things in our beautiful country.


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