In leadership and nation-building, like begets like. The leaders determine the kind of citizens that a nation would have in her possession. If the leaders are lawless, it is impossible for the citizens to be law-abiding. It is hypocrisy for leaders to make the laws that they aren’t going to submit to. The law that binds that led should be able to chain the leaders. This is the only way serious nations are being built. Remember, a lion cannot give birth to a monkey and baboon cannot give birth to a chimpanzee. It is a law of reproduction and it is not allowed to be compromised in leadership and nation-building.
Professor Itsey Sagay said yesterday that he would uncover to the citizenry how much is the take-home of the man who leads “the red-chamber,” Senator Bukola Saraki and the man who leads “the green-chamber,” Mr. Yakubu Dogara, but he forgot to threaten to disclose how much the man who daily feeds him takes home both weekly and monthly. Professor Sagay plays to the gallery as Samson did for the Philistines when things he used to control began to control him, but Prof. Itsey has perhaps forgotten that his benefactor would soon step out of the lowest-office in the land because in leadership, the highest is the lowest.
A bill was signed into law during the lackluster-reign of Dr. Ebele Jonathan, but until this time that I am penning this piece; its authenticity is regrettably in doubt. What bill am I talking about here? I am talking about Freedom of Information Bill (FOI Bill). Using the tool of Freedom of Information Bill, there should be no information that shouldn’t be made available to the common man, but till today, how much was spent in the United Kingdom, when Mr. President took ill—is still wearing a mask and tying a scarf. If our leaders are truly law-abiding as they daily tell the whole world, the information by now ought to have been put in the public space for all to access.
In the same vein, is there any State in Nigeria that is running a transparent government? Today in Nigeria, it is the more you look, the less you see. And on the condition that a State is running a “close-circuit system,” how do you hold the Governor and his team accountable? Also, if a Governor is not submitting to a law, how does he expect citizens under him to be law-abiding? When a Governor becomes stronger and bigger than a law, then he should forget about making those following him to align with the same law. It has never worked and it will never work.
A few days ago, a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria disclosed a part of what monthly travels to their varied Bank accounts, probably after he finished eating “pounded-yam and vegetable.” As an effect of that, he became an overnight-hero. And making people overnight heroes—is one of the major problems we are having in Nigeria. Nigeria is possibly the only nation where oppressors are daily being supported and celebrated by those who are being oppressed on hourly basis. Nigerians will never truly experience freedom until they start abhorring their chains. The Union Jack being lowered on the 1st of October 1960 does not mean that the common man is truly free politically and economically. The ongoing economic, political and mental slavery in Nigeria and across the length and width of Africa as a whole—is worse than the one that occurred when the White-man colonized us as a people.
Also, it is probably only in Nigeria that ‘employers’ do not know how much their ‘employees’ are taking home both weekly and monthly. In Nigeria, no one cares a hoot! Our politicians do not care whether the common man dies or survives. And they do not bulge whether the common man starves to death or he feeds from dustbins. Also, I am of the opinion that they are ashamed of mentioning how much they are each collecting because they know that the rest of the world would laugh them to scorn. They know that how much they are collecting is making Nigeria to daily gasp for breath. And if nothing is quickly done to salvage this ugly situation, we would wake up one day and realize that we do not have any longer—a nation that we can call our own. Leaders do not take life out of a nation, they give life to her!
Employing the usage of Freedom of Information Bill, on behalf of Nigerians, I demand that professor of Osinbajo and his boss make known to us the totality of their weekly and monthly take-home. If they cannot do this, then I doubt their being law-abiding and the project of building a law-abiding nation is hereby pronounced dead. For the umpteenth time, only law-abiding leaders can produce law-abiding citizens.