In 1966, Major Kaduna Nzeogwu changed the face of Nigeria permanently by leading a coup exercise that failed.
His words (reproduced below) are forever etched on the minds of many.
“…Our enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the Men in high and low places that seek Bribes and demand 10 percent, those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as ministers or VIP’s at least, the tribalists, the nepotists, those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles, those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian political calendar back by their words and deeds.”
Sadly not a lot has changed.
Senator Shehu Sani’s recent revelations about the huge sums consumed by each and every Nigerian Senator is not surprising. Nigerians have had whispers since 1999 but none of the dishonourables and hardly distinguished lawmakers has ever been brave enough to openly admit to pilfering these sums from the commonwealth.
Just let the figure the senator revealed sink in. Every month, 108 senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria receive One and a half billion naira outside of their salaries. It is fair to imagine that the 360 members of the House of Representatives share the same total amount as the senate.
So in total and every year, all the members of the National Assembly share about 36 billion naira in non-salary entitlements. Reports have it that the principal officers even collect significantly more.
According to the Inspector General of Police, the 2017 budget of the Nigeria Police was 36 billion naira and the Nigerian Police is expected to secure the 36 states of Nigeria and even provide protection for these chancers masquerading as lawmakers.
In addition to this 36 billon naira, these wasters in the National Assembly have access to another 43 billon for constituency projects, this can be anything from buying cattle meat for your constituents as Senator Deep Throat famously did, providing branded pure water as Brother Buki recently did, to building them a ‘Lego’ bridge as Senator Melaye famously did.
Can you imagine these are the people Nigerians are expecting to hold the Executive to account? The same people who cant hold themselves to account.
As Major Nzeogwu said in the quote above, our enemies are the – “political profiteers, the swindlers, the Men in high …. places that seek Bribes and demand 10 percent, those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as …… VIP’s at least, the tribalists, the nepotists, those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles, those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian political calendar back by their words and deeds.”
You can imagine Major Nzeogwu had the National Assembly members of today and the Nigerian political elite in mind. They have not changed since 1966 and they do not intend to change now.
How can 469 people (109 Senators and 360 Representatives) hold a nation of 200 million people as kidnap victims? Eating 25% of the annual resources of Nigeria day in day out. Why do Nigerians allow this?
We are not talking about Executive members who tend to be heavily protected here or who can stay in Abuja and do not need to visit their constituency. We are discussing the people who come around almost every weekend. People who attend local churches and mosques boldly while the populace they impoverish either hail them or ask for crumbs from them. Sad.
It is like asking an armed robber to please give me some change out of the money you stole from me. When he does, we then hail him as the world’s most generous man.
The sums referred to above do not fully paint the picture of the horrors inflicted on the Nigerian economy, political life and people of Nigeria by the National Assembly. Not content with the immoral funds they have allocated to themselves, they go on regular shakedowns of Federal Government Agencies and Parastatals. Grabbing and grasping. Displaying a rapaciously greedy behaviour that will shame the vilest of people in other countries.
These are the people holding down a nation of Professors and brilliant minds, a nation that prides itself as the shinning star of Africa.
When will the people stop these parasites? If the people think the electoral system is rigged against them, they need to resort to extra electoral means to solve the problems of these rapaciously greedy national assembly members.
Enough is enough.
Baba Grumpy works in financial services in the United Kingdom. He blogs mostly about football at http://babagrumpy.blogspot.co.uk. His Twitter handle is @BabaGrumpy