Would Nigerians continue to take anything.
By Kareem Itunu Azeez
Looking at things from a holistic point of view, in contrast to the life we want and the life we are living, as citizens of a great African race, it is however unfortunate to be a Nigerian at this point in time for so many people. The aftermath of so many things in this part of the world is frustrating, depressing, discouraging and the Nigerians attitude is hopelessly not helping matters. Now, let us touch on some of the basis of our arguments to recent developments in Nigeria, on different counts as much as I can painfully remember.
The Value Added Tax, (VAT), saga of 5% to 7.2%, after the, Federal Executive Meeting, (FEC) held in Abuja which has decided to raise the VAT, of which only average Nigerians would bear the grudge. It is understandable that government needs money and should find ways of getting the monies, but more critically, the federal government needs to clamp down hard on the expenditure side of things. Most critical of these is corruption and the cost of corruption, which has become an economic leviathan that crowds out efficient expenditure that benefits the country and its citizens,-This day (source), now in continuation to those who would be more affected by the implementation of this increase, are Nigerians who live only by what they could source for, Nigerians that the government has continuously deprive of their rights, the reality and truth is, while internationally we accept the fact that based on this amount we pay way lesser than some countries, some countries even pay up to 25%, while we are still tied in between 5%-7.2%, but when rational thinking comes to place, then we know too well that the institutions in Nigeria is a failure, and the justifications for the increment is not valid. Now what is the importance of the minimum wage yet to be implemented. This is the first reason I said Nigerians would take anything.
Idi Amin once said, “There is freedom of speech, but I cannot guarantee freedom after speech.” “The only legitimate antidote for self-doubt and the shameful weakness it breeds is joyful self-acceptance.” this is evident in the way Nigeria is been run, the constitution seems to be just a book after all, that is useful only when it involve taking oaths of political offices, or when its time to jail a criminal for an offence of #100, committed only to stay alive. While the likes of Sowore has been in detention for freedom of speech, while Namdi Kanu is on personal exile, due to freedom after speech not guarantee the rest of us, simply continue to take anything this few political elites throw to us. And so we live a below average live in a land of plenty.
“May you not find yourself in a situation where you need the help of your government in foreign land” that was a twitter reaction to the ongoing xenophobic attacks on our brothers, in far away South Africa, people hammered out of system to search for greener pastures elsewhere, who give back to their countries positively when the foreign suns and oppression has been curtailed, but it took forever and the pressure of fellow Nigerians, before reactions from the administration was aired, even though at later time some envoy where reportedly sent. Don’t blame the government, they were busy preparing a speech of victory pending the judgment of the tribunal against their election petitions by the opposite party. Who would water the flowers when it rains if not Nigerian politicians. Meanwhile their sons and daughters are assaulted. But we are Nigerians we would take anything.
“Let me say that this security vote is also subject to audit, if it is not done, it is quite wrong. According to Robert Clarke (SAN), security vote is not constitutional. Security vote should be subject to audit”. That was Tukur Buratai, the chief of Army staff, complaining, and giving attitude on how over #400million monthly is been spent by governors, without any tangible explanations on its uses, Lagos, for instance bags by calculations: N1.429B Monthly [N1.297B (Public order and safety) + N132.5M (Social Protection)] (N17.149B Annually [N15.559B + N1.59B]) and yet such is not in the country’s constitution, this only proves one more time that the most lucrative business in Nigeria is politics, little wonder this animals would do anything to remain in power. How unfortunate a time to be a Nigerian, all this excessive funds, yet this self elected politicians (Many know the games) do nothing to improve the lives of the poor masses who have nothing to eat, no structural development, no good roads, no electricity, but I can guarantee one thing, “One day the poor would be left with nothing to eat, but the rich”.
While we inhabit a world of human differences and predilections, but the extrapolation of these facts to theories of rigid limits is ideology. An ideology many political institutions based their dark back grounds.
It is no longer news to the global village about the current protest in Hong Kong, which is now more than two months by my own observation, and whatever the end product, there’s every tendency that at the end of the day, something positive would come to pass. But how many of us have bothered to know what actually led to this protest in the first place.
Nigerians are the only type of people who instead of coming together to fight a common enemy, they rather fight themselves on the basis of different religions, different tribes, while their cunning enemies in their few numbers continue to pierce them through the heart with poverty- an instrument of mass destruction. The education is in dire need of improvement, while those who rule us are not even educated, how do we expect to advance education wise. You all remember the story of the young boy who developed a water steam generator, yes the government recognise him, this country has produced many like him, geniuses gifted and who have raced into Nigeria, but they are deaf to the truth and are greedy beyond grace. Such individual would not be empowered, they prefer to pay Ransome to armed criminals, in dollars not even in naira. Nigerians know the truth, but they would take anything.
Mugabe didn’t go to heaven with his $17m casket, its all gonna be buried beneath the soil, that’s some over poor mentality of Africans, now to Nigeria, let us do a simple maths, if a senator in Nigeria earns some #13m monthly, some allowances unaccounted for, fleet of cars of which recently over #5m was separately accrued for each of this, anyway let’s multiply #13m in 12 months that’s roughly #156m a year, multiply by four years that’s #624m in four years, this is just a basic salary, minus allowances. Yet when projects are awarded to make live easy for citizens, this men who have eternally fall off the grace of God, would still divert some funds into their personal account. Their gatherings of national wealth is useless the day they drop dead, someone should remind them. And surely, a time would come when the last fish is eaten and the last sea poisoned then would men know they can’t eat money.
Prior to the presidents certificate saga, which has now involve the Cambridge University, one of the various evidences said to have been submitted by the Election Petition Tribunal involved a citation below, it read,.
“For instance, whereas in the past, President Muhammadu Buhari has claimed that his certificates were with the Nigerian Army, a contemporary and friend of his from the army, Maj.-Gen. Paul Tarfa (retd), had told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal that such claims were false and the army neither asked for or retained the school certificates of enlisted men or recruits. Gen. Tarfa’s testimony corroborated a 2015 press conference by the Nigerian Army stating that they were not in possession of then-candidate Buhari’s certificate” another case study of how our politicians keep disgracing us, in far away lands, they continuously because of money they kept on tarnishing our images home and abroad, they see the world as strongly corrupt as they are. Its in their DNA, Nigeria leaders, are not knowledgeable, they only understand the language of money, this has affected even those below them, no wonder more than 90% of all civilians are corrupt, from one political office to other. The police, immigration officers, and sadly even at our own hospitals.
Before I forget, let me quickly glance through how this system do take us important, its about the minimum wage, we should recall it has been approved since may, but yet to be implemented till current date, we hear disagreement between governors, between ministers, and the federal government. Just a token of #30k, meanwhile it took them less than two weeks to decide for the purchasing of #5m cars for the senators, who have only come to take a bow and go. Yet Nigerians know the truth, but they will take anything.
If we talk of revolutions, the government will come after our lives, if we decided to raise the topic of separatism, they will say we are engaging into high treason. Yet Nigerians would not learn from the Algerian revolution, from the Philippine revolution, many of us remember how citizens lay on streets, refusing to work, until the government of the day is replaced, how they dough for the independence of the Judiciary. The government said to the military to crush them, and when the military arrived on the streets with armoured tanks, the people were not scared, they were determine to do all that is needed to change the system for good. We all know the rest of the story. And once again the people prove to the government that power belongs to them. But here my brothers would take anything, even when they know the truth.
So I ask who are the government, this few politicians, or the people, who are too scared to exercise their power.
Kareem Itunu Azeez writes from Lagos State. A Political Scientist, and a Mass Communicator