December 4, 2020


AfricaTopForum – News Around Africa

Politicians: Give back now!

4 min read

Tony Marinho



COVID-19 second wave brings deaths approaching 1,350,000, infections 54,700,000 worldwide, Nigerian cases 65,000 and 1,200 deaths.

Today’s ingredients of the social crisis were sewn long ago when state salaries and pensions were withdrawn by many governors and MDAs, destroying the self-rising and self-esteem of millions of Nigerian families, when cut-off points dislocated many from an earned education, when scholarships and bursaries were cancelled thus limiting the education and employability of millions, when education and health budgets made rubbish of international organisations like WHO, UNESCO recommendations of 15% and 26%. To this mix of misery, we must add a self-centred political system, self-servicing, greed-driven and contractors and civil servants ignoring the minimal needs of the needy.

The above earthquake missteps have created a disconnect in responsible governance with stifling of the trickle-down common wealth. Today anyone remotely seen as successful is classed as an oppressor.

A lifetime of bad governance at state and national level has left a generation of resilient self-sufficient Nigerians. Remember that despite political and ideological the conflict over resources between North and South, and the abuse of federalism, each state had enough to make the citizenry great. Unfortunately, the political class has used the citizen’s self-sufficiency to take more of our inheritance.

Nigeria, a wealthy nation by the trillions of dollars in earnings from oil and other commodities, is in a position of probably imminent penury, aided by political class greed. Nigeria has always had enough for the people’s needs but not enough for politicians’ greed. The political class, old and recent, including the military adventurists, must accept its responsibility for precipitating present failures, refusing to save, and make amends for politicians who abandoned their responsibility to a generation. The recovery is in the hands of today’s politicians. What must they do urgently to bring the societal temperature down? Politicians must stop wasting the citizens money.

For example, stop making adverts celebrating political birthdays. They pay newspapers millions per advert for a birthday while millions cannot celebrate their own birthdays with one naira and remember them in silence. This tradition has cost many millions in the past with sometimes 30 pages of adverts in one newspaper. This insult must stop. A wise newspaper would reject such waste at least for now. Politicians must redirect such huge funds, in the name of the celebrant, if they like, to the numerous orphanages, hospitals, clinics and any of the thousands of empty classrooms nationwide begging and screaming to be made a good learning environment for poor Nigerian students.

Imagine 10 orphanages being given N1m each in the name of so-and-so? The value of such adverts falls to zero the following day when the paper-face of the politician is used to hold yam, akara, yam and dodo, suya and in many cases have a worse fate in the improvised backyard toilet. From a N1million newspaper advert to rubbish zero-naira toilet paper in 24 hours!! What economics is that? Do we do it because of ego and ‘that is how we do it’ and ‘he will vex if we do not’? Is it not so shameful that each one of such ‘One Day N1million Wonder’ adverts could ‘Feed the 5,000’ at N200/child? Police College feeds recruits with N150/day. Shame!! The people at the ‘Free Readers Association Vendors’ see the adverts, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, 9,..20, 25..60 in one paper. Politicians, think and stop this insult to poverty. Nigerians spit on these adverts. Spend the money on people projects in honour of birthdays please. Such actions are evidence of crass thoughtlessness.

Change must start with the politicians because they hold responsibility. The citizens feel their own pain, a pain no politician can say ‘I feel your pain’, because the political class inflicted the pain. Remember that the police were destroyed by the military which never wants a strong police force when in power. The politicians came and refused to reinstate the police to its position or supervise the police or other organs under the political class unleashing SARS, NNPC, electricity, roadblock police mentality which are just examples of widespread problems. Today the people are more critical and more volatile.

As with anyone who inherits treasure and is cheated of that inheritance, Nigerians, grandparents and parents and children, are upset. Nigerians may forgive or ignore past politicians. But it is today’s political class that citizens will interrogate and condemn for allowing political torment to continue. Correction is easy. By masterful leadership at federal and state level, success seeds can today be sown if strong selfless, exemplary cost-cutting leadership from the Presidency, followed by NASS to MDAs, states, LGAs and wards. Today’s politicians must publicly cut political waste and extravagance, cut their Salaries and Perks SAPping Nigeria dry, and concentrate on road surfaces instead of costly 240km concrete median on a 120km Lagos Ibadan-Expressway. Medians can be built later. Nigeria faces a bleak future, politically, socially and financially! More tarred kilometres, less cement medians, please. Nigeria needs strong roads, medians are good, but not essential!!

Everyone should note that it is a past and present joint governments’ failure to monitor, supervise and check security outfits caused our recent problem and they should apologize.

This is a hungry and angry Nigeria -a ‘hangry’ Nigeria. Urgently implemented ‘EVERY WARD’ Youth activities will make Nigeria safer. Politicians: Be FLH -Faithful, Loyal & Honest.  The ‘WARD’ is a key to peace. ‘SAVE EVERY WARD: SAVE Nigeria!