Written by Adeola Aderounmu 01/09/2016
One is saddened that there is no end in sight for Nigerians being ruled partly by politicians who are absolute criminals.
Ordinary Nigerians are facing very hard and extreme economic hardship and they also have to continue to cope with the reality that some of those who they expected to be part of the solution are actually political criminals.
My recent visit to Nigeria left another deep cut in my soul. What l saw is that majority of Nigerians are still suffering!
The kind of suffering in Nigeria exposes majority of the population to conditions that are completely unacceptable for humans. People have no access to basic facility or infrastructure. This information is not news.
However what may be news is that several millions of Nigerians are now in new category called systematic beggars. People are begging for food and money from those that still have a little to live on.
What l saw in Nigeria revealed that majoroity of Nigerians not only lack the basic things of life, they also lack material comfort. Many people are running around on empty stomachs.
In 2012, l defined mass poverty using Nigeria as a case study. Since then the mass poverty situation in Nigeria has escalated.
Sadness is rampant. Deceit and mutual suspicion are written on everybody’s face. Today, a few people are tasking the government and police on the high rate of crime. The trend will continue because even the police are stopping people randomly on the streets and robbing them of their possessions!
Things are getting worse in Nigeria. The conditions of living are terrible. There is almost no word to describe the standard of living of the ordinary people. Poor is an understatement. What comes after low or poor standard of living? The living situations are extremely sad and disheartening.
At this sad point in Nigeria’s history, the lowest ebb the country has ever reached, one would expect that the government at various levels will show empathy and concern for the plights that have been inflicted on the people through years of misgovernance and negliegence.
Alas! The present government is not helping matters in that direction at all.
As Nigerians are allegedly made to bear the grunt and pain of the decline in crude oil prices, the cost of governance itself remains at the same high level.
Governance in Nigeria is established on a twin culture of waste and propaganda.
The level of corruption in the present government easily contradicts the propaganda that Nigerians are paying for the low price of crude oil and the wastage of the Jonathan administration.
Nigeria does not depend on crude oil only by the way.
In any case if Nigerian politicians stop stealing and perhaps even start to drop some body and material weights, perhaps the effects of the drop in crude oil sales that have also also been aggravated by the Niger Delta Avengers would spread evenly among the population, and we can understand the situation together.
But sadly, as a manner of repetition, let me reiterate that the cost of governance in Nigeria remains high and wasteful.
Nigeria is spending a lot of money on arms of government that are invariably useless. The category that has been in the eye of the storm most is the legislative arm.
At the Senate and the House of Representatives, the revelations that have come to front since the emergence of the Buhari-APC mandate are shameful and scandalous.
A government that is fighting corruption mostly in the opponent camps yet housing criminals at its own backyard is a worthless government. That is what the APC government has become.
The scandals that have rocked the Senate where Mr. Saraki heads the other alleged criminals are enough to level it. But it stands as a monument of stinking corruption.
The scandals that have rocked the House of Representatives where Mr. Dogara heads the other alleged criminals are enough to sweep the house into the ocean so that it does not ever evolve again.
It is shocking that Nigerians know that they are partly ruled by criminals and they are suffering and living with the knowledge of the causes of majority of their problems. But they are not doing anything serious about it.
Something has to give in someday as a way of showing these criminals their ways out of governance.
We also actually need someone to remind this government of its virtual fight against corruption whereas the government itself is stinking and rotten, full of criminals in high and low places.
One of the challenges facing Nigeria and Nigerians is how to achieve or establish the rule of law above the rule of criminals in government and everywhere.
The political criminals are on the advantage because despite the fact that their criminalities are known and exposed, they have so far circumvent the law to their advantages. They have remain strong due to the weakness of the people and their passiveness to corruption everywhere.
The difference between common sense and political criminal sense remains crystal clear.
While common sense makes people leave the public scene in shame after a scandal, the political criminal sense makes people fight back using the weaknesses in the law especially in a nonsensical democracy like Nigeria where self preservation is the norm. Civility suffers.
The difference extends to the point that with political criminal sense, every scandal is tagged as a political witchhunt. The political criminal sense does not deny the existence of a crime or scandal. It just fights against it.
Invariably, the changed promised by the APC has turned to a sham, more so because of the political criminals that persist and control the APC government.
When l’d visited civil service establishments during my one month stay in Nigeria, the situation and conditions of services are even worse. The morale is down, many things are still being done just like before.
The workers still receive bribes, the police are on the roads doing the usual collection and false accusation. From the political criminals holding sway in Abuja, to the smallest streets in Nigeria, it is business of corruption as usual.
The things that have changed have brought more hardship to our lives. Things just got worse for the ordinary people. For example, under Mr. Fashola, Nigerians pay more money for darkness. There is promise of light and the bills are already higher for the services that have not been provided. What is 419 again?
The people earn less or nothing at all (when salaries are not paid for several month) but they pay more for everything. There are so many scams perpetrated by the Buhari-APC government that should have resulted to outright outrages.
But Nigerians are praying and fasting even on empty stomachs. Thanks to the magicians called men of God. Rather than build factories, more churches and mosques are sprining up everywhere in Nigeria.
Even in government houses where looting and stealing are taking place, there are churches and mosques in the premises. What is the meaning of den of robbers? Who is fooling who? Who prays in these religious houses and who are the political criminals in government?
It’s always a painful experience recounting the problems of Nigeria. Whereas we know that the solutions are easy. If people start to do the right things, just the right things, Nigeria will pick up.
But after decades of misrule and systemic disorientation,majority of the people are used to doing the wrong things. This cruel reality is what led to the emergence and sustenance of wrong doers and criminals in public offices.
So, the rule of criminals is very complicated.
There are other issues with the Buhari-APC mandate. Along with the painful existence of the rule of criminals, Nigerians are more than ever before battling with tribalism. Sadly too, the influence of religion in government has never been this prominent in the history of governance in Nigeria.
Up to the local government level, religious affiliations is a crucial factor in the curriculum vitae of office-seekers in Nigeria. What l saw in Nigeria shocked me!
That long-lasting solution of just doing the right things in public service eludes majority of Nigerians. But it must re-emerge side-by-side a political system or structure that is functional. That ancitipated change in political system has been called several names, from regional government to regional autonomy and even true fiscal federalism.
At this moment, at the end of august 2016, Nigeria is not working and the rule of criminals dominate the rule of law.
Nigeria needs a genuine change.
Reference: Mass Poverty In Nigeria (2012) By Adeola Aderounmu.
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