Sixtus Chibueze Ezennaya
What makes a Government-Local, State or Federal–likeable, acceptable and admirable to the electorate is how the government responds to complaints. People are also interested in how the government solves their problems, protects them, cares for them and provides dividends of democracy for them.
That some Presidents and Governors even outside Nigeria have remained reference materials is consequent upon their good governance while in office whereas some are a taboo to the society because of their satanic rule.
Whether any government official that came into power through the ballot box likes it or not, one day, he/she must leave the office. Even soldiers come and go but the barrack remains. Likewise, Catholic priests come and go but parishes remain. Statesmen who think of the next generation are recognized for what they donated rather than what they carted away or took from the society. Nigerians cherish the opposite. That is why those who make waves in Nigeria are just vultures and vampires of Nigerian society. Perhaps, that is why the million dollar speech of President John F. Kennedy of USA on January 20, 1960 still remains useful and valid, “Ask not what America can do for you but what you can do for America.”
The rehabilitation of Aba roads ought to be a thing of joy for the residents at Aba.The Enyimba City, (The Japan of Africa?) deserves good roads, potable drinking water, regular electricity, decent and clean environment, crime-free society and law-abiding citizens. All these are not privileges but inalienable rights of the citizens as the city generates more Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to the state governments than any other town in the state. Towns in the category of Aba like Onitsha, Owerri, Awka, Nnewi, Ikot-Ekpene, Enugu, Uyo etc enjoy these amenities without begging for them or in tears. What is not understandable is why the bat should be the only beast created without an anus but rather vomits its excrement from the same mouth it takes its food. Has anyone contemplated why the bat flies at night, perhaps because of its ugliness? Above all, why can’t the bat perch on the branch of a tree like other animals but perches on the branch with its head downwards?
To construct roads in a planless town, demolition of property that is obstructing the road is not out of place. To demolish according to the specifications of the engineers handling the job is not unacceptable. What sometimes impugns conscience is when the demolition exercise for the road reconstruction is malicious and vindictive. The Aba house demolition exercise would not have been an action raising dust, panic, misery and eyebrows had the roads that witnessed such demolition in the town for over two years now, been tarred as proposed. Rather, the roads have remained in their former states of demolition till now. Government should verify this claim and even conduct survey and opinion polls for the residents of these abandoned roads with demolished buildings to know how they feel.
It was Othman Dan Fodio who reasoned that conscience is an open wound which only truth can heal. The truth of the matter is that those demolitions ought to be done according to the specifications of the construction company engineers and not according to the order of anybody else who wants to exploit the situation and, perhaps, make money out of it or even sabotage the government’s effort. Governors Chris Ngige, Peter Obi, Willy Obiano, Godswill Akpabio, Nyesom Wike, Peter Fayose, Fashola et al on such complaints, visited the scene for on-the-spot-assessment of complaints.
On some roads, some of these governors, seeing the extent of damage and the compensation the government would pay for the demolition, decided to refrain from the exercise and make do with what was on the ground. It is tantamount to wickedness to demolish a building and, after the exercise, the road is not extended to the demolished area. SENECA, in one of his postulations said, “Qui non vetat peccare cum posit jubet” i.e. one who does not forbid sin when he can, encourages it. It is the governor that people voted for and he is answerable to the peolpe for every action of the government. Therefore, whether any governor is enthroned through the Supreme Court or directly through ballot box, the “Numero Uno” is accountable to the electorate and not the Government House “House boys.”
That Latin maxim, “Domus Dei, Porta Caeli Est i.e. the House of God is the Gate of Heaven” is relevant here. It is through the happiness of the electorate that voting and election of every governor flows and proceeds because they are the heartbeat of the society, the gilt in the ginger-bread and the arrow in the quiver, above all, the infrastructure that make up the superstructure. It is, therefore, not advisable for one living on an island to make the sea his enemy.
Ezennaya writes from London.