No ambiguity. Ours is a cobweb of law and politics. Very apt and appropriate. We are entangled and ensnared at the same time. It is our own making.
That is our style, our sordid way of doing and undoing things, the real reason things are not falling into pleasant places for us. They are rapidly falling apart.
The speed and pace are quite unprecedented. No nation has ever done it in the blatant manner in which we are running ourselves aground. We are the enemies within.
Strangely enough, the movers and shakers of our affairs feel extremely comfortable. They are the ultimate masterminds of our awful happenings, the mischief-makers among us; our pains in the neck.
They are playing God on us. They erroneously believe they know what is good for us and how to deliver it. They are so sure they know us more than ourselves, including our collective future. That is what they display in their actions and inactions.
They are clear in their crude and cruel minds. In purpose and intent, they are very myopic. They choose not to see beyond their short noses, deprived of foresight and discernment.
They are cocky and frightful, with narrow views. This is tragically playing out in every aspect of our national life. It is a cobweb. The consequences are huge. Tin gods are on the prowl; raving and ravaging all the way. We are in perilous times.
It is manifesting all over. We are being overwhelmed. Even the legislature is not helping matters. It is in league with our tormentors, in fact, at the forefront, specifically, the federal legislators.
Help, these federal lawmakers are on rampage. There are glaring samplers of these perilous times. They have become gods unto us. They reversed their sacred roles and opted to milk us dry. Our necks are on their chopping board. They are actually doing the needful; cutting us into pieces. We are being banged, bashed and smashed to the dictates of their whims and caprices.
The Senate is even guiltier. Remember the job recruitment scandal? The senators are at it again. Now it is constituency projects scam, a.k.a. budget padding.
A terribly aggrieved and furious senator told Daily Sun on the condition of anonymity: “It was the same thing they did with job recruitment. They selected a few people and ignored the rest of us. There will be consequences. This selective justice must stop.”
The accusations against the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, his deputy, Ovie Omo-Agege, and Lagos senators are weighty and grave. They were alleged to have got huge sums. Daily Sun again gatherered: “While some got over N1 billion to fund constituency projects, others did not get a dime.”
And 90 senators are said to be in this latter category. They were brazenly short-changed. The vexed senator is not done yet:
“I am a committee chairman and I did my work diligently, not knowing that some privileged senators smuggled some of their projects into the budget without carrying us along.”
The breakdown of the allocation is alarming, amazing, amusing but annoying. An extra N27 billion was padded to the budget for the backdoor projects. You would marvel at these samplers: “N1.8 billion for projects in Yobe North, where Lawan hails from, and N900 million appropriated for the construction of rural roads” in the same Yobe North Senatorial District.
In Omo-Agege’s constituency, Delta Central, each of its seven local councils got N100 million for the installation of solar-powered streetlights.
Senator Oluremi Tinubu’s Lagos Central got a “paltry” N300 million. It is for “vocational training and empowerment of youths and women.”
Senate spokesman, Godiya Akwashiki, was neither here nor there. He neither confirmed or denied the allegations: “I am hearing this for the first time. It may be true, it may be false.”
He gave his reason: “The chances of senators inserting projects into the budget is 50 and the chances of saying it is not true is also 50.” All the same, he acknowledged there are loopholes and possibilities.
These lawmakers are not done yet. They “wisely” thought of a more conducive environment to legislate. They saw one in the National Assembly (NASS) complex.
They are fast thinkers. They reasoned awkwardly among themselves; the complex must be urgently renovated, for more “democracy” dividends. A whopping N37 billion allocation was promptly inserted in the already over-bloated budget.
They dug deep into the archives and made startling discoveries. The NASS complex was built for N35.18 billion in 1999. Twenty years after, in 2019, it is to be “renovated for N37 billion.”
The Clerk of the National Assembly, Sani Omolori, had proposed a “mere” N10 billion in “fixing some amenities in the complex.” But the prudent NASS leadership turned it down, citing high cost. They shrewdly opted for N37 billion.
These are the ripples rumbling the National Assembly. And the legislators are hell-bent on having their way. They are daring us and damning all consequences. They are telling us in plain and clear terms to go to blazes, if we choose, or even the marines.
They are some of the dastardly ways our lawmakers are taking good care of us. We do tremendously appreciate their eerie concern; very uncommon. It is first and only to their pockets. We earnestly and vehemently pray they would be paid back in their own coin.
See how the senators are distinguishing themselves. They are playing deadly pranks and dirty tricks. They have come to realise that constituency funds have become free money. And free money does not usually go round.
In fact, it must not be allowed to touch every hand. The fewer the merrier. Their minds are made up. They don’t care, not even a hoot.
And the deed is done already; the deal is signed and sealed. President Muhammadu Buhari gracefully appended his signature to the document last Tuesday. And it instantly became law.
So? There is no need shedding crocodile tears. It is of no use. All the same, there is still a window. There will always be a last chance in any situation.
Its delivery can still make a huge difference either way. Sure, it can make or mar us.