The unveiling of the ‘political class best-kept secret’ has affirmed the existing citizenship binary in Nigeria—the rich and the poor. Interestingly, the rich are united even in their opposition and are unwilling to accommodate and or trust the incursion of their territory by those they have labelled ‘ordinary’ Nigerians. The ‘real’ Nigerians and their ‘ball boys’ have kept the poor in the dark room for nearly two decades! During these years, it has been milking game from Aso Rock to the ward Councillors.
They engage in do or die and claim they want to go and serve but are driven by the ‘big bucks’ which they think gives them power to lord it over everybody. But a society needs a deviant who can defy norms to facilitate social change and in that category comes Senator Shehu Sanni of Kaduna State. His revelation confirmed the brutalisation of the nations’ patrimony by the minutest few, who can hardly point to their positive impact in the lives of their constituents. If a lie moves like Usam Bolt for twenty years, it will be overtaken and dethroned by the truth which the Bible says shall set us free. I invoke Tuface Idibia’s ‘E be like Say’ to unpack our political characters and their ‘lie-o-cratic’ strategies.
Don’t fall into their trap; there is no much difference among political parties whether progressives or conservatives. They are all inhabited by ideologically sapped political ‘jumpologists’. What is uppermost to them is finding a platform that can ensure they win election to pocket N750, 000 salaries and N13.5m monthly running cost as Senator (laced with 200million constituency project) or as House of Representative member where you earn a little less of about N12million. This happens in a country where a professor at the peak earns N12million annually and a loyal minimum wage civil servant gives testimonies, and pays tithe on N18,000! It smacks wickedness to see the same NASS members beg ASUU, Doctors, and other Unions who signed legal agreements with government since 2009 without government honouring them to bear with government because their ‘demands are unrealistic with economic realities in the country’. Yet they earned these during economic recession? In a country where poor civil servants receive afusa (Half salary), only a government that lacks empathy will ask them to tighten their belt and alter their lifestyles for Nigeria to survive while they continue to fund their luxury life with national wealth. In ‘E be like’, Tu face invokes the Supreme Being repeatedly to judge between the rulers and the ruled in Nigeria saying “only God can judge you now”.
Tuface foresaw this tortoise strategy of the political class long ago when he hammered that “all I want to say is that they don’t really care about us”. We now know better what actually happened when the Aso Rock occupants said they have cut their salaries by half without telling us the coupled allowances. While the wind has blown open just one percent of the secret, it will now amount to un-saintly behaviour for the ‘Saint of Daura’ and his Redeemed clergy-mate not to engender openness and accountability by telling Nigerians their monthly salaries and allowances. Nigerians need a publication of salaries and allowances of political appointees from Aso Rock to the ward level.
Some governors stopped subvention to public schools and in other state, they floated private varsity. In their own world, they buckle-up with ajekun-iya vehicles; travel in planes after spoiling our roads, shop for their mistresses and man-friends’, send their wards abroad for quality education which the Nigerian poor are not deserving and attend to their health abroad with our money. This same NASS members who cannot increase budget allocation to Education, Health, Works and Transportation, earn so much doing virtually nothing. Does it then make sense to ask the youth to stop kidnapping, armed robbery and cyber fraud? Who will listen to them to do ‘change begins with me’ when change refuses to begin with them?
You can now understand why the next ambition of a governor is senate and a Senator wants the seat of governor. You should not wonder why a Senator can confront a sitting governor in a battle of supremacy. It is a function of billions in their account. With too much money they lack empathy. ‘E be like say’ queries the inordinate quest for power without intention to make life better for Nigerians. What is power, questions Tu face without basic necessities of life? Power is nothing if Nigerian children cannot access quality education and only one Nigeria varsity (UI) crawl in global ranking.
To Tuface therefore, power is nothing if people are dying of disease (malaria, cancer, Lassa fever, cholera) and starvation. How can you be interested in holding on to power, Tuface, contends “if your people have no peace” in Benue, Zamfara, Kogi, Ondo, Oyo, among others? After using the poor to get to power, they are abandoned to their fate. While Aso Rock was practically pressured to visit Benue, and Zamfara to condole with victims but that response is incomparable to how fast Daura train moves from Ganduje-Ajimobi wedding in Kano, to Dangote’s daughter and the behind closed door, Redeemed pastor’s daughter’s wedding inside Aso Villa. The political capitals of such gatherings are important ahead of 2019 ‘state capture’ than the lamentations of the hoi polloi.
‘E be like say’ questions the morality of the ‘shady politicians’ who act the movie of deception by eating booli and agbado with the masses when election beckons. Like Shehu Sanni, Tu baba nails these coding strategies urging them to change their ways. ‘E be like say’ warns the electorate to beware of the lying antics of ‘sweepers’ and the punctured propaganda of the ‘umbrella’. With 19 years of ‘lieocracy’, no lying is new to us again.
The singer asks Nigerian politicians; “why do you keep deceiving the people, my brother, my sister, See, why you make all this people to dey fight one another. Only God can judge you now (4x). Another year has come and now you want my vote once more oh no.” Like ‘E Be like say’, I no even send the painted saint because these ‘lie-o-cracy’ no be small thing o!
Dr Tade, a sociologist writes via [email protected]