ASSEMBLY OF SCANDALS
We can never be short of scams. In one form or the other. We have them in reckless abundance. Name it any name: Scams, mess, fraud, racket, fleece and scandal.
No matter the toga. No matter the dressing. It all boils down to the dubious and fake way of our life. It has become part of us. It is even in our character. Almost a way of our national life. Why? The situation is getting messier and worst by the day. It is becoming alarming and dreadful.
Sadly enough. No sphere is spared. It cuts across. That is the tragic aspect of the ugly situation. Who will then apply the break? No caution? See the call card: Executive, legislature, judiciary, economy, education et al. And it proudly keeps on expanding to our chagrin. The bottom line is the 2011 elections. It is a pull-him-down syndrome. It is catching fast. And the very deceitful among us are seriously enjoying the game. Where do we go from here. Nowhere in particular.
The two hallowed chambers of the National Assembly are in deep mess. The lower house is worse off. It is now survival by whatever means. The end must justify the means. Democracy in whatever form.
Encouraged by the rumbles in the House of Representatives. Some senators last week poured their anger on their principal officers. They called it 'a wide and unacceptable gulf.' They are alarmed that such exists between them (floor senators) and their leadership. They did not like it one bit. They hated the deceit. They abhorred the conspiracy. It was the height they could not allow to continue. It must stop. Now and not any other time. They wondered aloud. They were pained to the warrows. They were pent up. And were consciously ready to explode. They remained tactical. They wanted to hit where it would matter most.
They took their time. They were patiently waiting for the best of times to release the venom. All the same they were hard pressed. They had to do what they did then or never again. Their grouse? They felt cheated. Deceived. Scandalised. And above all shortchanged. Since 2007! They were sort of taken for a rude, crude ride. They would not take it any longer. So? They angrily charged at the principal officers. And the charges were legion. They dug deep. And they could not believe what they unearthed. They had thought, the Senate President enjoyed a mere allocation of just N140 million quarterly. But they goofed. They erred.
They were shocked by their discovery. Since 2007, the Senate President has been coasting home, every three months with N250 million. That comes to a billion naira every year. Incredible! The Deputy Senate President. Instead of N80 million, goes home with N150 million. He makes N600 million from just quarterly allocation in one year. Their findings did not end there. A newspaper report expose: 'The Majority Leader (Teslim Folarin), Chief Whip (Mahmud Kanti Bello), Deputy Majority Leader (Victor Ndoma-Egba), Deputy Chief Whip (Mohammed Mana), Minority Leader (Mana Maaji Lawan), his deputy (Olorunnimbe Mamora), Minority Whip (Ahmad Rufai Sani) and his deputy (Kabiru Gaya), have been taking home allocations in the region of N78 million per quarter, instead of N55 million that was said to have been agreed at the beginning of the current sixth National Assembly in 2007.'
Now, why did the 'floor senators' cry out? The report again answered this way: 'Incidentally, a floor member of the Senate has been collecting (a paltry) N45 million per quarter since 2007.' We thank our stars that all these deals are coming into the open without prompting. You see, God is definitely on our side. How else do we want our prayers answered? There is no better way than this! This is the Lord's doing. And it is absolutely marvellous in our eyes. We are enjoying the shoddy and awkward drama. We pray fervently that it will never end. Until every detail exposed and every scene adequately dramatised. This is the wicked and cruel way they have been ruinning our affairs since 1999. What manner of dividends of democracy? Very absurd. We never bargained for this strange democracy.
We pray again with all our hearts. That the Senate, and indeed, the National Assembly, will not know peace. These dirty deals must be duely exposed. That the matter will become a do-or-die affair. That the perpetrators of these scandals, scams, frauds, will be ultimately consumed. That none of them would be spared. We have paid enough prices since 1999. Very expensive, damaging and neck-breaking ones. We are not ready to stick our fragile neck for anything, anybody again.
That is our resolve. And we are serious. We know why all these deceits are coming out now, 2011 elections, of course. We are not ready to be cajoled. We are not willing to be taken for a ride.
We have made up our minds. We want these things resolved our own way. See them, they are desperados, seeking our support, consent again. Liars all! You are on your own this time around. We have been emboldened. And we are ready to seize the bull by the horns. We are well aware that you combatants are ferociously gathering whatever comes your way. All in your rash preparing for 2011. We are going to shock you. Your actions and inactions are clear indications of what you want 2011 elections to look like. But we are determined to disappoint and abandon you. We are ready to give it back to you in your own dirty coin.
Our mind is made. In fact, cast in stone. You either fall in or fall out. We will be exceedingly glad if you fall down and… That is our wish. So that we can have peace, even if for once. President Goodluck Jonathan came close to our mind the other time. He was apt when he told his audience at the implementation plan of the Vision 20:2020: 'Greed, of which corruption is a part is the main stumbling block that stems our growth. If people are greedy, they tend to inflate contracts. If people are greedy, they intend to inflate the price; all these retard our development.'
We agree, these lawmakers are greatly retarding our growth. See how they are messing themselves up in House of Representatives. This bunch is only fit for the dustbin of history.
The President has spoken. And he has spoken well!