Dogara, Jubril and the Parliament of Pests


There is something fundamentally wrong about a people who always fail probationary test of citizenship, particularly that of holding rulers to account; especially when opportunity presents itself on plater of gold! Conditioned to think like eternally cursed victims, Nigerians over the years always remain frozen on queues formed by their combative and belligerent foes and looters. Majority are now constrained by their own thought and action to conceive a country in which they are born to suffer. Born to be abused and born to be oppressed. I had expected that the humongous revelation of financial recklessness and fraud in the parliament as alluded to by Abdulumuni Jubril will represent a turning point in the history of our docility and indolence. Behold am aghast at our apathy! Aghast that we think that it's a mere battle between two thieves- the repentant and the un-repentant! We think it's a cross we should allow the born-again Jubril to shoulder alone on his morally encumbered shoulder? It is sad that we cannot recognise our collective battle for liberty. So sad in our war, that we become ineffectual, paranoid and continue to be what the Bible called 'the lawful captives of the mighty', just because of our inactivity where and when it matters most! Some are even happy that Jubril has been suspended from the House, forgetting that for every Structure of Government that is embellished with corruption, the people suffer. 'Ojo n pa oniyo, inu olori ndun; ko mop e ooru ete tohun  na ko ni feyo' ( Rain is beating Salt Seller, Shear Butter seller is happy, forgetting that the sun that will melt his own shear butter is about to rise).

What a lucky man Dogara is! A man who comes from a country where people major in minor; and minor in major is indeed a lucky man!  A country where  people  are more concerned with who or not takes photograph with Mitchell Obama than how their country gets out of recession. A country where people have become eternal slaves to their own brand of  'Jonathanised' and 'Buharised'  loyalty. A country where people use the lens of tribe, religion and inclinations to define what is right or wrong. A country where a thief in Brazil is a chief!

Within a month, a former Brazilian President was jailed for corruption while another was impeached for a Financial Padding related (Misleading on Financial Information) misadventure. Am worried about my country where values and honor are being replaced with ‘I Stand with Dogara', a euphemism for I Stand with Corruption. Each time you think you have seen the worst playing out in Nigeria, another billow of destructive creativity smokes out the remaining vestige of a national honor!

Of a fact, these are trying times in our country. Lie is becoming our 'truth' just as falsehood has become the standard of fact. Rulers have lost touch with ethics and the examples of their practices have become monumental moral calamity.

In the risky business of life and leadership there are requisites for risk reduction and leadership mechanism that take destiny away from bicycle lane of loafers  to highway of consciously planed success and victory. They include; vision, hard work, sacrifice, morality, character, integrity, wisdom, good conscience; and courage, as the coordinator of all other virtues! The Law makers in the Green Chamber demonstrated disdain for these values by their in-discretional show of solidarity with immorality and criminality. I Stand with Dogara is the Gambler's version of  biting back the anti-corruption legs that are chasing them.

For how long will a nation tolerate legislators with shoes durable enough to stand in the muddy mire of corruption but too feeble to withstand the ray of accountability? Legislators that have no visible foot print in solving the raging farmers/herdsmen conflict that has taken glamour out of the military success against Boko Haram. Legislators that have no clue to solving the crisis in the Niger Delta that is crippling the economy; Legislators who are too weak to stand with their constituents in weathering the storms of the prostrating economy and its consequential cost of living that has shrunk their constituents' disposable income; Legislators that cannot recognise fortification of the economy for all residents and citizens of Nigeria as their first line of duty in building a prosperous land of liberty.  Legislators that cannot stand for a nation that is episodically rising and falling under the yoke of 4000 Megawatts, and  with a population, four times that of South Africa that generates 44000 Megawatts. Legislators that have turned every allegations and issues of corruption, incompetence, unemployment and insecurity to causes for  laughter and jokes. How serious they are, has been lost in legislative perfidy and deliberate ignorance and the mass- tom- foolery of the impoverished citizenry. Hysterical sensationalism has become the legislative response to serious law and policy making concerns. While I agree that law  is not the same as moral, I submit that every good law is rooted in morality. Apartheid was legal in South Africa. We did not condemn and oppose it in this respect. We opposed apartheid because it was immoral. For Dogara to have rubbed it into our faces that Padding is not a crime known to law speaks volume of the quality of mind that parade themselves as leaders in Nigeria. Even if Padding is not illegal, it is obscenely immoral. Leadership qualities revolve more around morality than legality. It is morality that sustains leadership, not legality! Padding is not corruption is the new equivalent of the riddles of 'goat and yam', controversy between 'corruption and stealing' among others which are the recently opened asylum to mindless criminals who rush in droves to elastically tolerant corridor of power that was founded on faulty and perverse thought lines.

 The contradictions are many. The Dogara's hypotheses are not adding up. The supporting theories of his legal marabouts and cheerleaders/followers are failing street's authentication and every day life's validation. No harbour around the globe is opened to reckless vain moral ship to berth on her shore. With lucres from padding, our Legislators have become impervious to reasoning and glued to self-manufactured lies and interpretations. Criminally and immorally, they have excluded people and human conditions from the economic radar and removed land, labour, capital and entrepreneur from factors of production. They are building castle on the air, forgetting that solid foundation and good premise are vital ingredients of enduring monument.  No matter the manipulation, two plus two can only be four, not anything these face-jaded lawbreakers say it is. Laws, beliefs, policies and practises that shape Nigerian State are built on morals. Understanding these concepts could be the barometer to measure the pressure of corruption tagged padding on the people and  the consequences on the future of the Nigeria State. A recessing economy where government by its own admission in 2014 claimed that 1.8 million graduates enter labour market every year cannot and should not tolerate legislative hedonism that continue to shrink resources available to the large percentage of our population. A monocultural economy that exports its chief product, petroleum, in crude form and imports refined petrol and allied products  cannot afford criminally Omni-potently powerful  legislators that have turned Nigeria to accountability-free-zone. With the activities of 'I Stand with Dogara' Crews, accountability is the first casualty in the Nigeria's legislative space. Accountability, the responsible use of power, an obligation  to account for  actions and responsibility is the quick lesson Nigerians should urgently teach the pests in the House; more so that the State Security and Law Agencies have failed in this respect. Recession will become a permanent feature of our economy if we fail in addressing the pervasive structural corruption like this one. House of Law must not be allowed to become den of robbers. We cannot afford to have a Parliament that has become canon fodders for looters and refuge land for ruthless rogues; common law breakers who parade themselves as law makers! Parliament anywhere in the world is expected to stand with honour, not with Dogara; for accountability, not for abuse of office. To raise Gavel of integrity, not to sustain embassy of corruption!

Gbenro Olajuyigbe is an Abuja based Human Security Expert.

E:Mail: [email protected]

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