TORCHLIGHT + HANGER + TOOTHPICK â€“ CONDOM = A REP'S TOOLKIT
This week has made clearer the reputable traits of a band of armed warriors and gladiators who had mastered some arts of combat before qualifying to be lawmakers.
At their battlefield, all manner of funny things take place and some of them are that the members get allocations of every unimaginable item from the leadership headed by Dimeji Bankole.
According to Dino Melaye, one of the latest punchers in the House on a radio discussion a day after the war, the House members once in a while get funny items from Bankole as bonuses and they include hangers, torchlight, toothpick, handsets and he said 'what has not been given us is just condom.' And what do you need all these things for?, the radio host asked. Melaye answered that they come in bid to cover up an unjustifiable N9b budget they are insisting must be accounted for. Does that list look like a madman's collection? Well, if it does, I leave it to you to assess the mental state of the punchers you watched on TV last Tuesday. After your assessment, then frankly tell me if their ways surprised you, or they just acted in line with their calling and qualities.
They call them honourable members of the House of Representatives of Nigeria. Their counterparts at the other arm of armed men of lawmaking are called distinguished senators. Honourable my feet distinguished your boots. Those of you who had doubts about the abilities of these men for mischief would have got the lesson clearer now.
In a nation where political party membership is cultism and party policies are enshrined on do-or-die, where killers band into clans of political touts and thugs qualify for public positions, what do you expect your lawmaker to do?
His party selected him to fight in Abuja after he had been certified a credible party thug in the past. Ask Ibadan, Anambra, Ogun, Edo and many others including my state where godfatherism prevails and they will confirm to you that most of the people you call 'honourable' are either serving chief thugs or referees and technical advisers in the art.
This week, they could no longer bottle up their nuclear trademark. They exploded, unleashed the animal in them that made and earned them the credible things they have always been as they punched each other silly. Some had bloodied faces like football thugs in stadium brawl. Meanwhile, what is the difference between a street pub where brawls rule the day and a House so full of a calibre of citizens someone in the Senate once said he investigated so many and found them culpable as 419ers when he was a cop?
What would a House stinking with crime and fraud and die-hard questionable persons as the EFCC boss said this week do than trade blows?
In our party arrangements, you could well remember in your locality that people qualify as candidates in elections after their tutelage to the cult as thugs. After serving successfully as a party 'faithful', the cabal, the godfather, the kingmakers, the head of the secret society points you out as a 'loyal' party man and you get the nod to be selected and foisted on us as lawmaker. That is why the mainstay of the assignment is money sharing and committee voodoo games and a paltry percentage of lawmaking. The time for lawmaking is shared between some hours of bickering, tantrums, name- calling and eventual outright exchange of blows.
It is in Nigeria I heard that all human beings are political animals. You can see they are dead right. You must have seen the animalistic side of politics manifesting in the House of Reps. My senior colleague, Mr. Steve Nwosu once said it is actually the House of Rapes.
They are old in odd theatrics like the kid speaker forging certificates to up his age, the Ghana-must-go money display in the days of Ghali Umar Na'Abba. After that were the days of Bello Masari where the issue was on the man's certificate and qualification. In Etteh's days, it was about house renovation contract sum and the inflation or deflation. At last the argument deflated Etteh. She crashed from her high horse, but no probe because she is an honourable member. In Etteh's days, as we had it this week in the same House, after some good punch-up a member slumped, palpitated and died. The following day, they took his body to Katsina for burial. The day after that, the war and brouhaha kept rolling. In the same House a female member landing the male counterpart a dirty slap is an acceptable tradition.
When Bankole came, they shouted eureka that a younger one will do it better. Who knows if he does it bitter or batter today?
Not long after that, there was a cry that billions of naira has been misplaced and contract inflated on car purchase. Someone from outside pushed the argument so much until they summoned him to trump up a discharge and acquittal of their boss. They grilled the accuser and at last threw away his documents as baseless and forged. The same men who sat, as judges over Keyamo that day are the same very honourable members shouting that Bankole misplaced some money in car purchase contract. Which money again are these people talking about? Which car contract? Is it is a new one or the same old joke? I thought you people had already exonerated your boss?
Some people ran to the EFCC to lay charges against others, the thugs then split in platoons and the whistle was blown. They all got into the ring and punched it bloody. One of them had blood all over him. A woman, well dressed, very honourable, had part of her dress shredded and security men bundled her away. Tomorrow the honourable members will return to make laws for us so that the nation would move forward. The following day, they sign off their millions of naira allowance for their weekend to have enough cash to plot their war strategies.
They increase their salary and just tell you it has been upped by 20 percent. Ask again 20 percent of what, and they won't answer you because they are not accountable to you.
But I justify the salary increase and heavy allowances because punchers need enough money to feed well and groom their muscle for the day of battle, which of course comes often. Thugs need money to sustain their gang of fighters and voodoo politicians need enough resources to foot their marabout bills and also satisfy their godfathers. So there is no good reason why these men won't need more money.
What are they fighting over? It is money and nothing but money. If any of them tells you he belongs to the integrity group, don't listen to such jester. Their integrity starts and ends with money sharing, and whoever gets less than expected dusts his/files and heads to the public domain to scream. Call him back tomorrow and give him his due, the allegation becomes one of the beautiful sharp points of democracy and in fact a family affair.
In the den of blackmailers and thugs, everybody keeps a file on everybody for a day like this. You have mine and I have yours. I use it on you and you do likewise. What do these files do? They secure us what we want which we had lost in the hands of sharers. By the time you pull the file, the other lies low and calls you for settlement.
But how many laws have they made all these years of punch-ups, only the heavens would tell.
Whenever they become political humans, things will improve. But for now, how many of them in that House have a clean background or won election without shedding blood. Blood men must remain bloody. It is just a few that are clean.
I heard their chief apologized, but I think there was no need for that. We know this kind of drama is their area of core competence. The apology would have been necessary if the opposite was the case.