When last did you hear Senator Marafa attacking Senate President Saraki? As soon Saraki threw a sop to Cerberus with a lucrative committee appointment, the cantankerous critic is now curiously silent. May be because of our short memories, many of us don’t bother to ask why a vociferous critic would suddenly go silent.
Sacked Rivers State Cabinet members have just accused Governor Wike of “eating alone” while they were groaning silently because of economic distress. They complained that while the Governor was(is) enjoying alone, they couldn’t afford to pay their medical bills and the school fees of their children. I wonder if they were offering free services on the basis of which they were not collecting salaries and allowances. I also wonder if public funds are meant to be shared among the Governor and members of his Cabinet, or the President and his Ministers.
A Local Government Chairman in Adamawa State is currently involved in a standoff with his rapacious Councillors. And what is his offence? As usual, the accusation is that he is not carrying them along! In Nigeria’s political parlance, that means the Chairman is not putting the council’s funds on the table to be shared instead of executing projects.
The Adamawa case is particularly interesting. The Chairman is executing the new local government Secretariat through direct labour, and they would have none of that. They would have preferred the contracts to shared to be and allocated to them so that they would bring their fronts to do the job. They didn’t want to hear any arguments about saving costs through direct labour.
This is curious! How can an elected official combine the roles of serving the public and being a contractor to the the government at the same time? Is he not being paid reasonably for the service? This is the rot harming democrat governance. As long as you want to pursue prudence as chairman or Minister, you would make automatic enemies. Public interest is of secondary importance to these venal and rapacious politicians. Politics is supposed to be a selfless public service, but in our society politics is a gravy train. And that is why it has an incredible magnetic attraction. People can sell their houses and other property to join politics because it can bring instant financial rewards. As long as a chairman or Governor is ready to play ball by sharing money, he won’t have problems with his councillors and House of Assembly respectively. Our democracy has become a business rather than a selfless service to the people. It is sad and it sucks!