In Badagry, a district of Lagos in South-West Nigeria sometime in 2016, a boy was accused of repeatedly robbing local residents and businesses and what brought the tyre out was when he was accused of stealing bread from a petty trader. He was “necklaced” with the tyre and burnt alive. For hustling to sate his perpetual hunger, his life lived in penury was cut short savagely on the streets by a mob oblivious of her own sufferings and sins thereof. The gap created by dysfunctional governments was filled by two wrongs, the boy who should be in school stealing and the mob who should focus their energy on a common enemy misdirecting their anger killing him on the streets extra-judicially.
The fraud allegations that came on the heels of establishing Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Program (SURE-P), an intervention scheme to take care of the needy was dastardly and it was shut down. Now, we have NSIP and the machinery is in motion to see to the end of yet another programme that dare to look directly at the plight of the suffering people of Nigeria. The issue at stake, as presented by a senator representing a part of Ekiti state is that the programme is being politicized. If it must be investigated, by all means, it must. But if the issue is to ensure that the programme is shut down as the parasites who feed fat on the commonwealth of the people will always want, there should be an outcry.
When mischief is the fulcrum of a nation’s political machinations, her political leaders and “commonised” nationals become unguarded and misguided nuts and bolts screwing around a loosely held piece of device. It’s just a matter of time before it all came crashing down like a house of cards. Otherwise, it goes on pretending to be functional while all it does is occupy space and make crackling noise.
Irrespective of party affiliations or political leanings, many Nigerians have suffered mercilessly the indignations of their nations having resources that are exploited by the politicians and their handlers, with an entitlement mentality, at the detriment of the people. The people, who have become victims, are those for whom the nation was assembled and whose dead ancestors have become natural resources and for whom leaders purportedly offer to serve.
These are the same people who, for the 16 years of PDP rule and a few months of APC rule, discountenancing the eternal military era, had been flashed around as a meal ticket, only to be discarded once the meal is set.
NSIP, the National Social Investment Programme, launched by the current administration of PMB in 2016 is currently in the news, not for saving more of the likes of the boy that was “necklaced” in 2016 by a “sick mob” transferring their aggression but for becoming an attractive tool, a politicized weapon by the incumbent government bent on being returned to power.
Without pontificating on the depth of mischief that can be generated by our political leaders, whether or not the accusations of using NSIP for political ends is valid and the ready defense by the army of people in charge of the programme, it is sickening, if not dishonorable what lack of thought is given to the people in all these, while their leaders perpetrate their mischiefs.
If not for the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan’s opposing voice, the members of the National Assembly especially those who are wont to claim they constitute the voice of the people, led by your Dino Melaye, would have turned what affects the lives of the same people they cry wolf for into mere politicking, and the issues of campaigns and potential to win the upcoming general elections.
Nowhere else in the world do we find as ridiculous a thing as it is here where politicians suck the blood of their subjects and still dance with them. They have no fear for what the people can do because in their estimation, the people are mere tools for their personal advancements. Even if the people wake up one day to the reality of their rights, they will be met prepared, watched by a retinue of police officers and military men who have been trained to protect the people but who have become errand boys and bodyguards to those who sit round, appropriating the cake meant as the commonwealth of the people.