''When the roll is called in the Senate, Senators don't know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not Guilty'.'' - DWIGHT EISENHOWER, 34th US president.
Picture: Sorosola Alan Barton (Author)
Plenty, plenty nonsense. What else could I have called it? I had to come up with a local parlance that will aptly stress what I'm about to talk about. Before going further, does anyone imagine what the late Afro beat legend, Fela, would have sang about considering the many transgressions of our current political elite. I mean knowing how fecund Fela's mind was, the many unfortunate incidents happening to the Nigerian people would have provided him rich material from which to release many more top selling albums. In my opinion, Fela and his ilk would have been embarrassed with options. But back to my point.
There isn't a country more self deceptive than Nigeria. I have seen things in this country but the free-for-all brawl in the Federal House of Representatives on June 23rd 2010 was the nadir of our immorality. Our ''honourable'' men and women disagreed over matters thus descending to lows so rare. In front of national television cameras, these ''honourables'' turned what was supposed to be Nigeria's hallowed chambers into a gladiator arena. For those of us aware of ancient Rome, the barbarians of the era sit in the stands watching how men slaughter each other and cheer on. For a slave fighting for his life, he is free to use all resources - including the sword and shield - at his disposal to defend himself and indeed his life. What I saw that day was a replica of old Rome but without swords and shields. They slapped, kicked, punched and boxed each other. Decorum, decency and courtesy were thrown out of the window. A particular woman was not just assaulted but even physically - after she had been beaten - taken out of the chambers.
A week before these disgraceful acts, Dino Melaye, ''honourable'' member representing some obviously misguided constituency in Kogi State had issued a week's ultimatum to Speaker Dimeji Bankole. In the press briefing granted by Melaye, he said he had damaging evidence that Mr. Bankole had misappropriated some N9 billion. When the ultimatum elapsed, of course the Speaker had not resigned thus the ensuing fracas. For God's sake, how did we sink to such chasm? Let me set the record straight, I would have been pleased seeing our representatives strip each other naked if they were fighting for our collective destinies. I would have been pleased if they made such mega fools of themselves if the fight was about how to improve our economy, our dilapidated infrastructure, our unreliable power supply, our battered foreign image amongst other things.
But the fight was not about that. It was about money. About filthy lucre. That is why they are there in the first place. They are not servant leaders. They are proper delinquents who could only have happened in our kind of system. A system that rewards mediocrity. A system that rewards ass-kissing. I'm not and cannot be sympathetic to either the anti - Bankole or pro - Bankole factions. The anti - Bankole charlatans probably weren't paid or were shortchanged somewhere. Even if they are right and are innocent of my accusations, couldn't there have been other more lawful and decent approaches to resolving this issue. Like I said earlier, how many times do they tear each other's clothes because PHCN is hopeless? So when it came to misappropriated money, they knew how to fight. How selfless indeed.
The other issue among my ''plenty, plenty things'' is the forthcoming 50th Independence celebrations. Nigerians and self deception. Who is fooling who? How can the FG in its right senses spend N10 billion on the golden jubilee? In a depression filled era? It is mindless and against the zeitgeist. How much money do countries who have far bigger economies than we do spend on their own anniversary celebrations? Even if they spend more - which I doubt - it would be appropriate when their GDP is considered. With a few months to the October 1st date, news filtered in that the same ignominious Federal House of Representatives was vehemently opposed to the reduction of the Independence Day budget. That it has found its voice so soon after last week's scandalous incidents is pathetic, shameful and disturbing. These are obviously men and women who have no business there because if they each understood the gravity of last week's ''boxing'' and ''wrestling'', not one of them will speak out. But then in a country of shameless politicians, I didn't expect that anyway.
I'm sure plenty, plenty nonsense means something now. If only Fela were alive, I would have been waiting for his next album. We truly have gotten to that phase were negativity is now normal. The average Nigerian has received the above incidents as normal. Some even believe that by expending N10 billion on the October 1st Independence Day celebrations, there would be more money in the economy. Can you imagine a more flawed economic analysis? I don't share any of such sentiments. Do you? WE WILL NEVER FAIL...