Ever since the transfer of power from the military dictatorship to democratically-elected government in 1999, the National Assembly is in no short of intrigues and power plays. The National Assembly journey ever since has been a shameful history of the leaders produced by our society to direct the affairs of us all. Some of our so-called lawmakers elected with a mandate to promote, build and reclaim the image of our country from a long journey of political wilderness of military coups soon themselves turn to goats eating yams. We asked these lawmakers to make laws that give us hope, and steer the fate of the country to rapid socio-politico-economic development but rather they now themselves law violators and lawless vikings.
In 2003, Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu and Dr Jonathan Zwingina, then as Senate Leader, allegedly demanded a bribe of 54million naira in order to confirm the current governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai as a minister. Flashback to a National Assembly of seasonal films where slaps rained down and chairs flew like a basketball to the current saga of the Afonja of Ilorin politician whose political records may raise some questions and you will see the perfect similarities between the goats then and what they are now. Today, Bukola Saraki is the new goat on the political arena of shame in our dear country. Of all the known charges against him, the most ubiquitous he is facing now before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) is the anticipatory declaration of assets among other 13 charges against him. The embattled Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is bankrupt in honour and integrity. He belongs to the new class of yam-eating goats. Can we imagine the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, John Boehner, been docked today and being escorted for trail by 50 lawmakers to Court on offences relating to honour?
Let us take some familiar instances. The Whitewater scandal was the focus of media attention from the publication of a New York Times report during the 1992 presidential campaign and throughout the tenure of the Clinton family. First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton was a subject of several investigations by the United States Office of the Independent Counsel , committees of the U.S. Congress, and the press. Other investigations which include Travelgate, Filegate, and the likes included important political figures like no less a person than Hillary Rodham cattle futures controversy. Mrs Clinton became the First Lady to be subpoenaed to testify before a Federal grand jury but she wasn’t accompanied by senators as bodyguards or the Presidential staff as it would have been here in Nigeria. The Clinton family led by example and obeyed every court order being a law abiding citizen and as the first family. Nobody is above the law in their political lexicon, at least this we know!
Saraki, with his goons of political goats and cronies, needs to step down and bow out of the desecrated chambers. It is high time we put an end to the sitting of goats in our Legislative Chambers which they have so soiled, if not beyond redemption, of all known concepts in virtue and honour. And have turned every known vice to virtues; and every age-long cherished values to vices. Only in Nigeria can these vandals walk freely after committing such treasonable offences on the nation. God help us should Mugabe the acts of these clowns as an example of why Zimbabweans must never behave like Nigerians!
Their hack writers, spin doctors and fellow vandals are at work in the media now using their third rate intelligence to justify this rabid rape on our democracy. They stopped at nothing in defending this daylight robbery just for limited economic and political; gains. These elements, or mercenaries, like chameleons operating under different names, go about like restless ghosts rabidly defending their “daily bread”. The best comparison we can find for these group of these hunger-ridden, malnourished and poorly paid mercenary writers will mortgage even their mothers souls for just a bowl of porridge! These conscienceless vile creatures will play God in their defending mediocrity, impunity and corruption just for drops of milk.
Is there anyone among neo-fascist elements who bothers to care about the good of the common citizens on the streets in Yola or Umudike or Gbogan? Is there anyone among them that cares about teacher Ejike who graduated with First Class degree and presently earning 10,000 naira as “salary”(far less than the approved minimum wage)? Or a Mr. Lanre who graduated with a Second Class Upper Degree in Engineering who is now underemployed in a remote private nursery school? Who among these care about the poor young Ashipa village farmer in Osun? Or like the man, Ibrahim whom I met recently in Gombe. He has a degree in Microbiology but now sells “Suya” in Bajoga market. Do these clowns and shameless elements care about Mr Daodu who works in a filling station whose salary couldn’t meet up his kids school fees?
Yet there is one Dino Melaye who turned our chambers into a wine showbiz. if this is not joblessness, idleness or focuslessness then the meaning of these words are unclear. Let’s put an end to the clan of this den of thieves. Shame on you, if you appeal for clemency for the embattled Saraki and his goons for their monumental rape of our collective heritage. Conscienceless you are if you drop tears for these reactionary pirates and graduated criminals. Shame on you if you rationalise Saraki and gang’s excuses. Let our conscience rise beyond the politics of yam-eating goats . Let our voice of reasoning echo louder than the voice of sentiments.
Kolade Gbolagade is a social commentator and public affairs analyst based in Lagos. He sent this piece through his email address:
He can be reached on: +2348130924163