In Retrospect

A few days back, two of my friends; Mr. Colawole and Mr. Femi, after reading my post “CHAOS” accused me of doing nothing (the very thing my article was all about). Mr. Femi bluntly told me that suggesting a solution would have been appropriate. Got me thinking and fortunately, news this morning gave me a clue as to how to offer a solution. I have decided to segment my solution, with each article to be posted tackling a particular problem highlighted in “CHAOS”.

So here goes; this article is to address the issue of governance and it will focus on the issue of local government autonomy. Last week, the dailies carried a piece about how both factions of the NGF (Nigeria Governors Forum) are opposed to the proposed autonomy of Local Governments in Nigeria. Both factions were vocal in their opposition, and they even suggested its illegal and claimed its implementation would the first of its kind in the world. Quoting the Vanguard newspaper here, in an interview with the DG of the Amaechi led faction of the NGF, Asishana Okauru, “there is no country where there are three federating units”. I was appalled to hear such a statement, especially since its purpose I assume is to undermine whatever goodwill the bill might find with the populace. Please, can someone remind these people that we are in the global village, where information is at the fingertips of all.

If for lack of proof, I know for a fact that Britain operates local government councils which are “autonomous”. Wikipedia puts it that “the pattern of local government in England is complex, with the distribution of functions varying according to the local arrangements”; the underlined, a clear emphasis on their autonomy. There is in total over 478 patterns of local government and they are divided into upper tier and lower tier authorities. To avoid confusion, I would advice a further read on local governments in England on Wikipedia. The United States also has local governments which are autonomous. Thus one wonders where the governors got their information that local governments being autonomous is alien to the world

The objections raised by the governors reveal a sinister desire to retain the status quo and keep Nigerians under perpetual bondage. We all know how governors have been with the local governments in their states. Most governors refuse to hold local government elections, till probably the tail end of their tenure, and they hold sway as Lords. They forget that its undemocratic and they appoint caretakers, and disburse funds to the 3rd tier of government only when they feel like, having deducted unlawfully some amounts. This is despite the state allocation and other monies that enter the state purse from the federal government such as security votes, ecological fund and the likes. They even run the councils like a family business, rewarding their close and faithful associates with appointments as caretakers. To buttress the extent of abuse by the governors, I will give an example of my state governor. After being elected into office, he refused to hold local council elections and instead appointed caretaker chairmen. And then my governor set about the task of constructing markets, garages, health centers, citing them as dividends of democracy and people were applauding him. Of course the logic was he was doing what no other governor had done, but does that still justify a governor taking on the duties of a local government chairman and claiming to be providing me with the dividends of democracy.

Sincerely, for so long these politicians have taken us for a ride and now is the time to stand against this continued systemic slavery. This opposition by the governors must be resisted. An autonomous local government will certainly clip the wings of the governors, depraving them of an avenue to continually siphon and embezzle funds meant for the grassroots. Therefore, the clarion call to change things starts now, let us use the social media, organize rallies, sensitize people and while we are at this, we must ensure that there is accountability from the councils. A good way to achieve this is having a forum or an oversight committee which is independent, and whose duty is to deter fraudulent practices and embezzlement of funds. This forum or committee will be made up of people in the locality who are of impeccable character and have the interest of the populace at heart. Also, the chairmen and councilors must not be afforded the luxury of immunity, and due process must be their modus operandi.

Hopefully Nigerians will rally round and fight for the autonomy of local governments. #givelocalgovtsautonomy. Spread the message

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Chaos

“For always, no matter how powerful one’s armies, in order to enter a country, one needs the goodwill of the inhabitants- Niccolo Machiavelli”

CHAOS

Chaos begat this country. The unity that was supposed to be forged on mutual consent was coaxed via both violent and extreme persuasive means, with the varying tribes not allowed a voice as to what they want, and the elders betraying their subjects, all just to line up their “pockets”. Thus, why then do we wonder why violence is an integral part of the daily existence of the citizenry? The imposition of a nation on our forebears, the subsequent path the nation took and its present situation is a direct result of chaos. Lamentations upon lamentations have been written about the prospects of this country “if” only things had been done rightly.

I view such lamentations as crocodile tears and insincerity on the part of the lamenters who I term “rented affiliates”. I seek not to add my voice to the teeming lamenters, neither do I seek to force words and examine the state of our union with people who have spent eons dissecting and probing the cadaver of this country and have proffered numerous solutions but failed to implement them.

My grouse won’t be on those who call on God at every little altercation to come save them, I blame them not as they are entitled to their opinion. I might want to lend a voice to the agitators of revolution, this option appears to blend well with me, however the spilling of innocent blood that besieges this country knows no bound, Our very own First Lady was forced to lament ….sic…. therefore I lend not my voice or support or criticism to these people.

Sorry if I seem to go off ranting, I know not why I am ranting, nor why I am painting such dreary picture. I wish I could do better, be the idealist I was accused of being by a good friend, however I can’t, as I have to be factual. I am pregnant, and I wish to birth this child. The void, the chasm we go through in this country everyday drives my anger, and fuels my fury as I type. It drives me to ponder what might have been.

WHERE IT ALL WENT WRONG

Nigeria had people of great quality, and what befell us –the corruption, the political ineptitude, the war- was a great disappointment and truly devastating to those of us who witnessed it- Chinua Achebe

 

Reading Achebe’s memoirs of the civil war, I couldn’t help but to wonder in awe at his description of Nigeria’s post independence pre-civil war, a country where everything worked. However the incessant rattling of my neighbor’s generator serves as a reminder of the present times. These present times seems like a throwback to the times after creation, when men were animals and animals were …..well animals!. No pun intended, and am trying to create the vision of a time when no constraints (civilization and society) held back man. When man was his true self; a beast.

The Nigeria of today reminds me of such a period, with Nigerians dehumanized. With the bombings, kidnappings and ritual killings, we all seem oblivious and are content with the happenings. Why should I be bothered, after all Boko Haram is restricted to the North East, the ritual victims weren’t smart enough and nobody dares kidnap me, so why would I bothered? The system has failed me and I do not give a hoot about it!. This right there is the mentality of the Nigerian, and this is why we have been hoodwinked by our leaders. We careless, as long as we can adapt, but adapting all the time creates mediocrity and this is what has been the bane of our society. Why do we celebrate and tolerate greed, corruption, and outland robbery? I hear from the older generations that over the years, our morality has died, and we have stood naked shamelessly, happy to indulge in the dance of chaos, that has eroded all sense of propriety; certainly the country and its inhabitants have sold for soul for 30 pieces of silver

WHO IS TO BLAME

The worst sin toward our fellow creature is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity- George Bernard Shaw

The phrase “Suffering and Smiling” is an indictment on Nigerians. In as much as I would want to distance myself, I must confess that I and all Nigerians seem to be happy with the status quo, after all, it is a comfort zone, where we will not be harmed and we could still get our share of the national cake. I however feel that I must place the blame on the shoulders of our fathers. It makes sense and allows me to be at peace with myself. I realize that the ones who have travelled out of the country blame me and expect me to fight and if possible die while fighting. No be me go bell the cat ooooo, after all, was not even alive when the chaos was formed; I was thrust into the “Chthonic” situation.

 

AFTERTHOUGHT

It is said that every people has the government it deserves. It is more to the point that every government has the electorate it deserves……. Thus our democracy moves in a vicious circle of reciprocal worthiness and unworthiness- George Bernard Shaw

 

Next year, February 14th to be precise, Nigerians will decide who they want at the helm of affairs of the country. We have politician and parties pitching themselves to us, with us the voters the beautiful prize to be won, though after elections, we of course will be discarded after elections.

We of course could resolve this chaos, set things right, but that seems like a fantasy. I won’t be surprised if the incumbents are re-elected, and maybe, a bit of violence follows. Already on Nairaland and other social media sites, the electorates are being polarized on issues like tribe, region and religion. The essentials are forgotten, while the unthinkable serve as determinants of success at the polls. Casting aside sentiments and allowing objectivity will bring sanity.

Presently, accusations and insults are bandied around, and money is also being thrown around. And that seems to be all our politicians have to offer us. Ideologies are bereft and it’s a case of how good you are at playing the Nigerian version of politics. I wish questions such as;” what’s Nigeria’s foreign policy? What is the country’s stance on Africa, both as a whole and regionally? Do we allow slight from countries such as South Africa or Cameroon? Do we negotiate with terrorist?” are asked of our politicians, and even more, but the present generation seem to dwell on fashion, on music, on mundane things that will only fill our need for entertainment now. We the youths are more impressed hearing about celebrities and what goes on in their lives than securing our future and that of our unborn children. It hurts talking with your mates only to realize that they do not understand or see or even want to know the intricacies surrounding them.

Forgive me for my endless rambling, but the chaos witnessed everyday in the country must surely reflect in my thoughts. Penning these thoughts down serves the purpose of reminding people of the need for a critical constructive concise thought process with a view to galvanizing them for must be done to save this country from itself.

 

        My way of joking is to tell the truth. It’s the funniest joke in the world-George Bernard Shaw