Tuesday 17 January 2012

Nigeria: #OccupyNigeria and Occupy their lives

Uttering nonsense
When a man is unable to allow his utterances be controlled by his cranial matter we assume the person is drunk because alcohol has a way of loosening the tongue. If there is no sign that the person is inebriated we begin to question the mental capacity of the person and words like stupid, dolt, idiot or cretin come to mind.
However, if such a person falls into neither category because we are aware of the person’s intellect and his bearing is such that alcohol and stupidity are excluded, you are left to wonder and ponder at what the issue might be.
Running Nigeria is neither for the inebriated nor the stupid, it is a job that calls on all faculties; the exhibited ones need to be alert, sharp and commanding of the authority and bearing expected of such who dare to lead.
Taking stock
The time has come and the time is now that we can no more acquiesce to low expectations and levels of achievement that are redolent of indolence rather than hardworking effective and efficient leadership.
In our 6th decade of independence, we have no time for people learning on the job, lacking aims, plans, mission or a vision as to where they intend to take Nigeria in the short term and at the end of their term in office.
Our democratic experiment is now close to concluding its 13th year and what we have seen more of is profligacy, prodigality, waste, corruption and a lack of accountability. Billions of dollars have been ploughed into infrastructure as power, roads, transport, rail, health and education but there has been very little to show for those investments.
Rather our legislators have growth fat on the largesse of the country earning humongous sums that will make the eyes of real creators of jobs and masters of industry water – to think from anecdotal evidence that our federal legislators earn more than presidents or leaders of more advanced economies and then to see a paltry work rate that is self-serving rather than in the service of the people is unconscionable, dishonest, corrupt and unsustainable.
Things are NOT changing
However, the biggest question remains what plans do they all have for the progress of Nigeria and when will they stop promising and start delivering?
After the 2 weeks of Occupy Nigeria and the strikes that ended yesterday, it appears the reluctant government in perpetual inertia was forced to be responsive albeit unilateral in all their decision-making dispensing of the rule of law for expediency and convenience that the legislature is found having to exert itself as the usually careless overseer of executive excess.
And careless they have been because they have still not addressed the criminally fraudulent matter of noticing the executive budgeted N250bn for fuel subsidies in 2011 and actually had spent N1.3trn by September and they are asking for more to cover the whole of 2011.
It still beggars belief that there are no checks and moderating influences over the executive to ensure they do not overspend without recourse to the legislature and if they do, there are no sanctions and repudiations to be made to all responsible with the possibility of criminal prosecution.
It is incredible that any organ of government can overspend by 500% and the other organs of government abdicate their responsibility with impunity; it indicates how corruption has eaten into the fabric of Nigerian governance that it is impossible for it to reform without some radical act of the people or God forbid some other intervention that forcibly resets this untenable and flagrant abuse of democratic processes.
We are caught as I once said before in the grip of an unconscionable kakistocracy – it is the government by the worse people ever selected to be in leadership.
Doing the worst of the least
Just before words could be taken out of our mouths, the president when addressing certain youths who in their excellence might abdicate their initiative and innate abilities for subservience to the government we have today, he said, “If we cannot build good roads for our children; if we cannot leave hospitals for them, then one thing we must not leave for them is debt, for them to come and pay.”[1]
I have been trying to get my head round what the president really meant by this statement because try as I might, I have found it impossible to make anything positive of it.
Then to think someone thought this statement was so positively profound that is was the quote on the FrontPage advertisement of BusinessDay just shows how low our expectations of this government have precipitously fallen that the government is not even exerting itself to anything at all.
Nigeria needs roads and she needs hospitals, those will contribute to the lifeblood of our economy and wellbeing. Even theoretical economists who always tend to leave out the serious human dimension in their modelling know that road infrastructure and healthcare are critical elements of development that if we end up in debt facilitating such the long term economic benefits will eventually pay off the debts.
A race to ruin
What I read here is a man that we have in elected office as president who has no vision for the country, he is as laidback as a rug with not particular goals apart from the default of not leaving the debts to our children whilst in the 5 years that he has been running mate either as vice-president or president he has presided over such an expansion of government to no end but for the aggrandisement of their debauched lifestyles of untold opulence leaving nothing for the people.
It is a race to ruin that does not address the real problems that affect the country be it corruption, profligacy or the security deficit that allows a high-level terrorist suspect to escape from custody at a time when the country is in a heightened state of security.
Occupy their lives
This, my friends can no more continue, we have another 40 months of this regime and something must give, it cannot be the people giving in to business as usual anymore, we need to make these people responsible, accountable and earning each kobo of their keep.
Our Occupy Nigeria movement needs to spearhead a series of tenacious occupations, we must occupy their minds, occupy their thoughts, occupy their time, occupy their space, occupy their lives, audit their time, audit their spend, audit their lives, micro-manage all their activities and call each and every one who takes money from the Nigerian coffers to account.
Politics in Nigeria must stop being a cushy job of high-living in ostentatious consumption to feed insatiable hedonistic appetites, these people should be too busy to find time for such excess and if they cannot stand the heat, they should resign.
Occupy and force change for the better
If a politician is not ready to put their best forward and make Nigeria the main priority of their lives with everything Nigeria being front and centre of their focus, it is time for them to retire with no benefits, they should take to life like all other Nigerians do. Enough of this nonsense, enough of the rottenness that is eating this country to the core and enough of the clueless leadership that needs to be given a good boot kick in the backside to start performing.
Occupy Nigeria for the change we deserve and we either force these people to do it or force them out but by God, we will not wait until 2015 for this indolence to become so ingrained that the future would have been eternally mortgaged to this looming debacle and apology of a state of affairs.
Occupy! The time is now.

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