‘Our Girls’; Lagos-Ibadan 9 hrs; ‘No Shaking’, Ebola & ‘Ebata’; Failed ‘Political Class’ of 1999-2014! Osun!
Our Girls’ are still missing since April 15. And now we have girl-child bombers. Are they forced to act under threats to their families or school friends. Where is the world going?
Lagos-Ibadan took five hours last Tuesday morning due to inability of the contractors in providing adequately wide two easily motorable lanes, not ‘one and a half’ during construction work. Simply pouring gravel on holes and over the major muddy areas will keep traffic moving. It took longer – nine hours – last Saturday which is 10 kilometres per hour courtesy of both Convention and Contractor failures. Why must Nigerians suffer extreme torture in order to ‘smile’ to a new expressway?
Today we face Ebola and have ‘No Shaking’, hugging, sneezing or close contact with sick people until Ebola is excluded from the diagnosis. We must add ‘Ebata’ meaning careful with your shoes, especially in unhygienic markets where other people’s urine, faecal matter and other secretions are dispersed freely on the ground and all kinds of ‘water’ including gutter and rain puddle water is used to wash vegetables and keep them looking ‘fresh’. Have you seen the bread hawkers blowing and dusting bread with foam before inserting it into the cellophane bag, and who blows the husks off groundnuts before forcing them into groundnut bottles? How sick is the person in the backroom who sends the child or youth to the market or street?
This is not alarmist but cautionary. The Ebola virus does not live long outside the body and transmission is prevented by simple hand-washing with detergents and antiseptic washes like bleach and soaking suspected clothing in bleach but if two highly trained Americans can get it so can we. ‘Caution, care, cleanliness, contact reduction & cellphone,’ are the watchwords with reduction in physical contacts by increased cellphone use. Gloves and masks are essential if one is in direct contact.
It is now that Nigerians will understand the persistent clamour for adequate sanitation. Toilets are ‘conveniences’ because locked or absent toilets are a crime, not an inconvenience. Running water and toilets are huge factors in preventing Ebola but many more will die ‘unsung and silently’ of ‘common’ typhoid than will ever die of Ebola. Are we not mumu in Nigeria? We shout ‘Ebola’ even though we live and die with typhoid and unsanitary situations everywhere. Foreigners do not die of typhoid any more. Running water and sanitation in schools and offices are not ‘dividends of democracy’ but ‘Demands of Democracy and Civilisation’.
The ‘Citizens/Politicians Charter Or Principle’ is not about good quality contract works, fine public buildings, more well equipped schools, water running everywhere, a clean attractive environments, more tax, better health facilities, better roads, more arrests for out-of-school hawkers or even more toilets. These are subtitles under the general International Political Science heading of ‘Civilisation or Development Agendas’. These ‘achievements’ are not nuclear physics but a United Nations Millennium Development Goals examination or test which Nigerian politicians have repeatedly failed. They have failed all the sloganized ‘For All’ yardsticks in the last 50 years: ‘Housing For All, Food For All, Education For All, Polio Plus For All, 10,000Mw For All’-now just ‘Little or Nothing For All’.
The Citizens/Politicians Charter Or Principle’ is about non-violence and calculating how much is spent in terms of total funds expended on trailer-loads of rice, cooking oil, sewing machines, motorcycles, grinding machines, keke NAPEP, and even ‘free or nearly free’ medical services handed out by First Lady NGOs and politicians and foreign based Nigerian medical ‘Missions’. Except for some of the ‘Medical Mission Outreaches’, every kobo of these services, and equipment comes from the government purse and through contractors forced to ‘be grateful’ and ‘support politicians’. Much of the money used is actual political ‘legalised theft’ masquerading or hidden in the budget as hyper-inflated ‘Salaries and Perks’, SAPing Nigeria dry. The people have learnt to take ‘freebees’ from all parties against the rainy day of ‘democracy draught’.
Calculate how much money is held back by politicians’ ‘Constituency Projects’. People have noticed this accounting anomaly and demand more ‘upfront’. The people have no voice except ‘the vote’, manipulated or not. The method of ‘belly infrastructure’ is not a new creation but merely the mega-manifestation of chronic hunger from political failure. Now ‘Rice is My Price’,’ ‘I Don’t Believe Any Of You’, ‘Hunger Management- Prevention Is Better Than Cure’ or ‘A Bag Of Rice Goes A Long Way’ the manifestation of ‘I-Am-Tired-Of-Waiting’, ‘What Is In It For Me Now, Today?’ The voter is a shareholder ‘selfishly’ or perhaps ‘wisely’ demanding something now as he sees politicians getting richer while he gets poorer.
This apparent greed by the citizens is consequent upon the vicious assault on them by malicious ‘manner-less’ arrogant seizures of wares and motorcycle and vehicle, shop closures, bulldozing of houses, disappearing good and wares -officially confiscated but actually stolen by government officials – and Internally Generated Revenue drives. Add to these maliciously high government charges, four year backdated high rates, for everything exemplified by retired citizens being forced by circumstances to take on tenants to help pay ever-increasing rates and taxes often without a pension paid as and when due.
Congratulations to the State of Osun for the ‘relatively non-violent’ return of Governor Rauf Aregbesola. How ‘pure’ and non-violent were the elections in Ekiti and Osun? Progress at last, perhaps! But should democracy cost so much money, and how much was spent in Osun?
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