Is it not baffling when ordinary people in Nigeria become government officials and the next thing there is a huge demarcation between them and the people are they supposed to serve? Like we can all remember when Uncle Ambode was dancing with bus drivers et all, now he is looking for ways to tax us for breathing.
I was thinking about this today because something funny happened to my friend. So this friend moved into a serviced estate, of course she is paying for all the amenities and 24 hours electricity so yes she should enjoy her money abi? Well, the rest of us were complaining about electricity the other week, whining about how our food and meat went bad inside the refrigerator, our aunty just looked at us like, what are you people talking about? There is light now, in fact… as she was speaking she remembered mid sentence she lived in a serviced place so she always has electricity in her house and at the office. She had no idea the rest of us in Lagos are living in darkness.
The incidence made me remember when I read about something that happened during Abacha’s administration. Abacha and his aides were going out for a function, on the way there was an accident with the convoy, one of the men in the car died. His body was taken to the morgue. When they returned from their event or was it when they arrived at their destination? I cannot recall for sure now but anyway, the person narrating said Abacha asked about the accident, and all the men involved in it what was he told? He was told the men were all fine, nobody was seriously injured. His close aides refused to tell him what had happened, that one of his men died for some flimsy reasons. Now, Abacha may not be the best of leaders but he compensated the man’s family to cushion their loss, however his aides, people this man worked with, made sure his family got nothing, that his death went unacknowledged.
At the height of the fuel scarcity late last year, when fuel queues were as long as the River Nile I kept asking people are you sure our Petroleum Minister, a.k.a President Buhari knows there is no fuel? Or if he knows it is this bad?
Remember when Ambode flung court ruling out the window and still chased out people of Otodo Gbame because they wanted to build Periwinkle Estate? Some people protested but did the rich of Lagos get involved? Nope, it was none of their business. Now here is the land act charge, here is the vehicle licensing charge. Again, everyone is quiet, those of us who do not own houses are just shrugging, it is none of our business forgetting we will pay rent or one day buy our own houses.
None of these is an excuse for the level of terrible clueless leadership we have been experiencing, but this is what goes in this country. If it doesn’t directly affect me it is none of my business. I agree that there is very little we can do against the pack of wolves posing as government officials in this country but if we cannot unite against them whether policies directly affect us or not, if we are not for each other, who then can be for us?
I saw a parable the other day, it says “The forest was shrinking, but the trees kept voting for the axe because its handle was made of wood and they thought it was one of them.”