Nigeria lacks good and compassionate leadership. It is always a point of lamentation for many Nigerians. The lamentations are often constant and almost after elections. It calls for a pity that Nigerians constantly choose for themselves bad leadership. As much as the people are blamed for always failing for the manipulations of these leaders, the Independent National Electoral Commission is blamed as well for conducting an election filled with suspicions, which lacks acceptance and for subverting what should be the will of the people.
The 2023 elections came with its pomp and the outcome has left the people resigned to continued poverty. An election is supposed to be a time Nigerians make a decisive choice of the kind of leadership they want to either continue or be removed from the government. In Nigeria, election time is a time to enthrone those who are the least desired.
Most politicians desire an opportunity to loot and ‘chop’. The quest for political offices is to run away from poverty, obtain power and control and get admitted into the circle of power brokers whose interests are often protected. It is a small circle of like-minded people who are watching each other’s back and are constantly recycled to continue the bazaar. They move from one political party to the other to give an illusion of opposition.
Make no mistake, the political parties serve only as a step and medium to achieve a rank in the echelons of Nigeria’s small political circle who purchase praise singers while they share and plunder the wealth of the nation. This is the reason they try so hard to be declared the winner. They hold a belief, “do all you can to win on the field.” A belief that has left Nigeria’s elections characterised by violence.
While the leaders have asked the people to endure and sacrifice for the nation, these leaders who do not sacrifice or endure any hardship, are looking after themselves.
The Senate President Godswill Akpabio previously led a session caught in a viral video mocking Nigerians with the expression “let the poor breathe”. It is quite interesting even while the poor continue to suffocate under the weight of the poor leadership these leaders bequeath the country, they, despite the hunger in the country, spent a whooping N57.6 billion for the purchase of SUVs which valued at N160 million each for the 360 members of the lower chamber.
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House spokesperson and Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Akin Rotimi, said in a statement in Abuja: “It is important to make a few clarifications. The vehicles to be allocated to the offices of members are utility operational vehicles tied to their oversight functions in the discharge of their duties in the standing committees. They are not personal vehicles gifted to honourable members.” He continued, “No matter how remote the location is, as long as there are Nigerian citizens living there, they deserve highly mobile representatives who can see first-hand what they are going through, and ensure government interventions, programmes, and policies are carried out effectively. This can only be possible with functional and reliable off-road vehicles.”
A well-crafted clarifications tailored to hoodwink the unsuspecting observer and to lull Nigerians to believe these leaders are actually doing this for them. If this explanation is something to go by, what happened to the SUVs given to the previous lawmakers? Were they not tied to their oversight functions?
As this makes news, it was revealed in a memo dated September 11, 2023, and obtained by Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) that,”$422,820 (N325.5 million) out of the total amount covered the cost of rooms booked for Tinubu and his close aides at the St. Regis Hotel in New York from September 16 to 23…the memo also shows that the remaining $84,564 (65.1 million in Naira), which is 20 percent of the hotel reservation cost, was for incidentals.”
A good and compassionate leadership will consider that Nigeria’s capacity to sustain these expenditures is dim and that as their proliferation in spending becomes unsustainable, Nigerians will revolt. But, revolting is a weakness that Nigerians have. They have learnt over the years to keep adjusting and praying as things keep going bad. This weakness as these leaders know, they continue the plundering with the mindset that nothing will happen.
Indeed, nothing ever happened. Nobody is paying for the plundering. In fact, they are given more offices and the cycle continues.
Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema addressing some of the leaders of Zambia said, “Are you using public money to buy a Toyota V8 for the Mayor? That V8 for the Mayor can put toilets in all your markets in your constituency. Think along those lines,” He also rejected buying cars worth $1.8million in the state house.
Some people often out of exasperation say; Nigerians deserve their leaders. They tolerate the bad leadership a lot and at what point should they collectively say enough is enough?
We lament a lot, and I am lamenting here too; Nigerians and the leaders.