By : Ed Chukwuemeka Otuchikere
That Politics in Nigeria has been corrupted almost beyond redemption, is only stating the obvious. Every passing day it looks like the politicians keep shifting the boundaries of ignominy to see who will end up as the new face of corruption. The damage is such that the psyche of the people has been so impacted that majority of our people now see the abnormal as the new normal. This assertion is as a result of the cesspit of corruption that entangles almost all government agencies and parastatals across Nigeria. On a closer investigation, it will be discovered that the rot is more pervasive than is previously imagined. The revelations at the Niger Delta Development Commission are only a tip of the iceberg.
What played out this week at the panel of inquiry at the National Assembly (NASS) is the height of official recklessness and absolute disrespect for the Nigerian people. It was indeed a theater of shame and the absurd. The drama exposed the levity with which the business of legislative oversight is carried out. The attitude of the panelist who made up NASS committee, the minister, Godswill Akpabio and the Managing Director NDDC Prof. Dave Pondei leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
The business of governance is securely in the hands of charlatans, comedians and butchers. Baba Sala and Aluwe could not have done better than those jesters did. Every sense of decorum and responsibility was thrown to the wind. These men have been promoted beyond their competence and it is glaring. This is the resultant effect of asking people -‘simply take a bow and go’! They come on the job without any sense of commitment and responsibility. They go about with a false feeling of accomplishment, which is translated to mean that they have the mandate of the NASS to steal, maim and destroy. When the former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, a couple of years ago, said our nationals were fantastically corrupt, he had his facts, no doubt.
Like Alan Paton wrote, we might just paraphrase “Cry, The unloved country…. “Our politicians reveal that they are all men bereft of religion, morals or the fear of God and any consideration for the welfare of their compatriots. They delight to destroy the very fabric and foundations of our national sovereignty.
The Niger Delta and most of Nigeria still remains a study in the criminal neglect of government. Politicians who rig elections and claim that they were voted into power have consistently shown a strong disconnect from the people they lead. These politicians will rather patronise medical facilities in Europe and America than build hospitals at home. Educational institutions are operating shoe-string budgets while politicians charter private jets and buy real estate overseas.
It is a fact that most of the oil producing communities of the Niger Delta lack access to basic amenities like portable water and Public Health Centres while the minister and other appointees share covid-19 palliatives including overseas trips during the pandemic. Government after government has failed to deliver on development goals because the administrators put their welfare above the wellbeing of those they are supposed to serve. To achieve any meaningful development in the Niger Delta or any other part of Nigeria, there must be a paradigm shift. The present model of appointing ‘professional politicians’ to head some of these agencies must stop. Otherwise, we will keep flushing trillions of naira down the drain.
Otuchikere, is a geologist, entrepreneur & social commentator.