Archive for September, 2014

Same game, same people, same difference, and same Nigeria

By Prince Charles Dickson

“No need to mess up a messed up people” Henry Omoregie

The polity is as usual getting excited and heated up, the reason, simply the elections are few months away, and the usual suspects are at it.

And for the ordinary Nigerian, I dare say we are the same people, with very little if any changes.

I am a football fan, and very quickly, let me add, beyond primary knowledge; I cannot be classified as a fanatic of the god of soccer. I watch matches involving teams that I enjoy, as time permits, I do not loose sleep or get moody or refuse food because Arsenal lost, or Barcelona played out a draw.

I do not engage in the motion of who is a better player between a Messi, and Ronaldo, simply because both men earn weekly what our politicians spend daily.

However I would draw an analogy from Messi, considered by many as one of the greats of his time.

The study of Messi’s morphology is responsible for a change on the pitch. He is often accused of resting during matches, of not pressing, and of drifting. There is a scientific explanation for this that Pep asked him to apply to his game after a particular condition was identified. Leo has a muscle typology with a very high-energy consumption; his muscles empty themselves of energy very quickly and recover almost as swiftly. But the gap is extreme and that means a period of rest before another effort.

Kindly follow me as you wander what has Messi got to do with Nigeria and our numerous problems.

For Messi, what it means is that He cannot be up and down all the time because his muscular typology is not suited to such physical demands.

His is thus required to expend his energies more sparingly. It was explained to him that, as they are all so finely tuned and so physically demanding, he could not permanently be looking for excellence in every passage of play. Not that he would be unable to find it, but it was better for his body for him to chose the moments.

In all the grammar spoken above according to Juanjo Brau, his one time Physio “Leo has a professional and footballing maturity level which helps him to make his efforts fruitful.

Now to how it concerns you and me, and the forthcoming elections, we as leaders and the led.

This is it, a House of Assembly Member in his first year receives approximately gets some N100Million for constituency project. In the second year, he receives another N100Million. In his third year, he receives another N100Million. In the fourth year, another N100Million.

He has officially received N400Million on our behalf! This is outside the numerous kickbacks and loots he has received from projects he had influenced into the state budget for this period.

Five months to the end of his tenure, he calls for an ‘empowerment’ programme. He buys 50 okadas, 20-keke napep, 5 sienna cars, 30 sewing machines, 30 I-pass-my-neighbor generators, and gives 10k to over 20 persons. All these things are shared to only his party faithful despite the fact that the money belongs to all irrespective of party affiliation.

Also, he mentions a number of schools he has renovated, a number of desks he has donated to numerous primary schools and other ‘petty’ constructions that is not more than N20Million. All these he has done within his four-year tenure.

Also, he distributes half a million Naira to party excos who automatically endorse him for a second term!

The following week, the jobless youths and ‘miserable’ village women who have ‘benefited’ from the ’empowerment’ are sponsored to come out with placard to beg the legislator to run for a second term. He considers their demand, and ‘accepts’ it as a sign of his excellent previous performance. He gives them money for transportation through a proxy and the next week he declares for his second term ambition.

Now if you calculate all that he has done, you will see that out of the N400Million he has collected on ‘your behalf’ for four years, he has barely spent 15% of it on you.

You should even be thankful that he has intention of running for a second term, or else, you wouldn’t even have seen a bicycle. Why should he ’empower’ you when he does not need you again?

Whatever happens to the rest 85% or even more of the money this legislator has received on their behalf is not your business. After all, you did not buy his party nomination form for him while he was contesting, neither did you contribute to his campaign in anyway. So why do you think you can reap from where you did not sow?

It is the same game, whether Christian, Muslim, or pagan, whether it is in Kano, or Ekiti.

How a lawmaker or Governor buys an okada and we accept it as empowerment in this modern age, tells us, it is same us,

We are expected to feed our family with that okada?

We as a people do not possess any professional and politicking maturity level, which can help our efforts as a people be fruitful.

So again we have “on your marks…” Atiku, Buhari, and Jonathan with his first right of refusal and atomic acceptance.

So we simply in fits and coughs dance around Ebola today, Boko Haram tomorrow, a soon to be forgotten $9.3m bazar, the day after. The bigger, the noisier, the merrier, an investigation here and there, and we confine it all to the cupboard of history, at least better than a cupboard than a dirt bin of history.

We are saddled with how Northern elders plan to stop Jonathan and how APC is a Muslim party, but we are yet to identify solutions to our numerous problems, only wonderful speeches, elephant projects, paradise promise, and fiasco laden turn-by-turn styled ‘chopocracy’.

We never play to our strengths, but glory on our weakness, unlike Messi, we are the Okada generation. It is same game, same people, same difference, and same Nigeria.

As a nation and a people we continue to think like birds born in a cage, who think that flying is an illness…When will we realize our strength and play to it—Only time will tell.