By Denrele Animashaun
The things that will destroy us are: politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice.-Mohandas Gandhi.
Something happened last week that would have gone under the radar for me, had it not been brought to my attention. The governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, ran an advert in the Vanguard requesting those who wanted to celebrate the anniversary of his tenure not to send gifts or run adverts for him rather they should donate the money that should have been used for the felicitations to Osun feed a school child initiative (OMEAL) and the Osun care for the elderly initiative (Agba Osun).
Now that is a turn up for the books. I am not a big fan of our crop of politicians but this gesture shows insight, forward and altruistic thinking. The money should be best spent on those that need it the most. Strange but true, those with money tend to give people with money!
About time the rich spend their money on helping our nation than trucking it to some off shore abroad. If they have any moral fibre left, they should do the decent things like Dangote: recruit more, invest in people, set up local businesses, and in needed health outposts in the villages.
Time after time, we have been made to watch the bad taste of the politicians or the stupendously rich showboating, giving piece meal charity to the staged poor in front of an army of paid photographers.
Our country is facing a dearth of morality and humanity direction and we seem not to want to shift, all we do is victim blaming while the level of existence is so abject.
We should hang our heads in shame. We can no longer ignore the obvious; we have lost the moral fibre that binds us and we consistently fail the younger generation and there is no excuse for it if we fail to admit that there is a collective responsibility, that it needs a collective remedy.
What is clear is that the Nigerian politicians have failed woefully and Nigerians do not believe that the government is working hard enough to combat to reduce the overwhelm the level of inequality that pervades our country.
Nigeria is corrupt, wholesale and endemically corrupt. It had to be said and the blame is squarely at the top, but it permeates every strata in our country . Yes, I am sure too many are professing their innocence. The politicians and public officials consistently siphon the public coffers, they line their pockets with money that is meant to improve the lives of ordinary citizens.Of course,no wonder people have little faith in their leaders or their fellow citizens.
We need to take a hard look at ourselves and admit that this way of life is not working and cannot work.
From the President and his governors, I often hear but what can we do? Well, do something, anything is better than this. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. How on earth do we re-elect corrupt policitians for abysmal performance?
The trust is lacking in our society, we do not trust one another; we definitely do not trust the government. A trust is the building block of a well deed society. In a capricious society like ours this is lacking. The level of corruption is tearing our social, moral fabric apart and had led to lack of trust and confidence in the governed.
What we experience instead is perpetual hardship of majority of ordinary citizens. The level of social inequalities is indicative of a corrupt government ,riddled with crime ,inter tribal and religious violence. We need to address corruption because it makes people hopeless of the future though I must say we, as Nigerians, are always hopeful that there would be some divine intervention and Nigeria will improve.
But these people have been waiting long and doing nothing to better the lot in the interim. In the meantime can we take some social responsibly by sweeping our corner? Teach our children right from wrong, educate our children by being a role model for good and not demand that they comply while we do not.
Our nation is fuel led on jealousy, pride and ignorance because majority of people live without while the few have so much. How do you explain 70 per cent of Federal Government’s revenue going for payment of salaries and entitlement of civil servants, leaving only 30 per cent for development of 167 million Nigerians? Do the maths it add up? There has to be a social change, people must want a change ,the inequality is inhumane and immoral.
I read somewhere Aregbesola said: “Nigeria is stranded in the pit bog of avoidable socio-economic challenges because the two core ingredients of democracy outlined in this theme have been either half-heartedly appropriated or ignored completely. We are witnesses to the common development in which citizens rejoice openly over the misfortune of public office holders simply because they are convinced that those individuals came into sudden wealth at their expense.” Yes, of course .So why won’t public feel slighted?
We need to address this state of impasse if the government and the powerful feel so patriotic and are decent enough. They should lead by taking a high level of social responsibility, it is only then, we can collectively fight poverty. They should stop diverting public money for the nation into private pockets , close the inequality gap by making quality, free and affordable education and health care of the less well off.
Then you can begin to close the inequality gap. And reduce poverty. People should not be given ad hoc hand out; we should make sustainable programmes that help people out of poverty and give them pride in themselves and their society. So if we combat corruption we begin to tackle inequality.
The one that got away!
“Evil Spirit is behind Nigeria’s electricity problems” – Minister of State for Power.
The Minister of State for Power, Hajiya Zainab Kuchi, yesterday told South African investors that evil spirit were behind Nigeria’s darkness preventing the country from taking her pride of place in the comity of Nations.
She made the comment while addressing members of the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Ruling Party, which led a team of investors to her office in Abuja. I reserve my comments. Actually, there is no comment.