By Josef Omorotionmwan
IT is also a good democratic concept that Government should spread whatever it has evenly. As much as possible, development must be spread evenly across the nation. Poverty also gets an even spread among the people. And Government must introduce sanctions for all those who deviate from the norm.
What a way to end a year! Today, we are dragging the Federal Government of Nigeria to the people’s court. Charges: That you, the Federal Government, consume 52 percent of the nation’s available resources annually. We are not oblivious of the fact that lately, percentages have been doing nothing other than causing quarrels among federating units.
In fact, talking of percentages is like speaking in tongues as percentages neither reveal actual figures nor paint accurate pictures. Suffice it to say that in concrete terms, your 52 percent translates to trillions of Naira annually. That explains why you have enough to eat, to steal, to waste and to throw around while there is absolutely nothing to show to the people as dividends of governance from you.
Rather, all that the people have been getting from you is a bumper harvest of the dividends of misgovernance – bad roads, bad elections, dead infrastructure, maximum insecurity, darkness in the place of light and all other signs of a failing, or, indeed, failed government. As a deliberate policy, misgovernance must also be evenly spread and in that case you have since made good governance a criminal offence, which simply suggests that it is folly to govern well in a land where misgovernance is bliss.
By your reckoning, any State Government that is doing well must be pulled down. In fact, why should the States grow when the Federal Government is not growing? That is your frame of mind.
We shall invite to the witness stand, the Governments of Edo and Lagos States. Federal Government, sir, by your estimation, the Minister of State for Works, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi was almost caught napping recently. Why must he keep his eyes open and watch rather helplessly as the Edo State Government reduces your efforts to fritters?
In a situation where all Federal Government roads have become death traps, why should anyone allow the Comrade Governor of Edo State to carry his massive infrastructural developments to anywhere near the federal roads? This explains why you probably issued a matching order to the Junior Minister to quickly go and do something about the imminent disgrace of the Federal Government in his home State.
The Minister rushed home and as a first step, he placed an embargo on the expansion and modernisation of the Oluku – Five Junction end of the Lagos-Benin Road. For years, that stretch of road has caused nightmares to motorists and other road users, hence the joy of the people knew no bounds when it was captured in Oshiomhole’s development agenda, unknown to the people that before now, the Federal Government has been nursing internal bruises as a result of Oshiomhole’s good intentions.
This is perhaps another classic case of one man’s meat being another man’s poison. As sadistic as it seems, the rationale behind the Federal Government action is clear: If the road has been bad all the way from Lagos-Ore-Benin, why must it become smooth as soon as you enter into Benin City? But one thing is also clear: in a land where good governance is a crime, good people could as well choose to remain behind bars. Even in his death bed, David Thoreau (1817-1862) kept reminding us, “If the situation is such that it enables just people to be imprisoned unjustly, then, the only just place for any just person is also the prison”.
We see the Federal Government order being ignored in the greater interest of the people. It is instructive to note that the Edo State situation has a good parallel in Lagos State in which case, the Federal Government is also the accused. Charges: As soon as Governor Babatunde Fashola went into action, the Federal Government became jittery and eventually, it became blank.
Federal Government, sir, it soon became clear that you were in deep, deep trouble and that something must be done quickly if you were not to go into extinction in the minds of people. That was when you ordered the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to produce a blueprint to drag Lagos backward so as to stop the impending embarrassment.
The Minister quickly reached for the bag of tricks that matched the very colour that could pull down the Fashola administration. He soon found that the breaking of Lagos Local Governments into Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) was the brain box behind the development of Lagos. This internal arrangement of Lagos soon became the very virus that must be attacked from every front and it was so attacked. Of course, the rest is now history. If there are two States that are capable of self defence, they must be Lagos and Edo.
You can trust them to resist bad orders. And any Government that must pull down performing governments in order to be noticed can never do well.
VERDICT: In both cases, the Federal Government is guilty as charged. As atonement for guilt, the Federal Government is hereby ordered to go for deliverance in any of the Pentecostal Churches so that even where it cannot perform, it should not stand in the way of those who can. Here’s wishing our numerous readers and, indeed, all Nigerians a New Year full of contentment.