BY EBELE ORAKPO
Let members of the National Assembly work on part-time basis as suggested by participants at the ongoing National Conference so that some of the funds used in paying them and maintaining the Assembly will be available for other things,” suggested Nike.
Replied Chioma: “Exactly! They could put the excess fund into education. Nothing is too much for education. Ignorance is too expensive. Can you imagine having an army of illiterate, unemployed able-bodied young people roaming the streets? Na serious wahala be that.”
“Our legislators to work on part-time basis? You know it won’t happen. We copy whatever suits us from the West. We say we are copying the US, yet US congressmen and women are part-timers. Politicians always copy what suits them and throw away whatever does not suit them even if it is the best for the people and the nation. We are too self-centred.
They are already kicking against that suggestion, so you see why it will be most unwise to pass the reports of the National Conference to the National Assembly members for final decision?” asked Tony.
“But of course! National Conference report to National Assembly! Remember a Second Republic governor in the North who was asked why he had so much cash belonging to government in his house and he replied that Government money is for Government House?
Shikena. Case closed. But on a more serious note, the truth is that whatever happens, education must be made very affordable so whatever they have to do to release more money for education, should be done, even if it means slashing the salaries of public servants, so be it,” said Joshua.
Said Nike: “That’s right; otherwise, one worse than Boko Haram will be witnessed in Nigeria. Imagine a Lagos public servant/politician asking whether it is compulsory for everyone to be a graduate. He said those who cannot afford university education should go and do something else like becoming motor mechanics, vulcanizers, etc.
This is somebody whose parents could not afford to send to school. He benefitted from the state government’s free education. If not, perhaps, he would have been a truck pusher or motor park tout now. But government sent him to school and today, he is in government and does not want to give others the opportunity to get education and better their lives.”
“Another government official said if he could pay N4 million as school fee for his son, why can’t LASU students pay?” reported Tony.
“No, I don’t believe a public servant would open his mouth to say such, but if he did, it is unfortunate. Where did he get that kind of money as a civil servant? How much is his salary? If Nigerians are serious, we should be asking them questions. But rather than doing the needful by holding our leaders accountable to us, we allow them to use us against one another to play their ethno-religious politics. We foolishly break into camps and fight ourselves while they enjoy our common wealth and we wallow in poverty. Honestly, I pity us,” said Chioma.
“Our leaders are not servants; they are there to be served. I like the way things are playing out anyway. May be we will come out better. We are now seeing the kind of leaders we have; those who don’t care a hoot about us,” said Joshua.