Breaking News

This House of Disrepute

By Denrele Animasaun

Those that seek evidence that our highest hallow House in the land has badly behaved, must have seen on TV and read in the papers how uncouth and disgraceful they are. Those that still are not convinced, I have nothing more to say to them as they have obviously lost their moral compass. What we saw were grown men behaving like rent a mob and scaling the fence to force their way into the inner sanctum of the House.

Despite the fact that the police fired tear gas at the National Assembly, to bar the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal and his loyal fellow members, they overpowered the security. This was just before a debate on security about the conflict in the north east. The opposition had opposed the proposed extension of the state of emergency in the three states hit by the terrorists. They said it did not work and has not brought about the eradication of the insurgency. The opposition members were more concerned about smuggling the speaker into the chamber. The security attempted to bar Mr Tambuwal was not a good example for those that witness the spectacle. And definitely does not adhere then to the standard we expected from our lawmakers. They brought their position and the House into disrepute. Is this why they receive such inflated salaries? Are Nigerians really getting their value for their money? As l watched the clip, I could not believe that I will see grown men en massing across the massive ground towards the entrance and images showed suited politicians scaling the gates outside of the assembly building.

We are living a life of thuggery and we are not ashamed. We tend to believe that the ends justify the means. When do you draw the line? And for apologists, I say shame on you!
I don’t know about you, but these crops of politicians have lowered the expectations and accountability of our lawmakers.

Lawmakers at the National Assembly Thursday.
Lawmakers at the National Assembly Thursday.

Stomach Infrastructure
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”-Nelson Mandela

Governor Ajimobi made the link that there is a need for more people to be gainfully employed and to give jobs to the unemployed so that they can feed their families. People should no longer be expected to wait for crumbs from the table of the rich to be fed. We have for so long created a culture of dependence and it is better to provide jobs and I mean sustainable and worthwhile jobs so that people can work for a living. Research has shown that unemployment robs people of their confidence and increases the risk of depression. So the longer one remains unemployed, the more likelihood of long term problems not only for the individual but the family that relies on the individual. So it is imperative to lift people out of poverty into being financially independent and gainfully employed. It is win-win situation if the individual has a job and the state has a productive citizen contributing to the economy and progress of the state.

The Yoruba poetry “Ise loogun ise” means work is the remedy for poverty”. It is true that you give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. We have to go back to the basics and provide access to our people so they could work their way out of poverty.

I remember growing up when people were proud of hard work and living within ones means. People were more interested in what you have achieved by hard work and parents were proud to have been able to provide for their families. It seems a lifetime away and it is not. You aspire better for your children and delight that you invested in your children’s future. Now we have the greedy and the clueless prancing about and showing off their ill-gotten wealth in the face of grinding poverty.

We have so many millionaires and billionaires in Nigeria, who could use their wealth to start businesses that could employ local people to give back to the community in terms of generating income and bringing more business to the area. What is the point of being the richest person in the graveyard? Anyway, I digress, so Ajimobi has employed 5,300 into the state teaching service. He said Yoruba people were too sophisticated to be dolled alms to in the name of stomach infrastructure. I disagree with him here. I believe all Nigerians should be too sophisticated to be reliant on sporadic hand outs or crumbs from our commonwealth banquet table. We need to change our mindset and demand from our governors and president more employment opportunities for everyone to work their way out of penury.

Another stroke of genius Ajimobi did was to localise employment. Prior to this move, the practice was to employ teachers from Ibadan and redeploy them to other areas. This time he has decided to teach students from the zone this way it empowers the young people in the area. He said “we decided to localise the selection and employment of teachers so as to give opportunities to qualified teachers to teach in their communities and contribute to the development of the area, unlike it was done in the past, where teachers were deployed to various zones from Ibadan and we consider this unfair”

This move is pragmatic and astute. This way the progress will be felt not just in some areas but on all areas.
It would be a benefit to many if the template is replicated across the nation and only then can we see real and sustainable changes.

Too little, too late

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”- Martin Luther King jr

Last week, I wrote about the on-going slaughter of students in the north. Education is a way out of poverty and ignorance for the young and the future of Nigeria. So roll on the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Haija Zainab Maina. She spoke at the Universal day of the African Child appealing for peace, while urging Nigeria children not to be deterred but should face their studies.

But how could they? There is no security in spite of the fact that she assured those that gathered that the government won’t rest until schools are safe! Realities check please; do they know how many children have lost their lives attempting to go to school? The federal government according to the minister has approved the transfer of 3,000 students from the troubled areas in Yobe, Adamawa and Borno states to other states. So they move the children, presume without their families and the move will be traumatic and unsettling for these young people and I wonder if there are any psychological support to settle them into an unfamiliar place.

Yes, they have less fear of bombing, abduction and massacres. Getting away from the epicentre means they are more likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorders.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.