By Ebele Orakpo
These governors are funny. For goodness sake, if you can’t do your job as a governor, resign!” said Tim this Tuesday morning in the Apapa-bound bus. “Sharing of oil money has made many of them so lazy, they can’t even think of how to generate funds to run their states.”
Said Eka: In the first instance, it was because of the free oil money that they came to power. Many of these politicians would not have ventured into politics because they are bereft of ideas. They see governance as an avenue to get rich quick and to be honest, that is what it is in Nigeria. Just get into one elective post and you are made for life even if you are there for only a month. Ordinary local council chairman becomes a billionaire overnight. That is the way it is here.”
“The governors should stop complaining and do their homework. If they lack ideas about what to do, I think I have an idea. First, those with private jets should sell them, add the money to the security votes and pay salaries,” said TJ.
“How will they sell their private jets and use the money for the state?” asked Blessing.
“Of course, we know that none of them acquired the jets with their personal funds. Those with mansions acquired with public funds should be made to sell them and use the money for the state. The change should start from there. No need to go cap in hand begging for bailout,” said Eka.
“Kai, to be honest, our politicians have finished us, not just the governors; what about the lawmakers?” asked Rose.
“Don’t even go there. Can you imagine the bogus allowances plus their armed robber’s salary?” asked Tim.
“Armed robber’s salary? Which one be that?” asked Blessing.
Replied Tim: “Armed robber’s salary means they earn so much for doing so little. And by the way, they are never owed. Imagine the N8.64 billion wardrobe allowance as per superstars!”
“Of course they are superstars,” replied TJ.
“Shebi the Deputy House of Reps Speaker said the N150 billion budget of the National Assembly has been slashed to N120 billion in 2015 budget,” said Eka.
“My stomach churned as I read that story. He said the 469 members of NASS have five aides each, ie 496 X 5 = 2, 480 aides. There are also NASS technocrats and their staffers being paid from the N150 billion,” said Rose.
“Pure madness! What do they need five aides each for? Three drivers – one for Oga, one for madam and one for kids; then cook and one utility aide. Are they saying that if they were paying these aides from their pockets they would employ five? And what is the work of the technocrats?” asked Mercy.
Said Rose: “It’s a means of siphoning money. Everybody’s money is nobody’s money so they use it anyhow. I heard each lawmaker gets the money and pays the aides whatever they deem fit. For instance, they may budget N150,000 for the driver, the Oga gets the N150,000 but pays the driver N50,000 and pockets N100,000. They say they are copying the US, how many US senators have so many aides?”
“As per wardrobe allowance, they should sew khaki uniforms for them; fitted tops and trousers for men and skirts and tops for women. After all, if they were made to wear fitted uniforms in 2012, Mr. Lawan Farouk would not have been able to hide his $3 million bribery money given by Femi Otedola in his babanriga and cap,” said Mercy.
“We will get it right only when the oppressed masses fight the oppressors instead of themselves. Look at small Chad, just because Boko guys struck in their town, they decided to ban the use of full Moslem veil under which some Boko members hide to commit atrocities. You know such will never happen in Nigeria. They will cry blue murder, discrimination, etc., to the detriment of the larger society. May God help us,” said Eka.