Breaking News

Revisiting ‘Graffiti of the political legislator’

By Muhammed Adamu
GRAFFITI of the political legislator’ was a piece I wrote back in the days of the Ghalli Assembly. It was an ‘oriki’, if you like, in praise –or is it dis-praise?- of the typical Nigerian lawmaker. A panegyric if you like on the enfant terrible of our political legislator. As I am unable to pen on fresh matters this week, I find this piece as relevant –on a lighter mood- as it was during the Ghali days. Enjoy it.

‘Graffiti of the political legislator’


If you will not be an impassioned ‘lover of democracy’ and pray always for our distinguished and honourable members of the National Assembly, at the very lest you should not curse them! Curses as you should know are cyclical: they go around and then they come around. In fact curses, especially when directed at the venerable ‘peoples representatives’ have a punitive tendency to ricochet to their sender. In fact, every time you utter as harmless as ‘to hell with our legislators’, you simply help to mold two additional concrete blocks: one for the very ‘Hell’ that our saintly ‘representatives’ are desperately trying to build for us here on earth, and the other for the fortification of the blissful ‘Heaven’ that they have already built for themselves!

Curses and swears / hymns and prayers

As they say: ‘curses’ and ‘swears’ go to hell, but that ‘hymns’ and ‘prayers’ are the veritable residents of Heaven’! So be a patriot today, say a good prayer for the ‘health’, ‘happiness’ and ‘longevity’ of our peoples-loving legislators. So that although your depraved mouth may never get to feed from the bounties of their earthly heaven, nonetheless a solemn ‘word’ even from a depraved mouth, may dwell therein –in their heaven- forever.

And if you ever have the misfortune of forgetting anything, at least remember always to stay away from the ‘Heaven’s Gate of your ‘elected representatives’! because as you should know, wherever our humble representatives abide, therein are ‘geniuses’, fervently at work, figuring out how to mellow the heat in Hell, so that you and I can live there without much grumble. And so where ‘geniuses’ are at work, it should not be asking too much to say: “please do not disturb!”

Whenever at least three of our ‘hardworking’ legislators are gathered, be rest-assured that the impossible is always bound to happen, -namely a massive ‘construction’ of private interests contemporaneously executed with a reckless ‘de-construction’ of the public good. The only reason you do not make a hasty negative generalisation about the no-good and do-nothing potentials of this hollow –my mouth shut up!- hallowed institution, is that at least every tenth of its members is still a shade between the vaguely known and the potentially knowable. Thus only in the vague ‘legislative promise’ held by its unknown ‘silent minority’, does your hope reside that someday the ‘legislative process’ may spawn the ‘democratic good’ that we have all been yearning and waiting for.

But whether our lawmakers collectively are ‘no-good’ -as many insist- or that the legislature is a pathetic collection of ‘do-nothing’ journeymen-politicians, is still a bystander’s subjective or objective opinion.

Whether we are stuck with ‘legislative heads’ that are virtual virgin closets of ‘unused’ matter’ or merely an assemblage of spent political minds is anyone’s surmise to make. It is not that our lawmakers may have legislative heads that are “empty” like “vessels,” but that we have reason to worry they may have craniums as “roomy” as vacuum cleaners!

Not that our legislators’ heads may be “fallow” like uncultivated pieces of land, but that we fear their medullas may be “idle” like the “devil’s workshop.”

Ever heard of the double-negative: ‘dynamic inactivity’? Our legislators invented it. Enormous ‘legislative energy’ always wasted, yet -like it is said in Physics- ‘no work done’! Our ever ‘busy’ lawmakers are always on the pell-mell, -doing virtually nothing. Every now and then they are in one legislative boxing bout after another! Saints after sinners! Sinners after saints; yesterday’s ‘transgressors’ coming via a fraudulent electoral process to pass for today’s ‘Saint Vituses’! They probe the past but they will not remedy the ‘present’; they circumvent the ‘present’ without planning to secure the ‘future’.

Hell, even concerning our uncertain tomorrow, you cannot be too sure that our legislators would not be the ‘bandits’ also of our insecure future! We are fated with ‘geniuses’ donning ‘priced brains’ and spawning ‘costly legislative ideas’. Whenever our legislators ‘think’, our coffers bleed!

Yet, what we owe them are not curses but gratitude. The reason being: we “live” because they “think”. And God forbid the day that our lawmakers decide to rest their brains! If they ever get to stop thinking, we will be done for! And you can’t imagine the nature of the catastrophe!

Giving today for tomorrow:

As patriots guided by “duty, honour and country” our lawmakers are always willing to give their “today” for the sake of our “tomorrow.” In fact, it is because we have had too many of their “todays” that I think we may not have any more need of all of our “tomorrows.” It is funny when people say that our legislators have weakness for corruption. On the contrary, I think they have great strength for it! We may not know what they actually stand for? But at least we do know what they always ‘fall for’ -and in fact what they always ‘lie down for’! Nigeria is always a sea of plenty. Why should all not be fish that come to our legislators’ net? You say that ‘democracy’ is ‘government of the people, for the people and by the people’. But they insist that it is ‘government “OFF the people”, “BUY the people”, and “FOOL the people”


The genius of our legislators know no bounds! They are the only ones I know who can keep their heads while all about them are losing theirs. But that is not to suggest that they do not understand the gravity of the situation. On the contrary, that only suggests that they alone think they understand the ‘gravity’ of the situation.

They are the only political actors I know who will proudly play Hercules miles away from the Augean Stable. But again that is not to suggest that they cannot be ‘excellent cleaners’ whenever they choose to be! At least their legislative coffers’ are always ‘spick and span’!

Little wonder our typical legislator evokes passion on both extremes. He is loved by ‘himself’ and virtually loathed by all; he is either cast as political evil or thrown up as self-loving legislative bum. He defies rendering by one single stroke of the brush.

And this is the reason the electorate never get to collectively agree, for once, whether he fits in the electoral garbage can or right in the blender –to be smooched for good! He is so enigmatic a character that when he is at his best he is as well the ‘jester’ as he is the ‘jest’; he becomes the ‘puppet’ and the ‘theatre all at once. It is bad whenever he is not around! It is even worse when he is very much around. Yet, everyone seems to agree that it is still better he stays around. Because it is thanks to him that we continue to have an endless ‘learning process’ for our ‘graduated democracy’ and an ebullient relay team of excellent political actors who know effectively how to ‘pass the buck’. In fact, as a generation of ‘legislative learners’ who already know it all, you bet our lawmakers are poised to unleash on us more surprises.

Lying legislators

People say that our political legislators are arrant liars! I say yes! Ananians of the highest order! But what they tell are honest lies. What Shakespeare called the “lie circumstantial”. Lies that we need to get us to bed and make us sleep. Lies that keep us secure in the conviction that geniuses are at work fixing things!

Don’t ever ask to know their points of view. It suffices that they are “geniuses”; and we, “ignoramuses”. And you know what they say: that “genius” is ten percent “inspiration” and ninety percent “perspiration”. It means that there cannot be a meeting point between the ‘genius of our legislators and the “ignoramy” of those of us who vote them in.

Because whereas they “reason” we “argue”; whenever they “think”, we “sink”; while they are “figuring things out”, selfishly, we are always grumbling foolishly.

You deal with the graffiti, they will deal with the graft’.

Re: By any means necessary
+2348023303339:- Thanks for your inciting and awakening piece of Thursday. The elite are winning the war.

They have successfully divided the country along the lines of nepotism, tribalism and the other ‘isms’; thereby confusing the rest of us into hating and provoking one another instead of turning the heat against them.

The game of divide and rule, using of our common patrimony, ignorance are our greatest problems. Thanks my brother.
Frank (Delta)

+2348062887535: -Let the Constitution amendment reflect the aspirations of Nigerians. We are in high expectation of new amendment to the Constitution that will carry every tribe, religious and other bodies along for the betterment of Nigeria.

Truth of the matter is that this eight session of National Assembly is not doing enough to enact people oriented laws.

We are just watching drama in NASS everyday –of invitation to people to appear before NASS and also senators following Saraki to CCT Court without any cause, leaving the work they are elected for. It is bad omen and unacceptable
–Gordon Chika Nnorom.

Online:- Quite insightful and thought provoking. But the masses have been brow-beaten for too long under the oppression of their leaders. Cowered by their famished state of both body and soul, that deep reasoning appears to elude them. The masses care for only what they can eat to keep alive.

The collective anger needed to set the fires of revolution smoldering; the impetus of a whirl-winding ‘blitzkrieg’ to wipe out the fortresses of the thieving elite; is never allowed to become a movement enough to squash a giant sand castle.

They are the foot soldiers of their oppressors; induced to murder each other on religious and tribal sentiments. Who will champion the call for a revolution ‘by any means necessary?’
–Thomas Brown Usman Wamba


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