By Emmanuel Aziken
The bold confession of Aliyu Umar that he chained his 12-year-old son in an animal stall with goats with whom the lad fed and lived with for two years must have shocked many.
Given the oddity in it, Umar was expected to have denied his act. But he justified his action on the claim that his son was afflicted with Down’s Syndrome, an essentially medical situation.
The wickedness in Umar’s action is reflected in the fact that while he, his two wives and the other children lived under good shelter, ate from clean plates and lived under humane ambience, that the lad, Jibrin Umar was denied.
Jibrin’s lot was to eat with the goats, and shockingly also, feed on his own faeces. Even worse was the deprivation of human relationships as he was left with animals for companionship. Jibrin’s medical condition would only have been worsened by the environment and situation he was forced to live in by his guardians.
The Kebbi State Government has now been reported to have taken over care of the boy from his wicked father.
But it is significant that the conduct of the wicked Kebbi father mirrors the Nigerian situation and society.
It is one in which governance and those in authority have with clear disregard to the feelings of the majority of the people sequestered government for the good of a few.
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A few have been kept in the house while the majority of Nigerians have been left outside and uncared for.
This is reflected in the way and manner that Nigeria’s elected and appointed public office holders appropriate the public treasury to themselves in scant disregard to the wellbeing of the majority of the populace.
There are many examples of this narrative to present today.
Security is one example. Every day for the last two years in the Umar household, every night the door was locked against the goats and Jibrin while Aliyu and other members of the family slept in secured accommodation if not from bandits, then from the elements of the weather.
Is it not the same way that those in government day and night vote massive amounts to secure themselves leaving the rest of the populace to bandits?
With the country now almost taken over by bandits from North to South, it is telling that government has continued to reinforce the concept of regime security over and above citizens’ security.
That was the concept behind last week’s brutal suppression of the RevolutionNow demonstrators while at the same time such clinical suppression of bandits is unachievable.
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Security men that ordinarily should be mobilized to go after the bandits are deployed for the personal security of those in power leaving the masses to fare for themselves.
Bandits in Katsina, Zamfara, and some other places are reported to have in the past imposed taxes on their hapless victims.
Before the COVID-19 lockdown, the apartheid that Mr. Umar demonstrated against his son was very evident in Nigeria.
Despite budgeting billions of naira for health infrastructure, public officials after often misusing the funds left the public hospitals as mere consulting clinics. Just as Mr. Umar abandoned his son with Down Syndrome to the goats and sought the best for himself and other family members, so Nigeria abandoned the majority of its citizens to fend for their health needs.
At the approach of the nearest discomfort they would resort abroad at public expense.
They didn’t see the example of the British prime minister, Boris Johnson who when afflicted with COVID-19 did not go abroad or go to a private medical facility for treatment, but rather resorted to the publicly funded National Health Service, NHS.
It is remarkable that Mr Umar made his confession on Thursday, the same day that Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila called for a drastic reduction in the cost of governance.
Speaking when he opened talks by the House of Representatives on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework of the Federal Government the Speaker lamented the rising cost of governance.
His call, however, comes against the fact that the same House of Representatives not too long ago looked all of us in the face and proceeded to purchase state of the art Toyota Camry cars even after many had pleaded on the legislators to purchase the locally available cars if it was necessary to buy new vehicles.
That is the sense in Mr Umar Aliys’s wicked contraption of always putting himself first ahead of his son.
Remarkably, it was on that same Thursday that Umar made his foolish confession that President Muhammadu Buhari virtually commissioned the headquarters of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
While such assertions as local content development have over the years been recycled, it is telling that those in government past and present continue to despise local products just the same way that Aliyu looked over his son!