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E O EkeWednesday, May 27, 2015
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THE LOOTING CONTINUES, COST OF GOVERNMENT UNSUSTAINABLE

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ne of the most serious problems of Nigeria is the cost of government. Sadly, it is the only problem no government has approached with the honesty, conviction and intelligence it deserves and there is yet no evidence that the incoming Buhari administration has prioritised it.

Today, Nigeria spends about 80% of her recurrent expenditure on government, with the renumerations of politicians constituting the greatest percentage.

Nigeria has the highest paid politicians in the world. Politics in Nigeria is more lucrative than the proverbial gold mine. A Nigeria senator ears in one month more than a British MP earns in one year. It is impossible to estimate how much Nigerian president earns, suffice it to say that those who have occupied the positions of president and governors since Babangida's administration have all become billionaires.

In a country which is borrowing more that 40% of its recurrent expenditure, one would have thought that physical prudence and accountability would be high on the priorities.

The scale of the looting going on in Nigeria in the name of democracy, is beyond belief. This can no longer be ignored, if Nigeria is serious about development and the rhetoric of change means anything.

Nigeria has been in the hands of men who can do anything, no matter how dreadfully awful, immoral or cruel, as long as their price is paid.

These are the men can embezzle, lie, kill, torture and commit all sorts of despicable acts, either for their own reasons or at a price.

It is the existence of men like this that enable evil to flourish. These are the type of men in power in Nigeria today. They call evil good and good evil. They feel nothing, while evil triumphs over good. All they want is money and power and would do anything for money and power.

They grow fat on the blood and sweat of the people and show no evidence that they have the welfare of the people at heart.

How can any human being find justification for this crime and barbarism? Yet Nigerian politicians have the audacity to flaunt their stolen wealth and pontificate on the future of Nigeria, while continuing the only thing that needs to change to give Nigeria a future. Their behaviour is as immoral as it is unacceptable.

The saddest fact is that Nigeria has been borrowing to sustain this unsustainable madness. This has created a divide in the Nigerian society between the have it all politicians and the have nothing public.

This means that the government is mortgaging the future of the country to fund its present excesses. If anyone wants to know what awaits Nigeria, he should look at Greece. The Greek economy is on its knees because of years of corruption and government borrowing.

It is simply madness for Nigerian government to continue to borrow to sustain the criminal remuneration of politicians. There is no where in the world a senator earns 29 million Naira about (115,000.00) a month.

This is more than the annual salary of a British MP. There no word in the English dictionary to describe the injustice, criminality, immorality and monstrosity of this aberration. The politicians are raping Nigerians and wondering why Nigerians are not enjoying it.

It is a crime against humanity to take more than one's fair share, simply because one has the power to do so. It represents one of the worst faces of autocracy.

How can any person justify the spending of 29 million Naira a month on a senator, in a country where the minimum wage is 18,000 Naira, millions of children go without basic education and many people unable to afford good health care?

Nigerian politicians have proved to be termites. They are insensitive to the needs and views of the people.

Their aim is to steal as much as possible from the treasury.

They do not act as if they have the interest of the whole country at heart.

They destroy anything they touch, bastardised politics and make no effort to the separate their personal interest from national interests.

They exploit ethnic and religious differences and set the people against themselves. They move from party to party to serve their greed .

Without finding lasting solution to this political rascality and criminality, Nigeria has no future.

Every hand must be on the deck in the fight to save Nigeria from the greed, folly and ignorance of the ruling elites. Participation should be the first step.

Democracy is fought for. Justice is fought for. Fundamental human Rights are fought for. Equality is fought for. Good government is fought for. A better society is fought for. Nothing in life that makes for good society and government is given on a plater. Until the averaged Nigerian grasps this inalienable truth, Nigeria will not develop.

As we do this we must move away from identity politics, based on race, nationality or religion, to politics of values and rights, which makes for peaceful multiethnic nations.

We must study and understand that making politics into a religion, where political loyalty is predetermined by religion and ethnicity and made a matter of faith, and principles and ideologies frowned at, is very dangerous and can only end in disaster for all like the unfolding in Iraq and Syria.

Politics is supposed to be a game of ideas, policies and better ways of solving the same problems in the society. It is supposed to be played by reason under the rule of law.

Nigeria is at a cross road with two diametrically opposed groups in a situation where there is no real differences between them and what they would do.

It a country where the cleavages of ethnicity and religion have become frighteningly deeper. People are retreating into these primitive identities with breakdown of trust and goodwill. This is usually a sign of a failed multiethnic nation and a prelude to violent disintegration.

These are sad days for Nigeria and indeed, it is a time that tries the souls of men. It call for men and women who will not be bought or sold. Men who live the truth in their innermost part and have the courage and humility to speak it to power.

To make Nigeria what it should be, we need men of another stamp from the current bunch of politicians.

I hope that Buhari, would rise up to the challenge. If he fails, Nigeria has no future. Whatever, we think of him, Buhari must not fail.

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