by Farooq Kperogi,
What’s all these annoyingly false Manichean binaries people are erecting between an “evil” National Assembly and a “benign” Aso Rock! Both Aso Rock and the National Assembly are equally evil, corrupt, obtuse, and inept. Saraki is a cold, calculating, corrupt conman who destroys everything that comes in his way and Buhari is a self-centered, insensitive, naïve, and clueless man who has no business being president. The politics and choices of both men conspire to drag the nation to the pit.
Saraki’s astonishingly gargantuan corruption is matched by Buhari’s unparalleled profligacy. We have a supposedly “frugal” president whose first priority upon being sworn in as president was to build a multi-million naira vanity “helipad” for himself in his hometown, who spent millions of dollars to travel the world in his first year, and who has spent millions more on both secretive and public “medical vacations” while the people he is mandated to govern starve, die of easily treatable diseases, and writhe in pains. Now Aso Rock is scared to tell Nigerians how much the president spent in his last “medical vacation” in London—itself an unprecedented international embarrassment.
I agree that the National Assembly is useless, but so is Aso Rock. None is better than the other. It used to be said that Nigeria was on auto-pilot. Under Buhari, Saraki and Dogara, the triumvirate of double-dyed incompetence and corruption, Nigeria came to a screeching halt and is now nose-diving.
Exactly two years ago today, I said here that Buhari’s election as president was the best birthday gift I had ever received in my over 4 decades on earth. I spoke too soon. In retrospect, it was the absolute worst birthday gift. We elected a president who repudiates his campaign promises with the glibness of an accomplished conman, a man who luxuriates in the perks and privileges of his office without a bother for the welfare of the people who put him in power, a man who has no earthly clue (of) how to govern, whose economic policies institutionalize reverse Robin Hoodism, that is, robbing the poor to enrich the rich, and so on.
Buhari’s ineptitude, double standard, mindless profligacy, and insensitivity to the poor actually feed and fortify Saraki’s corruption, pigheadedness, and intolerably brazen arrogance. So stop the false binaries already!
I know today is my birthday when I should be savoring and basking in the glow of the hundreds of warm and delicately phrased goodwill messages I am receiving. But that’s not me. I am not a celebratory person, and giving expression to my philosophical anxieties about my home country is more important than my birthday.
But thanks for your birthday wishes nonetheless!