by Steven Atogi
Politicians of this era can be likened to the lifestyle of the local chickens. Take a critical look at the local chickens. They are the most insatiable and avaricious breed of the lower animals. If not for the demarcation of night from day, the local chicken is ready to eat for 24hours in 365days, nonstop.
In all the seconds, minutes and hours of daylight, the local chicken is always busy eating. Scratching the ground with its feet, searching for something, anything to swallow. It has energy, focus and determination to scratch and search for edible, all daylong. It has no flavour, anything could go for food as long as it is able to pick it with it’s pointed peak of a mouth.
The local chicken eats and defecate, continuously. Even in the process of guzzling a prey, if someone throws rice, the local chicken will scurry to feed on it without finishing the one it was busy with earlier. Along with the chicken is the band of smaller ones, following the bigger one, in all seasons. Eating together with their leader, the bigger one. Sometimes, they even drag a piece caught by the leader, not minding if it’s poisonous.
This set of smaller chickens are dangerous and more greedy than their leader. Very lazy little creatures. They are lanky despite all the daily guzzling. It’s as if they were cursed, who can tell? The leader or mother chicken is also a nepotist. In case of rain, it only protect the band of midgets with its feathery wings. If a kite invades, it will only react for the sake of it’s midgets.
I find this species of local chickens very bizarre. Unlike their agric counterpart. The agric chickens are confided with some principled bars and cages. They can be caught easily, thus they behave. They eat only when the poultry owner schedule to feed them. The agrics appear a bit neat, compared to the local ones.
How the politicians fit into the life of the chickens, both the local and agric, categorically. The Nigerian politicians are like local chickens. They loot and loot and continue to loot the nation’s treasury. This act is not just wicked but brutish and immoral. These politicians include former and present elected, appointed and selected representatives in various capacities; from the executive, legislature and judiciary.
This people were supposed to represent the electorates but did not just failed to live up to their responsibilities, instead, they turned out to be the worst public-robbers in existence. They steal from this country and invest abroad. They are patrons of the Western and Arabian economies. They have investments, mansions and fat bank accounts in London, Washington, Zurich, Moscow, Dubai, among other locations.
This people are not just richer than their respective states, but are richer than the economies of most African countries. They are also richer than the economies of some Western and Arabic states. Like the local chickens, they never stop feeding on the citizens patrimony.
There is high rate of unemployment. Graduates roaming in the streets like stray goats. With their files, searching for jobs that are unavailable. Talk more of the uneducated. Unemployment and harsh conditions of the Nigerian economy gives rise to social vices. Are the youths to blame? They are made handicaps by the system and become tools in the hands of circumstances and mischief makers. There is no moral justification for crime. But a professor of sociology once asked to look at the socio- economic conditions posed by the ruling class that compel the idle mind to become crime prone.
There is unspeakable rate of infant mortality. Newborn babies die before their first birthday. There is no adequate distribution of clean water. Bacteria and germs has befriended the people. Avoidable sickness is made inevitable and the end result is high death ratio.
The latter is mass murder. A criminal offense that every past public office holder need to be prosecuted, convicted, jailed or hanged, for failing in their constituencies, states, as well as the nation. To serve as a deterrent to aspiring leaders.
Steady power supply is a nightmare. The people are their own PHCN, GENCOs and DISCOs, with the famous market hotcake “I Pass My Neighbour” generator. Maybe Nigeria should change this “Power Holding Company of Nigeria” (PHCN) to “I Pass My Neighbour” (IPMN). Because the people pay inflated bills to PHCN while IPMN is what generates constant electricity.
The IPMN produces a toxic carbon monoxide that pollute the air, permeate houses, infiltrate the people’s nostrils, lungs and heart, killing faster than Ebola.
Quality education is replaced with half-bake education with cutthroat fees. It is a situation whereby a Western college degree is more valued than a Nigerian university degree.
There are no affordable housing scheme or subsidized rent. But the most expensive street in London is owned by Nigerian elites. There is no space to accommodate the woes, it runs in numbers.
The annoying breed of these local chickens are the band of midgets. They are the politician’s apologist, praise singers like ancient griots. The ego-massaging Senior Special Assistants (SSAs), masquerading activists and defenders of the selfish politicians. Like the smaller chickens, this band of demented midgets tear each other apart, against rival political camps. All for the peanut.
They are graduates of “Hungry Mentality School of Thought” As long as they get peanut from their various leaders, they are ready to kill or die in the process. Either jeopardize another’s destiny or theirs, vice versa, while their master’s kids drive the latest cars abroad and wear the most expensive rolex watch, living large.
They are of two kind; the first are the Pen-Areaboys who terrorize with their writeups of propaganda to score cheap political points for their leader(s). The second are the Street-Areaboys who terrorize with arms trying to make the other camp fear their leader. These ones are physically dangerous due to their coercive and violent modus operandi, while the former are psychologically dangerous as their writings are sensational and catches the sentimental apolitical folks.
Hunger is indeed a weapon of war. The most wicked of all, as invented by Awo and the Gowon led cabinet. It is still effective in the hands of Nigerian contemporary politicians. Hunger as a weapon of war is more cruel than nuclear bomb. At least, the latter can cause swift and less painful death while the former will rather taunt a person psychologically and physically transform him to a beast.
Ever wondered why the once praised to be gallant Biafran soldiers devour fresh lizards and worse still abandoned their duty at the war front to scavenge for edible? Awo and the Gowon led cabinet are fully credited for inventing and introducing such a weapon to the Nigerian political and socio-economic settings. It is a working wonder today in this nation. What a genius! A civilian invented such a weapon among many army generals that ruled this nation at some point.
The other set of smaller chickens are the civil servants. These appointees are more cunning than the politician. In fact, they are the politician’s lootocratic machine. They do the paperwork while the politician signs and it’s a done deal. Huge digits in foreign accounts. Compared with the smaller chicken, the civil servant is the one who play humble, quiet and barely drag among the other ones.
The civil servant in his neatly ironed suit and air-condition car, appear at his office. Very meek in the eyes of people but dangerous with his pen and paperwork craft. He can steal millions and more in a day with no suspicion from anyone. This is the Grade1 Pen-robber.
The agric chickens are the foreign gods of our Nigerian politicians. They run the West and meddle across boundaries. They feed from Nigerian petronairas. Their laws favour and encourage our politicians to loot and hoard there. They barely misappropriate their own taxpayers money, else risk getting humiliated out of office and ending their political carrier shamefully.
Like the female prime minister from the West who attended Nelson Mandela’s burial on a chartered private jet. The taxpayers(owners of the money) were really aggrieved. They did not mercy her, even though it was her first time to skip her original routine of first class in commercial airline to official assignments, as permitted. She bloated her ego like our country’s rebased figures, for once in her life to charter a private jet.
Maybe she wanted to compete with the Nigerians whom for sure attended the burial with their privately owned jets. She was forced to resign by her party to let the people, these taxpayers have their pound of flesh. Unlike in Nigeria where her kith and kin will protest vehemently and shout “Victimization because of her ethnicity” No, not like my Nigeria, where a governor has more private jets than a commercial airline company and go unquestioned.
The rice being thrown at the local chickens represent the national budget. The annual budgets of yesteryears are not used judiciously or properly accounted for, in the various states yet the governors are always longing with all curiousity for the coming year’s budget.
Before the national budget is passed, you will hear the northern political elites shout of marginalization, that the smallest portion is what is allocated to their region. Then from the south, you will hear them grumble that what they got from the budget is not enough since 70% of the resources sustaining the country’s economy comes from their region.
But there is barely a thing to show for in various states of both regions as per yesteryears budgets concern. If not for petty projects, unfinished and abandoned projects, with highly glorified underdevelopment. In the north the elites swallow the budget and condemn the commoners, the almajiris to their fate. In the south, the elites in like manner guzzle the budget and let the people suffer a cruel fate. Especially the Niger Delta, they let it’ polluted surroundings degrade more.
Finally, in this cross-examination of the life of the local chickens in relation to that of our Nigerian politicians, is an interesting outlook. A hidden truth. The local chicken keep eating continuously without fleshy fatness. Among these senseless act of accruing more wealth and obsessive personal aggrandizement, the politician sleep in one bed in one room of the numerous. He drove or driven in one car at a time among the several to his credit, he can’t be in two simultaneously.
He said he will not provide security for the state or electricity. Then he end up buying his own security and private generators for electricity. This is the life of a public servant rift of logic. He amassed wealth yet live in constant fear of armrobbery and became a fugitive. Running from its shadow, become a slave in a foreign land. Sentencing himself to self-exile, in some cases.
The owner of the local chicken always pursue it, caught it and make a soup or stew with it. Especially when he is hungry and tired of waiting for it to get fat. He does this because he has ran out of patience. He is the owner and it is his right to eat his chicken whenever he deemed fit. Politicians are like local chickens in Nigeria which is owned by Nigerians.
So the lingering questions are; when will Nigerians run out of patience with these insensitive and selfish breed of local chickens? When will the youths say “Enough is Enough” and fully participate in the Nigerian polity? When will the Nigerian youths start taking their destiny in to their own hands and refused it to be swallowed by local chickens?
Except the youths bypass ethnic, religious, regional, sectarian, partisan margins, unite under a national platform, consciously participate in the political affairs of this nation and induce positive change, the elites will keep looting tirelessly like the local chicken that is not contended nor given up on eating all day long.