By Dr. Ugoji Egbujo
Dogara has continued like a master whose dignity a disgruntled house boy cannot touch despite his most audacious tantrums. Because the combination of malicious rascality of a wasp and the indignation of a cheated nation cannot ruffle the feathers of an emerging political principality.
And Jibrin has carried on with the righteousness of new convert seeking the closure a brothel that operates with the signage of a motherless babies’ home. His more than ordinary acquaintance with the innards of the brothel leaves him with no doubts about the redeeming quality of the atonement.
He could be a shaved and blinded Samson bent on a retaliatory mass political destruction. Or just a headless chicken enacting a final stormy valedictory ritual. Or , the barrenness of scandals in Nigeria.
Dogara’s manifest arrogance is fueled by a sense of victimhood. He perhaps looks in the mirror and sees a victim of cheap blackmail inflicted by a lousy snitch. Jibrin, the latter day saint, detests the suggestion that he is a bloody turncoat. He wants the public to believe that he has fought corruption all his life. There is something strange about a vow to release filth in daily squirts. And that lends some corroboration to the insinuations of superficiality and vendetta. The decision to make presentations to the Police, DSS,
And that lends some corroboration to the insinuations of superficiality and vendetta. The decision to make presentations to the Police, DSS, EFCC and ICPC , in series, could be the zeal of a new convert rather than the desperation of a loser intent on a reprisal. But it tells of something hollow about the character Jibrin. The gaudy showiness that has followed him around leaves the inevitable impression that he is intent on kicking up every dust in town to stave off the embarrassment of an incontinent mouth and an oversized ego.
Some years ago, I ran into a verbal warfare between two large women in Ebute- metta. They were lacerating themselves with double edged swords of lurid tales. And the rubble of their crumbling families could be heard in between calls for ceasefire by those who had heard too much. They had leaked enough to earn themselves life sentences on any moral scale. The idea of friendship, the concept of family and the peace of a community were being ruined . What started as a bump in ego one afternoon had torn through the moral fabric of that neighbourhood by the evening ,leaving many adulterers and pimps and abortionists as naked as the sky in
What started as a bump in ego one afternoon had torn through the moral fabric of that neighbourhood by the evening ,leaving many adulterers and pimps and abortionists as naked as the sky in dry season. Parents struggled to herd bemused children indoors before they were permanently damaged by missiles loaded with radioactive vulgarity. The filth in the air was enough to cause minds lose their virginity.
Dogara and Jibrin have been ripping eardrums and grating sensibilities. But unlike that Ebute –metta community , a politically insouciant Nigerian public needs the wakefulness that sordidness and pungency can render. Those who are in a hurry to make peace between the gladiators do not have the virtue of the Ebute-metta peace makers. Dogara and Jibrin are not idle private citizens airing salacious details of amorous escapades. This Abuja spectacle shouldn’t be squelched now. The gang that has raped Nigeria’s economy must be egged on to
The gang that has raped Nigeria’s economy must be egged on to self liquidation. The stench seeping into the streets hopefully would have the utility of rousing the apathetic and the docile. That is why the criminality of the present actions is of secondary importance. A thoroughgoing enquiry into the immediate and remote demonology of the affliction that has crippled our budgetary process should be our priority. If we manage to make this a political watershed, then a commemorative monument won’t be superfluous. We can hang a few heads on it.
Dogara has taken refuge in a leaky shed of legality. The public knows that our legislators have used law making to fatten their pockets. Constituency projects are often frivolous and cynical undertakings . Dogara has suspended all pretensions to ‘change’. His specious arguments are well understood : the budget in its final state is an act of parliament assented to by the president; and to that extent, it cannot contain the criminality ‘paddings’ or even ‘insertions’ connote. His friends have rallied round him with suggestions that such pork barrels
His friends have rallied round him with suggestions that such pork barrels are staple food for legislatures everywhere. So Dogara & co are not only unrepentant, they are unremorseful. That is why Dogara has , with feudal contempt for peasants, waved aside the allegations. He thinks he owes a public that has lost confidence in the National Assembly no exhaustive explanations. His lackeys find the temerity to throw retaliatory criminal accusations against Jibrin the way Ebute- metta petty traders bent on fighting treachery , dirty, would. Recriminations cannot help Dogara now.
Dogara’s reasoning lacks the innocence his apparent calm projects. Constituency projects have served legislators more than the suffering masses. He may argue that the distortions they create in planning are the inevitable consequences of the failure of medium term strategies and funding, and the MDAs to spread development. But constituency projects have often been too frivolous, too cosmetic to address these lapses. They have an odious history.
While Jibrin’s immediate arguments are evidently too weak for the boisterousness he has made his companion , this opportunity must not be missed. Jibrin’s character may be suspect. His intellect may not inspire . Jibrin can continue vacillating between the insinuation that constituency projects are intrinsically illegal and the suggestion that they are offensive only when their volume is large. Jibrin is besides the issue now . The moral gravity of the allegations and the utility of this scandal do not depend on Jibrin’s motives. The occasion calls for a conscientious overhaul of our budgetary process. Because the mischief of the constituency projects implicates the executive arm.
The moral gravity of the allegations and the utility of this scandal do not depend on Jibrin’s motives. The occasion calls for a conscientious overhaul of our budgetary process. Because the mischief of the constituency projects implicates the executive arm.
The allegation that has particular criminal implications borders on the timing of the insertions. Lawal Gumau has alleged that after the house approved the budget , certain persons inserted new items before it was sent for presidential assent. We would expect that the legislators making these allegations aren’t novices. And that they know about harmonization committees. These acts are grossly unethical and potentially criminal. Such hideous, unilateral insertions undermine the authority of the House and corrupt the legislative process . They are at best within the moral proximity of burglary. Jibrin should perhaps dwell on the details of insertions of this clandestine variety. If he is truly a crusader then he shouldn’t worry that he might be implicated.
These acts are grossly unethical and potentially criminal. Such hideous, unilateral insertions undermine the authority of the House and corrupt the legislative process . They are at best within the moral proximity of burglary. Jibrin should perhaps dwell on the details of insertions of this clandestine variety. If he is truly a crusader then he shouldn’t worry that he might be implicated. Gumau insists that the Kano film village project was smuggled into the budget in this manner.
The fact that such practices have been traditional cannot constitute a justification for the offence. It can only contribute to the mitigation of punishment. It therefore cannot be the plank on which Speaker Dogara can rest until he has owned up to the atrocities and resigned. This house agreed not to condone midnight insertions.
The idea of change cannot tolerate leaders championing corrupt traditions of the past. Change must entail an enhanced sensitivity by political leaders towards corruption and the amplification of collective public moral outrage towards entrenched corrupt practices.
We must reform the budgeting process and introduce the transparency that fosters prudence and efficiency. We can start by initiating a public inquiry into Jibrin’s allegations.