In recent times, Nigerians have found themselves feeding from the table beyond the shore as politicians travel to London to chart the course of the country as it navigates another election period. Although this is not new in the history of Nigeria due to its colonial experience, the timing and pattern it took raises great concern about the possibility of a better Nigeria in the near future.
Governor Nyesom Wike and his allies had, on August 26, 2022, claimed that meetings held with All Progressives Congress presidential candidate Bola Tinubu, Labor Party presidential candidate Peter Obi and People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, in London on August 23 and 25, were in the interest of Nigerians, non-parochial or related to the interest of any person or group.
Unfortunately, they did not inform the Nigerians of the outcome of the meetings when they returned to Nigeria. Rather, what seems to have accelerated is the speed of the rhetoric that snowballed into the call for the impeachment of PDP National Chairman Senator Iyorchia Ayu.
To quell this unrest, the chairman of the party’s board of directors, Senator Walid Jubril, sacrificed his position. Despite the resignation, the war of words between the groups still continues. According to Wike, the BoT is only an advisory body, so its presidency cannot be equated with the national president. The national president must therefore come from the South since the presidential candidate is from the North.
Although this request seems logical because there is a need for fairness, fairness and justice in the management of party affairs, the event that took place during the primary election and the subsequent selection of the governor Ifeanyi Okowa as Abubakar’s running mate shows he is more into the crisis than what is portrayed in the public as fighting for the national interest.
It seems that Wike has not yet recovered from the defeat he suffered in the primary elections. Therefore, looking for a way to inflict great pain on those who participated in the process that truncated his ambition while considering how best to compensate his loyalists. This occasioned endless visits and negotiations which prompted the unprincipled luxury trip to London to discuss Nigeria’s trajectory in a manner akin to the Berlin conference of 1884/85 where the European powers divided the Africa and gave their formal approval for the full colonization of the continent.
This is the reason why some have argued that although the country has gained independence, the spirit of the colonial masters still resides within it due to the behavior of the political class who, despite chronic poverty, unemployment without precedent and insecurity, among others, still find solace in relocation. their meetings at the city beyond the shore.
No wonder, most of the governors who attended the meetings had their states listed in the National Bureau of Statistics’ latest report of states that attracted no capital imports in the second quarter of 2022. Some still owed their workers a minimum monthly salary. .
For example, apart from the insecurity that has plagued Benue State for years, there are reports that the state government still owes the salaries of civil servants. As kidnappings and sectarian violence continue to dominate the media space in Rivers State, public office holders continue to revel in unscrupulous luxury and undertake overseas excursions to haggle for personal political indulgences.
The magnitude it has taken shows that it is becoming a national malaise. In 2017, the chairman, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retired), spent five months in London for medical treatment. While a former president, Umaru Yar’Adua, died in a Saudi hospital in 2009.
The funny thing is that one of the presidential candidates who claims to have transformed the medical sector in Lagos State is said to be undergoing routine medical treatment abroad. His London home has become a mecca for governors, parliamentarians and party supporters after surgery in 2021. While another candidate would spend more time in Dubai than in Nigeria.
Although based on the provision of Chapter 4, Section 41 of the 1999 Constitution as amended in 2011, there is nothing wrong with traveling to London for a person or persons holding public office or not, as it is one of the fundamental rights. However, it becomes abnormal when it cannot improve the image of the country on the international scene.
Recently, UNESCO reported that more than 20 million children are out of school in Nigeria, while the latest NBS report shows that 91 million Nigerians live below the poverty line. With 33% of the population unemployed. These protests should arouse the sympathy of political actors, especially those who claim to be fighting for the interests of Nigerians.
The money used to pay for the trip to London would have helped some of the out-of-school children wandering the streets if the money had been diverted to help Nigerians, but because their main focus is on how to achieve personal gain, they have forgot the impact the money would have had on children’s lives.
Surprisingly, those who rely on the labor structure to promise Nigerians a better future also participated in the ‘jamboree of shame’ in London, affirming the position of those who claimed that the messiah was yet to be born.
In 2018, Nigeria was named the poverty capital of the world and continues to revolve around the region of countries infected with “super poverty” despite numerous promises made by Buhari in 2015 to create a new Nigeria where poverty will be reduced to a minimum level. .
To save the country from this ignominious adventure, it is necessary to avoid the call of those who stoke the embers of ethnicity and religion by voting for those who can protect and unify the country in word and deed so that there may be peace and prosperity in Nigeria. .
- Oluwasanmi writes from Ibafo, Ogun State