Posted by News Express | 15 February 2021 | 339 times
By OKECHUKWU KESHI UKEGBU
The critical Nigerian masses are at the receiving end of every policy by the government which pretends to upgrade their welfare. Whether attempts to upgrade banking services which have manifested through reviewing of bank account digits, among others.
But the problem is why it should be so. The answer may not be far- fetched as we were taught that the basic characteristic of capitalism is that it is" a dog eat dog system". That is capitalism at its crudest form such as is obtained in our clime. The rich becomes richer while the poor becomes poorer through every means possible. This justifies J. P. Clark’s poem “The Casualties” which captures the negative side of the civil war where some privileged Biafrans capitalised on the negative circumstances of the civil war to rip-off their fellow Biafrans. More pathetic is what Clark captures as “emissaries of rift”.
These emissaries were doing diplomatic shuttles seeking for attention of the international community to better the lot of Biafrans back home. Unfortunately, the shuttles provided the emissaries the opportunities to feed on their comfort.
Since the fresh calls to Nigerians to upgrade their National Identification Number or risk losing their mobile lines, there has widespread claims of ripping of Nigerians by people claiming to staff of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) extorting Nigerians. This is more annoying that these alleged staff of NIMC or their corroborators have defied the NIMC directives that NIN registration is free. I would blame this action in alleged two legs: It is either that the hierarchy of NIMC are conspirators in this scheme or they lack the will power of restraining these recalcitrant staff.
How would one explain the action of one Iheanacho Desmond (no one knows if it is his real name), who claimed to be principal staff of NIMC of the Obingwa Local Government Area unit of the commission who in broad daylight on Saturday 6th February, 2021 extorting innocent and unsuspecting citizens of Isiala Ntighauzo Autonomous Community of the LGA the sum of N1,500. The ironical aspect of the whole episode is that the fair and bearded young man has the audacity to tell whoever that cares that his actions are justified and that whoever that is not comfortable with his extortions should go to hell.
Unfortunately, also is that Mr. Desmond or whatever he claims to be has conspirators in the persons of some high ranking members of the community who derive pleasure in extorting poor and peasant members of the community, maybe possibly for a cut from the racketeering. Nigeria is indeed a vicious cycle.
Indeed, the authorities, especially whoever that is in charge of NIMC in Obingwa should make haste to investigate the actions of Iheanacho Desmond and his local conspirators. If not the mantra that NIN registration is free will remain the police mantra that “bail is free” while Nigerians pay through their nose.
Finally, the efforts of Obingwa LGA, through its people-oriented Chairman, Hon. Ibe Nwoke, to make sure that good people of the LGA are not short-changed in this process should highly appreciated.
What basically informs this write up is why Nigerians should be extorted for services they should get at their Beck and call? Two, if the average person from Ntighauzo adds up to N3,500 to N1,500, it will acquire a portion of farm land to them this farming season.
The moral here is that fraudulent characters should not sabotage the efforts of our able and amiable Governor, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu (PhD), in bettering the lots of Abians.
•Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu, a public policy analyst, writes from Aba, via firstname.lastname@example.org
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