Posted by Bernard Balogun | 3 December 2016 | 2,097 times
Since this month of November a number of news-worthy messages have been sent to my WhatsApp platform. I should like to share just two of such thought-provoking articles for our common benefit; with additional materials to enrich the message and see how we are indirectly involved in this circle of corruption. I hope you will enjoy the message, which essentially is for the purpose of enriching our knowledge of happenings in government, in our economy and, by extension, in our daily lives.
I have been following closely the activities of this government, and whenever I have the opportunity, I try to find out the opinions/views of people as regards the performance of the regime. I just realised that the hardship faced by many of us is simply as a result of the fact that almost everyone, not only encouraged also indeed benefited from the cycle of corruption. The bricklayer, electrician, plumber, labourer and ‘tiler’, are all complaining because building construction has slowed down massively, those who have cornered our commonwealth no longer have free money to spend on real estate. Estate agents are directly affected by the lull in the economy, but they gained most when it lasted, especially in Abuja. Car dealers, motor mechanics, vulcanisers, auto-electricians, etc, are all grumbling because expectant patronages are not forth-coming. Those who cornered our commonwealth can no longer spend willfully, and wastefully. That is the essence of ‘Change begins with me’ philosophy. Private school owners are shouting because parents can no longer pay outrageous sums and are withdrawing their wards. Reality is beginning to dawn.
I was shocked when I learnt recently that in a popular private school in Abuja, parents are writing undertaking at the accounts section for their children to be allowed to write examination, and it goes on and on. Water is beginning to find its level, so they say in local parlance. Market men and women are involved in this circle of corruption too. I can explain. Take the meat seller, for example. The seller tells you he sells in kilo. He weighs the quantity and says it is N1,200, what should ordinarily go for, say N600. Of course, the bigman’s wife, who had cornered our commonwealth, orders for five times the quantity; pays N6,000, instead of ordinarily paying N3,000. Replicate this in other sections of the market and you will then appreciate my line of thinking. Today, because we have a new sheriff in town, the economy is gradually returning to normalcy. The sheriff is making conscious effort to correct the past misdemeanour. Oh yes, I am first to admit, every business concern exists to make profit, reasonable profit, not outrageous profit. The fact is, a lot of people are returning to what someone referred to as ‘default mode’. And this cannot be disputed. We have been living above our real means. Time to face reality, in conformity with our true status, is now. We have been staying in houses that ordinarily our incomes cannot afford. Let us apply the philosophy of Change begins with me. It will help us tremendously to live a decent and affordable life style, and without stress. Our children are attending schools we can barely afford; we are driving cars we ordinarily can't maintain. By the Change begins with me philosophy, we are encouraged to turn a new leaf. We have been living fake life all along. Now the reality is before us, and we do not want to accept this hard fact. We are admonished to embrace Change begins with me philosophy. This glaringly brings to the fore how morally bankrupt we have all been.
You got billions from bank without collateral, using your political influence. You put half of that into your business and spent the other half on exotic cars, jewellery and your children, with all manners of exotic life style. And this encourages laziness, as it does not help the child in anyway. A child should be encouraged to appreciate that labour pays.
Thank God, there is a new sheriff in town, who says:
Let us do things rights, but those at the top are encouraging those at the bottom to resist because they no longer have access to our commonwealth. No more ridiculous waivers, which is still part of our commonwealth, but the new sheriff says no, the appropriate import duty must apply in all circumstances.
They are crying foul.
No more inflated contracts, no more bank loans without collateral. In fact, its time you or your company pay off the billions of debt drawn from our commonwealth. The new sheriff in town says, no, things must be done right. Our commonwealth must be protected in the best interest of the common people. Too many companies and banks are funded from corruption-induced proceeds. Remove corruption from the system, and their empire will collapse. They are blaming the new sheriff for being too hard on them at the top, whereas the sheriff is, indeed, protecting our common interest, interest of those at the bottom.
Do you know why they are complaining so loudly? I think, I have a fair idea.
What is recession? If you think Nigeria is broke, then you are living in a fool’s paradise. Tell me, why most of us, those at the bottom, are lamenting and those at the top are comfortable, but feign economic pains. Am I still communicating? Do you know how much your Senators and Members of the House of Representatives earn every month? I know, but do not want to risk being kidnapped because they complained “he is talking too much”.
However, this will suffice:
They can no longer afford to bring in “facial make-up artists” from other parts of the country, pay him/her ordinary N450,000 for an hour make-up job and fly back to wherever they came from. Not any more, since the source of free-flow of ill-gotten money has been blocked.
Yes, their wives can no longer fly to Dakar to do their Bob Marley hair style. This flamboyant lifestyle has ‘thinned-out’, since the inception of this administration. Just one more, please. Their children can no longer under take the dangerous game of ‘car racing’ exercise every weekend in Abuja. Permit me to add that the brand of cars used for this dangerous pastime is very expensive automobiles, with mouth-twisting prices. That was before the advent of this administration.
Painfully, they have succeeded in co-opting those of us at the bottom of the ladder to their side, and we are crying loudest for hunger. What an irony?
Finally, this is the only country we all have. We should support the current government to rediscover our direction and proper pricing of our goods. We should grumble less and not behave like the children of Israel on their way to the Promised Land.
(Please enjoy this joke)
The Foolish Boys
Mr James and his friend Mr Oko were arguing about their sons’ stupidity.
Mr James argued that his son was more silly than Oko’s son. Oko, however, disagreed. So they decided to put their sons to test.
James called his son and asked him to buy something for him at the market.
The boy ran out without even asking for money, and what to buy.
James said: “You see how silly he is? He didn’t even ask for what to buy or money.”
Mr Oko retorted: “Is this what you call foolishness? Just wait and see.”
Oko called his son and said: “Go home and check if I am in the house.”
Oko’s son took to his heel and came back, panting: “Papa, u no dey house!
Mama say u dey your friend’s place.
Abeg which one foolish pass? Keep on laughing and smiling. It rejuvenates the body.
Courtesy, Stanley, Lokoja.
•Bernard Balogun, whose photo appears alongside this piece, writes from Wuse District, Abuja.
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