Op ed

Re: Why do we need lawmakers when we do not even have law keepers?

I have just read your piece reflecting the subject above and could not agree more. I just have to react because it seems as though u and I were thinking alike from distance apart.

Just yesterday in Owerri, I was standing by to pay for a roasted corn when an “Honorable” member of Imo State Legislative Assembly drove past me and many others waiting to grab their own corn. Once the idiot in a larger-than-life SUV with ISHA plate insignia saw that traffic was heavy on a Right turn (we were at a T-junction) he turned Left against the traffic and was trying with all impunity to wave other vehicles (with the right-of-way) off the road so he may cruise more freely away.

Once I saw this, I lost my cool. I ran like I never did before, slapping my hands on the body of the car, shouting on top of my voice to attract attention: What manner of law do you guys make! Ehn! Tell me! What manner of law do you make for crying out loud! Do you realize what u are trying to do? ! Nigger you are breaking the law! The law you made!…and so many other invectives I was raining on the idiot as I could catch my breath. I was visibly mad, I tell you! By now people had gathered as he came to a stop as I was still shouting, banging on his Octopus of a truck, and acting, even telling him to take me to police or court for having “disrespected” an “Honorable Member”. Behold and Alas, he lost words, as more people had gathered; he rolled up his glass which was earlier rolled down to see the ant shouting and banging on his truck, and quietly turned back to join the legal direction of the traffic. So I agree with you that we don’t need laws when the law-makers are the law-breakers. As for their jumbo pays even as ASUU is asking for nothing other than Fed Govt honoring an agreement it already entered into in 2009, we cannot but appreciate the paradox Nigeria has come to represent. Where are we gonna run to? Shame on them for raping Nigeria in broad daylight. And for you: keep up the good work of informing and may you find peace and God’s blessings for “earning” your pay.

H. I. E. Ph.D. (Atlanta).


Just read ur piece on lawmakers. I worked with a senator from d biggest senatorial district in Nigeria. D constituency allowance which u d press constantly refer to as monthly salary is N106,000,000 every quarter for a Senator & N104,000,000 quarterly for a house of reps member barring the basic salary and other allowances.

Do the math for Abike Dabiri Erewa who has been there for 14 years now! Senator Ganiyu Solomon has been there over 10yrs now. Their various constituency project should definitely be in excess of 3,400,000,000 (Naira) per constituency!!!

We have 106 Senatorial Districs and 360 House of Reps Constituencies! But where are these projects? Where?

O. O. 2348086511995


… The politics in Nigeria is rob my back I rob yours. Not only the lawmakers are guilty, those fixing their wages are also laden with guilt. The executive (is) also rotten. Just recently a minister was accused of blowing N2 billion on chartered plane alone, no one has come up to deny that.

M. 2348033691236


Phew! I certainly appreciate the compliments, prayers and passion. I was ever so glad our communication was mediated by the networks or else I probably would have seen some eyes bulging out, neck sinews straining, spittle flailing in all directions and fingers tautly emphasising the words. However, two things struck me here.

The first is that Nigerians are understandably angry at the macabre dance of deception that politicians are doing in the name of governance. Development responsibilities have been ostensibly shared between the federal, states, local governments and the national assemblies. But between the federal, states, local governments and national assemblies, as the tradition goes in story books, nothing resembling development has really touched the people’s lives. All over, the farmers still go to their farms with little hoes slung over their shoulders, feet shod in rubber flip-flops, skins stretched by the sun, eyes hopelessly vacant and stomachs still as flat as when Noah worked on his ark in the heat of the noon day sun. The women too are still hewing wood for supper, fetching water from long distances, cleaning children’s running noses (thick with the stuff) with their bare hands (and sometimes, yerk!, with their mouths!), walking bare feet transporting the farm’s produce on their heads. Worse, Nigerian roads are still some of the worst in the world, and my house still does not get electricity during the day. PHCN now waits for me to be fast asleep before grudgingly giving my house some slivers of the stuff. I ask you! I ask you!

With the kind of money mentioned above, added to the development allocations from the federal, states and local governments, I honestly expect to have begun to see changes in the lives of the people. By now, I expect farmers to be wearing something closely resembling boots as they ride on their tractors across their endlessly stretching acres of farm. Naturally, tobacco-stained smiles will replace anxiety-induced frowns and I assure you skins will fill out through the power of the milk of kindness. By now, I expect the women to be using Kleenex for their children’s noses. I also expect clean water to be running through my Jacuzzi. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with dreaming about owning one. Someday.

The second thing that struck me is that even though the real power belongs to the people, they are more cautious about exercising it than leaders are about brazening their own acts of perfidy. The leaders know this and take advantage of it. Only when pushed to the wall will the people act. Acts narrated above are not frequent, but they have begun; and this is why leaders should begin to beware. What started the Arab Spring was really no more than pent-up anger that was looking for where to happen. The recklessness of the state provided the playground.

The recklessness of the Nigerian state seems to be rising daily. Murmurings about the emoluments and allowances of the assembly men and women had hardly dried up before we began to hear rumours about how the presidency and state executive members are giving gifts worth more than a billion Naira to the newly wed son and daughter of some government functionary in Abuja. Frankly speaking, I don’t know what they expect those children to do for a living. Work?! Yet, many Nigerians there are who technically ask their children to ‘focus’ on WAEC or GCE and leave JAMB for a while. Truth? They can afford only one or the other at a time. The wonderful thing is that the government pretends not to know these things.

Now, you do the math. The people are angry, and the people own the power. The day is not long when anger and power will come together in one cataclysmic gale. I would prefer that happens in the ballot box rather than on the streets. In the ballot box, you can control your emotion. You can restrain yourself by only punching a hole in the offending party’s box rather than poking your fingers in the eyes of people who are doing little or nothing and being paid in billions. A word is enough…

Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC and CEO of Portia Web Solutions. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.

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