Let me start by ‘breaking’ a stale news – there exists this flattering fact in Nigeria, especially in the southwest, that says Ekiti state is Nigeria’s Eiffel of prime education, particularly judging by the impressive number of Professors that are indigenes of this state. It’s not uncommon that before you say Jack while in conversation with most Ekiti folks, this professorial reference pops up quite a number of times. They tend to revel in it. But, presently, and thoughtfully enough, going by the stinging excesses of this contradevelopmental contraption that has come to be known as “stomach infrastructure” in supposedly lettered Ekiti, it’s seeming that this flattering fact has become an unflattering fallacy.
In the past few weeks or so, the Governor Fayose government has been on a traipse across the state, distributing rice to the people as a testament to this stomach infrastructure policy of his. But, looking through some pictures from the exercise that were shared online yesterday, oju gba mi ti, my eyes recoiled in contagious shame.
These latest pictures show citizens of a state in 21st century Nigeria, packed in queues reminiscent of a food-queue in a World War II Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz, being handed a 1-2 kg pack of rice and a miserly 200 naira. Ha! 200 naira! ! an amount less than 1 dollar!..ha!..mo gbe!.
The glee on the faces of the recipients and the elfish grins on the faces of the guys distributing this piecemeal, is just a shade of everything inhuman, abasement and affectlessness, and in no way represent a state that prides itself on its professorial genes. No, this is folly! …iranu gbaaa.
In 2014, when the people of Ekiti actually voted out Kayode Fayemi as opposed to voting for Fayose, I wrote an article, “Reflective: 5 Lessons from #EkitiDecides“. I wrote the article with an objective insight as I tried to understand the reason behind the peoples’ choice of voting out a basically elitist government, and one of the paragraphs from that article went thus:
“ 4. STRIKING A BALANCE IS NOW OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE
That serious and success-minded political office holders need to master the art of striking a balance between giving the fruits of governance and greasing the feelings of the governed is another point that the “shock” of #EkitiDecides drove home deeply. In as much as these two things seem largely interdependent, they are also loosely different entities. The average Ekitian, who actually voted out Fayemi as against voting in Fayose, stated ‘disconnect with the masses’, as his/her major reason for ditching the former.
The importance of striking a balance, an art which unfortunately still remains relatively unused even by the appreciably performing Governors, can’t be overstated.
Balance is what will make the high-tax/must-pay-tax regimes commensurate with high standard (not cost) of living; good infrastructure, yes, but made for happy people (their salaries duly paid, not hungry, rightly-esteemed, etc); elitist policies, yes, but made easily relatable to and for the average artisan voter, etc.
We can keep arguing about how to rightly place these priorities, but, for your information, dear political office holder, as #EkitiDecides just proved it, serving Nigerians appreciably well is close to being rocket science, you desired the responsibility, deal with it! “
To me, I was expecting a government that takes form of an art, a mastery that forms a good mesh between frontal technocratic policies of governance and the feelings the governed. But, this situation where governance has depreciated to empowering the bellies of the people at the expense of their brains and their futures, obviously, I overrated Fayose and his clearly crass team, …my bad.
I should have known that these guys who misconstrue servitude as power can’t give leadership in adequacy; I should have known that politicians especially in these part of Nigeria (as I’ve recently observed) breathe and bask in vainness and can’t offer substance; I should have known that weeds can’t produce lilies.
Admittedly though, what’s happening in Ekiti state is a microcosm, a pnugent reflection, of what is actually obtainable in the country at large, a situation where about 70% political offices are occupied by minds shallower than a reef, demagogues in disguise. That’s what the country is really struggling with, that’s our cancer, and it is in victory over this, lies the country’s redemption.
“At least we’re doing something to help the people“, that’s the retort any of the ditzy soldiers of Fayose’s stomach infrastructure would give in defense of this uncouth exercise, and well, I wouldn’t agree more, just that it isn’t in the least. You are doing something, yes, in the most, to drive back true civilization, and to drive the people into mindful slavery and psychiatric poverty. To Oga Fayose and his big-bellied but harebrained comrades, it is better to do nothing than this “something” you are doing,…1-2 kg rice and 200 naira?…mbanu, stop it….stop this professorial folly!
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