In Nigeria the political class and their cronies are commonly referred to as the Cabal because to the average Nigeria the average politician, once in office, gets all he can, can all he can, store some of the cans, send some of the cans to Switzerland, crate most of the cans and seat on it.
The public hearing by the House of Representatives prompted by the subsidy hearing opened up a lot of these cans, as expected they were cans of worms. Our politicians remind me of one of the cabals that killed Jesus- “The Pharisees”.
The political class in Nigeria is a mirror image of the Pharisees. To the Pharisees, gold is god; the same can be said of our politicians. While leaders of great nations are using their gold to pave their roads, build world class institutions to educate their people, and generate more than enough electricity to power homes, street lights, hospitals and factories, politicians in our nation are lining their pockets with our gold. Like the Pharisees, they don’t feel the pains of the people.
One cannot argue that the average Nigerian politician is not a descendant of this biblical cabal. Like them, our politicians don’t understand the true concept of power. Power is vested for work, for power is the ability to do work, it is not to play god or show off. The work of government is to promote the dignity of the people by creating conditions and opportunities that would lead to prosperity. Nothing enhances personal dignity like financial prosperity. A prosperous man has a voice. A prosperous man has a robust sense of self-worth. A prosperous man has a sense of security. The policy trust of any government must be the security, prosperity and the dignity of the people in whose trust they hold power. Even Pharaoh, in all his wickedness, did not leave his people to die during famine. Instead, we saw a Pharaoh that was ready to share power with Joseph a Jew to save his people from the horror of famine.
Like the Pharisees that would rather spend all their resources on their appearance and on PR consultants, our government deploys billions on image laundry abroad paying lobbyist. Not caring that poverty walks the streets of Nigeria mercilessly buffeting tens of millions daily. It doesn’t bother the cabal that masses are without basic amenities, social welfare and socio-economic safety nets consistent with the realities of the 21st century. I don’t want to think that the cabal doesn’t understand the primary role of government, the cabal doesn’t just care.
Our politicians, like the Pharisees, are hypocrites. They don’t practice what they preach. They call for the people to tighten their belts while they allocate billions for their bread and butter. They will condemn the poor and voiceless to die by hanging for stealing a car radio, but overlook the sins of one of their type that stole enough to build a car plant and still have enough for a thousand life time. Like the Pharisees they also have plenty skeletons in their cupboards. They are wolf in sheep clothing. Their mouth is the only fountain whose water can be hot or cold and can be sweet or bitter. Clouds they are without water, trees without fruits. All hats no cattle.
The love of special seats and recognition in social gatherings and being called by fanciful titles the emblem of the Pharisees is worn as a toga by our politicians. They always want to seat on the high table. They expect all to step aside whether they drive or walk. A senator must be introduced as “Distinguished”, a house member “Honourable”, Governors are called “ His Excellency”. Truth be said, our politicians are title conscious. They are filled with the yeast of the Pharisees. Yeast as we all know puffs up.
The Pharisee doesn’t care about the people – they care only about themselves, selfish politicians like we have are incapable of generating or promoting people-based programmes. How else can one describe the fuel subsidy policy of this administration? Nigerians are still wondering why the government wants to balance the books on the back of the people. They simple don’t care. When it even appear that they care, their motive is selfish. Recently, it was reported that the contract for the awards of some roads in Abuja was inflated by N38 billion. When a Nigerian politician spends on any project, he pockets the lion share of the project cost. Clearly the cabals are Pharisees.
It is my hope and prayer that our nation would be led some day at all levels by a new breed without greed. A tribe that would place nation before self. Men and women of character. Politicians in whose heart is no guile and whose lips speak no deceit. Leaders that would engineer our commonwealth for the good of all. Men who know that man is superior to the economy. Men that are not too far to see.
Sunday is the Lead Pastor @Holyhill Church, Abuja. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.