Never! We won’t endure to perish- Femi Adeoti Column




Our payback time has come. It is what we are experiencing at this moment. And it’s critical. We ought to have known. But we are not discerning enough.
There will always be life after elections. We can’t pretend to be different from other climes. We ought to have envisaged these perilous times.
Why the hue and cry in the land? It beats me hollow. Didn’t we ask for it? We certainly did. Aren’t we getting it in good measure? Yes, we are.
Then what really is our stress? I wonder aloud too! Are we hapless? Perhaps. Let’s borrow ourselves some useful sense.
The budget over the years has always been skewed. It has huge bias for the wealthy, the powerful and political class. They take more than the elephant’s share.
They grudgingly throw the crumbs at the rest of us. We own the remnants and the bones. And they watch in great delight as we struggle for the leftovers.
We are never on their radar. They treat us as appendix. The reason they won’t rescue the dying middle class. That’s the backbone of any serious society. This class grows and sustains the economy. But never in Nigeria. Why? We’re forever wildly, weirdly wired (www).
Dateline: Tuesday, July 18, 2023, Abuja. We are glad government summersaulted on its N8,000 per poor family of five. But how did they arrive at N8,000 in the first instance?
This biblical injunction is apt at this very juncture. It explains it all. Galatians 6:7, KJV: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
At electioneering, they rented you for N1,000. At the polling booth, they bought your vote for N2,500. After election, they offer you N8,000 as gratuity and pension.
What else do you want from them? Do you expect them to turn our treasury over to you alone? You must be kidding. You must be out of your mind completely. Who does that?
You ought to have put on your dancing shoes. And jumped for exceeding joy. They are generously offering the “largesse” for six whole months. Half a year? It adds up to N48,000. At N54 per day! C’mon, show appreciation!
We were in the thick of this our self-inflicted celebration. Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, rudely sauntered in. He opted to give a sermon on the mount. And he chose endurance, of all themes.
He was unappreciative. He didn’t think we have endured enough all this while. Let’s even listen to this over-recycled politician. His sermon:
“This government will not disappoint Nigerians. The President means well but we can go wrong. When we go wrong, correct us.”
This is where he’s going: “I urge Nigerians to bear the pains of the removal of subsidy on petrol and its negative impact on the cost of living. I want to assure you that after the pain there will be a significant improvement in living standards generally.”
Akume, hold it. Forget that one. Your endurance mantra is a scam, afleece. We are being pillaged. We are highly disappointed. We’re beginning to take serious stock. Yes, so soon. We have no viable choice.
Do you blame him? He has been in government for the best part of his life. He has been actively around since 1999. He was two-term governor of Benue State and special duties minister. All at various times and seasons.
He is enjoying government to the maximum. But we have not enjoyed him one bit. He can afford to buy fuel at any price per litre. And in any currency. Be it in naira, dollars, pounds, euro, et al. What can he not buy? Nothing.
He is permitted to run his mouth. He has never done anything appreciable outside of government. Remove government from his life. He is nothing.
He can’t stand being out of government. He will be long forgotten. His ilk litter our land. Government is their business. They fight tooth and nail to remain relevant. They are of no useful use to us. They make life miserable for us. All in their wicked bid to keep the status quo intact and running.
They even go more than the extra mile. They have an eerie succession programme. They brazenly plant their children in positions of authority. To learn the ropes and take after them. Chips off the old block.
See them appearing with their parents at strictly national functions. Some even take official decisions for their parents. What has come over us?
Government has become family business. It’s their government, not our government. We are overwhelmed in all departments. They swarm on us like deadly locusts.
We are at their mercy. They’re everywhere; executive, legislature, name it. Practically, we have been captured, subdued caged by this tiny clique. They are the wolves among of us.
Akume’s outburst amounts to insensitivity and irresponsibility. What more is there to endure? There’s no more wisdom in our endurance. And we don’t want to be idiotic about it.
Where is that endurance from government? They still live in reckless opulence. As if nothing is amiss or at stake. They never walk their talk.
They are never faithful to the words they voluntarily vomit. They are lazy in their utterances. They speak loosely from both sides of their lousy mouths. They care less even if we perish in endurance.
These species are deliberately intentional. They knowingly did us in on Tuesday. The NNPC Plc woke up. And hiked the petrol pump price.
That gave Akume a rare privilege. He attempted to sing like a canary, which he is not. He was singing the old, odd song of endurance. His cracked voice only came out as a croak.
He couldn’t even sing with pride. There were no smiles on his face either. His lips were confused just as his mind. They were at a distant variance. No synergy.
Akume did struggle hard to sing convincingly. But the courage wasn’t forthcoming. It failed him. Even as much as he tried. Why? The song was a deceit. It was never from the heart. There was absolutely no need for it.
The damage has been done. And it is enormous and monumental. His song can’t heal our deep wound. It can only fester it. It cannot soothe our excruciating pain. For it’s not the balm we need.
You beat an innocent child mercilessly. And you are urging him not to cry. Why beat him? To laugh, dance and sing your praise? Or hail you?
See what they have made out of us in less than two months. And we’re talking about a four-year marathon race. They keep on fumbling and tumbling to no end.
Where do we go from here? Nowhere in particular. It’s still the same awkward story. Gambling. Trial by error. Motion without movement.
We thought, by now, there would have been a near-perfect new normal firmly in place. That things would have started taking pleasant shape.
We goofed. That is in the realm of our delusion and illusion. It remains a tall dream. By the much-flaunted master of the game himself? We’re scandalised.
We ask, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, where is that your dexterity you once boasted of? We’re lost. Where is your famed magic wand you used to build Lagos?
Put it to good use now. That’s what we expected you to do immediately you “hit the ground running.” Do it now or never.
And Akume and cohorts must know this. Endurance has its limits. We won’t endure to perish. Never, ever again!

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