Na’Abba, the Jobless Politician – A Big Cause for Concern By Akintokunbo Adejumo
A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghali Na’Abba, on Tuesday said he has been searching for job since he left the House in 2003. A member of the People’s Democratic Party, Na’Abba represented the Kano Municipal Federal Constituency of Kano State from 1999 to 2003 during the Olusegun Obasanjo regime.
He said, “In the last 11 years since I left the House of Representatives, I have been trying to find what to do. I have looked and considered various things to do professionally; I still have not come out with something.” The Punch Newspapers, August 19, 2014 by Olalekan Adetayo
While the statement or the title above would sound amusing to many of us, it is however, when looked at critically, very instructive and must be of concern to Nigerians. It is a big cause for concern because, like they say “The devil finds work for the idle hands” and this applies equally to jobless politicians who do not have any job or anything to fall back on after they exit their positions and power (and whose fault, may I ask, is that?) They are therefore prone to all kind of insidious and invidious political intrigues and chicaneries, not to talk of inanities and stupidities.
It is another confirmation to us that many of our politicians and so-called leaders consider politics and political positions as lucrative career jobs, which if they lose, or do not have, they cannot survive in the society. That is one of the reasons why we have a dearth of good, sincere, honest and committed leaders whilst we have mediocre, corrupt, insincere and thieving leaders in all areas of governance and legislature in the country. It is the reason why Nigerian politics is a “do or die” affair and why many will go to extreme devilish and devious lengths to either stay in power or get to the corridors of power. By any means necessary, including the taking of lives and fetishism.
The reasons are patently and painfully obvious to us:
First, the pay is too damned good, in fact more than good, many of them earning far more than even the President of the United States earns, and for a lot less work, and mostly for no work at all; Second, there is the unfettered and virtually unrestrained opportunity to loot the treasury without being caught, and even if caught, there is no punishment. And third, the opportunity such positions create for and affords them to oppress and intimidate their own people – sirens blaring and scattering their poor people on the roads, getting private jets to travel instead of using the bad roads they have condemned their people to use, going abroad for medical treatment because they have not funded and maintained the local hospitals to adequately serve their people and of course only care about themselves and their families but not what happens to the common people who voted them in, in terms of healthcare, sending their children abroad for their education because they have plunged the local education system into an abysmal mess, and generally showing us that they are mini-gods and they hold our petty lives in their hands.
I am of the suspicion that Africans derive some kind of warped joy and satisfaction, bordering on sado-masochism, in seeing their fellow Africans oppressed and suffering. It is the African psyche, when you get to the top of the ladder, not minding how you get there, and then looking down at those at the bottom and discourage them from climbing up after you; or looking at those who are climbing already, and trying to use your superior position to push them off the ladder. It never fails.
In fact, the President, Dr Jonathan had made an observation in a short message he delivered during the first Sunday service of the year held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja in January 2014 and confirmed this suspicion of political joblessness when he said that most politicians are in politics because they were jobless. He said over 50 per cent of those who call themselves politicians today were not supposed to be in politics and that most of them opted to become politicians because they lacked any other thing they could lay their hands on.
So the questions we should be asking Na’Abba and his ilk are:
•What were his qualifications before he went into politics?
•What was he doing in terms of career or job before he went into politics?
•Why couldn’t he get a job after leaving politics? Was it because of his age, qualifications or disposition and attitude?
•What has he been living on for the past eleven years that he did not have a job?
•What kind of jobs was he looking for – is it still in politics?
•Why couldn’t he go back to his old job/career before he went into politics? That is if he had any before?
•Is it compulsory he stays in politics?
•Does it mean that once one was in politics, one could never find nor do any other job apart from politics?
•Why is our own brand of politics so lucrative and “to-die for”?
According to Abiodun Ogunseitan, Nigerian politics is like the nature of the beast. This is because Nigerian politicians only play politics with the minds of the people since it is only in Nigeria that a foreign concept allows politicians:
a.To engage in political intrigue and shenanigans.
b.To deal with the public in an opportunistic or manipulative way.
c.To embezzle money, loot the treasury and abuse their powers, because there are no punitive measures for wasting, stealing or squandering public funds.
d.To be largely educated illiterates.
e.To lack foresight, vision and focus.
f.To be imposed on the people by parties that have no ideological bases about what the people want.
g.Who do not care about criticism; they just ignore it.
h.To rule and ride roughshod over uninformed and docile citizens who do not know their rights.
i.To have political influence, hence doing nothing in office is business as usual.
Hence in Nigeria, crass politicians are lying and cheating rogues that see the people as uninformed mules and dumb followers.
These are people who read speeches and make flattering statements on live TV but the fact is these are written for them by their sycophantic advisers. So therefore, these people have no clue of what they are reading or its content and measured objectives. It is just fine speeches and rhetoric for the gullible. These speeches have no meaning or value to the speaker hence they do not recall the promises made or ideology behind their speeches. Did President Jonathan not promise in his manifesto to improve power generation and distribution on resumption of office on his second term in office? Ask him again and he would prefer to talk about Boko Haram to avoid embarrassment. Our political leaders and politicians know there are no consequences for their failures. Nobody takes them to task, or asks or cares for their performance reports. Ask any minister before appointment and they would promise heaven and earth and tell you what you want to hear. Once in office, it is coffee time, looting spree and strings of girls strolling in and out of Oga at the Top’s office. These are Yes Men; paid fat toads – ineffective, inefficient, grossly incompetent and mediocre and absolutely devoid of ideas of governance; and why? Because they can and usually get away with it!
It is no wonder then that after exiting office (usually, they are forced to exit office), they are bereft of ideas on how to survive without government largesse and corruption, opportunity to steal or embezzle our money or outside political patronage. Even those of them who are well educated, (formerly) brilliant with good and higher degrees, skills, experience and abilities, eventually slump and descend into this chasm of dismal non-engagement of their brains and faculties. The lure of free and looted money, perks, wealth and power have their brains so addled and totally inoperative, that they can’t even bear the thought of going back to their former careers.
It is therefore not inconceivable or improbable that the nethermost and basest of these jobless politicians and political jobbers will fall into a life of crime after their (often) inglorious and ignominious exit from office, more often sponsoring armed robbery and drug smuggling. And of course, sponsoring and arming thugs, scheming and plotting assassination of their opponents.
Hence we should be concerned about these set of people. The devil, as they say, will always find work for the idle hands and rapacious minds of our “jobless and expired” politicians. We are seeing this manifestation every day, aren’t we?
Let the Truth be said always!!
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