APPEARANCES MAY BE DECEITFUL IN NIGERIAN POLITICS.
Stinginess has no place in government. You can be stingy in your private life. A governor going to buy ogili (spice) for the government house is ridiculous! A president buying bricks for the gatehouse is equally ridiculous. The time lost in such foolish pursuits could have been spent on governance. There is an Igbo saying, “Okpa aku eri eri,” meaning hoarder of wealth. Some Okpa aku eri eris are known to stash millions under their mattresses and count them every morning. Accumulating wealth makes them happy.
Do not let their external appearances deceive you. They will dress in rags and line up for free medical care meant for paupers despite being able to build world-class hospitals with their riches. When these individuals enter politics, they not only steal more than the average politician does, but they do not share the spoils. They are too greedy that they die without wills. Usually, a vicious fight erupts amongst survivors after their demise.
These Okpa aku eri eri politicians understand the psyche of gullible Nigerians and shunning ostentation is their ploy to get into office. Whilst elected, they misappropriate government property, turning them into private property under the guise of privatization. They pretend that the role of government is saving. The government is not a bank. Government borrows money for economic development and uses taxes to service its debts. The US Government is the #1 debtor in the world and the US economy is the #1 economy in the world.
Nigerian politicians earn enough money to live luxurious lifestyles without dipping their corrupt fingers into public coffers. Luxury does not imply owning a fleet of bulletproof Mercedes Pullmans, four wives, ten concubines, and living in a gold plated mansion. The Dino Melaye lifestyle is abhorrent even for successful artists, boxers, athletes, musicians, and show business practitioners. The electorate should boot such politicians out of office. A politician should dress smartly, stylishly, and elegantly. One of the first observable anomaly in a mentally disabled person is that they become disheveled. An unattractively dressed politician will induce depression in the psyche of his/her electorate.
Success at every level of politics is measured by employment indices, state of infrastructure, crime level, and public approval. A dapper and dashing politician is preferable to a dour and depressed politician given the same level of accomplishments. Megalomania and ostentatious living should disqualify any politician. However, being an Okpa aku eri eri, does not qualify you for office.
Africastallestman warns Nigerians to beware of politicians who flaunt their frugal lifestyle. I call them wolves in sheep’s clothing. More and more political aspirants will be emulating that style as we approach 2023, since we have a gullible electorate. The case of Senator Dino Melaye who used his anti-corruption credentials to get into National Assembly is a great example. He has become one of the most reviled, flamboyant, and ostentatious members of the Nigerian National Assembly. There was an unsuccessful attempt to recall him.
Ask these questions of your next representative at any level:
1. How did you make your money?
2. Who is your sponsor?
3. How did your sponsor make his/her money?
4. Have you used someone to launder money?
5. Have you ever held a job?
6. Do you sport fake titles and degrees?
7. Do you keep your word?
8. Have you lived a clean life? No drugs, tobacco, or alcohol abuse?
9. Have you changed your religion as an adult?
10. Do you abuse your spouse, physically, mentally, or both?
11. How many people have you helped with your meager resources?
12. Can you tell the truth even when a family member is the miscreant?
13. Are you an otimpku (praise singer) available for hire?
14. Have you ever apologized or regretted a wrong decision?
15. Do you jump from party to party? Implies no moral principle.
16. Do you have a record of fighting injustice at all levels?
17. Do you own more than four private automobiles, not including those used for business?
18. Do you begin and end every sentence with God or Allah?
19. Do you support cutting politicians’ pay and allowances?
20. Do you support the abolition of the security vote?
21. Do you support restructuring?
22. What is your family background?
23. Do you dress smartly?
24. Do you have concubines or sugar daddies?
25. Do you belong to a secret cult?
26. Have you killed anybody?
27. Do you believe in voodoo for wealth?
28. Can you be bought?
29. Do you play tribal, religious or sectional politics?
30. Do your children attend public schools?
Africastallestman will provide a method of scoring politicians in a later blog.