Legislator and the dying Imo Pensioners

lecture on orji Igbo

Legislators all over the world are known to make laws for the benefit of the living. One may wonder whether our legislators really understand their functions.  I am not surprised that in their midst are some confirmed certificated illiterates who can only write their names and sign their signatures and  don’t understand what it means to be a legislator. Once they are addressed as Honourables, their life ambition is accomplished.

It is clear to me that the Nigerian legislator is unaware or pretends that the plight of traumatized Imo pensioners don’t come within the purview of the assignment of Imo legislators. I must say that without any fear of contradiction that the Imo pensioner is the most neglected and tortured all over the world of the civil service. What a tragedy that in obedience to the dictates of diligent service which they rendered with their youthful energy they are allowed to perish and die in silence and despair through the evil machinations of a group of charlatans.

Please bear with the Imo legislators because they are so blinded with the pursuit of their personal well being that they cannot listen to your moral ethics.  At the end of every four years, a new crop of aspirants emerges as lawmakers with different strategies. There begins an endless ritual of extortion of ill gotten wealth by voters accumulated over the years at the expense of impoverished electorate a greater percentage of which are retired workers or forcefully retired able bodied men, now in their millions.

These are the victims of the unjust and excruciating abhorrent social order in which Imo citizens are drowned.

One may now ask where is our representative House of Assembly members who have pretended not to know that their people for whom they claim to make laws are groaning in pain in a society where the basic necessities of life is a far cry.

I know that butterflies cover more ground, but bees gather more honey. That is because the butterfly just flies over the flowers, whereas the bee lands on each one and stays there long enough to extract the nectar. The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. Proverbs 12:15. Are our leaders humble enough to heed advice and be open to those God sends into their lives to help guide them? Is a million dollar question when praise singers and aides at the corridors of power cut them off from the situation on ground.

Every political aspirant has the chance to tell the electorate whatever he feels is good for the electorate even immortality. It is unfortunate that the electorate a majority of whom are the’ rural dwellers, who are bought at the dying minute to vote, lack political education to discern between good and bad, hence the major yardstick for determining who becomes what is how much money the aspirant can part with on the long run through jobless, hippie, Americanized youths who have been drugged with promises of position of influence at the end.

Money politics has become the shame and tragedy of Nigerian electioneering process.

Nigeria is not absolutely beyond redemption, though every fraudulent election with continued malpractice brings her closer to the brink of the abyss and pulling her back and turning her around is clearly beyond the contrivance of mediocre leadership now the order of the day in most states of the Federation. We need a man strong willed enough to enforce a change and not protégés through whom their godfathers will rule by proxy.

It is the duty of our lawmakers in the assemblies to direct and caution against executive excesses but in most cases they have been turned into mere robots put up for window dressing. This gives credence to the common feeling that having been settled, they open their mouth and close and walk away with Ghana- must-go bags of our common inheritance. What a tragic end after a political career where the roaring Lion of the rescue mission has imposed disillusionment on Imolites. Our legislators have no moral courage to seek re-election except to gather more money to seek more future political positions as if it is their birth right.

For how long shall Nigerians act the fool, bumping their heads against the same obstacle over and over again? God forbid.

We have unfortunately hailed that leader who claims that Godfatherism has been destroyed by him now known to speak from the two sides of the mouth in trying to sponsor a candidate because it is a matter of cash denied workers, contractors, pensioners and local governments. Empty threats of impeachment of principal officers never see the light of the day. This encourages unconstitutional behaviour which the law makers sacrifice because they are apostles of the proverbial Iroko tree climbed once to fetch all the needed firewood.

“They are really politicians in search of a programme, petty politicians, opportunists, humbugs and confidence tricksters” simply representing themselves and their families instead of their constituencies.

The problem of Imo State and the traumatized Imolites has come into bold relief with a false image of our rulers. It is a savage trick to sing the song of joy when there is a mockery of good governance and happiness in the midst of torture and penury.

The winner in an election is meant to make good his promises and not to be seen to regard his victory as a chance to settle old scores and to deal ruthlessly with the electorate for one trumped up charge and reason so as to show power. Incumbency should be measured by its application for the wellbeing of the people instead of being seen as naked impunity.

We are all aware of what transpired during most primaries before the election where some credible aspirants were short-changed and declared losers in preference to one billionaire candidate favoured by the party.

This is a rape of democracy which can no longer be tolerated in this century.

The opportune time to right the wrongs of the past is here with us.

Let us hold opinion with the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) to fortify ourselves with our voter’s cards, to be guarded jealously from being purchased from us. Let us not be deceived again by aspirants with pepsodent smiles.

I still remember vividly what late Dr. M.I. Okpara of the NCNC said during one of his campaign tours in the 1960’s in the Eastern Region and I quote. “No vote, No Amenities. We easily forget the past as our protests and complaints over the years have been predicated upon non utilization of our voting power which then determines amenities, positions and appointments and not arrogant intellectualism and vulgarity.

We need leaders who can articulate a political focus for the benefit of all and not the so called irresponsible money grubber youths already drugged to trunket free and fair election as thugs and combatant rogues.

Let us look for a seasoned man of morality, a Catholic Christian this time who will rule with the fear of God instead of people given to boisterous adolescent pranks and settlement to pilot the ship of state to safe landing. Let us look up to what lies ahead, strain to end the race and receive the prize which is a worthy target since the failure of the elected representatives at the assemblies to live up to expectation has left the electorate bare to bear the brunt of non performance. May we not have their likes again.

It is mind bugging that civil servants known as the engine room of any administration are rendered redundant with two days, weekly holidays to non existent and imaginary farms for food production are no longer sure of their tenure. But the morbid assembly men could not challenge the unconstitutionality of such a directive.

It is unfortunate that illiterate contractors in accounts are engaged on adhoc basis to pay Imo pensioners whenever the rescue mission decides to know how many pensioners are dead as many hardly survive the endless excruciating heat exposure during verifications of pensioners.

What a mockery to add salt to injury as an appointed special mis-adviser on senior citizens and pension affairs is so bereft of ideas as to design Imo senior citizens volunteerism forms possibly to engage healthy pensioners as ward campaign coordinators probably. This is seen by many as a calculated and premeditated attempt to further humiliate impoverished pensioners over the years by the rescue mission that has owed them many months of unpaid constitutional pensions not to talk of gratuity. Conversely it is painfully observed that these adhoc contractors are allowed to fend for themselves as the authorities allow them to make indiscriminate selective, and unquestionable deductions from pensioners entitlement while protests on the anomaly fall on deaf ears as the accountant general’s office is not in the picture.

Pensioners and Imolites who have been virtually turned into beggars did not bargain for this type of humiliation from a rescue mission.

The catena of woes that will trail the rescue mission as it takes its obvious exit is interminable.

It cannot be completely captured in print or by rote having drowned many Imolites in the murky waters of despair, unhappiness and torture.


Sir Andrew I. Ajaero

Public Affairs Commentator/ Analyst

Onicha Nweorie Ezinihitte

Email: andrewajaero@yhoo.corn





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