By Jaye Gaskiya
Our ruling class, and in particular their political representatives, never cease to amaze, and confound, to the point of seeming to defy intelligence, and stand logic on its head!
The other time, these ‘elected’ governors, who proudly assert to anyone who cares to listen that they are Chief Executives of their respective states; at the height of the crisis of governance, when they were owing workers salaries, owing retired workers their pensions, left, right and center; each of them had come out to shamelessly claim that paying workers salaries and the pension of retired workers is not their priority. Imagine! How can anyone who understands governance, and who understands that the civil service is the engine room of governance, with the public service being the wheel of governance, make such a statement? Or hold such a belief?
Shouldn’t it be obvious to anyone with even just a primary school education, and who was taught social studies and civics; that the civil service is central to the designing, and implementation of policies? Or that the public service is central to public service delivery? Including revenue generation and revenue collection?
It begs the question where we got these governors from, and makes one wonder how effective our leadership grooming and leadership selection processes really are?
And now, after several years of owing workers and pensioners, after years of refusing to pay the minimum wage or the consequential adjustment; after collectively wrecking the economy and our lives; after frittering away our collective wealth, and occupying front row seats in the frenzied looting of the public Treasury; these self proclaimed servant leaders have ganged up once again, under their trading company – the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF); and as if jostled awake from a drunken stupor; they are now advising the Federal Government to sack all workers who are 50 years and above; as well as, levy everyone earning N30,000 and above!
In other words, retrench the most experienced workers, who constituted over a quarter of the workforce; and levy everyone else is working, and or remains in work, after the callous retrenchment.
Really? The solution to unemployment, which according to the NBS stands at more than 40% among the general population (and more than 60% among youths), is to sack a significant Chunk of those already working?
The solution to rapidly increasing poverty rate, at more than 71%, that is more than 90 million Nigerians living in poverty; is to increase unemployment, and impose levies on all those who remain in work?
So, to solve the problem of poverty, the answer is to kill the poor? To solve the problem of unemployment, fatally amputate the workforce?
We can add to this emergent litany of deliberate acts of unconscionable inhumanity, smirking of a class bereft of ideas, and driven by the exploitative character of the Disaster Capitalism over the ruling class is presiding, other instances of uncommon madness.
These same Governors, the chief purveyors of maladministration and bad governance, after failing to provision and or create enabling environment to cater for the housing needs of the mass of the working, turn around to demolish the homes of the poor, and evict them from this subhuman housing, without providing them with any alternatives.
Or take the instances where after failing to make provision for mass transit, compounding the situation by continuing to increase fuel prices, thus even pricing public commercial transportation out of the reach of the poor; they then go ahead to indiscriminately ban Okada, ban Keke, and confisticate the means of livelihood of the working poor, without providing either alternative mass transit for commuters, nor alternative livelihoods for the riders!
Thus, apparently, the solution to lack of humane housing for the poor, and the attendant 20 million housing deficit, is to demolish the homes of the poor, and evict the poor!
And, it seem, the solution to providing effective mass transit to move people, goods and services, is to ban and criminalise Keke and Okada transit business.
Who does these, if they are in their right minds?
There is no greater pointer to the callous inhumanity of this ruling class. There can be no greater indication of the crass ineptitude and grievous incompetence of these politicians and Governors. And there can be no clearer manifestation of the tragic failure of this ruling class.
Ultimately, the only rational conclusion that can be drawn from these episodes is that Our Salvation cannot come from this ruling class, and that we have to take our destinies into our own hands.
The only way we can do this is by organising and mobilising massive resistance to their burdensome rule, against the increasing levels of hardships they are determined to keep subjecting us to; and towards building a mass Political Movement with autonomous capacity to act in our interests, and that can lead the process towards our self-emancipation.
Our Governors, and the entire Ruling Class, have indeed gone Mad Again.
Only this time, we need to act urgently to rid ourselves of the consequences of their madness.
Jaye Gaskia is a Member of the TPAP-M Secretariat.