I’m honestly tired of my choice of vocation. What keeps me stuck to it is what I don’t understand. I don’t know whether my village people have succeeded at last.

Everyone knows that the ink of journalism has almost dried up. The profession is currently in its last throes but diehard optimists like me remain enmeshed in its trap. I’m not really sure of my enthusiasm any more.

The reason is simple. Banditry is the most attractive industry in Nigeria today. It is very lucrative too.

The good news is that you have a choice to be a roughneck bandit in the bush or you can choose to go into politics adorned in agbada. The bottom line is the money. It has been proven that the agbada and serubawon cap can come handy when you have dollars to hide whether cameras are present or not. You could even head a ruling party and not even Olukayode and his boys at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission dare touch you.

A couple of weeks back, the roughneck variant of bandits abducted some 300 schoolchildren in Kaduna demanding a ransom of N40 trillion and some other stuff. In fact, a fiery Islamic cleric has already positioned himself to negotiate for them. This negotiation is an offshoot or byproduct of the roughneck banditry and comes with its own rewards; nothing goes for nothing.

Despite the shakara of the government, spurning negotiations, we suspect something may be going on underground. After all, did not some governor once beg the bandits and paid them hefty sum to leave his South West state.

Almost at the same time, the more subtle and more dangerous bandits have snatched our national budget and shared it among themselves. This has been going on for ages but for one loudmouth called Abdul Ningi.

I’m not saying this is from the supposed 2024 budget although somebody says it is. Moreover, I have had problems with Mathematics since one crazy teacher we nicknamed ‘Water Problem’ back then messed up the subject in my head when I was in class three in secondary school. So, I’m not able to comprehend the figures. However, assuming it is what they say it is, what should I (we) do?

Here is the supposed excerpt from the 2024 budget: 427 boreholes for N82.5billion = N193 million per borehole;

1,1150 streetlights for N212 billion = N184 million per streetlight. Haba!

Besides this, it needed an angry, frustrated or flustered Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi, the senator representing Bauchi Central in the Red Chamber, for what had been done under the carpet to be blown open. Ningi had alleged that the N28.7trn budget President Bola Tinubu was executing was different and, in fact N3 trillion more than the one passed by the Senate. The Presidency quickly debunked Ningi’s allegation, and accused him of spreading falsehood.  We know there is no smoke without fire.

Perhaps, in a hurried effort to cover the smoke, spoilsport Ningi was suspended by the powers that be. They threw aside their usual ethnic and political acrimonies because Ningi had trodden on dangerous ground that could consume everybody, irrespective of their differences. 

Unfortunately for them, they had thought that Ningi’s suspension could kill the scandal but the putrid order is too offensive to be contained and so Nigerians are assailed by the whiff of the odious rip-off. It even seems to be wafting towards the offices of EFCC.

As if the maze of infamy was not enough, Senator Agom Jarigbe dropped another bomb, which exploded on the floor of the Red Chamber. He said some senators got N500 million each.

Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, quickly explained that the said N500 million was for constituency projects and that the senators had 12 months within which to execute them. However, he did not say where previous or even the current constituency projects are located. It is because Ningi cried out that Nigerians are being told about phantom constituency projects. Nigerians are used to seeing sewing and grinding machines as constituency projects; maybe these ones are different.

Some senators have come out to declare how much of the bazaar they got. While some confessed to receiving far less than the N500 million such as N266 million and N200 million, others got much higher amounts, such as a billion naira.

Ali Ndume, the self-appointed ‘leader’ brashly told bemused Nigerians that all animals in the Senate were not equal and because he belonged to the group of bigger animals, he got more than the others.

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Senate President Godswill Akpabio virtually cornered all the projects for his constituency, which reportedly got 258 projects whereas some senatorial districts got a miserly 15 projects.

Well, indeed, there is monkey business going on in that animal Senate. Perhaps, this accounts for the disparity in disbursement, even though Jarigbe said he got nothing.

We now know why these people are ready to kill or risk being killed in order to be declared winners in elections even though they do not know what to do with the victory save to share our national till among themselves.

The almost 3,000-page 2024 Appropriation Act FGN Budget Details (in two volumes) qualifies to be nothing but a distribution table of the national resources among the rapacious politicians in and outside NASS.

I am grateful to Ningi the Bauchi senator that unveiled the smelly rump of the lawmakers and aided my informed decision to go into politics in 2027. How would I have ever imagined that within nine months, it is possible to rake in billions of naira into one’s pocket for doing virtually nothing? Thank you, Ningi.

In 2027, I must run and win an electoral seat, and no power can stop me. I know in Nigeria it does not matter whether you snatch the ballots and run with them; what matters is your declaration as a winner. It also does not matter whether you know what to do with the mandate thereafter.

Therefore, I’ve been praying fervently, reversing last month’s curses Nigerians heaped on Prof Mahmud Yakub, the INEC chair. I pray that he remains in office till I berth at the National Assembly, especially the Senate, in 2027.

Truth be told; Nigeria does not have any budget for 2024. What is being touted as one is nothing but a bazaar at NASS superintended by the senate President, and the ‘leaders’.

It is baffling that President Tinubu assented to this tainted document. The NASS has reduced it to tissue paper fit only for the drain pipes regardless of Tinubu’s signature. So, the earlier President Tinubu must come up with a people’s budget so that people could take him seriously.

We need to retool the recruitment process of lawmakers and ensure that only people of impeccable character get to sit in its hallowed chambers. Turning it into a bastion of fugitives fleeing from corruption cases is not the best. The EFCC must quickly revisit and dust up the files of those principalities on Olympian seats in the chambers and deal with them. Nigeria must breathe!

I think Senator Adams Oshiomhole aptly summed up the melodrama; the Senate has been stripped naked in the market place and there is nothing to cover up the shame.


NB: No, Wike not Igbo

I beg to disagree with Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, saying Minister of FCT and former Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, is Igbo.

It is a wicked concoction against Wike, who had for political convenience since renounced his Igbo root in an interview with Chief Dele Momodu, publisher of Ovation magazine, in 2020.

To prove his disconnection, the mayhem he committed at Obigbo subsequently, his utterances, dispositions and the heist of last year’s election are testaments.

The Igbo have enough and much more accomplished men, even in Wike’s Ikwerre clan, and should never bother about the likes of him.

No doubt, he can be FCT minister, even the President of Nigeria, that is his right. However, PG, sir, NEVER insult Ndigbo by linking Wike’s blood to theirs. You make it look as if the Igbo need him!

Wike severed the link himself. We wait to see what will happen when politics is over and elders return home to be with their kinsmen at the obi.