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On vested interests

27 October 2014, 21:38 Ayk

The NNPC sells kerosene at N50 per litre. Only the NNPC doesn't sell kerosene. Frequent visits to their two distribution stations (in my area) leave you wondering why the hell they advertise a product that is never available, and why the heck it is proclaimed for nearly a third of the actual purchase price; last time I bought the DPK, it was at N135 per litre. DPK: dual-purpose kero; now, dual-priced kero?

If one bothers to ponder upon this, he soon realises what must be going on, or not, what must be going under, what must be going amiss. If the NNPC actually sells DPK at N50, then they will put the other stations (that sell at N120 to N135) out of business, at least DPK-wise. But if the product is never available, or accessible, then everyone is happy, save the poor man like yours truly yet cooking with kerosene because that is what he can afford, the same poor man because of whom kerosene should really be N50 per litre in the first place.

If you have an annoying mind like mine, then your guess becomes quite as good as mine: Either the kerosene is shunted proximal to the distribution station whence the intended customer is turned back, or the kerosene is diverted from the distal station to where it costs more. Either way, someone is happy. After all, it is basic sense, not necessarily common, that the best way to maximise profit is to minimise cost.

Also read: NNPC shuts clinic after suspected Ebola case admitted

And more importantly, Nigerians never ask questions, unless they are prodded by some self-serving political thief, barely shy of corruption (as our Oga at the Villa promulgated) yet stinking of stolen funds and ogling more. Nigerians never ask questions lest they die, yet they die rather (un)alarmingly as ignorance surely kills faster, and much more quietly, than truth- and the adamant stand for it. Nigerians never ask questions, and would rather die of hunger than of a struggle to liberate the generation afoot: after all, if one catches fire, and his son too, one must put out his own flames first. 

Which is why my late grandfather's contemporaries are the ones still running for Senate, for House of Reps, for House of Assembly. A rather shameless lot. Which is why I am threatened whenever I will not go the way of my fathers, cowered and cowering, chanting Hail Mary at blatant corruption, binding and casting galore, and each wishing we had a saviour, but not willing to be same. Which is why the diasporan comes home to lord over us. He is from Isoko, no, he is from Makun; he is from Iragbiji, nay, he is from Ekiti: nevertheless, he is from amongst us for we are ocean currents, surging and waning, never certain of our population or composition, and he is from everywhere and nowhere, whichever way their moon pulls our tides.

And why wouldn't they vie for office in their eighties, even from their coffins? Our Constitution..., if indeed we have one, for the Constitution is more of theirs than ours: they wrote it, review it, and evade it, and may even dash through it, knifing life out of it, whatever life was left it in anyway, and dashing it to pieces. Àbí why will a Barrister, and I am assuming that too has not become an honorary title, believe he can do and undo because he is an Asíwájú and a Rep at the Assembly of like minds?

The Constitution says I have to belong to a political parry to contest for a political office; yes, the same Constitution that preaches freedom of association and disassociation. So that to get to the esteemed office I have to affiliate with the very nauseating people whose thievery in the veil of corruption (and no longer the other way round) had prompted me to want to run for office. So that I have to be initiated into the same fold that I was against at the outset-turned-onset. So that, as my people say, when the leaf tarries much with the soap, it too begins to lather.

Now you see why we are right where we are, and deservedly too: The document that guarantees our liberty is itself our bondage. The people that set out to liberate us are enbonded before they are appointed.

The cause that we fight was lost long ago, aborted before we realised we bore it within us, gone with the menses, gone forevermore and that is why it is our turn for insurgency, that is why corruption is merely thievery, that is why our lead-er (pronounced, /led/-er) had to stoop before GO, and has to be shackled to the lead-er of that "association",  the same one with bling-bling shackles dangling from his neck...

Would you have voted for him otherwise?

Yet when the mask spends so long on the face, it becomes the face itself; so that our godsend leader became a lead-er: lead (pronounced/led/) to our Superman anti-corruption agencies (now anti-thievery, and fast going the way of the Police Force and its SARS) so that they no longer see wherever and whenever there is corruption, sorry, thievery, ... (hmm, I never wan go detention, eh?); lead to our looters so that our kryptonite, the demand for accountability, no longer weakens their brazen stances and gestures, and so much that they can now fly millions of Dollars over half our continent and not be bothered; and lead to us, a weighty poisonous substance powerfully weighing us down as a nation of peoples, and poisoning our destinies.

And now we suffer from lead poisoning despite the abundance of PVC to make pipes. Now we suffer from poverty despite the (impalpable) existence of SURE-P to lay the pipes to abundance, sufficiency and sovereignty. Now we suffer scorn, reproach, and palpable disgust, a weakened giant that we have become, if indeed we still are a giant of sorts, with lesser nations shaking their cri-du-chat heads at us and savouring the scene of the shrinking of our saviour-seeking giant self from too much of lead; for too much of everything is bad, particularly plumbum-piped debts that Oga has been incurring, piping, since Obj left.

But then, he calls the tunes who pays the piper.

Vested interests goes beyond bulletproof cars, missing funds, or Boko Haram... Vested interests goes beyond godfatherism and the season of letters, hooliganism and impunity, favouritism and ethnicity... Vested interests goes beyond private jets and collapsed buildings, touch-not's and well-done's, overzealousness and fake pacifism...

Vested interests is us.

We are our own enemies when we shun truth and rally with falsehood, bearing brooms and holding umbrellas, chanting war songs in the name of campaigning, and defying the rain, the sun, but not the square-pens-in-roun
d-holes that are foisted upon us; and all that at a cost: rice, kerosene, Naira notes, and wetin una dey collect again?

oh, stomach infrastructure! When we liaise for our rights; when we shamelessly stretch forth palms and not shout "Thief!"; when we wait for miracles rather than vote for the (yet) innocent guy yet willing to serve, and serve right... When we wait for some senile grandpa to tell our avid minds whom to vote for.

When we keep doing things the same, old, way and keep expecting new, different, results: we won't vote for me because I'm blunt and different and... yet the not-different guy we willingly vote for is somehow expected to make a difference; after all, he is respectful and diplomatic and generous, not to mention that he is religious, going from church to church soliciting support and pledging same, and so, so, quiet, much unlike garrulous, mannerless, me who wouldn't spare the nine-toed man the counting of his digits.

Only for him to be sworn in and turn coat. Only for him to blast sirens and acquire jet after jet, the fleet never large enough for

once- the psychological consequence of childhood deprivation (read, shoelessness). Only for him to sell us out, lease out our land, our being, our inheritance, and lord over us, feudal peasants that we have become having exchanged our dignity for transitory gastric filling, for collapsible stomach infrastructure. Only for us to be expendable, forgettable, and outrightly labelled "impossible". Only for us to be relegated to the rear, to be the page number at the bottom (important for pointing, but not important in itself), to be the opportunity cost.

After all, we didn't vote him in: he voted himself in and bought our prints to ink the ballot paper. After all, we got our dividends right from the start: the token he put in our outstretched palms, the stuff he forced down our gullible throats, the tee shirts and face caps he gave us- to campaign with as we drenched in the downpour and melted in the sun while he stayed dry and cool, well surrounded by able bodies in the name of security. After all, it was a business deal: he who puts down the capital and pays the bills deserves to take all the proceeds; or did we do anything for free?

Alas, he became a monkey (who wanted) to catch same.

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