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Robbing Peter to pay Paul!

21 November 2013, 09:38

Suffering and smiling or Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Firstly, I would like to congratulate the golden eaglets of Nigeria for their achievement in the just concluded U-17 world cup in UAE. For some people to be able to open their mouths and claim that all is well in Nigeria, is the height of deceit and wickedness..

Nigeria is a country of wonders and contradictions. The system takes pleasure in robbing Peter to pay Paul or robbing Paul to pay Peter but this is wickedness. In this country, a large number of people pay for services that are not provided, and most of the time, do so under duress. At the same time, the system allows the microscopic few privileged ones to enjoy the services they do not pay for. Habba! What do we call this?

Take for example the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). While many Nigerians pay excessively high bills for services that are not provided, few senior officials of the company enjoy free and stable supply of electricity at the expense of other millions of Nigerians.

The telecommunication sector is neither a saint on this debacle. When as an ordinary citizen, you pay for calls that never go through or the ones that get through but you never heard each other, you pay for SMS that are never delivered due to bad network, or subscribe for a monthly data service that you do not enjoy for three weeks, but some people, especially members of staff of these companies and their friends and family members, make free calls and send free sms. It’s like the majority paying to maintain good service delivery for the minority. Meanwhile, nobody apologizes to anybody for rendering poor services and when they do, nobody compensates let alone refunds your money.

Here you don’t expect the government to provide social services because to them, it is not obligatory to do so. But ironically, the citizens are expected to pay their taxes and at when due. It is very normal to have classrooms without chairs in some towns and in others chairs without tables for pupils or classrooms without roofs, some pupils even learn under the trees in some cases.

If you are driving in a new environment, don’t be surprised if you get arrested or disgracefully detained for hours for breaking traffic rules even when there are no clear sign posts to indicate that a particular road is a one way. Unlike the devil that is walking about like a roaring lion looking for who to destroy, here, the so-called government officials hide in ambushes to see who will fall prey into their traps. A government that cannot afford to erect sign posts to guide drivers aright does not see anything wrong in arresting so-called traffic offenders. But the question is, should a reasonable government be setting traps for her citizens?

Here, we pay for so many things that are non-existent. Imagine the government asking us to pay for certificates of road worthiness for their automobiles when it is crystal clear that we don’t have worthy roads in the country. The government should be ashamed but the opposite is the case because they see nothing wrong in anything they do.

Some time ago, a friend of mine was driving along the Lagos /Abeokuta Expressway, a terrible road. As terrible as this road is, some people that claimed to be officials of the Federal Ministry of Transportation saw nothing abnormal in arresting people for not having their cars’ certificates of road worthiness. This sound s like fiction stories but it is true and verifiable.

According to him, he was also stopped by these men and he gave them his car’s certificate but to his astonishment, he was told that the certificate was obtained from Lagos State government and because of that, he needed another one from the Federal Government At the end of the day, he paid a fine of N3,000 for not having it on him as at the time he was stopped. This is just one of the ordeals Nigerians are made to go through on a daily basis and nobody is talking.

The government should please have mercy on our road-worthy cars and do major rehabilitation and construction/reconstruction of her roads. I think we deserve better and more car-worthy roads than the rubbish we have now. They should stop making life unbearable for the poor masses. Congratulations to the golden eaglets of Nigeria! The only happy thing about this country presently is our football.

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