Though it sounds like a plebeian tale, for all intents and purposes, there’s a magic charm that entrances us to value and reward mediocrity over excellence in Abia State. We wail and gnash our teeth after the irreparable damage is done, immediately forget our ordeal and reinforce the aberration when placated with few naira notes.
Indices from 2015 show that we are a society that cherishes charisma over character and as postulates by Abhijit Naskar, democracy has done more harm than good to our actual progress. The law of nature entails that one reaps what one sows. Howbeit, the consequences of already bad behaviour could even be worse; giving respiration to the phrase, “They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind”.
As if under a spell, we have consciously rejected our best brains, treated them like incendiaries and chose mediocre over them in every election year, then expect development. How possible is it when simpletons are the ones that formed the conscience of our society?
Democracy is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives; the reason we have to make good choices. Sound legislators will produce quality legislation that will positively impact on the people and society, while mediocre and egocentrics substitute it for Kleptocracy.
It is the scenario in Abia State, where we have been hardheartedly gang-raped and enslaved for 20-years and counting by the wrong choices we made. Except for a few sound minds, the majority of our legislators either have issues with their certificates, attending lectures or graduated through proxies or do not have certificates.
We recently heard about a guy who was caught in the exam hall at Abia State University Faculty of Law writing an exam for a serving Abia lawmaker. What makes such a lawmaker an honourable member? What sort of representation can a morally depraved lawmaker offer? In a sane society, he would have been suspended by now. But some Abia lazy youths are on Facebook shouting, “I stand with Honourable Gwam ozo mee ozo.” Ndi Iberibe!
I investigated one of the lawmakers in 2015 for certificate forgery while Associate Editor with The New Telegraph Newspapers. In 1995, he got admission to study accounting in ABSU but deferred for one year through a letter duly acknowledged by the school authority.
Mysteriously, he became a graduate of government and public administration without a formal letter asking for a change of course or approval from ABSU management. The Head of Exams and Records, Mr Ukah lacked words to explain the discrepancies in his file when I demanded it. 19-years after his so-called graduation, he still parades “To Whom It May Concern”.
This same lawmaker once told the Commissioner of Police that his father was “ambiguous” while trying to give reasons why his father was absent in the police station to testify in a dispute he had with someone. The Police Commissioner was startled just as you were when you read the sentence. As you read this article, the man was returned by his constituents in 2019 to continue representing them.
One of the recently appointed Deputy TC Chairmen never attended secondary school one day. He only stopped at Primary six. But today, he is a student of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike. I wonder how a man who could barely spell his name pass a University degree course. I am sure he must have paid a proxy handsomely to make his dream of being a pseudo graduate a possibility. We have 1001 of such unqualified individuals occupying sensitive public offices and corridor of power in Abia State.
How do we expect these elements to bring the desired development in Abia State? A man cannot give what he does not have. At least we have seen the reason for the political higgledy-piggledy and underdevelopment in Abia State.
No wonder Mehmet Murat Ildan said, “If dogs were governing a country, what can you hear every day than horrible barking noises?” Now it is understandable, why the horrible barking noises everywhere instead of impactful legislation. The fact that they bark with our N2.4 billion allotted to them in 2019 budget is enough reason for us to weep for ourselves as well as decide the way forward come 2023.
To be continued…