29th June, 2010
Once again we are faced with the mind boggling insensitivity and profligacy of our leaders who are now in London for a two-day summit to celebrate the countryâ€™s 50th independence anniversary.
Reports have it that most of our leaders, including President Goodluck Jonathan, 18 governors, ministers, party officials, senators, representatives and top moguls in the private sector were also invited for the summit which kicked off yesterday.
Whatever is the motive for the summit, we think it is the greatest display of insensitivity by our leaders to the plight of the ordinary Nigerian to waste funds on frivolities.
That our leaders could embark on a jamboree in a foreign land to discuss problems facing the country shows the contempt they have for the masses who are suffering as a result of the global economic crisis and inept leadership. What is it that they want to discuss that they cannot discuss in Nigeria? Why did they choose London, one of the most expensive European capitals, for a summit which would gulp millions of naira that could have been used to improve the lot of Nigerians?
Right now in this country, there is absolute breakdown of infrastructure, the roads in all parts of the country are so bad that scores die daily on them, our hospitals have become comatose, the economy is being run by generating sets while corruption is rife among government officials.
What the present trip shows is that our leaders do not care about us and that they are only interested in lining their pockets with looted funds.
We condemn this trip in its entirety and align with those suggesting that the trip was organised for members of the ruling Peopleâ€™s Democratic Party to siphon the countryâ€™s money into newly opened bank accounts in London. We also agree with critics that the summit was specifically organised to enable officials of the ruling party to buy exotic properties in London with money they stole from the public treasury.
To us, the summit is scandalous and ridiculous. It amounts to taking Nigerians for granted. It is also an insult on the intelligence of Nigerians who have described the summit as a wilful wastage of scarce national resources. It is also baffling that when richer nations are cutting costs in all areas, Nigerian leaders continue to act as if they are unaffected by the global economic crisis.
It is time for Nigerians to wake up from their slumber and condemn this needless political jamboree. Nigerians should rise up and demand that all those who went for the London summit pay from their own pocket instead of from governmentâ€™s coffers.
It is time for Nigerians to rise up from their docility and challenge this government for wasting public funds. The government must be made to render account for this summit. It is time to hold our leaders accountable for their actions. Keeping mute at this time will not change anything. Rather, it will make this band of spendthrift think that they are doing Nigerians a favour.
It is time for all to rise up in unison and condemn this voyage of unbridled profligacy by our leaders. If itâ€™s in other climes, this financial recklessness by officials of government would have brought down the government. Our leaders must be made to feel our pulse and do our wishes.