The callousness of an average Nigerian politician can be viewed from different dimensions. Nigerian politicians preach paucity of funds while their lifestyles ooze opulence. When the country’s revenue is shrinking, some state governors still indulge in personal foreign trips, which burden their states financially.
Besides their routine foreign medical checkups, some Nigerian politicians enjoy fixing strategic meetings in different European countries; Mr Tinubu hosts political meetings in the United Kingdom, while Dubai is like the second home of Alhaji Atiku. However, political meetings abroad have become even more rampant in the build-up to the presidential election in a couple of months.
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On Monday, the presidential candidate of APC, Bola Tinubu, in the company of Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Kayode Fayemi, Governors of Lagos and Ekiti States, respectively, went to London for a strategic meeting with the Governor of Rivers State, Mr Wike. Apparently, their discussion cannot be disassociated from the forthcoming general election.
On Thursday, Mr Wike and the governors of Oyo, Benue and Abia states met with the presidential flag bearer of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, at the Pricy Park Lane Carlton Hotel in London. Before the meeting with Atiku, Mr Wike had met with Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party and Former President Olusegun Obasanjo in London.
The high demand for Dollars is one of the factors responsible for the free fall of the value of the Naira. Nigerians are struggling with the inflation the fall of the Naira bestows on our economy, and all some of our political office holders could think of is to aggravate their pains with needless trips, which is putting more pressure on our Naira.
They enjoy the best of the security our country could offer in their fortresses; their rationale for the incessant foreign trips for meetings they could hold at home is incomprehensible. Perhaps, they enjoy better amenities which they could not replicate in their states abroad. Our hospitality and tourist centres like Obudu Cattle Ranch and Yankari Game Reserve will remain in a messy state when our governors do not even consider them suitable to host their political meetings.
In all of this, where is the position of the interest of the ordinary Nigerians whose only dream is to see a country to be proud of? Foreign politicians don’t pick Nigeria as a country to meet their compatriots; our leaders need to be more patriotic. It is high time we have a legislation to restrict political office holders from exhibiting a lackadaisical attitude towards issues that inflict pain on the masses.
University workers could go on strike indefinitely, politicians’ children study abroad; medical practitioners could leave, they get treatment abroad; hospitality businesses could crumble in the country, they hold meetings abroad. If we have a piece of legislation stopping political office holders from sending children abroad, embarking on medical tourism etc., there will be a noticeable improvement in all sectors.
To make Nigerians buy, eat, wear and use made in Nigeria, our leaders must lead right in front and lead by example.