Archive for May, 2018

Exploitation Wearing The Toga Of Representation

May 1, 2018



The exploitative, immoral and unacceptable salary structure of our National Assembly members has consistently refused all access to ascertain its level. It is the determination to collectively shield their salary level that has created an unholy alliance among our National Assembly members.

Ghandi once observed that “you can wake up a man if he’s really asleep, no effort will wake him up if he’s pretending to be asleep”.

If what a National Assembly member collects is a day’s pay for a day’s job, why then the refusal to disclose their monthly salary?

This encounter may be a satire, comedy or real but the message therein is the face of political exploitation and insincerity by our elected representatives in the lower and upper chambers.

Follow up the encounter with patience

Citizen: Good day distinguished senator, we the docile, gullible and deprived citizens will like to have an idea on how much you earn as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?

Senator: Good day my dear citizen, the answer to your question is complex. It is like going to Mbaise from Ibadan or Akure. You must first of all get to Benin City. From Benin City you can access Mbaise via Bayelsa or through Onitsha. My answer may appear too advanced, that is because the National Assembly’s salary structure is complex. The ultimate goal of the house is to be sure that laws are made and bills passed. Like the traveler to Mbaise through Benin City, the target is Mbaise.

Citizen: Senator you seem not to be on the same page with me for the purpose of this encounter. My question is clear and straight forward. An average Nigerian out there will like to know how much one hundred and nine of you in the senate earn as salary per month. We are aware senators in all democratic climes especially those practicing the presidential system collect salaries. How much do you really net home as salary?

Senator: Law making and proposing of bills are no mean jobs. Most distinguished members have no legal background and they need maximum comfort to serve the nation properly. Moreover senators are not the olden day’s Christian missionaries who worked and waited on heaven for reward. We appreciate the sacrifices of Nigerians but the more comfortable we are as senators, the better for the nation.

Citizen: Senator, it looks like there’s an oath of secrecy among the senators on the salary and allowances issue. Are you senators afraid of mob action?

Senator: We are lawmakers, we have constitutional right to compel every citizen to disclose what they realised from businesses. The prophets, apostles and pastors do they account for offerings, tithes and earnings? We work on budget. In every glory there must be a cross. We are the dividends of democracy and salary is like the cross. You may feel that the glory of senators is unmerited. Opinions differ.

Citizen: Senator, one of your colleagues recently revealed the staggering and scandalous sums of money each senator callously carts away as monthly salary. What do you make of Senator Shehu Sani’s revelation?

Senator: Senator Shehu Sani’s revelation is a revelation without legislative vision. It is a truth that lacked legislative bill and therefore a second personal opinion that must be disregarded. What Nigerians must never lose sight of is that law making is a demanding job whether by illiterates, bench warmers, absentee senators or celebrated clowns. No serious lawmaker would concur to Shehu Sani’s one man’s hear-say opinion.

Citizen: Distinguished Senator, it is clear and obvious that you have been dodging the core issue of this encounter. You have rather been rigmaroling with words. Can you as a distinguished senator honourably and sincerely tell me how much you get as monthly salary? It is going to be between the two of us. I know you’re afraid of mob action and popular uprisings.

Senator: which mob and what type of action? You know that each senator controls one third of his state. It was the people that called the senator to leave their various comfort zones to represent them. Who will constitute the mob that will fight their senators? We are serving the nation satisfactorily; making laws and passing bills, even going extra miles of wearing wrong academic gowns to the floor of the senate.

Citizen: Senator, do you know the cost of borrowing a doctoral academic gown to defend a third class degree?

Senator: In that instance, the point needed to be made that the Red Chambers does not harbour illiterates and celebrated clowns the cost notwithstanding.

Fellow Nigerians, this is the same response you may get each time you try to get a senator or member of House of Reps to disclose how much they collect as salary. Senator Shehu Sani has disclosed staggering figures and Nigerians are still docile and stagnated. Where are Amnesty International, human right activists, labour leaders and student union leaders? We are all caged! Ride on Senators and House of Reps members! The coast is wide open and clear! You can even double your present salary scale.



Chief Comrade Chris Ukah writes from Lagos.