This headline on a national daily attracted the attention of parliamentarians in this commuter bus and as usual, they bared their minds on the issue.
Said Emma: Obasanjo is always in the news for the wrong reasons, always seeking cheap publicity.
Don't mind him. He should just shut up and go and sit down. That is the most honourable thing to do. After all, he started it all, so why is he against it now? asked
Mark angrily. But Yemi dissented as he said: I like OBJ no matter what anybody says. Agreed he started it, he is against it now because according to him, the amounts spent on lawmakers is a heavy drain on our treasury and should be reviewed.
Any right thinking person would agree with his submission. At this juncture, all hell was let loose as almost everyone tongue-lashed Yemi for daring to say something positive about OBJ.
Abeg, the man should go and hang. He is now going against what he began simply because he is no longer benefitting or does he want to become Saint OBJ? asked Emma sarcastically.
He is bad, agreed. No one is perfect. We all have our shortcomings but I respect him for always speaking his mind on any issue no matter whose ox is gored. He has animal guts. I like such people,â€ said Yemi unperturbed by the barrage of criticisms from others.
Yeah, you are right. The major shortcoming of the average Nigerian politician is kleptomania and their own kleptomania is peculiar in that it has a predilection for the national treasury unlike the normal kleptomaniacs who usually steal items that they don't need and items that don't have monetary value, said Etuk.
Let's stop getting emotional and look at OBJ's assertion rationally, cautioned Yemi. Continuing he said: OBJ said nobody was checking the excesses of the lawmakers as regards constituency projects.
Did you read about the salaries and allowances of our lawmakers? Could you believe that most of them earn more than President Obama? In fact, former US presidents earned less than what Obama is earning.
My stomach churned the day I read it. This is happening in a country where thousands go hungry everyday, where the elderly die on queues while waiting to collect their meager gratuity, where children are seen on the streets trading just to make ends meet and their so-called representatives do not give a hoot?
Did you also hear that the security vote runs into millions of naira a month? Nobody accounts for that so they do whatever they choose with it, noted Shola. So although OBJ is not my friend, but he has spoken the truth.
Government should look into the issues he raised. These leaders should be made accountable to their constituents.
The people should know how much their representatives get and how the money is spent and on what projects, otherwise, the so-called money for constituency projects will continue to end up in the pockets of a few while the majority continue their suffering and smiling, as the late Fela would say.
Said Uche: It all boils down to one thing: Educating the people to know their rights and to hold their leaders accountable. Let us all awake to our responsibilities. Quality education, uninterrupted power supply, good roads and shelter are our basic rights and not privileges. That is why the Educational sector is a very vital one.
One of the legislators agreed the legislators are corrupt but that they have legitimate reasons. Can you imagine that? He even went further to assert that it was the same OBJ who bred corruption in Nigeria and that he gave each lawmaker N50 million to support his third term agenda which eventually failed, said Mike.
Ok, so where is the N50 million? Did they return the money to our coffers? They should be arrested and made to refund the money.
Why should we continue to allow a few greedy people to strangle us to death? asked Iyke, adding: The best thing is to reduce their salaries and allowances and make the offices less attractive so that politics will no longer be a do or die affair.
Well, OBJ is trying to right the wrongs. It takes a great person to realise his mistakes and try to correct them, Yemi stated.