“Government takes from the needy and gives to the greedy.”
“Formerly we suffer from crime. Now we suffer from laws.”
(As seen on a signpost along the road between Chikasha and Oklahoma City on 24-Nov-2014)
The road was caked in snow and the drive along the sleet covered slippery iced up road was slow and particularly treacherous for me and my co-worker (who assisted me by driving me from Duncan to OKC). New though he was to driving on an icy sleet covered road terrain, he was able to handle the car effectively, all the way from Duncan to OKC Will Rogers World Airport. We had to maintain such a very slow speed (average 40km/hr or less) that I was able to read both sides of the billboard captioned with the two messages above. I smiled to myself as I reflected , “You these Americans, come to Nigeria and witness what we are suffering from. If you people go through 1% of what we experience in Nigeria, you will know that your country with all your real and imagined problems is indeed as close to Utopia here on earth as any nation can be.”
Here in our beleagured one and only Nigeria, what are we suffering from? Not very much different from the lamentations expressed in the billboard captions above.
What are the ills that bedevil our corporate existence as a nation from the hands of our rulers, nay, conquerors and all the powers that be. We suffer from executive lawlessness and the abuse of power in high places, lack of foresight and concern for the future of oncoming generations. Countless. The politicians and rulers delight in making laws that make life miserable for the ordinary honest and law abiding citizen. Where do we start from. Where do we end. When will we even see the light at the end of the tunnel?
That something is legal doesn’t mean that it is legitimate. Yet, the “conquering” rulers who govern us as if our country is their vassal state delight in making and enforcing illegitimate and inhumane laws. Take the case of vehicle re-registration as an example. What happened to the old vehicle licenses that have been in use these past several years? They were “computerized” right from the begining, so we were told. Now hapless law abiding citizens are required to fork out amounts in ecess of N35,000 to have their vehicles re-registered. Drivers and vehicle owners who fail to meet the obligatory deadline for this exercise will be compelled to pay excessive fines or be jailed for 6 months. Meanwhile, getting the new “computerized” vehicle licenses from the authorities is a harrowing experience for law abiding citizens. Take the case of Port Harcourt and Rivers State, there is essentially only one office (to my knowledge) in the whole state where people can go and register their vehicles and get hold of new or renewed driving licenses. Just go to Abel Jumbo Street in Old GRA, Port Harcourt. The throng of crowd you meet there any day and the painful hassles they go through will make you shed tears for our people. Where is the heart and conscience of the authorities and government officials and their agents who are supposed to be responsible for this simple exercise that ought to be straight forward? They don’t need to invent new computers. Neither do they need to build their own printers, design databases or other IT infrastructures from the scratch. Yet they prefer not to implement systems and technologies that work with effortless ease in other places. Why? All these bottlenecks were deliberately put in place through corruption. And such designs allow corruption to infamously flourish through all the ranks of the agents who are supposed to make things work. Haba! From all intents and purposes, this new vehicles re-registration hanging as a sword of Damorcles over the head of hapless law abiding citizens is designed to fleece vehicle users of their hard-earned money. And all these are being done in the name of government orders without considerations for how this policy will and is affecting people. Where are the voices of the people? Who speaks for the common man?
In a society where the government respects the rights and the freedom of the citizens, this type of policy will never see the light of day.
People should have the right to use any type of tinted glass for their cars so long as such doesn’t constitute hazards to other road users. Tell them to stop making laws of “ever shifting goal-posts”. Tinted glass today, no tinted glass come tomorrow. OK, tinted glass come next tomorrow. We are in big trouble here because most of our rulers and law makers choose to burry their heads in the sand. Another point of concern is the issue of new vehicle license plates and the renewal of driving license at FRSC office. It’s like going through the eyes of the needle to get either of these documents. This type of condition makes it possible for all form of malpractises and corruption to grow an multiply unchecked.
Does anybody care? Is anyone listening? The society grows and make progress when people plant trees knowing fully well that they may not be around to partake of its fruits or seek solace under the shade such trees provide when thise trees mature. For the sake of our future generations, let’s start planting trees today.