Opinion: The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born While The Ugly Ones Refuse To Die

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By Bemdoo Hulugh

Friends, Comrades and fellow countrymen. It is time we see and say things the way they are. If you are one of those people who comment on issues based on PDP or APC sentiment, you are part of the problem. The two political parties are the political twins of the greedy ruling class. Their mission is the same. To dominate everybody and everything around them, exploit the masses and steal our common wealth. It is out of ignorance that people fight for these politicians. They do not care about you and there is no dignity in doing unimaginable things just to lick the stew dripping from the fingers of the greedy ruling class. 

Let us start with the state governors. Can you distinguish between APC and PDP based on performance or development programmes? No! Look at the states that are owing salaries and you will notice they are both from PDP and APC. Waste, lack of ideas, nepotism and corruption is alive and well in government controlled by both political parties at all levels. They are all one and the same greedy elites who are only concerned with the spoils of office. The few doing well is out of personal conviction and not party ideology. 

What about the National Assembly who are the dishonourable, misrepresentatives of the people. Both APC and PDP members in the National Assembly refused to sacrifice their privileges for the people. They all insisted they needed wardrobe allowance even though they didn’t go the chambers Unclad and also insisted on luxury cars in these difficult times. It didn’t matter to the APC lawmakers even as the President who is from the same political party with them objected. It has always been about the spoils and not about the people. The story is not different in the State Assemblies across the nation. 

For them it’s all about conquest and plunder. They want political power for the sole purpose of accumulating wealth as much as possible and dominating everybody and everything around them. That is why they buy all the properties in town and all the plain lands in their villages. It is about the money and not the people. It is so terrible that whatever the political ruling class do or say normally receive the blessing of our traditional rulers and a big “amen” from the pulpit. It is a gang up by the present ruling class against the people. 

It is almost impossible for us to move forward as a country with the present ruling class. The outcome of the 2015 elections was a revolution that failed to dismantle the core of the unjust system. This is because the so called progressives were able to convince the people to stand with them but they did not stand with the people in truth. It is the same political actors in the states and at the centre. At most, some of them only changed political parties. Favouritism, nepotism, corruption and lack of ideas is still alive and well as ever. The unjust system that enable the ruling class get so much for doing nothing and the masses get so little for doing so much is still intact. It is so because they do not know any other way of running the affairs of government. 

To move forward, a ruling class has to emerge from the present subject class. This means moving from criticising to mobilising the anger of the people for the people and not for another wolf in sheep’s clothing. It means taking a place at the front, moving against the tide, standing on the unpopular side of a great question and daring to oppose the established order. This moment demands men of good conscience to show more courage. Are we going to answer the clarion call? 

In 1968, Ayie Kwei Armah wrote his debut novel, The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born. In this book, he painted a picture of post-independent Africa where corruption and elite greed was the order of the day, illiterates ruled the educated, people encouraged corruption even though they won’t benefit from it, heroes of society were the corrupt and The Man who refused to collect bribe was insulted by his wife and mother-in-law. For Africa, celebration turned into mourning as self rule turned out to be worst than the colonial rule and hope was dashed again when the military overthrew the corrupt government only to still continue with the same corruption. It is a story of hopeless and hope. This is not so different from Nigeria of today. The “change” of today is not looking so different from yesterday. If Armah was to return and visit Nigeria, he will likely write another book titled The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born And The Ugly Ones Refuse To Die. It is our duty to change the story for our children. Let us begin and do the best we can for those coming behind. St Augustine once wisely said “hope has two beautiful daughters, they are anger and courage. Anger at the way things are and courage to see they do not remain the way they are”. It is time. It is time to embrace the two daughters of hope.  

Bemdoo Hulugh writes from Makurdi. You can interact with him on twitter @bumy04

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