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Lado Suleja’s Dance Of Shame On VOA

While good governance depends on building strong institutions that provide the framework for politicians to act in the public’s interest, it also depends on choosing competent and trustworthy politicians who have the strength of character to uphold the values of the institutions in the first place.
Unfortunately, since 1999, less attention has been paid to ‘who’ becomes a political leader, particularly the quality of people elected as members of the Local Government Council, State Assembly, House of Representatives and Senate, as well as those elected as Governors and the President.
As a result of Nigerian electorate’s failure to demand and elect political leaders who are competent and honest, we end up with elected officials who choose to undermine institutions’ integrity for self-dealing and personal gain.
In Niger state for instance, some of our political leaders’ motivation to run for public office actually affect the quality of representation and public policies they adopt after becoming successful. The motivation for most of those politicians often includes self-identity, self-interest and enrichment, family background, salaries, or a combination of these factors.
In particular, the significant opportunities for rent-seeking in public office have also attracted many of our politicians in Niger with a focus on extracting rents, the likes of our representative in the federal house, Lado Suleja who has not made any meaningful contributions in the House since his election.
Lado Suleja, for all intents and purposes, falls within the category of those individuals attracted by the informal rent structures that exist in Nigeria’s elected offices as againstt politicians with a public service focus.
Recently Lado stripped himself of the little remainingg strain the love, respect and cravings by the people when he inadvertently spoke half truths and embarrassed his status while speaking on a Voice of America radio Hausa programme “tsaka mai wuya”.
His performance in that programme, to every discerning mind, has left a lot to be desired, even with the desperation to please his Abuja goddesses at the expense of his state government and the greater expense of the entire people of Niger State.
Most embarrassing was when Lado spread his gown of ignorance in the market square regarding current affairs when he insinuated that Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello was the only one that accused the federal authorities of neglect in providing support for tackling the current general insecurity.
For the record, and for the sake of those who would want to venture into public commentaries blindly, the Niger Governor’s remarks that were twisted by Lado merely expressed frustration with the federal government’s deployment of troops to the state without logistic backup.
And of course, Governor Sani Bello was not the first to have made similar assertions: all the governors cited by Lado, viz: Borno, Zamfara, Katsina, have at certain times made such assertions regarding the handling of the situation in their states.
Professor Zulum of Borno even went to the extent of publicly calling for foreign mercenary support in addition to several accusations of non-performance, insufficiency of equipment and and general fall of morale on the part of the federal troops.
Masari of Katsina state and Zamfara’s Bello Matawalle have variously made similar or worse assertions in the face of frustrated expectations from the federal authorities. This is a situation in which even some of the federal service chiefs have admitted certain levels of frustration.
In any case, Lado has not for once been seen speaking up on the floor of the House of Representatives about the security situation in Niger which would have been the primary focus of any responsible representative of a people in dire stress; the demand is more on Lado to move the House as his immediate constituency happened to be the major flashpoint before the current concerted effort initiated by the state government.
But then, prejudices die hard, which is perhaps why Lado accused the state government of not inviting him to discuss the the situation without mentioning how many times he himself made attempts to reach out to the governor with suggestions. A decent representative with the concern of the people he represents would not wait to be invited before making contributions to issues that potentially affect his constituents.
From a reasonable man’s point of view, Lado, prominently among the category of bench warmers in Nigeria’s National Assembly, shouldn’t have been the one pointing accusations at a governor of an entire state of millions of people.
(Tanimu, a concerned Nigerlite, writes from Suleja, Niger state)

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