THEY FIDDLE, OUR COUNTRY BURNS

Fiddled

THEY FIDDLE, OUR COUNTRY BURNS.
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it is no news that the Senate recently summoned Hameed Ali, the comptroller-Gen
eral of the Nigerian customs service to appear before it and cast light on the now suspended policy on duty payment. Laughably, the first letter of summons to Ali contained a rather bizarre clause which in strong terms mandated him to appear before the Senate completely dressed in customs uniform. One’s imagination is given the enviable task of battling to untie the why and wherefore of such order.
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This prevaricating demand from the Senate is symptomatic of the preference for drama characteristic of men in whose hands the destiny of this unlucky country is entrusted. Instead of occupying itself with the way and manner in which the customs boss husbands the affairs of his office, the Senate is boyishly getting excited with the weightless triviality of his appearing in uniform.
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This helps us in locating the key interest of these slothful and egoistical filibusters. Without a shadow of doubt, those who now sit in the red chamber are more political than they are representative. More self-appeasing than they are altruistic. The embattled acting chairman of EFCC was before the Senate latterly. Suspiciously, he was put to a quickfire of questions, vigorously tossed about and disqualified. Non of the prevaricators made any allusion to uniform in his case. Is Ali a different kettle of fish?
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This drama has gone banal and profoundly ludicrous. Before the world it portrays Nigeria as a country of jokers. We’ve a plethora of weighty and pressing issues to engage us outside the pettiness and triviality of showing that we can force an obdurate senior customs officer to dress properly.
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…A country that is menaced by grave insecurity. A country where the hope of liberty is almost getting blasted. A country with 50% of her population precariously on the breadline. A country that still straggles far behind the standard of 21st century infrastructure. A country where hope-filled children still die of preventable diseases. A country that has deathtraps for roads. A country with the most outmoded and shamefully-equipped institutions of learning… We should be more serious than this. This is not the best time for infuriating entertainment.
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This farce recalls the singularly unserious man in our proverb who went after a fleeing rat as his house burnt. Our Senators appear to have adopted Nero as their patron saint and now delight in fiddling while our country burns. A Hameed Ali in uniform is not different from a Hameed Ali in mufti.

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