Whether we choose to accept it or not, the word “damn” has come to become a part of our country’s political dictionary, just like “I Had No Shoes”. I have been able to narrow it down for everyone should the question of if your government gives a damn about you or not ever comes up. Signs to know your Government gives a dam about you:
1) You know your President gives a damn about you if you know how much he makes each year and how much he is worth as required by the provision of the constitution which expects him to declare his assets.
2) You know your government gives a damn about you if those in the National Assembly have initiated an impeachment proceeding on the president for failing to declare his assets as required by law.
3) You know your governor gives a damn about you if you know how much he collects as security vote from the monthly federal allocation he receives from Abuja. On the average, they collect about 10 percent from the money meant to run the state. This unaccounted money runs into hundreds of millions of naira in states where many live on less than $1 a day. They stash the money in Swiss banks, use part of it to rig at the polls, victimize opponents, and use the rest to take the wives of house of assembly members on a spending spree abroad.
4) You know your government gives a damn about you if they know how much crude oil is taken out of Nigeria every day. That nobody in government can tell the exact barrels of oil that is drilled out of Nigeria’s land and sea is an insult to our general knowledge
5) You know your judiciary gives a damn about you if it treats the former state governor who cleans out billions from the state treasury the same way it treats the poor woman in Osun state who stole 5 sachets of Indomie noddles
6) You know your police force gives a damn about you if they obey the laws of the land which includes treating every suspect with respect, following due process, denouncing torture, rejecting bribes, making sure that they are fit like policemen of the rest of the world and, most importantly, keeping their barracks clean and sending their children to school.
7) You know your president gives a damn about you if he holds periodic press conferences where he answers questions that are of high importance to the citizenry. Holding a stage managed press conference where questions are sent in advance does not count as giving a damn. Neither does refusal to debate his political opponents show respect for the voters.
8) You know your soldiers give a damn about you when they subject themselves to the orders of civilians who run our democratic government and respect the laws of the land. It is not happening when soldiers are beating up civilians on the street or when soldiers are busy standing on Birni-gwari road collecting N50 through fare from drivers.
8) You know your government gives a damn about you if there is transparency about how oil blocks are given out and who owns what oil block. The most precious resource of your country should not be handed out to friends of the government. You have the right to know who owns what block and how and why he or she got it.
10) You know you president gives a damn about you if, once in a while, especially in moments of national crisis, he wipes that crazy smile off his face.
– Dada Olusegun
Follow me on twitter @Dolusegun