Kakistocracy – 1

The word that comes to mind each time I think of Nigeria is “Kakistocracy”. Simply defined, it’s a system of governance where the worst people a country can produce are in power. There is a portmanteau variation – Khakistocracy – which has been applied to a few countries, Nigeria being one of them.

With very little apologies to be tendered, all the leaders of the country have been cataclysmic failures. I would rather a student of civics not lecture me on “each of us is part of the government”. In civilised climes, of which Nigeria is excluded, that argument may be valid. Leaders, within the contexts of this write-up, would include everyone who has had a right at one time or the other to direct the affairs of the State at one tier or another. It refers to agents of the State, who have, at some point or another, had the State’s executory powers at their disposal. This group of people defined above, has sadly been populated by the worst the Country could spew.
My angst runs deep and wide, but this write up would look at the impact of having the worst we have to offer in certain areas. If I sound vitriolic, it’s because I am.

Where else, but in a kakistocracy, would electricity (that oft taken for granted utility) be virtually non-existent after nearly 50 years of national sovereignty? Or would some ruler or PHCN official with a modicum of decency and intelligence explain to the nation why electricity generation, transmission, distribution and billing technology that is freely available for purchase, even by the poorest of countries, not being implemented in Nigeria.

These scum of existence, ejected from the hindquarters of Devil’s anatomy, who are in charge of the nation’s lack of electricity would rather prop up a failed NEPA (pardon me, PHCN), that their filth-lined pockets remained lined with more lucre than see that an effective electricity supply would be pivotal in driving the nation’s prosperity – theirs inclusive. But if these are intellectually bereft individuals, like I believe they are, perhaps thinking is not their turf. For those who opine that stable electricity supply is impossible, let them look at a parallel in the dead behemoth that was NITEL. It was reported that some brilliant military man stated that mobile telephone was not for the poor in Nigeria… I say to him today – eat your cold heart out.

My cousin’s wife was delivered of a baby last week in England; the baby was born a little before the expected delivery date, but she is in an incubator, hale and hearty and the mother is in excellent spirits. There is no risk of the incubator being shut down because of “NEPA failure”, neither is there the risk of the generator being shut down because there is no diesel. I do not believe that baby would have stood a chance if she had been born in Nigeria. One may accuse me of being an Anglophile, but my cousin is definitely a “Naija-phile”, yet even he had to agree with me on the slim chances his daughter would have had if born in Nigeria.

Which brings me to the issue of health-care. Tomes may be written about the national disgrace the current president’s nocturnal (and oft extended) visits to private clinics in various parts of the world in search of some hopefully-not-elusive cure to whatever ailment plagues him. However he should, as the CEO of the country’s health care system, do the honorable thing and let the ailment “fix” him if he won’t fix the health care system. I suppose we should have had an inkling of how important this sector is to him when he removed the erstwhile minister and almost a year later he has yet to believe there should be a replacement.

Does he (with his predeccesors) realise how many helpless indigent Nigerians have been sent to premature graves because of his inability and unwillingness to tackle the problems confronting the health sector? Even for those who can afford private foreign healthcare, instances of being refused travel visas are not uncommon. If the country’s CEO has any sense of responsibility, he is better off adopting my suggestions above: and should the yet-undisclosed-ailment get the better of him, we would give him a befitting burial with full National Honours. Or he should get acting on this crucial sector and pray Nigerians forgive him for the people he’s sent to untimely healthcare related graves.

For those who think is the acronym for the defunct Trans International Bank – sorry, it’s not. It stands for Thieves In Black; the overlords of domestic law enforcement (and flouting); the Nigeria Police Force. In most civilised societies, the best brains are attracted to work for the police, sadly in Nigeria (in line with our status as a kakistocracy) it is largely the ne’er do wells, the dregs of society, who are willing to debase further, their already debauched values, are attracted to the NPF. I at this point would apologise to the few good men in the force, it is sad that you are in the negligible minority.

You name the ridiculous story, the Nigeria Police Force has it. Police men who can’t speak English – they litter the streets. Illiterate police men- I’m sure not a few have encountered a TIB who could not read beyond the numeric parts of a document. Poorly maintained guns that fail – I’ve heard of a few. Accidental discharge at extortion points (aka police check points) – they are unending. Blatant denials when confronted with any potentially embarrassing piece of news – there’s a “Mr. No” in in every division who specialises in denials. Unsolved cases – there’s a garbage dump filled with that.

In a world where free movement of goods and services is the bedrock of economic prosperity, we have a Police force that apart from bad road infrastructure is the next greatest hindrance to an effective distribution system.

Wetin you carry? Inner lights (even for okada riders)! Park! (Barked). All of these “commands” epitomise the obstacles a delivery truck leaving Benin for Makurdi would face on a trip that should take 8 hours ordinarily, but which a TIB could terminate by accidentally discharging some projectiles at the driver for not settling or extend to 8 days because there is a missing digit in the vehicle licence (which by the way is also issued by the State). Why won’t the manufacturing sector die? Concepts such as just-in-time production would not work in Nigeria for one reason – TIB.

But then, why would it be of any concern to the collection of brigands who converge in the artificial capital city to plunder the limited resources of the nation if goods and services cannot be distributed on time? The only thing they ever need delivered to them are in Ghana-must-go bags that are escorted by bullion vans driven and guarded by TIBs! Where that proves too cumbersome, an international funds transfer would do.


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