By Fr Pat. Amobi Chukwuma
A certain member of the House of Representative came back to his constituency to campaign for third tenure. His constituency which he has represented for eight years has nothing to write home about. They lack basic infrastructure like pipe-borne water and electricity.
Their roads are similar to those leading to hell-fire. They are also backward in education and have the greatest number of unemployed youths nationwide.
Due to the gully erosion and worst roads in the area, he landed at the campaign arena in a hired private jet. The dust raised by the jet at landing blindfolded his people who gathered to hear his speech. That was a negative dividend of democracy.
Immediately he landed, six red-eyed policemen armed with AK-97 and tear gas accompanied him into the arena. Then he mounted the political rostrum majestically.
All stood up for the National Anthem and his personal Anthem. All eyes were on him. He cleared his costly throat and saluted his constituents and sat down for the welcome address by his people.
The reader observed all due protocols. Continuing he read, “We welcome you our dear Horrible Representative to your suffering constituency.” The Guest of Honour interrupted the address by shouting, “Point of correction! I am Honourable Member and not Horrible Representative!”
The reader ignored his correction and continued to read, “Our Horrible Representative, your suffering people are disappointed in you and have passed a vote of no confidence on you. Therefore…” The horrible member interrupted the address again by shouting, “Enough of that nonsensical nonsense! My security men, tear that Address paper and push that useless reader out of this rostrum!”
The policemen shot into the air six times and rushed towards the reader. They snatched the address paper from him and slapped him mercilessly for insulting their master. Then they violently pushed him down from the rostrum. There was pandemonium.
The people angrily reacted and overpowered the armed policemen and snatched the guns from them. They also manhandled the horrible member and gave him the beating of his life. As this was happening, the pilot of the hired private jet started the engine and took off; leaving the bruised horrible member and the policemen to their fate. The enraged crowd poured curses on the horrible member.
Within some minutes, the bruised horrible representative and his powerless security men disappeared through the bush to an unknown destination. It was indeed a horrible day.
Honourable and horrible are onomatopoeic words. They sound alike but are different in meaning. The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines Honourable as “behaving in a way that is morally correct and shows you have high moral standards.” On the other hand, it defines Horrible as “very unpleasant and often frightening or upsetting.”
Let us now do some cross-examinations. Do all those politicians and individuals addressed as Honourable possess high moral standards? Some of them represent their personal pockets and not the people. Some are like white sepulchers. Some are morally and financially corrupt.
Where then lies their honour? In effect, they are horrible and not honourable. If you are not honourable, then you are horrible.
Some of the leaders in the federal, state, local government and town levels are horrible. For them, the end justifies the means. They cling to power by all means. No wonder it is said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Since the return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, the dividends of democracy have continued to elude the common people. The leaders and politicians travel on jets to their destinations while the common people travel by land on horrible roads.
Unemployment is at the highest level nowadays. Most youths are jobless. Hence they engage themselves in nefarious activities like kidnapping, terrorism, internet scam, etc. The prices of essential commodities continue to soar higher and higher. Many Nigerians are dying of hunger and anger.
Insecurity of lives and properties is at its peak. Food shortage is imminent due to the bloody menace of the Fulani herdsmen. The poor are getting poorer while the rich are getting richer. Our health institutions are nothing to write home about. The horrible leaders and politicians travel overseas when they have health challenges.
The common people are left with no option than to manage our horrible hospitals. As a result of the dilapidation of our medical institutions, many patients are dying on daily basis. The morticians and casket makers smile to the banks.
As the 2023 General Elections are fast approaching, many horrible things have started happening. Defection from one political party to the other is the order of the day. Some of the defectors have horrible motives. The argument on the air now is: where will the President came from in 2023; from the South or the North? Some politicians maintain that the rotational arrangement is not constitutional. But for the sake of justice and equity the rotation of the Presidency between the North and the South is fashionable.
It is a horrible struggle for power. The year 2023 is still two years away. Who knows if the world will come to an end before then? Even if the world does not come to an end, who is sure of being alive by then? It pays to be honourable than horrible. Honourable persons are heaven bound while horrible persons are hell bound. Make hay while the sun shines!