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“It’s Only in Nigeria People Defend Politicians who Steal” Etcetera Weighs in on 2016 Budget



etcetera-ejikemeIt is very hard to explain to a non-Nigerian abroad that Nigeria is a country of over 200 million people. He/she would wonder how a country of over 200 million citizens became so tamed to the point of stupidity — that a few individuals could keep millions of people locked in hell for over 20 years would have been termed impossible, but as the world has come to know, there’s nothing impossible in Nigeria. We hold the record of the most persevering people on earth. We have an unbelievable threshold for endurance.

One of the reasons why I think Nigeria may never recover from her present predicament is because as a people, Nigerians love poverty. This is the only country in the world where a politician steals money and the people provide tangible reasons why the politician is actually supposed to steal.

This is the only country in the world where it has become acceptable that whoever gets into government is advised to loot with impunity. Looting of government funds is now fashionably done on a turn-by-turn basis. Listening to Nigerians defend their kinsmen who have looted the country is very sad: Abi if you get there, you sef no go chop? Abeg leave my brother make him chop him own, after all when your brother dey there, himself too chop. Life na turn by turn. This is the mentality of the average Nigerian on the street.

If not for our level of docility, our government wouldn’t have the effrontery to tell us that they spent millions of Naira to open a Facebook account. The National Assembly wouldn’t embarrass us by asking the founders of Facebook down here to set up their Facebook accounts. A governor wouldn’t tell us he spent N72m of taxpayers’ money to build a personal website and still be made a minister of the federal republic in this current dispensation.

The hard and soft copies of the 2016 budget documents President Muhammadu Buhari handed over to the National Assembly on December 22, 2015 was declared missing a couple of days back and Nigerians have been screaming like banshees how the country had been placed at the forefront of ridicule, forgetting that we have been living in ridicule for ages. Is the shame of a missing budget more embarrassing than the content of the budget itself?

With all the fight against corruption, what has changed? Have the police stopped collecting money illegally on our streets? Has impunity stopped in our petrol stations where fuel is blatantly and flagrantly sold above the recommended price? Has the leadership of Nigeria stopped living in comfort while the people live in poverty? Must we continue funding 10 airplanes in the midst of gargantuan poverty? The exchange rate is at an unprecedented high of N305 to a dollar and the minimum wage of N18,000 is about $64 and this same government has been advising us on the need to be prudent in our spending while public officials have failed to reduce their level of comfort. Even the proposed 2016 budget submitted to the joint session of the National Assembly showed that Buhari himself failed to heed to his own advice of being prudent.

How do you consider the stealing of the proposed budget as an embarrassment when President Buhari and Vice-President Osinbajo will be spending N2.2bn on travels and transport, foodstuffs and catering materials, refreshment and meals as well as honorarium in the 2016 fiscal year? This is a figure that is N710m higher than what was budgeted for the same under the immediate past government in 2015. A further breakdown of the budget for the presidency also includes general renovation of the Guest House at N387m, complete furnishing of the Guest House at N45m, purchase of computers for N27.5m and the construction and provision of recreational facilities for N764m.

A sum of N3.6bn was budgeted for BMW saloon cars for principal officers and another N189m was allocated for tyres for operational vehicles in the presidency. What is more embarrassing to you? That over 300 girls were kidnapped and nothing has been done to bring them back? Is it not more embarrassing that our soldiers are being slaughtered by a bunch of untrained terrorists because of the corruption within the military hierarchy? Is it not more embarrassing that the PDP is already calling for the impeachment of the president just after nine months of assuming office?

Abeg abeg, May God bless whoever stole the budget. He/she is a patriot. I believe he/she, like everyone else in the country, must have lost hope in our useless National Assembly and can’t trust them to cut down the discrepancies in the budget.


  1. Desire

    January 16, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Spent money to open Facebook account??? Pls who has more info on this pls enlighten me

    • Ijebujesha

      January 16, 2016 at 7:51 pm

      Yes, it actually happened.

    • Fleur

      January 16, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      Yeah!! Me too. I want lnow

  2. Ada

    January 16, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Old gist.

  3. Tolu

    January 16, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    You’re welcome back man! Nice reading your thought again

  4. Concerned

    January 16, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    The usual practice and economic outlook in the past was for people to be optimistic and to have so much hope in what the year would bring forth. However, this cannot be said for Nigeria’s 2016 with the level of monumental plundering and the current rudderless nature of the nation. How can anyone who is honest to himself say that any of these elected politicians (morons) from the 36 states care about Nigeria or Nigerians? When will Nigerians learn and stop indulging these criminals called governors, senators, house of rep members and house of assembly members? Does Nigeria look like a nation where trillions have been spent on annual basis since 1999-2015? On the contrary, I bet your governors, senators, house of rep members and their families evidently attest and look like people who billions have been spent on. Sorry, I meant people who have stolen your billions and keep flaunting the ill gotten wealth in your face. Its sad what Nigeria would become at this rate. We can only hope and pray that God treats all politicians the way they have treated Nigeria and Nigerians. Nigerians deserve better than this because the populace work hard, contribute their quota and pay their taxes.

    • ElessarisElendil

      January 17, 2016 at 1:01 am

      Or you know rather than hoping and praying, recall a few Senators……………….just saying.

    • Frosh

      January 17, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      The moment we stop hoping and praying and start taking action, then change would come….

      We have hoped and prayed for too long and in the midst of that the results are evident for all to see….

  5. GY

    January 16, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Nice write up and God bless the person that steal that horrible 2016 budget..

  6. molarah

    January 16, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Well said Etcetera, and I like the fact that the tone of this piece is more objective – and less obnoxious.

    The song “200 million mumu” by Lagbaja is most apt for this country in this hour – how a sitting NA can dare to announce a budget document has gone missing and no heads are rolling right now is a source of wonder and incredulity for me. We do get the leadership we deserve…

  7. ATL's finest

    January 16, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    This is my first time reading an article from him & oh yes, he did a great job; preach brother.

  8. Kimi

    January 16, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    I do not like this Etcetera but for once I agree with his observation on this funny mindset of most Nigerians. I swear nausea rose up in me when I read about the unbelievable things these army chiefs did in the name of procurement of arms for the fight against Boko Haram. Prolonging the war and the increasing the urgency was to the benefit of their pockets and they had no plans for it to end. Guess the reactions of Nigerians on Social media? Why are most of those on the list Yoruba? They are being victimized! Can even you believe this? Why is the government hounding Tompolo? The Ijaws are being victimized! I am Ijaw by birth and married to a Yoruba man, but what is wrong IS WRONG no matter where the person comes from. I just hope one day,one day in this country we start to think right.

    • The thin tire me o

      January 16, 2016 at 11:43 pm

      Amen! Nigerians are so prone to ”ethnic bonding” at the WORST of times. ‘Is it because he/she is Yoruba/Ijaw/Igbo on and on, when we are talking of someone stealing the collective dreams of our future generations.

      Side note: Et Cetera, idk why I dismissed your articles in the past (OK I know lol. I read too many people calling you talk-talk ITK, and I jump bandwagon o). But this article has made me a fan. Well-articulated and straight to the point. I hope our leaders and their sheeple are listening.

    • nnenne

      January 17, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      Well said Kimi but selective judgment does not help. All criminals should be treated alike, past or present, living or dead. In fact, go after their estate if they are dead. No sacred cows. That’s the only way to knock off ” my brother syndrome”
      BTW, what happened to the$16 billions electricity saga?
      Every crime should be tried, regardless of who is involved, their political party, tribe, religion.
      Try one, try all, at the same time create institutions to prevent/ reduce future occurrences and manage the country well.
      Anyone remember when Obama created and used ” cash for clunkers” to revitalize the auto industry?
      At a time like this, we need to think outside the box! Let’s be more creative!

  9. Californiabawlar

    January 16, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    This topic is what bugs my heart the most about our generation…. I don’t know when Nigerians became so politically polarized! The war is not APC vs. PDP…. It’s not about Igbo vs. the rest of Nigeria. Its the political class vs. we the people. We can never have a revolution in Nigeria because of this lack of common vision. The igbos or Yoruba are not the marginalized ones…it’s the masses that are marginalized…just think about all the poor people in the North…or even in the NigerDelta (GEJ is after all from the ‘south south’)…everybody is in darkness when NEPA takes the light…bad roads are not tribalistic….same goes for unemployment, bad healthcare, substandard education and a system that just doesn’t work.

    As a person, I don’t give a hoot who gets picked up for money laundering…if I feel anything it would be shame that I have anything in common with the person, NOT indignation that they ‘carried’ my (thieving) tribesman, while the Hausa/Igbo corrupt politician walk freely.
    Please let’s all do better….think better, act better.

    • Enkay

      January 17, 2016 at 12:41 am

      -wow. U r so right. We the masses are being marginalized. Thanks for this piece

    • nnenne

      January 17, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      @Californiabawtar… I agree with you but when it comes to marginalization, I guess the definition is relative.
      To me, marginalization includes, the federal government not locating industries well…More agriculture in the North, what about more manufacturing companies in the south east, where there are a lot of manpower?
      2. In a country where Quota system is adopted, why isn’t it extended to the office of the President?
      One particular group rules all the time, because they have the numbers, due to the way Nigerians vote but when it comes to public service, we give jobs to people who are less qualified all in the name of quota system.
      BTW, why use quota system at all?
      3. If you have to be admitted in a university with a lower grade, because your people are less educated, how are we compensating those areas that have more educated people looking for job?
      Should they not be given more employment opportunities too?
      Am sorry, but poverty is all over Nigeria. Poverty in the north is more noticeable because they do not go outside Nigeria for greener pasture, they marry so many wives, limit their women and have many children. They have benefited from the Federal Government more than the South Easterners.
      When we talk Of Marginalization, We Are Looking at the federal government. ..Not state allocation. We know our state governments are corrupt but that’s a different topic.

  10. Allegra

    January 17, 2016 at 12:01 am

    Whilst I do agree with him, the Nigerian population is not at 200million!!

    • ElessarisElendil

      January 17, 2016 at 12:56 am

      What I was coming to write. The exaggerations are getting too much, before you know it we’ll be China!

  11. Nwa nna

    January 17, 2016 at 12:04 am

    Nigerians are always praying to God and hoping that God will miraculously fix the mess called Nigeria.. And here’s the question I alway pose, with all the churches and mosques that we’ve in Nigeria if prayer was the answer wouldn’t Nigeria be a much better place than the shyte hole it is?! The problem I find with Nigeria is we’ve become intellectually lazy and would rather chant prayers rather push for the change we seek and our so called leaders/ politicians understand this physique about the average Nigerian and use it to their advantage.

    • gia

      January 17, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      Beware of the crazy reliogious folks coming to call you a “satan worshippper”!
      Nigerians don’t like it when you tell them the truth!

  12. usuji

    January 17, 2016 at 12:11 am

    nigerians are the ones destroying nigeria ,the political class are draining and running this country to the ground and instead of nigerians to condemn such behaviour we praise them calling them honorable and all sorts even posting pictures of the lavish lifestyle they live on blogs for us to see..these so called leaders are holding us in bondage,i hope nigerians know that oil is now selling bellow $30pb its time to stop all these sentiments of hes igbo hes our brother forgive him for the looting and all that nonsense.if anyone is caught stealing they should be charged without bail and jailed if not given firing squad . our money is 400 naira to the pound. who caused it ? the so called leaders who stole endlessly from our reserves without 500 naira to the pound we don reach zimbabwe level be that o. nigerians shine your eyes lets think logically .nigeria aint rich again o we better start recovering all the loots soon and the NASS thats supposed to help all they can do is think is how to enrich their own pockets asking for extra motorcade and wardrobe allowance ,at this critical time? acting like children hiding the budget of the nation ,what an embarrassment.i weep for this country honestly. i dont know how such heartless and evil thieves so called leaders got there.honestly.

  13. Ba

    January 17, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Truthfully, we Nigerians are the problem. Worshiping money instead of sacrifice and service. I won’t rant further. Is a pity I am in the shit hole

  14. ElessarisElendil

    January 17, 2016 at 1:08 am

    In the old days a coup would be on the horizon but the military are obviously a terrible choice. Hopefully in 2019 we have enough sense to retire the entire political class.

    Not betting on it though, history says its part of the growing pains nations go through.

  15. Honeycrown

    January 17, 2016 at 2:01 am

    Same topic, different day! Ironically, as obvious as the issue is & as many are living in misery in Nigeria, the magnitude of the problem defies easy resolution. The matter is tiring!

  16. The Bull

    January 17, 2016 at 2:03 am

    Most Nigerians do not want or care about the country getting better, they just want to get enough money by any means to be immune to the problems, enough money for inverter, fuel or diesel, etc.. That is why some people can sell their mothers to defend politicians that are looting and all sorts of corruption from top to bottom

  17. Reekaddict till infinity

    January 17, 2016 at 7:18 am

    Let me bliv this missing budget have a photocopy…then let them make use of the photocopy n forget about the original… These leaders r thieves, but God pass them

  18. Ezi

    January 18, 2016 at 11:07 am

    WE are ALL the problem. EVERY SINGLE NIGERIAN that has reached the age of proper reasoning. Now how we can solve this problem?…i have not the slightest clue. But i think when we realise and accept that we are allll the problem maybe that will be a good start in tackling this rot. Tommorrow, the writer of this lovely post will, if found in a difficult situation with the police for instance, still attempt to bribe his way out . And i do not stand to be corrected. It’s who we are.what we are. And it always starts from these little things that will probably seem irrelevant and of no serious consequence to the entire nation , why? because it is a way of life now, and thats the worst part. Thats the painful part, knowing that it will take a whole lot to remove yourself from such way of life just so you can make a difference. A difference that will still have to take a few more millions of people to eventually make an impact on the entire nation.

    Im nigerian and if you have changed and you know it will make a difference share how you did it. Cause this problem a virus that has eaten so deep, it wont be going anywhere no matter how many more posts and articles you keep writing about the state of the nation.

    We are all the problem.

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