OIt is very true that one cannot stop sleeping for fear of having bad dreams. But it is equally true that a person who has just woken up from a bad dream will not be in a hurry to return to sleep for fear of having another one.
My most recent nightmare happened few years ago but I still remember it as if it happened just yesterday. I had watched a very terrifying horror movie before going to bed that night. Before long, I was in a dreamland.
I found myself in a strange village walking on a very lonely road searching for my close friend Abu. I shouted his name so many times, but each shout was responded to with a loud silence.
Soon I was at a junction where I saw three heavily built men known in local parlance as “macho men”. I became worried and afraid. My fear was heightened when I heard one of them say in Hausa that they should use me for a sacrifice.
He had hardly finished speaking when I started running away from them. The three men gave me a hot chase. I ran as fast as my legs could carry me. Ironically, the faster I ran the slower I became.
Soon they caught up with me. I cried and shouted for help, which never came. No amount of tears could move them to have mercy on me. They tied my hands and legs and laid me on the ground. I resigned myself to fate and started praying to the Bearded Old Man above for a miracle. Just as one of them raised his cutlass to chop off my head, I screamed.
I woke up from bed and found myself in tears and drenched in sweat. It was indeed a nightmare I will never forget.
My nightmare happened some few years back, but Mr Speaker and his bunch of honourables are having theirs now. From my compatriots’ reaction so far, the decision to build a new chamber at the cost of $200 million is a bad dream. The desperate attempt to defend the decision amplifies the fact that our honourables are far detached from the realities their constituents are going through. And the earlier they wake up from their nightmare, the better for all of us.
That the Parliamentary Service Board (PSB) could even think of building a new chamber at this time is very shocking. The current chamber is very fit for purpose so it is not, and cannot be, a priority. Any attempt to continue promoting the idea of a new chamber will cause irreparable damage to the little credibility the House has.
Indeed, the likes of the Majority Leader and K.T. Hammond, who are strongly defending the idea, are viewed by their compatriots as persons who have no compassion for their constituents. With comments like “Members of Parliament (MPs) are not Father Christmas” and “MPs cannot sit under trees”, how else should they be viewed?
My worry is that the recalcitrance of the PSB is not only giving the House a bad name, but also eroding the gains chalked by the Nana Dee government so far. Believe it or not, it was such negative publicity that ensured the exit of President Ogwanfunu from power. If I were the President or a highly ranked member of the Executive, I would quickly call Mr Speaker and advise him to shelve the new chamber idea because it is a bad dream.
At this juncture, I would like to do something I rarely do in this column; that is, picking on people. My microscopic lenses are directed at the Majority Leader. He is a very knowledgeable man who used to attract a lot of respect from me and my compatriots. But I doubt if the situation is the same after he failed to exhibit political wisdom by becoming the lead crusader for the infamous new chamber.
My observation is that he has become more of a liability than an asset to the party and government, going into the 2020 elections. His distasteful comments and provocative attitude on the issue smack of a person who feels untouchable. Just having him among the leadership could attract many negative commentaries for the party in the 2020 campaign. If Osono sympathizers, like me, could feel the nauseating effect of his comments, then you can only imagine how the political neutrals would feel. Let those who have ears hear me loud and clear!
Abusuapanin, as I said earlier, the PSB must wake up from its bad dream and save all of us the ‘wahala’. To lampoon the political maverick Julius Malema, those supporting the building of a new chamber have lost their conscience. But they seem oblivious of that fact because their conscience did not bid them good-bye when it was leaving. Drop that chamber now!
See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!