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No lessons from Mali

Nothing annoys me more than Africans behaving like muzungu. Imagine the Malian prime minister, Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga resigning with his entire cabinet because less than…

Nothing annoys me more than Africans behaving like muzungu. Imagine the Malian prime minister, Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga resigning with his entire cabinet because less than 200 disposable Malians were slaughtered in cold blood by – herdsmen. In Naija, 200 people would bring out the untapped Hollywood potentials in some governors and security chiefs but not resigning. You would think that the parliamentarians and the prime minister were responsible for these deaths. A forensic audit would make no such link. They did not patronize or condone mindless violence. No, these Malian politicians believe that elective office exists for the preservation and the protection of the lives and living conditions of the people who elected them and that failure to prevent mass killings makes them complicit. Resignations happen everyday in EuroAmerica, but not in Africa.

I am sure Mansur Dan Ali chuckled when he met with his friend, the minister for holiday announcements, Abdurahman Danbazau at last week’s executhief council meeting but for the ultimatum to write hand over notes. I imagine that as he was calculating his latest severance package, Bukola Saraki had time to guffaw over this with Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

Only two categories of people resign in the Naija political arena. Those with dual citizenship who are sure of better life in their other countries – even if it is welfare cheques. Take Saraki out of this group because no British welfare cheque could compete with the mouth-watering pension his enemies allege he got for ruining Kwara State. None could upstage what’s in store for him after May 29. The other set of resignees have the resume that gets them jobs at global institutions.

Our people never resign for dereliction of duty. That is not in our character. It is also not sunnah for Mr. Integrity to fire anyone just because a few voters die. Under a regime where the dead get appointed, the votes of the dead are counted twice – ask INEC.

People have been dying since Cain killed his brother Abel; nobody resigns because some people make themselves vulnerable to mass slaughter. Abubakar Yari did not resign when an epidemic hit Zamfara. He blamed it on the sin of the people and for that, he got a second term. In that term, entire villages have been wiped off the map but Yari presented himself for a senate seat. Recently when Tivs and Junkuns resumed their passion of killing each other, their governors flew away to oyiboland. Herdsmen have been slaughtering people everywhere from Kaduna to Kana. Muhammadu Buhari once ordered his then IG to relocate to Makurdi to stop the killing but the man disobeyed him, yet served his full term and was pulled out with fanfare.

Dear Malaian politicians, we would never emulate your political stupidity. As King Sunny Ade captured it in one of his songs – even if a thousand people die on Saturday, it is certain that songs of praise would be our choice in the Sunday that follows.

In Zamfara, Yari did not bury his head in shame; he presented himself for senate election reward. In Borno, Kashim Shettima spent two elected terms watching his state taken over by Boko Haram. He concentrated on keeping Government House, Maiduguri and his family safe. Days before the March elections, Shettima discountenanced security advice and led scores of people to their untimely deaths as he drove through Boko Haram territory campaigning for Sai Baba and himself. His convoy was ambushed; some were killed, others were kidnapped. Bold Shettima played down the number of victims and boasted that he would make the trip again. Remember no member of his own family was a casualty of the ambush.

Conscientious Malian politicians, Shettima will not resign. If Borno were wiped off the map, Shettima would remain in the red chamber, with Ali Ndume, who survived his serial senatorial mandates to garner ruining party support to be the next president of the sinnate. If you expect the NASS under the leadership of such loafers to resign, with their jumbo pay and scanty work, you’re sniffing something more powerful than super glue.

There is nothing to learn from Mali’s mass resignations. Naija’s youngest governor, Yahaya Bello runs my own state of Kogi. Known as Buhari’s lapdog, he mimicks his mentor except in salary payment. Kogi workers have not been paid for at least four months. Pensioners are dying on fruitless queues at endless verification exercises. Bello is warming up for a second term like his mentor as his state gears up to hit the Guinness Book of Records as the first state where civil servants work for free. And that my people, is enviably unbeatable!

If you guys in Mali were hoping to teach lessons in accountability, we in Naija would shock you by asking where you were when the world’s oldest library was burnt and looted by insurgents. How many French billionaires donated to get the Timbuktu library rebuilt? How many multinationals? You people should stop being holier than the pope, sorry, I meant the French. Parisians have been on the streets for 24 weeks asking Emmanuel Macron to resign; the young man hugs his bed at the Elysee Palace. Dear Malians, we are neither jealous nor impressed.

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