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The biology of Nigerian politics

Each time, I x-ray the activities of the Nigerian National Assembly as it is currently constituted; I just continue to remember the lessons of Mr…

Each time, I x-ray the activities of the Nigerian National Assembly as it is currently constituted; I just continue to remember the lessons of Mr Aguda, my Biology teacher. The bee has a head called the Queen. Nigeria has a leader called the President. The bees have soldiers who I think have the same characteristics as the Nigerian populace. And then the bees have the drones, which, if you like you can equate to the legislature under our primitive presidential system of government. Now, that may not totally translate to the presidential system in which we have the executive, the legislature and the judiciary but I have deliberately left out the judiciary because they do not fit into the bee colony except of course you want to equate them to the flowers which provide the pollen that makes the nectar. Sometimes, our understanding of the role that the judiciary plays in the democratic set-up is as varied as our love for flowers – which varies depending on the individual and his or her taste.

The honeybee queen has a lifespan of between one to three years. Okay, our president has a four-year structure – just a one year bonus. The Queen is the mother of all other members of the social structure in the beehive just as the government (presidency) is the one who holds all of us to ransom pretending to be our father and mother. Remember that all other tiers in our own type of democracy come every month-end cap in hand begging for its allocation. The Queen has a distended abdomen which absorbs all things, just like the federal government appropriates everything on behalf of all of us.

The worker bee is a workhorse. It gathers nectar from flowers to make the honey. It doubles as worker and soldier and is armed with a stinger which sticks into the body of anything it bites in its quest to defend its work, its territory and the Queen. It is so devoted to duty that whenever it stings, a part of its abdomen is firmly adhered to the flesh of its victims. In its quest to pull itself off its victims, the worker bee pulls part of its abdomen and dies. I see a nexus between the worker bee and the average Nigerian – they work their arse off and die without being rewarded. Drone bees are quite interesting. They are males in gender, they are stingless and like their name implies, they do nothing except mate with the Queen bee. The Nigerian legislature does little to nothing except live big on the people who elected them. Their impact is hardly felt on the lives of the people. In two years, the legislature has passed only two budgets which of course have juicy constituency projects. Anything else is not important to the Nigerian legislature.

Recently however, the Nigerian drone has moved on. Accused of complacency, they have found a new passion in probes. Probes are a dynamic way of masking indolence, it gives the impression that you are working when you are not. It also grabs media attention with screaming headlines. Remember the power probe and how it ended? Then Mr. President accused them of indolence and now they are on NNPC with the usual screaming headlines. They shout so much you would think that something would come off it. Of course, something always comes off it, benefitting their pockets. Don’t get me wrong, probes are important but is it the principal thing? Maybe if we find the answer to that question, what we need to do is what the bees do to the drones – tolerate them until summer months and then drive them out to wander and die. Is there a way we can bypass the rigging and magomago machinery of the ruling class and ensure that we chase out these drones who have outlived their functionality without being useful?