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Bolaji O. Akinyemi
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As e Dey Pain Us, e Dey Sweet Them!

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One of the leading figures of politics in Nigeria is Mr Nyesom Wike, former Governor of Rivers State and the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Wike rose through the ranks and files of politics either causing or managing controversies. From jumping between Rotimi Amaechi and Peter Odili, to standing in defence of President Jonathan against Rotimi Amaechi. So deft at controversy management that Former Governor Ayodele Fayose warned Sim Fubara, not to get into controversy with Wike o!

It is no longer news, that the political class in Nigeria doesn’t represent the masses neither are they really touched by the pains of the people they are holding the mandate of governance on their behalf!

Controversy is Wike’s second name! This can be seen from his fall out with his anointed son, Sim Fubara, who is the present Governor of Rivers State. Controversy with Wike is like a drama series. During the pre-election conflicts, Wike popularised a song; as e de pain dem, e dey sweet us, to tell the story of his advantage of the mismanagement of PDP crisis!

As usual with elections and governance and its turning of table. The table has turned against the people and in favour of the political class who seem united extravagantly in the mysteries of economic woes that is engulfing the masses!

It is an open discussion in markets across Nigeria how the masses can’t fathom whatever inspired the 90 billion naira reckless donation in the midst of our economic challenges without solution in sight.

A woman roasting corn on the roadside and offering the smallest piece of corn on her wares for ₦300 said, there was no corn at Oke Odo Market, I have to take ₦1000 transport to Ifo Market and another ₦1000 back to buy this little stuff am roasting to sell. She went further; even at Ifo situation with food items is not better, 10 pieces of tomatos is ₦2500, she reminded everyone it was ₦250 only under Buhari. Garri has jumped from ₦800 to ₦2000 for paint plastic. Beans that used to be all comers meal, a derica from Buhari to Tinubu went from ₦350 to ₦1200.

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A driver who is a Muslim, but nicknamed Holy father for his uprightness in transaction pleaded with me for assistance, if he can be empowered with the 8 million naira for Hajj, to upgrade his transportation business, he assured me he will comfortably fund his Hajj in 5 years. Islam he said is absolutely in support of helping the poor, but never to help them perform Hajj.

There is no reward in Islam for the venture that Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Alhaji Kashim Shettima has committed themselves to. He went further to cite an Islamic cleric he referred to as Chief Imam of Offa.

It is outrightly made clear that the poor is not about to breathe under this government across the country as news monitored online reports that no fewer than 30 state governments of the federation have spent ₦986.64b on recurrent expenditures, including refreshments, sitting allowances, travelling, utilities amongst others in the first three months of 2024!

The states’ budget implementation reports, which were obtained from Open Nigerian States, a website supported by BudgIT that acts as a repository for public budget data, were analysed for the first three quarters of the year.

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Punch examined budget implementation data from thirty states. Data for six states were not available.

Benue, Imo, Niger, Rivers, Sokoto and Yobe States were the ones without Q 1, 2024 data!

According to the report, 30 states spent ₦5.1bn on refreshments for guests, ₦4.67bn on sitting allowances to government officials, ₦34.63bn on local and foreign travel expenses, and ₦5.64bn on utility bills, amounting to ₦50.02bn in the first three months of 2024!

The general utilities include electricity, internet, telephone charges, water rates, and sewerage charges, among others.

The sub-nationals also paid ₦405.77bn as salaries to their workers.

Other recurrent spending items covered in the report included the amount spent on foreign and domestic travels, internet access fees, entertainment, foodstuff, honorarium/sitting allowance, wardrobe allowances, telephone bills, electricity charges, stationery, anniversaries/special days, welfare, aircraft maintenance, and more.

In the first three months of 2024, Abia State spent ₦10.92bn on its recurrent expenditures, including ₦165.38m on refreshments and feeding, ₦39.26m on utilities, ₦214.57m on sitting allowances, ₦127.1m on local and foreign travels, among miscellaneous expenses.

During this period, Adamawa State expended ₦23.7bn on recurrent expenditures with ₦287.61m spent on refreshments and feeding, ₦109.62m on utilities, ₦79.57m on sitting allowances, ₦768.77m on local and foreign travels.

For Akwa Ibom State, recurrent expenditure gulped ₦46.85bn, which included N4.46m on refreshments and feeding, ₦223.32m on utilities, ₦6m on sitting allowances, ₦214.61m on local and foreign travels.

Anambra State disbursed N9.91bn for recurring expenses with ₦78.18m on refreshments and feeding, ₦32.52m on utilities, ₦42.09m on sitting allowances, ₦188.39m on local and foreign travels.

Also, recurrent expenditures cost Bauchi State Government ₦35.75bn with ₦397.58m going to utilities, ₦50.8m on refreshments, ₦287.11m on allowances, and ₦413.56m on trips.

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Bayelsa State spent ₦35.1bn on recurrent expenditures, comprising ₦28.4m on utilities, ₦156.14m on refreshments and ₦279.99m on trips.

Similarly, Lagos State disbursed ₦189.62bn for recurrent expenditures, including ₦1.21m for refreshments, ₦383.12m for utilities, sitting allowances costing ₦52.79m and ₦633.37m on travels.

Borno spent ₦18.79bn, Cross Rivers (₦17.44bn), Delta (₦68.68bn), Ebonyi (₦14.95bn), Edo (₦32.32bn), Ekiti (₦32.8bn), Enugu (₦7.51bn) and Gombe with ₦20.89bn.

Within the same period, Jigawa State spent N15.52bn on the recurrent expenditures, Kaduna expended ₦34.69bn, Kano (₦34.41bn), Katsina (₦21.87bn), Kebbi (₦11.67bn), Kogi (₦37.4bn), Kwara (₦24.34bn), Nasarawa (₦18.61bn), Ogun (₦47.12bn), Ondo (₦31.12bn), Osun (₦24.39bn), Oyo (₦40.12bn), Plateau (₦24.70bn), Zamfara (₦13.46bn), and Taraba (₦20.93bn)!

To imagine that NLC and TUC will agree to a ‘go for now, we will see you later’ to call off the strike is unbelievable!

The old national anthem made new would obviously have cost implication to Tax payers, an indication that the party extravaganza is not limited to state’s houses; National Assembly and the Presidency are not left behind. Our new song should not just be the national anthem, the masses must turn Wike’s song to theirs, in preparation for #RevolutionNow for as e dey pain us, e dey sweet them! How long this will continue will be determined by our pain’s threshold!

Dr. Bolaji O. Akinyemi is an Apostle and Nation Builder. He’s also President Voice of His Word Ministries and Convener Apostolic Round Table. BoT Chairman, Project Victory Call Initiative, AKA PVC Naija. He is a strategic Communicator and the C.E.O, Masterbuilder Communications. He can be reached via Email: bolajiakinyemi66@gmail.com; Facebook: Bolaji Akinyemi; X: Bolaji O Akinyemi; Instagram: bolajioakinyemi; Phone: +2348033041236

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Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.

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