Friday 22-Nov-2019, 4:51PM / 1314

A deliberate tour of Nigerian homes and sample of her society brought about the idea of writing on “A bite of National cake”

National cake in Nigeria context is a popular slang which connotes the sharing of national “common wealth”, with this, people believes that the wealth of the nation are meant to be shared across board regardless of position/age.

Consequently, the sharing formula of national cake brought about misplaced priority which gave birth to “eat once and suffer long” ideology. This has no doubt caused a lot of set back and deceit.

How can one explain a citizen who thinks the only way to have a bite of national cake is to go a dubious way? How can one explain a father, who thinks the way to have a bite is for someone (a political office holder) to sponsor his child’s wedding? How can we explain an able bodied youth who thinks the only way to have a bite is to get paid to carry placard? How can we explain the case of a graduate who thinks the only way to have a bite is to sell his conscience at poll? How can we explain a religion leader who thinks the only way he could have a bite is to sing the praise of a mere mortal?

Can someone tell me if it is possible to eat a cake and still have it? Is this possible in any part of the world? Unless a magical performance is involved, a cake after eaten is gone.

A bite of national cake has been a canker-worm eating this nation from a very long time ago, but the recent innovation of “vote buying” tactics of our political class who deliberately impoverished the people and in return bought their conscience at poll makes it more pronounced. I heard people saying “if you don’t have your bite now, when will you”? This statement was about selling their votes to the highest bidders on the day of election. Some people even placed their cards for sale just to meet their immediate needs forgetting that problems/challenges never end until our lives end.

The question is, if you pay a bricklayer/ an engineer to construct a building for you, do you still need to continue paying/serving that engineer after the building is completed? I guess no one in his right senses will pay for a particular service and still continue paying for the same service after its completion.

Above scenario is the case of my dear nation, where political class brings the trimmed part of the national cake to the people and the people embraced it in the name of national cake, whereas when the main cake is decorated and ready for consumption, the people are sidelined, because, they already ate the trimmed part when the cake was in the making.

I will like to paraphrase GEORGE CARLIN who said “forget the politicians, they already got you by the balls, they paid billions every year to get what they want. They always want more for themselves and less for others. He said further that “but I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed and well educated citizens.

Dear great people, it is time we change our orientation about the national cake. National cake is not the #4000 they paid us at poll to buy our conscience. It is not the #10,000 they paid us during their rallies. It is not the marijuana they bought us to disorganize opponents’ programmes. National cake is not the money they paid our daughters to have them in bed. It is not the #6000 they paid us to raise placard for them or against others. It is not the huge amount they paid our religion/traditional leaders to sing their praise.

Our national cake which we are all entitled to are: good road networks, sound education for our children, enabling environment for entrepreneurs, creation of jobs, good electricity etc

Once we eat the trimmed part of the national cake during their campaigns and electioneering period we are not entitled to the main cake when it is decorated and ready for consumption.

Before you settle for that national cake, think: is this worth “eat once and suffer long”?


Luqman A. Alawode
Director of Studies
Initiative for Sound Education, Relationship & Health (ISERH)

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