Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye, has included himself among the political elite who have failed Nigeria and her teeming youth.
Speaking at The Osasu Show Symposium in Abuja on Friday, Melaye said politics being played by the elite is responsible for poverty and hunger in Nigeria, and both ills have no political party.
Melaye, who spoke as one of the panellists at the symposium, themed ‘The new economy and its impact on less privileged citizens’, advised government to build public trust to curb societal ills.
“When you speak the truth, you die, when you lie, you die; so it is better to speak the truth and die. I may sound very unpopular but I will speak the truth. Apart from militocracy, politics is responsible for poverty and hunger in Nigeria,” Melaye said.
“Unfortunately, we the leaders, myself inclusive, have failed this nation and have failed the younger generation — myself inclusive. The reason why we are where we are today is because there is a disconnect between leadership and followership.
“As I speak to you, the problem why we are where we are is because of trust. There is no trust between the governed and those governing.
“Once there is no trust between the followership and the leadership, it will definitely have a negative concomitant effect on the economy, and every other facet of our national life.”
Melaye added that the ills facing Nigeria have no political party, and must be tackled by everyone.
“Hunger and poverty have no political party, hunger and poverty have no religion. To have brought people to discuss on the line of APC or PDP is not correct, because the poor PDP man and the poor APC man all go to the same market,” he said.
“What we should fix is democracy; democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. What we have is greediocracy; government of the greedy by the greedy, for the greedy.
“We the leaders want to win elections at all cost, so we spend money to win elections. The followership also is greedy, they accept money to vote. So, head or tail, there is a need for attitudinal change and this is affecting everything.”
“Today, we are talking about the recovery of our economy, we are talking about poverty and how to fight it. The only way to fight poverty is for we leaders to build trust among the people.
“How do you build trust? Today, if there is a policy statement banning the use of generators everywhere including the villa, when there is no light or electricity in Aso Rock, there should be no electricity in Nyanya.
“When there is no light in Lugbe, there should be no light anywhere; the citizens will develop confidence.
“When I was a member of the house of reps, I moved a motion that sons and daughters of all political office holders, or all politically exposed persons, from councillors to president should attend public school, that motion was not seconded; it died.
“If the son of the governor, senator is attending public schools, he will fix the school. So the issue of poverty is self-created. I want to call on us, everyone; leadership, followership, that especially the elites in this country; the Amaechi of this world, the Dinos of this world, the Igbinedions of this world, the Iboris of this world, we must take care of the poor.”
“If we don’t take of the poor, a time will come when the poor will take care of themselves, and how are they going to take care of themselves? It is already happening. There was no kidnapping before, today, kidnapping, from my own poor, myopic definition is a redistribution of ill-gotten wealth,” Melaye added.
“People now are afraid. People from the southeast, who normally will buy a big jeep and go home, these days take Abuja taxi. People no longer call Sunny Ade to come and perform at programmes because you call him today, tomorrow your brother, your sister, your mother will be kidnapped.
“So the rich is already paying for the inadequacies of their actions, so we must as a matter of urgent national importance create attitudinal change.
“When I was growing up as a child, houses had no fences, even in the GRAs. The situation got deteriorated, we started building houses with tall fences. Where I see tall fences as a child was either a Zoo or a prison yard.
“The situation got bad we started using broken bottles as barriers on our fences. It deteriorated, we started using barbed wires, today, it is electric fence. From beware of dogs, now we have to beware of lions, beware of snakes.
“There is a need for amelioration, and that amelioration is that we must build public trust, public trust will end hunger, public trust will create jobs, and this agitation today for Biafra is as a result of hunger and unemployment, take care of that, there will be no agitation.”