Lord, Who Watches The Watchman?
I say listening to the airwaves in the morning can be very educative and entertaining-oh very amusing too I mean.
Isn’t it interesting how people hallucinate around here and criticize others, in most cases based on perceptions? But when similar attempts are made to also scrutinize them and question why similar measures are not being applied, they swiftly jump from their slumbers to revert to the village oracle which in most cases are down played to their advantages.
And so, Father, listening to one of the airwaves in our village the other day was no exception. There was this villager who had called to find out, apparently he knew but also wanted other villagers to know- why is it that the villagers don’t hear the chiefs at the Traditional Counsel defending the plenty money they are always asking for.
In addition, the villager also wanted to find out why the villagers here don’t also hear them explaining how they usually spend the previous money like they always demand the various big, big houses that are in charge of various activities here to do.
But before the villager could put his telephone down, the number of chiefs or people from the Traditional Counsel calling to provide a defense or not convincing explanation almost completely overshadow the villager’s good intent and confirmed the widely held perception that mentioning the benefits, and allowances of the Chiefs at the Traditional Counsel in public is like a second degree felony, which has seen several big men and women in our village go to jail either for delay in its payment or a cut. And not to mention town criers being called and coined as inciting the entire village against them (Chiefs) for mentioning their allowances and benefits too much in public.
Father, these are guys who hype and demand transparency, accountability, integrity and competence from the other people in our village leadership. They are the watchmen, watching over the shoulders or pretending to be watching over the shoulders of the other people they share our village power with. But what happens when those they are watching over have gone to rest-meaning after complying with these measures, who watches over them too?
Father, I have been back home for the past seven years, and to the best of my knowledge since this Old-lady came to power, not one day have I heard these people explaining how they spend the money given to them and why should we give them more. The number of staff they claim to have whether they exist in reality, as many have in time past demanded that the payments of their staff should be done directly by themselves.
Even with all the checking and exposing the other people who are responsible to check whether the people are using our money wisely or chopping it did, they have never one day question the chiefs as to how they use the millions of gasoline coupons given to them or the numerous scratch cards, traveling perdiems and so on.
Father, even the people who also do these checking, I have not heard them being checked to see how they also use the village people money given to them to do their work. The indiscriminate reward systems they had and so on.
But trust me Father, it is very easy to play a watchman role than to be watched over. Even town criers, (may the dead ones souls rest in peace), will only criticize each other behind closed doors but would put up a massive defense for each other in public.
Some of them like the Chiefs at the Traditional Counsel profess to be the agents of ensuring transparency, accountability, integrity and competence, but are so corrupt to the teeth, lacks integrity, transparency and incompetent. Check around and see how many of them are on secret payrolls in this village-a measure intended to keep them quiet on controversial issues. But who is there to expose them?
Big, big people fearing to be hunted by these town criers will choose to have these kind of transactions concealed but would in public throw a general accusation at all the town criers in the village.
Some town criers dead (like I said may their souls rest in peace), were feared and celebrated not because they upheld transparency, many were afraid that they would write something negative on them, so they hypocritically held them in high esteem. But they were among the most corrupt practitioners-diverting donor funding and taking huge bribes and at the same time categorizing some of their colleagues.
Can’t you see Father that these are all hypocrites (funny characters acting on our village stage)? And then we preach nationalisms, when all we do is to pretend and always asked this self-centered and greedy question: What is in there for me?
Integrity, no doubt is zero, when it comes to self in this village Father. But it pretends to be in place when the one acting as the agent of ensuring same (integrity) demand that the other person complies. What a wonderful village to live in-no wonder it will forever remain underdeveloped as long as the self (the watchman) remains unwatched.