Nigeria News

How Lagos Lawmaker Spent About N30m On Sallah Ram

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ElevateNews takes a look at the spending on rams by a Lagos Federal Lawmaker during Eid-el-Kabir.

The smallest of the rams is about N85, 000 in the market while the biggest goes for N120, 000, according to investigation on the sizes of the animals distributed by Enrg. Ganiyu Johnson to politicians during Ileya festival.

The former Lagos State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ganiu Johnson, representing Oshodi/Isolo Federal Constituency distributed 300 of this to politicians in his constituent during the Eid-el-Kabir festival.

While distributing it, the lawmaker said it was one of the ways to assist the Muslim faithful in his constituent. He did not only give to the members of his All Progressives Congress but Johnson ensured that the rams got to members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party who are Muslims.

I gathered that some leaders of the party who are Christians benefitted from the Sallah rams. Johnson had laid for himself a foundation to run again after this first term at the House of Representatives.

But it struck me when the lawmaker said that he had plans for the youths of his constituent, adding that soon he would let the cat out of the bag to engage the youths.

He is of the opinion that busy youths will reduce violence and other vices in Oshodi and Isolo environs. To me, this is what should have been the priority instead of about N30 million squandered on meat.

Johnson was part of the administrations of former Governors Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Babatunde Fashola who ruled with the idea of rams sharing during tenures.

The two administrations for 16 years budgeted for rams and distributed it annually to politicians, senior civil servants and journalists. It was a formula that worked well for the governors, which the immediate past Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode abolished and paid dearly for it.

Ambode refused to distribute rams for four years of his tenure. To him, it was a waste of State funds.

He never returned for the second term because he failed to speak the language the politicians understand. But to Johnson, the culture of rams’ distribution must be entrenched if he must retain his cordial relationship with the politicians.

While the rate of unemployment has continued to increase and there is a need for government and by extension elected officers to be more creative on how to address this, the politicians prefer the stomach infrastructure democracy.

The grassroots politicians want money to be shared; rams to be distributed during ‘Ileya’ and Chicken and rice to be given to them during Christmas.

There is no magic that can solve the growing poverty, youth unemployment as long as the formula of stomach infrastructure is enshrined in our culture of democracy.

I quite agree that democracy is better played according to the culture of the people but it must be noted here that rice and ram distribution was never part of the government in the past.

Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo spent the Public funds on free education and quality health facility without distributing items to politicians and consequently wrote his name in the hearts of his people.

Today’s politicians write their names in the mouths and stomachs of the people with no plan to address the fallen education and health facilities.

After Sallah, the ram meat would have been devoured and washed down the throats of the beneficiaries with good drinks. About N30 million would have been wasted on Sallah and yet about 300 youths would have been denied some small capital of about N100,000 each to start small scale business.

There are so many ways to expend N30 million to change the economic status of people, including increasing the bursary allowance of thousands of youths that are students in that constituency.

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