The statements credited to the Minster of Power, Saleh Mamman, that cabals in the power ministry are working against government efforts to reposition the power sector for efficiency reverberated like echo for the past few weeks.
He further claimed that the “cabals’’ are bent on denying Nigerians electricity, that they have tied the ministry down like a goat that is ready to be killed. If it were in spiritual parlance, we would declare seven days fasting seeking the face of God.
But who are these cabals? What are their roles in the society? How can we prevent them from constantly putting us in darkness? Cabals are the untouchables who want to perpetuate themselves in power. They are small but immensely powerful and a law to themselves. Men who wield extraordinary power, who call the shots of government deals at all times and do not necessarily need to follow government procedures or policies. They are faceless with sufficient power to maintain the status quo. They pull strings from afar to achieve their purposes.
In Africa, when we recognize few of them, we shower them with encomiums. Yet we cry excitedly in the bosom of our family. We are too humble to demand what is our right. And when the matter gets to head sometimes, we mumble confusedly. That is the loop we find ourselves and that is the pathetic story of power in Nigeria. We have our votes in our hands and we have our voices to speak out when things aren’t going the way we want. Why are we at this stage?
The answer is simple: successive governments have been too timid to deal with the cabal. I strongly believe President Buhari can wrestle us from these cabals and write his name in gold. Perhaps, it was the cabal that has not allowed millions of Nigerians to be metered. The agency designated to handle this keeps giving nothing but estimated bill. Nigerians are being milked on a daily basis.
A former member of the House of Representatives and Chairman, House adhoc committee on power sector probe during the sixth National Assembly, Godwin Ndudi Elumelu, revealed that government officials have nearly bled the country to death. He told Silverbird correspondent that a situation where government would spend $1.545 billion on nine gas turbines when 18 of the same equipment were bought for $404 million within a short period is evil and a rape of the nation’s economy. Mr. Elumelu said that Brazil spent $12 billion to generate 12,000 megawatts; Nigeria has spent over $16,000 and still hovering around 3,500 to 5,000 megawatts. What a shame!
Olusanya Anjorin, Lagos