By: Hamzat Mariam

Dear Nigerians,

It is with frustration I write you this letter. I am tired! Of everything Nigerian and everyone. I’m tired of been labelled corrupt when all I have done is help people in my own way.

Ever since I joined this game called politics, I have come to realise it is no fault of politicians in any way that things are the way they are. Rather than blame us, Nigerians should praise us. Yes.

I am a politician, and even currently a minister. But what Nigerians have forgotten is that I’m also a father and a husband. I am but a servant of the people with personal responsibilities. I earn a salary and I have allowances too, but have you forgotten that I have responsibilities?

Like any parent, I want the best for my kids. They have to go to the best schools abroad if they are to be able to mingle freely with the sons and daughters of other ministers and governors. If they are to be given out in marriage, as political tool in exchange for positions, then it is only best that I give them what they want.

Even my wife has standards to meet up too. For the sake of her friends, appearance and even Nigerians who gossip.

More than being a minister, I have duties to fulfil first to my family and relatives and myself. They all look up to me for jobs, money, position, and all that comes with my influential post. It is also pertinent that I help them if I’m to live a good life full of love and admiration. I place my family on a pedestal, even more than a position I signed up for willingly.

Do you now see that it is no fault of mine if I accept brown envelopes and engage in dubious businesses when my earnings do not pay for all my needs?

Just the other day while on a visit to my mother’s, I gave the youths filling up the potholes on the road an handsome cash of N5000. What if the contractor had done the road excellently with expensive materials, how will these youths make money from the hundreds of cars on that route? I’m sure they are making a lot!

Even many Nigerian youth now believe in entrepreneurship and no longer wait for government jobs. If there had been jobs, would they think of establishing or starting something of their own? Scarcity and inflation, I dare say, have increased local production.

With the low standard of education and lack of teachers in public schools, a lot of parent are opting for private schools where they give their kids the best at a high cost. Is it not a win- win situation unhindered by the government? The school makes money and the kids get the best.

‘Corrupt’ is a word that seems to flow effortlessly with ‘Nigerian politician’ on many a Nigerian’s tongue. But rather than blame us or insult us, I plead that you use our idleness and corruption to your advantage. Although we do it glutinously for ourselves, it is for your benefit too.

Rather than blame us politicians, Nigerians really have enough to be thankful for. Every sector can be improved with a thinking and working Nigerian.

Yours in service,

An ethical Nigerian politician.