What is not wrong about Wike rocking coat reportedly worth £2,125 (N4.07 million), when many Nigerians have been going to bed on empty stomach, since May 29, 2023?

What is not wrong about Wike rocking coat reportedly worth £2,125 (N4.07 million), when many Nigerians have been going to bed on empty stomach, since May 29, 2023?


Upon the publication of an article authored by this writer, and earlier published on this news platform with the title, “Seeing Wike’s Lavish Display Of Versace Coat As An Height Of Insensitivity To Prevailing Economic Hardships In Nigeria”, two of my friends, who are paradoxically enlightened and educated to the extent of understanding the fact that they have the constitutional rights to hold the minister to account, countered me for saying that the minister was flaunting his wealth buy wearing expensive clothes. Both of them unmistakably and unanimously did not minced words by asking me “What is your business if the minister wears whatever he chooses to wear? One of them ostensibly thought he was instilling fear in me when he said in pidgin: “The day wey dem go come carry you here, nor call me oooooo”. As a soldier whose arsenal is made of just a pen and a jotter, I dared him by saying “Go call dem come”.

Certainly! It is essential to recognize that as a citizen and journalist, I have the right to hold public officials accountable, and if citizens truly have the right to hold public officials accountable, there is need to take a closer look at Wike’s fashion choices.

It cannot be denied that in recent times that the minister has been making headlines for his unconventional fashion choices. His recent Versace denim midi coat, reportedly worth £2,125 (N4.07 million), sparked heated discussions on social media. Some critics argue that such extravagant dressing is inappropriate, especially when the nation faces economic challenges.

Despite the unsolicited defenses he is garnering from some of his admirers, it is crucial to understand that citizens and journalists have constitutional rights to scrutinize public officials, including their lifestyle choices. As a citizen, you have the right to express your opinions and hold public figures accountable. The Nigerian Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and the press. Journalists, in particular, play a vital role in informing the public and ensuring transparency, and of which I am both a Journalist and a citizen.

In fact, when individuals hold public office, they become accountable to the people they serve. Their actions, decisions, and even fashion choices are subject to scrutiny. Citizens and journalists have a duty to question and evaluate these aspects.

Like anyone else, Wike has the right to express himself through his clothing. Some argue that his expensive attire reflects his personal taste and style. After all, not all wealthy individuals dress ostentatiously; some prefer understated luxury. Notwithstanding, public officials must also consider the symbolism of their choices. Expensive clothing can send mixed messages, especially when citizens are facing economic hardships. Wearing a £2,125 coat while urging sacrifices from Nigerians raises eyebrows.

In the end, it is essential to strike a balance. Citizens and journalists can critique public officials’ actions, including their fashion choices, without infringing on their personal rights. By engaging in respectful dialogue, we contribute to a more accountable and transparent governance system.

Remember, while this writer was holding the minister to account by aptly flaying his predilection to an outrageously expensive cloths that it is not about personal attack, rather, it is about ensuring that our leaders act in the best interest of the nation.

Given the foregoing backdrop, no one can convince this writer that it is baseless to flay the public display of wealth which the minister has resorted to in the recent times, particularly as the ethical dilemma in flaunting wealth amidst poverty is crystal clear and damaging to the collective psyche of the youths, particularly the vulnerable among them. This is even more detrimental as not a few Nigerians have been going to bed on empty stomach since foods have become outrageously expensive beyond the reach of many since the president declared on May 29, 2023, that “Subsidy Is Gone”!

In fact, in a nation where many citizens struggle to make ends meet, the behavior of public officials, not just the minister, has become a matter of scrutiny. The stark contrast between their opulent lifestyles and the daily struggles faced by ordinary people raises ethical questions. Without sounding exaggerative in this context, it is wrong for public officials to flaunt their wealth when their constituents go to bed hungry.

The reason for calling for the holding of public officials to account in this context cannot be farfetched as their responsibilities or primary duties, whether elected or appointed is to serve the public interest. This service extends beyond policymaking as it includes empathy, compassion, and understanding the needs of the people they represent.

More so, it is very obvious that Nigeria faces significant wealth disparities. While some officials enjoy luxurious lifestyles, a significant portion of the population lives in poverty. As representatives of the people, officials must be sensitive to this divide.

At this juncture, it germane to opine that it seems as if most citizens do not even know the consequences which public officials’ collective display of wealth leaves on the people they are either elected or appointed to serve. In fact, when public officials flaunt their wealth, whether through designer clothing, extravagant parties, or ostentatious displays, they send a symbolic message. It implies that their personal comfort matters more than the well-being of their constituents.

In a similar vein, flaunting wealth erodes public trust. Citizens begin to question whether officials genuinely understand their struggles. This is as trust is essential for effective governance, and actions that undermine it harm the entire system.

Given the foregoing, public officials should empathize with the plight of their constituents as flaunting wealth demonstrates a lack of empathy and disconnect from the realities faced by ordinary Nigerians.

Considering the fact that true leadership involves sacrifice, public officials should prioritize service over personal indulgence. When they choose to display wealth, it reflects misplaced priorities.

In fact, in a country where poverty persists, public officials must exercise restraint. Flaunting wealth exacerbates existing inequalities and damages the social fabric. As citizens, we have the right to demand accountability and ethical behavior from those who represent us. Let us advocate for a leadership that understands the value of humility and compassion, especially when so many go to bed on empty stomachs. There is an urgent need for us to make public officials to always have it at the back of their minds that public service is a privilege, and not a license for extravagance.



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