Of Air Crashes and Bank Failures!

by Charles Sogbesan

Do not be too surprised that all of a sudden we seem to be approaching a precarious brink. It just seems like the bankrupt media has decided to up the ante and tempo regarding reporting of certain aspects of our dysfunctional entity called Nigeria.

These mostly (emphasize “most”) pathologically impaired reporters, together with their compromised owners/publishers are in cahoots with the corrupt politicians”, do not have news, but they create news and false hopes. Ever so often, they wake up rudely? Lo and behold, they report that here lies a country that is impaired, full of chronic liars, outright dishonest people, Leeches of the weak, pathological sharks, ignorant and mischievous. Technician with no techniques. Pilots that cant pilot. Runways where cows keep still. Bank directors that can’t direct. Bank managers that can’t manage.

Yet again, how else will you explain the bribing of a plane inspector that was reported by some of these newspapers? How else will you explain purchases of “entry” level house of N50 million? Did you just say stolen funds? Did you just say “unpaid loans? Did you just say “Buddy” Loans? Nice boat, by the way. Fantastic, how ironic, in a country where most people live on less than N200 a day.

This plane crashes in the past 2 years and our recent bank failures must have been an awakening. They must have no hopes to dash. They must have no dreams to destroy. I will for the sake of generalizing spare the few good ones. However, do not be astonished. It is the reason we exist as immigrants in Europe and the Americas. It is the reason we keep being assaulted up in France and Australia. Why millions of patriotic Nigerians have left their beloved country.

Give me a break. Have the newspapers been in a coma for the past 10 years? In my typical Mephistophelean way of thinking, and I know I will ruffle some feathers (with a deep and sincere apology to the dead, may their souls rest in peace. However, I cannot get these thoughts out of my head, so I will put ink to paper).

Here are a few questions to ponder
As I think of the poor children that perished on their way from their school “Loyola Jesuit College”, I mourn and I reflect. I also think (without trivializing the incident) of the millions of my little sisters and brothers, without shoes, without meals, without the basic opportunity to even ever taste or understand the real essence of life. I have to be careful as I am still mourning. I see these children everyday, walking by my house without a care in the world. There are millions of them, in your village, in your towns, in your cities, in your states. Yes, these are your future. You see them every day at a time past noon. Just been children. If only they knew the calamity that lay ahead of them. Who are these children? Are they my Kin’s? My own?

Most of them will get to been teenagers, but most all of them would not enjoy being a teenager. Most will have to sell goods to support their parents. Some will be killed while trying to hawk goods. Some will get pregnant and kill their future there and then.

Most will see planes and never enter them. They will never know what it really is to live life. They will never go on field trips; they will never go visit aquariums. They will never exchange with the likes of them, to see other cultures. If only they knew how their counterparts really lived. How kids like them are revered. How elders and grown ups know not to steal from their children. Because this is what you do when you steal government money, is it not? You steal from your children.

Yes, we have traveled everywhere, Hungary, New York, Havana, Buenos Aires, Seoul city.

We have seen children. They do not live like this. However, we like the way these foreign children live. We like their manners, we like their neatness, we like their schools, their education. So what do we do? We steal more and more and more and more.

We send our children abroad, away. Therefore, the circle begins. The circle of self-hatred. I am being carried away here. Because the sudden blast from the taxi behind me, makes me look to my left. Ha! Ha! , Yes, my neighborhood school. No roofs, no windows, treacherous classroom floors that could inflict pain on the ankle (If you step on them the wrong way). Yet they excel and pass? If you can call it that. If they dont, their poor parents will kill them any away or inflict pain. The cycle of pain goes on and on and on and on.

I then switch the conversation to my personal assistant

How many Nigerians can afford to fly?

But Oga, things are getting better!

Are they really? Have you visited a government office lately?

No Sir!

Have you visited your hospital lately?

My wife, sir, 2 weeks ago!

Which hospital, was it?

Praiiifate (Private ) ni sir! Here you go again wagging the dog, Mr. Charles,

So you know some American words. But really, I am not. I am trying so you can see the whole nine yards.

You always throw this red herring, always trivializing the issue Sir!

Am I. This is not my intention. I want you to see a clearer picture.

Brother, I don’t have a camera.

No, I mean be insightful. You see, we play a game in America, It is called baseball. This is how we play baseball in America, Your opponent throws the ball, and your teammate tries to hit it with a pogo like stick, not unlike a cricket bat, but like a real thick stick. Opponents on the outer perimeter surround your teammate. His teammates are in all the bases (not like cricket). Whenever he hits the ball, they will run from first base (in a circle) not exactly. It is just like that in Nigeria, It seems the good guy is your teammate trying to get a home run. Outside the stadium is the promised land. Inside the stadium is your other teammates are in the shade waiting, but powerless. If you do not get a home, run or better yet hit the ball out of the park. Need I say more?. The ball is the government.

So Nigeria is like a game of baseball. Mr. Charles, you are confusing me.

Is it like football?. No! It is like Baseball, you dummy!

Oga, I don’t know.

Bringing me back to “Bank Failures”, I thought 18 months ago; all these banks were getting awards left, right and center. I have tried to find any article:
Critical of the exposure these banks had.
Critical of the lack of “consumer lending”
Critical of the C.E.O lifestyles, I’m still searching
Critical of the lack of lending for “Small businesses”
Critical of the heavily skewered Loan portfolios towards individuals
Critical of the percentage of Loans for certain companies as a percentage of entire bank Loan portfolios.
Maybe it’s just me having cognitive dissonance again

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1 comment

Silvanus Akpabio October 11, 2009 - 12:12 pm

Spot on


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