In 2004, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, then
Back to amenities from this interesting digression. We are not asking for Nigeria to go to the moon or to even produce a car – after all, a country like Canada, one of the world’s most industrialised and wealthy nation, does not even build its own car – all we are asking is for water to flow in the taps, food to be affordable to everybody, constant supply of electricity, a basic but effective healthcare system that will prolong our lives and reduce mortality rates, and a good transportation and communication system that will stand the test of time and make life easy for Nigerians. There are more of course, but dare we ask these “patriotic leaders”?
What is the point of siphoning and embezzling so much money and then burying it under the ground or sending it abroad to foreign banks? These patriotic thieves are even afraid to spend the money. Take a top official ostensibly in charge of our sports development. This official has made so much money over the past few years and has almost everybody in his pocket. He has his hands in every sports program in the country and he is super-rich. They also say he has very serious high-blood pressure. So, I asked, why didn’t he retire and enjoy his ill-gotten gains in retired bliss? I was told that the man can not afford to retire, because if he does, he fears that his replacement will expose him. He also thinks he is the only person in
I was once in the presence of a former deputy military Head of State or whatever he called himself and he was bemoaning the state of Nigeria’s sports in particular and Nigeria in general under one of his successors (By the way, his administration had previously been booted out or forced to leave in disgrace) He was saying how he would do this and would do that if he was in power. I could not believe what I was hearing. It was all I could do not to interrupt him and say “Oga, but you had your chance for 8 years when you were there, why didn’t you do it? What did you do for Nigerians during your tenure except rob them?”. This was the same man, it was rumoured, who in November 1994, came to
So why does it seem like there is an abundance of corrupt Nigerians and a dearth of honest, well-meaning and dedicated Nigerians? If I knew the answers to
Another answer, if I may venture into controversy, is that we as a people are too apathetic and too optimistic – nothing wrong in the latter, but without any basis for being so. That is why Nigerians spend so much time praying in churches and mosques asking God to help. Please I am not against being religious. But you know why God will not help just like that? The churches and mosques where we go to pray are also corrupt. The priests and the mullahs know that those who sponsor their places of worship stole this money from the Nigerian people, but they will never condemn them in front of God and
The corrupt Nigerian is so brazen. Nowadays, since a former military president practically “institutionalised” corruption in the Nigerian society, they don’t even give a damn about being discovered. They bask in their corruption. They are arrogant with it. They are shameless because people do not let them realise it is a shameful thing to do to rob millions of people and a crime to deny Nigerians a good standard of living and a sin to be directly and indirectly responsible for the death of thousands, if not millions, of Nigerians. They are confident in their dishonesty because they may eventually get away with it. And most importantly, they are certain in themselves because they are the rulers, they have the power and they have control of the government apparatus and thereby the resources which belong to all Nigerians. But they want it all for themselves. Damn the rest of the Nigerian people. They are a selfish and vicious clique, with no interest of their people in mind. Despite what they have stolen, they are never satisfied. They want to steal everything in sight that can be stolen. Yet, they are “honourable and patriotic” Nigerians.
When I look at it, it is a wonder that
One of our former Heads of State, Babangida is reputed to be the richest Nigerian alive and one of the richest in
Corruption is a malignant disease that has eaten into every fabric of the Nigerian society. Nobody is immune from it. Nobody is safe from it. It affects everybody, one way or the other. You cant escape it. It does not matter where the Nigerian lives, home or abroad, corruption, Nigerian style, follows you. Even if you are not corrupt, it still affects you, because the moment you say you are a Nigerian to any foreigner, they immediately think of corruption and think of you as a corrupt human being. They stopped trusting you. Ask Nigerians living and trying to survive in the
Corruption must be a Nigerian, so they say. It is mind boggling to try and estimate how much money has been stolen, embezzled or misappropriated by Nigerians in power, (the great late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti used to call them Vagabond in Power, VIP). And these are only from rumours and the few ones that we know about, and only when they were exposed by their nemesis, the EFCC. Thousands more never even surface. When you try and guess, its like trying to guess where the cosmos starts and ends, you will end up crying. Nobody will ever know for sure how much money has been stolen by Nigerians from Nigerians since