By Adeola Aderounmu
If all the corrupt politicians and other corrupt people in Naija are to be arrested while abroad and put on trial, we will likely have a state of emergency.
What I mean is that there will be almost no one left in the seat of government in Naija and several businesses both private and public will need sudden adjustments to be able to continue with their functions or activities.
This is not an exaggeration. Corruption is a way of life rather than an exception in Naija and it must stop.
Naija’s seat of power will be empty if international laws make room or allowance for the sort of criminal prosecution that James Ibori is undergoing in UK.
Think about all the corruption charges and criminal activities that have been swept under the carpets in Naija since time immemorial.
It is impossible to write the list all over again; one can go mad trying to do that. Which one do you want to start from and where do you want to end?
Summarily you will hardly find any member of the ruling class both ex- and present at federal, state and local levels that are not soiled in one form of corruption/ looting charges or the other. You will hardly find officials who are not living above their income + allowances.
There are many probes that have been undertaken but we always end up at square one. That means that nothing comes out of the probes. Instead the discovered loots from Naija and abroad are redistributed and everyone goes mute. When it is not that, it is one corrupt group providing cover to another one.
Ideology departed naija long time ago.
The end result is the devastation of Naija by those who have promised to uphold the constitution, the rule of law and service to humanity. The outcome is the disgraceful ranking of Naija among the poorest countries in the world.
Time and time again I have refused to come to terms with how (probably) the most blessed country in the world became a home to some of the poorest people alive. This incomprehensible agony may follow me to my grave. It’s the greatest pain I bear.
How and what do you want to think about Naija. They tell us to stop complaining. How can we? Everyone of us must continue to use the means / medium available to him or her to continue to address the issues affecting Naija no matter how little the contributions seems. We will never have a perfect country but we must do all we can to pursue the optimal conditions-that aim at peace, happiness and the fulfilment of our dreams as individuals and as a nation.
Just the other day another Naija who has shamelessly contributed to the under-development of our football over the years was finally exposed far away in Switzerland. Amos Adamu, instead of accepting his fate, instead of repenting and turning a new leaf went bragging about his innocence. Evidence don’t lie, not when they are available in audio and video. If he pushes his luck too far the evidence may surface on YouTube sooner or later.
A person like me can only wish, but International laws are not going to change to the extent that they will allow all the corrupt people in Naija to be arrested and prosecuted while on wasteful adventures abroad.
I do not mean / and I have never stated that oyinbos are not corrupt but the differences are too clear. When oyinbos–as individuals-are exposed or caught in the acts, they tend to resign and then face court actions. Naijans don’t resign. They get promoted after each corrupt activity.
Even if a newspaper or news outfit in Naija publishes a story about one corrupt officer or public servant. The story may not appear twice.
The affected officer/ his people will kill the news information by several means. The journalist can be bribed and kept silence forever. The journalist could even be literarily killed like it has happened several times in Naija. The newspaper/ news outfit company may even see such information as a means to enrich the organisation as a whole. Blackmail may set in.
In the end the story dies. Poverty spreads and the moral decadence is aggravated.
There are thousands of cases of Naija officials who have escaped from the arm of the law even under the EFCC since its inception. EFCC as it was in the beginning is still the same today-selectively and inconclusively pursuing justice. It makes no sense. The essence of our lives remains eroded by the consequences of all the things we have done half way or totally neglected.
In 1983 Mrs Obi my class teacher at Central Primary School, Festac Town, taught me that nearly does not catch a bird. Throughout life, my father told me that what is worth doing at all is worth doing well. I have learnt many things in my life. These things indicate to me that the people who have managed to hold the rest of us hostage in Naija are abnormal people.
The rest of us have loads of sacrifices to make if we want true freedom and normal independence. To this day, it’s absolute madness at the helm of affairs where corruption continues to beget corruption.
The cost of the destruction and devastation that has befallen Naija are inestimable. We could have built a bridge that goes round the world if we wanted. We didn’t. Instead we created emperors, tyrants and dictators who have total evil intents and wicked purposes.
For example, if we look at the cost of going to school alone in Nigeria, we get an overview of the doom ahead. Whilst every nation of the world strive to provide basic, compulsory and affordable or free education to their citizens, Nigeria continues to make it harder and harder for ordinary people to get education. It is as if that is the plan for the slavery of the future.
We have gone through the first slavery. We have gone through first colonisation. Both perpetrated by oyinbos. We are now enduring second (internal) colonisation. Yet the present indicates that the future might be worse. I am not a pessimist but when you take education away from the people, you make their emancipation even harder.
I could write forever about my pains and frustrations as a naija person. But my message as usual, is that we should put an end to the stupidity that reigns in our public institutions. I know that it is possible to turn things around. I’ve been searching for the turning point for naija.
Rather than trying to fix problems, wouldn’t it be better for us at every point in time to ensure that we do the right thing, seek peace, fairness and justice?
In all that we do, because no one will build this nation but ourselves, Charity must begin in Naija.