By Adeola Aderounmu
One day two men from Pakistan told me a joke. I’ll share it.
[Transparency International (TI) was going to rank countries in the world using the so called corruption perception index. Pakistan was going to be rated as the most corrupt country in the world. The Pakistan government got winds of the situation. They (the people in the corrupt Pakistan government) pondered on what to do to avert the situation. In the end they decided to contact Nigeria.
The Pakistan government succeeded in bribing the Nigerian government to accept the first position. This means that in place of Pakistan, Nigeria was named as the most corrupt country in the world, and Pakistan ended up in the second position. The Pakistan government was delighted that it avoided been named as the most corrupt country in the world].
This joke according to them is popular in Pakistan. The two men laughed and I looked at them with indifference.
I was in the middle of a shopping exercise with one of my former colleagues when I was told this joke. Nothing comes between me and my shopping habits, not even a stupid joke. But when I had the time to think and reflect over the joke, I realised the depth.
What I didn’t understand is how they bribed TI into accepting the swapping process.
Beyond that blind spot, I think everybody that is called a Nigerian should do his or her own analysis and weigh the joke. It was told in less than 2 minutes but I think the implications are huge.
I mean, in the league of corrupt countries, Pakistan is Baba nla corrupt country. They made this joke to be popular in their country probably to console themselves that it could have been worse. How they arrived at this crossroad of consolation is their national problem or tragedy. In 2013 they actually remain in the league of the most corrupt country, far worse than Nigeria.
Earlier this month (March 2014) Robert Mugabe allegedly made another stupid joke about Nigeria. He was celebrating his birthday and was probably drunk when he asked his people “are we now like Nigeria where you have to reach your pocket to get anything done”?
I don’t have so many words for the Pakistani guys and their stupid jokes. I don’t even know where they are now. They may be back in their more corrupt country. They may have continued with their sojourn to other climes, as usual.
However, when I followed Zimbabwe in the 2008 election I knew that his people called him “MUGABE IMBAVHA” which means Mugabe you are a thief. This was at the time that Zimbabwe had 80% unemployment rate and probably the world’s highest inflation rate at 165 000%. It was a time when a $10 million Zimbabwean note won’t last you 3 days and a queue for bread was mistaken for a queue at a polling station!
Mugabe is not a king but he has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980. I respect the views of the Pan-Africanists who are still in love with Mugabe but I won’t come to terms with how one man will rule one country as if the others in it are fools. I don’t fancy the looters who have ruled and ruined Nigeria and I don’t fancy sit tight rulership. I will also like to separate royal-ship from democracy.
I have no idea what inflation looks like in Zimbabwe today and I don’t know what a queue for bread looks like. It may be as long as a queue for fuel in Nigeria. The only thing I bothered to check revealed that in 2013 Zimbabwe is worse than Nigeria on the corruption index.
The stupid jokes are on Nigeria if a man like Mugabe thinks that he is a yardstick to morality and a reference mark for uprightness.
The Pakistani joke is on Nigeria, a country where 20 billion dollars can disappear without a trace.
The jokes are on Nigeria, a country that made so much money during the gulf war that all the money disappeared, 12 billion out of it ended with one man!
The stupid jokes are still on Nigeria, a country where pension funds disappear and pensioners suffer and die like rats.
Nigerians, the jokes are on you, with all the intellectual pool of people flooding Nigeria and around the world, you cannot manage your political affairs successfully.
The jokes are on Nigeria, a country ruled largely by criminals, ex-convicts and murderers.
The jokes are on Nigeria, a country where Ministers hire or buy private jets with petro-dollars and they walk free.
The jokes are on Nigeria, a country where “militants” and terrorists earn more money than professors and teachers.
The stupid jokes are on you, you sent a wasted generation to a national conference while your youth waste at home and abroad.
The jokes are on Nigeria; you rip money from unemployed people, maim them and even killed some of them.
Nigeria the jokes are on you when Abacha’s loot was re-looted and it now re-disappeared without a trace.
The jokes are on you when your sons whom you made governors are wanted abroad for criminal activities or at home for murder charges and stealing.
Nigeria the jokes are on you when you bring drug barons from America and other places to head political groups in Nigeria.
Nigeria the jokes are on you, you cannot provide stable electricity for yourself in the year 2014 approaching 2015.
The jokes are on you, you earn so much money you cannot provide free education and free transportation for your citizens. Where is all the money going to?
The jokes are on you, you all want to become part of government so you can steal, loot or access the national cake.
The jokes are on you Nigeria, you budget billions annually on roads and public schools, but there are no improvements. Where’s all the money?
One of the highest pregnancy related mortalities in the world! Seriously, the jokes are on you..!
The jokes are on Nigeria where the rulers cannot feed themselves from their wages, they still have to cut out billions of naira out of what is left for the masses.
The jokes are on you; you give money to terrorists and call them militants. You need to equip and train more men and women so that you can extinguish the terrorists in the Sahara and in the north. Or how do you want to define a regional military giant?
The jokes are on you, your pastors fly in jets and you drive rickety cars on dangerous roads. You walk through the valley of the shadows of death and you die actually.
The jokes are on you Nigerians, your political rulers also fly in jets and you walk to dead claiming resiliency and living on false hopes imposed on you by diverse religions.
Nigeria, a country full of intelligent people and uncountable resources compared to lesser countries like Pakistan and Zimbabwe, I think you brought these stupid jokes on yourselves because you continue to rob your backside with these lesser countries on the corruption scale.
Nigeria, where is your intelligence and what happened to the giant of Africa claim? Why can’t Nigerians bring themselves up to number 4 or number 3 positions on this corruption scale? One country is on number 1.
All the anomalies that you live with brought the stupid jokes on you, Nigeria. If an elephant falls, all sorts of knives will be used to dissect it, says a Yoruba adage. This is where you are as a country.
You have fallen and the daggers are diverse. You have sent mostly unintelligent and even old people to the conference. It’s a generation tagged “wasted” and they are still fighting for money and food.
Nigeria, where do you go from here? True federation, probity and accountability or maintain the status quo. There are always choices to make and lines to draw.
The stupid jokes are still on you, Nigeria..!
(photo credit: Vanguard newspaper for pastors and jets, information Nigeria for Alison and jet. daily independent for rulership fleet)