Sunday 18 November 2018

Giving Corruption A Bad Name

Giving corruption a bad name
I was thinking this morning.... about giving corruption a bad name. In the midst of my very busy week, I sneaked into my twitter news page hoping for some news to muse about on Sunday morning. I almost regretted doing so because of the negative news that hit me. First was the Al-Jazeera news headline, 'Five Leading UK Banks Aided Corruption in Nigeria' and then another headline in Premium Times 'Documents show Buhari's govt illegally diverted N378 billion NLNG dividend' and yet another 'N5.5b NEMA Fund: Reps insist Osibanjo has case to answer.' Ahhh, is corruption the only major news on offer in Nigeria? Has corruption become our National anthem?

As I thought of ways not to think about corruption, I recalled a report during the First Republic, where an Italian with little knowledge about Nigerians went into a deal with some Nigerians. Not too long after, the deal went sour and the Italian was conned out. In disappointment, he cried out and said, 'Nigerians are giving corruption a bad name.' But how can one give corruption a bad name? Can corruption be corrupted? Only in Nigeria, I concluded. Dan Agbese, renowned journalist, former Editor-in-chief of Newswatch magazine and the author of the now famous 'Because of Cows' article, had attempted to explain and put the statement in perspective. He said that Nigerians are so corrupt that they cannot keep their end of a corrupt deal. Hmm!!!

As I thought about it, I recalled the Governor of Imo State, Anayo Rochas Okorocha (of the Iberiberism fame) and his plans to make Imo State his personal fiefdom like has never been seen in Nigeria. His plans, he goes to the Senate, his wife to the House of Reps and his son-in-law becomes the governor. Everything was rolling, until Oshio-baba decided to singlehandedly give the governorship ticket to Senator Hope Uzodinma. According to DSS report, the governor and his son-in-law having had their lowest bidder bribe rejected, protested and kicked and finally accused the APC chairman of corruption and lacking internal democracy. Really? Mr Iberiberism, you, the giver,  accusing someone of corruption and lacking in internal democracy? Haba, why are you giving corruption a bad name?

Before I could clear my head, there was the controversy of the government spending N115,000 daily to feed El Zakzaky in prison. Na wa o! That is the minimum wage government is proposing for four persons in a month o. Abeg remember that I am speaking, or rather thinking off-record. I found out that the US government spends an average of N1,000 ($3) daily to feed a prisoner, yet we are spending N115,000 ($375) daily to feed one man. No wonder people have been volunteering to go to prison since the news broke. Would you blame them?

Can you believe that in America, the US president is given a bill at the end of each month for every meal his family eats in the White House? The President pays from his salary. yet, a Minister is telling us they feed one prisoner with N3.5 million (about $11,500) monthly. Haba Nigeria, why are we giving corruption a bad name? It is looking like when prophet Hosea in Hosea 9:9 said 'They have sunk deep into corruption, as in the days of Gibeah,' he had Nigeria in mind. God will help us.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

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