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Calories of greed

Where do evils like corruption arise from? It comes from the never-ending greed. The fight for a corruption-free ethical society will have to be fought against this greed and replace it with ‘what can I give’ spirit”. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, a career-scientist-turned-politician, was the 11thPresident of India 2002-2007. His charisma and accomplishments earned him…”
Uju Nobei
March 3, 2017 3:03 pm

Where do evils like corruption arise from? It comes from the never-ending greed. The fight for a corruption-free ethical society will have to be fought against this greed and replace it with ‘what can I give’ spirit”.

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, a career-scientist-turned-politician, was the 11thPresident of India 2002-2007. His charisma and accomplishments earned him the nickname: “The People’s President”. Kalam was a beloved president. When his term was up in 2007, the people pressured him to run for another term. He declined. He left office to become a classroom teacher in various Indian universities. Very few politicians anywhere in the world will resist the temptation of the offer of prolonged hold onto power. Kalam may now be gone, but anytime men in his league speak words of wisdom as above, I pay attention.

Why are human beings greedy? Why are we not satisfied with what we have? Why do we, especially criminally  and illegally, crave for more, and more, even when we already have enough? Recently in Nigeria, security agencies discovered a behemoth stack of foreign currencies in a fireproof bunker. It belonged to one man. A fleet of brand new exotic vehicles tucked out in the bushes was also dug up. The vehicles belonged to another. Both men were former holders of public offices of trust. A staggering sum of $9,772,800 (Nine million, seven hundred and seventy two thousand, eight hundred dollars) and another sum of £74,000 (Seventy four thousand Pounds Sterling) was unearthed in a hideout in Kaduna. These two fellas are teeny-weeny tadpoles in a huge pond of corruption and greed in Nigeria. The big, bruising, venomous barracudas of greed and tigers of thievery are walking around free. Some of them are holders of public offices today. Greed and corruption remains King of the castle in Nigeria.

Heinous acts of greed and corruption are annihilatory albatrosses that will drag down efforts of any government to improve lives of citizens. Between Nigeria’s “broom” and “umbrella” politicians, there is insatiable munching up on fattening calories of corruption. The “broom” which, we were told, represents change doesn’t seem to be sweeping a flick. The “umbrella” as a symbolism of the immediate past, could and still cannot shield an inch. Between the unsweeping broom and uncovering umbrella, Nigerians believe they are left with no choice but to continue to perch their faith on these elements. Where, in the world, do leopards change their spots?

Nigerians seem to be used to pathological inactions of government. Any time there is a slight detour from status quo governance deficiency, it attracts accolades and encomiums from those who don’t know better. That is the trend now in the political terrain. Since Yemi Osinbajo slid his feet in the big Aso Rock shoes as Acting President, the feverishness and frenzy exuded at some of his actions make it seem as if something extraordinary has fallen from the empyrean. The long awaited messianic intervention in Nigeria’s many afflictions that began in 1914 are about to come to a screeching halt; right? Wrong!

When the dollar fell from N520 to N450 within hours, Nigerians gave a standing ovation, probably deservedly so, for Osinbajo. Did we bother to ask not just how it happened; but what really is happening? Osinbajo has unshackled his gregariousness and his innate hands-on approach to governance. Undoubtedly, individual personalities, knowledge-base, skill-set, and charisma drive the mechanics of leadership; but be reminded that Buhari on a sick bed, and Osinbajo in a plush Aso Rock office, are one triage team working indivisibly in tandem. Osinbajo revers Buhari and takes instruction from his principal. The Acting President understands all manner of authorities and submits to them. You can’t praise one and desecrate the other.

While you praise, let it be understood that the fundamentals of the Nigerian economy are still crippled. No thanks to the greedy and gluttonous who have wreaked hellish havocs. When one human being hauls home about $3bn, and another one $5bn from the nation’s treasury, only the ignoramus will expect the miraculous in an economy with a pillaged purse.

Nigeria is seated at No 10 with almost $2tn illicit outflows from the nation’s treasury. Greed and corruption have infused venoms in the psyche of the system such that even if a good government takes one step forward, tolerated and encouraged hyenas of greed and corruption will step us backwards a hundred times. Do you know that in the animal kingdom, there is accountability?  But in the kingdom of the corrupt in Nigeria, the big man answers to nobody. Oh, poor Nigerians; who will deliver you from these troubles in the hands of the big man fattened by calories of greed and corruption?

Before you celebrate the sudden fall of the dollar against the naira, know ye that Nigeria remains a consumer nation with no apparent penchant to produce not much. If God’s grace has not given oxygen as a gift to humanity; if air is an importable commodity that must be paid for, Nigeria will sign up boxing it up in a container to Lagos without batting an eye.  We once spent about $7.4bn on the importation of toothpicks, fish, milk, textiles, rice and furniture between 2014 and May 2015.  According to figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria, $1.39bn was spent on fish imports; milk $1.33bn; and rice $51m respectively.

Check out motives behind these importation orgies and urges; greed and corruption; not love of country, are the driving factors. Fattening calories of greed and corruption are mauling the country. Until this albatross is broken into smithereens, Nigeria may remain broke; and hearts of men will remain broken by poverty and squalour.

The infinity and ubiquity of our leaders’ increasing iniquities are nothing else but bruising infidelity to country. Puissant men and women, many of whom have raised up their hands in oaths to serve country with diligence and accountability, are huddled up in affinity around criminality. There is malfeasance everywhere. These crooked elements have tainted the polity with egregious depravity. They have dragged Nigeria into a pit of pity.

A mind devoid of fecundity is replete with sterility. If, someday, civility must interrupt continuity in criminality and corruptibility, ordinary Nigerians must learn the need to push back against cruelty from the big man’s puerile resistance to sagacity. Gormlessness allowed in government paves the way for the unleashing of prolonged adversity in the lives of people. Leadership dunderheadedness permitted by some does nothing but placate protracted impecuniosity in many. Fatuousness tolerated in any position of authority continually massages and incubates poverty without end. The unpleasant result from these is that a nation scheduled for economic paradise because of her immense natural endowment may at last find itself in the Grand Canyon of gully and Gehena.

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