A cat in it’s worst state could be assumed to be cleaner than a pig. In today’s world, some pigs kept as pets are cleaner than some cats, true. But a pig will remain so and so will a cat, irrespective of cosmetics. What am I saying, if the leopards skin is not skinned, a Nigerian will ever remain a Nigerian irrespective of all the Cleaning, Klinex, Omo or Ariel and Jik Bleach actions. The War against Indiscipline of the 1980’s was jettisoned so fast to a decay never dreamt possible in so short a time. For true remedy, there is need to visit root causes and deal with them down – up, even as the top – down approach is in place. Do not get me wrong, read my thought, before you condemn my script out of context.
A woman was caught in the act of Adultery, in the very act of Adultery. She was brought to a Great Teacher (Rabi) of distinction, in an attempt to discrete Him, as the Laws of the Land prescribed Death by Stoning for such act. He turned to the accusers and requested the person without sin to throw the first stone (The criteria for condemnation, was only the first stone). The story went further to state that, the accusers left one after the other, till no one was left. If this was in Nigeria, you might find one very righteous person, even if he/she is hypocritical about it. But in that land of strict religious and public right living adherence, none was found without sin.
My respect for Baba Iyabo, increased when in a case of Min of Education, during his tenure, persons involved in corrupt practice, each faced what he/she was accused of. Nigerians started realising that when the word corruption is mentioned, even a driver, messenger, typist, clerk and gardener can be corrupt. Before then it was only IBB that was corrupt and not his Ministers and civil service. It was only Abacha that was corrupt and not the people that forced the only ‘Cap to Fit’, from messengers, political thugs and the Any Government in Power (AGIP) Vanguards. This is hoped, Goodluck is seeing ways, he should have fine-tuned fighting corruption with the GSM and stopped issues like the secretary (typists), that had Billions in her account courtesy sales of pure water in Abuja
We have a nation that wants to be like Singapore, as in from Corrupt to Saint, what must we do? Clean Slates you might say, but how can we clean the slates when the water and cleaners are all muddled in the filth we want to clean?
I judge no one, I do not intend to. But quote me, the crimes committed by elected / appointed officials can only be committed with the connivance of career civil servants. The Head of State, President, Governor or Minister cannot enter the treasury and remove money, the rats in the system bridge the gaps, from drafting the directives (to exclude them from wrong), to falsifications and getting approvals, to cashing checks or transfers and carrying Ghana must Go’s. How do you clean a house of pests, when the cats and mouse have become friends and the Dogs eat from the same plates with the Cats and in some cases the cats use the Dog’s body as a sleeping bags?
What do we need to move forward? A clean slate, but who are the cleaners, that have no sin, to carry out the cleaning? Thank God for the Committee of Experts, respect for the likes of Prof Odekunle and the crew, I am sure for the fear of Buhari, another Faruk Lawal gate will not occur. But excuse me, from independence till date, so many things went wrong, how can we realign our nation to be forthright and the Nigeria Indeed, within a four year Buhari tenure?
There is a say that people get the kind of leadership they deserve. Whether true or false, I am not sure, but Nigeria can only be better if Nigerians decide and stand up to be better as individuals and collectively. Else we will have the same merry go round of the shagari, buhari, babangida charade. I am not prophetic, but check the epitaphs of leaders and you will realise that short is the stay of any boat rocker that has not learnt the art of climbing steps. The First Degree stepper is always hoping to reach the 32 and even the 33 degree, with all the needed caveats to avoid the trauma casualties might cause.
What will make a man forget all the teachings of family and religion and become a go getter irrespective of who gets hurt? What make leaders forget their promises to people they are leading and use them as sacrificial lambs to secure selfish individual futures? Why will people forget tomorrow on a platter of today? What will make an individual sell a whole community for what he only (and his family maybe) can enjoy? Why do the same people that preach against corruption, end up being more corrupt, if given the opportunity to lead? The mind set maybe.
The Mind-set, must be the first area of action, as that is where corruption starts. A man sees nothing wrong with paying a family head N17,000.00 / month and then camps the man’s daughter in a five star hotel and gives her N250,000 for the weekend. A superior seeing nothing wrong in using subordinates as he/she wishes sexually because they have no alternative and do not have the mental strength to resign. A driver, seeing nothing wrong in putting inferior parts in a vehicle he and his employer use, risking his and all other lives in the vehicle. Or even sleeping with his master’s wife / daughters. Contractors executing inferior jobs and bribing officials to certify, roads, drugs, and equipment that have been and will continue to destroy lives, if not repaired, while feeling he/she is smart. We need a change in our thought processes; that is the start point. To think right and work to do right.
Also, the temptation to commit the crimes must be reduced. There is need for the Government and corporate bodies to pay workers take home wages, so a man can take care of his family without needing to cut unholy corners. This is on major area that needs addressing if people will remain contempt and work with all their strength.
Good hospitals and schools public and private should be affordable within salaries and wages. The same is for other utilities like Accommodation, Water, Communication, Power and other necessities of life.
Leadership of institutions and agencies, should be based on merit and not religion, region, tribe or who you know, that will reduce greatly the God Fatherism instead of efficiency. And that will reduce the saga of a man sitting and controlling the wealth of a state or nation (because, na mi put am there). People will start working for people and not for the God-Fathers who are using all forms of Juju / Shrines to enslave them.
Religious leaders, should start asking their followers source of wealth and not close / turn their eyes and keep encouraging robbery, prostitution and corrupt practices by receiving funds from practitioners of such.
Price Control or monitoring bodies must be considered with immediate effect, which is one way to ensure a product of a certain quality goes for the same price everywhere. With such knowledge alterations will be reduced.
With the Government of Buhari, looking for needles in haystacks, praying them well is a good omen. But we all know that the best way to deal with fleece in a blanket, is to use a multifaceted approach. Hot water, fumigation, hot drier and what have you. Same is for weeding corruption. It is my hope that people will start applying the Zacchaeus approach, like Prof. Odekunle said once on television, let persons voluntarily confess, repent and return what they have ill gotten. Should that include the Traders, Contractors, GSM Operators, Members of the House and Senators, Oil Marketers, Power company Suppliers and Hospitals? Maybe no, but we all need the rebirth, even school children that told lies to their parents to extort monies from them.
What am I praying for? A Nigeria where peace and plenty is secured. Where tribe and tongue increase our unity. I pray for the Naira to be a currency of exchange again in the sub region and major countries of the world. Naira for Pound Stirling. I pray for schools to produce world class graduates and Hospitals to be a health Tourism destination. And Nigerians be seen as the Most Religious and Saintly people on Earth. Am sure we can get there.