How Low Can We Go?
“CORRUPTION Discount” is not something you would hear about on an everyday something the world is doing; we need to place there and then the corruption discount that we need to concede in order to compute our possibilities.
We put soldiers on military trial because they ran away from the war front. They ran away from the war front because the arms of the enemy is better than their own. According to some English wag, God favours the army with more soldiers and better armament. This is because this is usually the winning side. And our soldiers are not on that side. So, they put a distant between themselves and the battle front. For which we put them on military trial for cowardice. And we know that we did not provide them with enough numbers of soldiers. We did not provide them with sufficient armament. We did not provide them with enough soldiers and armament because we stole the money. And we know that we stole the money.
How low can we go?
Over the years, since the time of military take-over of governments in Nigeria people in political positions have known how to take public money for themselves and not use it for the public purposes the money is supposed to be allotted for. This thieving propensity of our public officers has led to the abandonment of public infrastructures. This translates into roads not being constructed, restored, maintained or reviewed. It means that mere buildings are not made to be hospitals, made to be schools and university libraries and university laboratories for the services of learners across the land. How low can we go?
Saul killed a thousand
David killed thousands of thousands
Saul killed a thousand o
Abacha stole millions
Jonathan stole millions of millions
Abacha stole millions o
We know those who stole this moneys. We have thousands and thousands of reports of commissions of inquiry. Nothing has happened to them. Now, someone takes a look at these reports and says we need to do something about these cases of theft of public property over half a century! And big lawyers with big fees and big bank accounts insist that the human rights of these identified thieves are being limited by charging them to court to answer for the thieving that they have been doing. How can people who do not care about the rights of others, human, animal or material defend themselves in the name of human rights? How can someone who takes money from the lips of babes claim human rights as the reason he or she does not have to answer for stealing public money? How low can we go?
Pile over pile, corruption over corruption, nobody has been punished for corruption. You steal ten naira, according to the Soyinka lyric, they put you for prison, you steal many millions you get national honours; monkey dey work, baboon they chop, sometime justice go come! Investigation shows that people who were in power yesterday were in fact responsible for this monumental stealing and they are being hauled before the courts. And who is complaining? Who else but big people, people with big names, with noise names, the important people, the very important, people who are only important because of other people rather than because of themselves, people who suddenly are untouchable, not because of their disgraceful behavior but because they have been made holy by public acclaim. And so, they cannot be made answerable for their actions. How low can we go?
Who fights and goes home clean after a fight? It is obvious that President Buhari expects to fight corruption without getting any bruises from corruption’s fight back. Years ago, Murtala Muhammad determined to fight corruption. Before he launched his war on corruption, he divested himself of what he considered not rightly his and handed same to the state. Thereafter he went forth into battle. Unfortunately he did not come home victorious from the battle. He did not give everyone else who would fight corruption to do what he did. His experience teaches us that he who would half fight corruption must divest himself of whatever slows him down in terms of his own corrupt past. How low can you go to fight corruption?
President Buhari announces that he would investigate corruption even unto the period of President Babangida. The people of Babangida said no, you will not. You will not because we know you were minister of petroleum products at one time. Then at another time you were chairman of PTF and we know how things went while you were there and if you insist on going that far back, we will go that far deep into your performance and we have your number.
Immediately President Buhari back-pedalled and said he would only investigate his immediate past government. Trouble places the partial failure of the present corruption crusade at this point in time. And the take away from here is that if you think you can fight corruption without going low, you are really in deep you know what! The issue is how low must you go to pursue the lowest of the low of our corruption ridden society?
Hopefully, President Buhari, you don’t believe in that Jesusic statement to the effect that only those without sin should cast the first stone. In fact who ever can find a good well-shaped stone with sharp edges and aerodynamic must haul such a stone at corruption. But such a hauler of such a stone should not be surprised if the same stone were taken and hauled in the opposite direction.
President should have called Babangida’s bluff. What did he have to hide that the Nigerian world does not know? It is said that as chair of PTF, Chairman Buhari could not account for some money in billions, something to do with contractors and payments. Is it hidden from Nigerians that some of those closest to President Buhari and in the highest points of his party are not saints but politicians who know when to arrive from Pdpville at Apcity! Whatever Buhari lost as chair of PTF would be little change from what Babangida took to Minna. Yes, we can go so low and throw a fist at corruption.
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