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Nonsense and senseless-­trouble


The fact that Corruption is in charge of our public affairs in Nigeria no matter what party is in power does not seem to have sunk into the mind of those who try to analyse our situation. Corruption takes over in an attempt to set up a different type of order. Or rather, in a situation where there is no order. A situation in which disorder has taken control. Corruption takes over where set down rules and regulations and orders are no longer the guarding and guiding principles of a society. Yes, we need to have a proper federal system going but what does the argument that the oil in the Niger Delta belongs to the people of Northern Nigeria have to do with vehicles driving up and down both sides of a dual carriage way leading to a senseless accident? Would the senseless accident still happen if the oil in the Niger Delta belonged to the people of Holland or Northern Ireland? Would a proper federal system prevent thieves, robbers, kidnappers, election riggers and murderers from donating to churches from the proceeds of their evil deeds? Would a proper federal system prevent the government from pursuing nonsense policies like allowing people who have looted the Nigerian treasury to give back something, some amount determined alone by the looter, without any further consequences?

There are further nonsenses to vex you out of your skin everyday as reported in the newspapers and other news sources. Like a fugitive from possible EFCC arrest challenging the government of the country to seek his extradition from where he fled to avoid arrest in Nigeria. This is someone who has cases of corrupt self-enrichment against him and members of his family. He is wanted to answer to these charges in the country. He leaves the country on his own steam. He goes to another country where he cannot be arrested and questioned in terms of his alleged corrupt enrichment. From there he now challenges the government of the country to seek his extradition back to the country. This nonsense has two levels. In the first place the newspapers and news agencies report the challenge from the accused. On the second level those who report his challenge do not question him as to the process which found him out of the country. Did the government pay his air ticket to leave the country? Why would the country then have to bring him back if he took himself off in the first place? In other places, there are fact checkers, there are clear retorts to nonsense to help society to keep its sanity.

The senseless accident happened this way. It is usual to call all dual carriage ways as express highways. It is only in Nigeria that vehicles pass on both sides of the dual highway in either direction, at any time of day or night, without any warning. There was a time when drivers going into one way streets were arrested and put through psychiatric tests somewhere in Lagos. Obviously, this is no longer the done thing. Does it mean that it is now sane to drive in either direction of any and every dual express highways? This use of the highways takes place under the eyes of the various armed and unarmed forces which disturb the peace of the road user everyday on Nigerian roads. If you stopped and asked a police man or a soldier or any one of them why they would allow a vehicle going the other way to go on, he or she would move the shoulder as if it did not concern him or her. Is there any law and order for these agents of law enforcement to maintain? To get back to the accident, the senseless accident. Suddenly, out of the blue, following traffic driving towards Ibadan on the right hand side of the dual carriage way, a minibus confronts us, coming from the opposite direction. Stop dead! The minibus driver comes out, in tattered shirt and cut-off jeans long faded by time and use, shouting: THIS WORLD IS NOT EQUAL! I HAVE PAID MY DEVELOPMENT LEVY!! THIS WORLD IS NOT EQUAL!! I HAVE PAID MY DEVELOPMENT LEVY!! Does this vehicle have insurance? Even a third party one? Who is going to fix the head lamp of the car coming on the right side? Is there still a right and a wrong in Nigeria?

A former minister of petroleum products suggests that we do not need restructuring. What we need is a change of attitude. So, we must change our attitude towards corruption. There is nothing like corruption. As, one of the ministers being investigated said, she did not steal from the country; and there is nothing wrong with wearing expensive watches and jewellery. What used to be called corruption is now known as a normal economic activity of those who occupy public office all over the country at the federal level, at the state level and at the local government level. Out of their economic activities they could give us a little from time to time. In fact they do not have to give it to us. They can make returns no matter how little to the government which can decide to do what they like with the money. In the meantime they do not have to pay salaries, since we do not expect them to sell themselves in order to pay us, the working people of the country salaries. After all we can plant in hope and harvest in desperation whatever we can persuade the soil to give back to us.

The courts must be closed since there are no cases coming there for judgment. Lawyers are employed to ensure that no cases ever got to the courts. And anyway, with the personnel not being paid their salaries for how many months nobody cares to remember, the courts are not open anyway. And with judges giving judgment from where ever they are when and if they are needed to give some judgments, all that we need is nonsense and senselessness!

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