Saturday, 30 April 2011

Nigeria miracle workers

Nigerians are miracle workers.
They have devised ingenious
means of coping with their
miseries. They construct their
own roads, build schools, sink
bore holes, discover the best
power generating machines. So,
whatever the government does
with the commonwealth is not
their business. After all, they have
found a way round their
troubles. What a people; what a
A former civilian governor from
one of the south-south states,
while on the run from the law,
was actually aided by his people
to escape from the country. They
frustrated every attempt by
security personnel to track him
down. These same people were
those whose wealth he had
cornered and used for the good
of himself and family.
Another former state governor
who was recently ousted by the
Appeal Court, took his
impoverished state to the capital
market to take a bond of over
N17bn , about seven months to
the end of his second term in
office. By the time he was
thrown out of office, about 60
per cent of the money had been
spent on ‘developmental
projects’. For his ‘good work’
while in office, a well attended
thanksgiving service was
organised for him in his village
home. Shouts of ‘hallelujah’
echoed, as the drums were rolled
out to welcome back home a
proud son of the soil who has
represented his people well.
Following this same path of
honouring our heroes, a
befitting thanksgiving service
was also recently organised for a
very important politician in a
“ rascally” part of the country,
following his completion of a
two-year jail term for corruption.
Prominent in the crowd of well-
wishers at the service were a
former president, serving
governors, ministers,
ambassadors, among others.
Their mission was simple: to
welcome home a darling son,
leader, father and husband who
had done his people proud.
A while ago, $250,000 cash kept
in the treasury room of the
Nigerian Football Federation
suddenly developed wings.
Almost two years later, nothing
tangible has come of the various
investigative panels set up to
probe the missing money. The
same Nigerian Football
Association was purported to
have paid $250,000 to the
Iranian Football Federation, for
the Super Eagles ’ failure to turn
up for a friendly match with the
Iranian national team. Money, of
course, is not our problem. It has
never been.
We live in a very special country
with very special humans. A
country where people with
questionable records rise to hold
prominent political positions. A
country where a man who was
living on friends yesterday,
suddenly becomes wealthy
overnight after a stint in political
office. A country where people
place curses on their relatives for
coming out poor after holding
political office.
When will Nigerians begin to
make our leaders accountable to
their people? When will Nigerians
ask the kind of questions being
asked in the Maghreb? Until then,
let us continue to enjoy the
enviable record of being the
happiest people on earth.
Ogunbiyi is of the Features Unit,
Ministry of Information and
Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja

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