The Real “Virus” behind Nigeria & Africa’s Problems
As a kid, growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, all we heard was about the need for a War on corruption. Today, I am almost a Grandfather…lol and the theme and bone of contention among the two candidates, vying to be Nigeria’s next president, As Nigeria awaits it’s next election in some weeks is: Corruption and how to wipe it out.
In Nigeria particularly and Africa in general, what strikes any neutral foreign observer is our misunderstanding or notion of what public wealth and the Government really means!
Every nation’s wealth and resources are split between private and public ownership. Natural resources inherent in the country etc. are publicly owned and the people elect or select, if you prefer, in a democracy, a group of people to manage and protect this public wealth.
For this service they are remunerated and their earnings are public knowledge coupled with some benefits as they go about managing public wealth for the benefit of the people!
This brings us to our greatest misconception in Africa. We fail to acknowledge that government (public) wealth does not belong to those who are elected to manage them on the behalf of the people, but the people’s wealth. Each time a corrupt leader loots, he just robbed you and I.
This misconception makes us tolerate Corruption and is the cradle to our poverty and major social ills.
For example, A man goes into government, at the time of entry, his wealth is worth 50,000 Dollars, when eventually he leaves government after 4 years, his wealth is worth 10,000,000 Dollars and we find this as being “normal”, No public rebuke or look of disdain, disgust, but in most cases a coronation as one of the leading and most respectable figures in society!
Do we wonder then why the youth’s aspire to become political activists etc.? You hear people say things like: “And so? Is it not government money? Let him steal what he wants, I just await my turn”.
Sad isn’t it? And we expect a miraculous change!
When you travel the world and you witness the comfortable quality of life, health benefits, better social welfare, long life, peace etc. That many nations, 10 times less endowed or poorer than African Nations have to benefit from, it is saddening to say the least.
Some might say: why don’t Africans abroad come home and try to bring about a change instead of just criticize this from afar? Well, experience has shown that every well-meaning African who tried to change this has met violent death, been prosecuted or frustrated and sadness for their families!
Does that mean that we are doomed? No. But I feel we need divine intervention!
Corruption is the reason why we are still suffering and the standard of living in Africa is so low. Everything in Nigeria is what the world dreams of: Great weather, green and fertile land, ridiculed with Natural resources, manpower resources thanks to our population, loving and laughing people, relatively unpolluted air… the list is endless and still we are way behind in comfort.
God please help us, we Need You now desperately!
Many believe that a Country gets the leaders it deserves, but is that really true when the people are not really allowed to decide who they want to lead them and have little options to choose from? That’s a topic for another day, though.
Let’s just pray that someday in my lifetime, the progress and metamorphosis we have lived to see happen to the State of Lagos, thanks to its two last Governors: Babatunde Raji Fashola and Bola Tinubu, are further improved upon and reach every end of Nigeria. Before my Grandchildren are born!
It doesn’t really matter who gets elected come the month of March,but put sentiments aside, we see today, but God sees tomorrow and beyond, let’s hope he gives us a leader or leaders that will make life better for our Great Country, Long live Nigeria!