By Ojapa Salwu Ahmed
Nobody is fighting for the common good of the masses, instead the politicians and elite are only working for their pockets. Therefore, the youths should be wise and not allow themselves to be used by these selfish agitators.
The difficulties that corrupt leaders have entrenched in this country do not know Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba or minority tribes. The masses are all living below poverty level across all the tribes. Poverty has been the result of massive corruption of some of our leaders over time. But if corruption is not fought to the lowest level as it is in some developed and developing countries, whatever else is done is just postponing the evil day because eventually, the youths will rise up to say enough is enough to corruption, joblessness and hunger.
A hungry person is an angry person. The vices that make our society so hostile to live in are caused by hunger and joblessness which are all products of massive corruption. I have not seen how secession or restructuring will bring solution to this massive corruption because with what we are seeing today, the recovering of money that has been done so far shows that the corrupt politicians or elites are not from one geographical location or tribe. They are present in all tribes or zones.
Some of the masses may also be forced to be corrupt while they are on their various duties. I use force because when the system is paying a worker for a month a salary that is not enough for one week, if such a worker does not want to or cannot kidnap or rob, he or she will be forced to be corrupt in the office.
This is not to say that poor salary is a justifiable reason to be corrupt but when one is pushed to the wall and if he or she cannot break the wall the only option is to turn back to face the music. That is what happened to some poor people that are corrupt because they need to survive. It isn’t the same with our politicians because they aren’t pushed into stealing by poverty.
Why should some of them steal the money they cannot spend in their life times? Instead of investing the stolen money here in Nigeria, they will take the money to another country or countries. Majority of these elites or politicians doing this are not interested in fighting corruption because they do not see anything wrong in being corrupt. It is astonishing to hear that a rich man who has governed a state who is currently in the National Assembly is receiving huge pays from both sides while that particular state cannot pay the salaries of the civil servants and this situation is common to many of them at the National Assembly today. It is only in Nigeria that this can happen.
In the same Nigeria, however, are caring and sensible leaders in public offices who have reduced their salaries voluntarily for the good of the society, which shows that all hope is not lost in Nigeria. All it takes is for us to take time to elect good and godfearing leaders into power at all times. Most of the citizens are in this category, except that the few corrupt ones will not allow these good ones to get to power. Even the few ones that got to power, the bad ones would not allow them to work.
It is common to hear some employers these days complaining that our graduates are unemployable. Some can neither write nor speak good English. It is still a product of corruption. Many of the teachers who taught these brilliant Nigerians in and out of this country that are noticeable all over the world are still in the school system, but corruption would, among other things, not allow adequate care of the schools for conducive teaching and learning.
The leaders and other elites should be informed that we have a problem that is greater than lack of restructuring and the big problem is corruption. We should not pretend about it. If we can bring it down, we may not need to restructure this country.
Some of our governors when they are about leaving office they would influence the state assembly to approve huge financial and material packages for themselves so that when they leave, the persons they replace themselves with as governors, will continue to give them the packages. Some of them are also receiving other huge packages and salaries from the National Assembly in addition to what they are still receiving from the states but many people in such states are hungry and have no jobs to do and those who have jobs will work and go home hungry because their governors would not pay salaries when the same governors and their families are eating well and making merry.
Our fathers and mothers who have served this nation as civil servants are dying at their old age attending verification exercises and after the verification they will still not get paid because somebody has embezzled their pension funds.
Are all these not serious problems the politicians should discuss and find solution to? Can we continue like this as a nation? Nigerians are being deported day by day and nobody is asking questions, why are Nigerians striving to go out of the country by all means? It is purely lack of good governance evidenced by massive corruption. If not corruption, we have enough resources that should make every one live well in this country. This is why it is unjustifiable for any group to ask any tribe different from theirs to leave any place, because we are all one people in one nation.
Ahmed writes from Lagos