What happened to Kemi can happen to anybody. She, being raised in England, might not have suspected the type of things some people do in Nigeria.
The political leaning of many people might have compelled them to criticize Kemi Adeosun, our former Minister of Finance, for not quitting her job a long time ago, and also for not surrendering herself to the Police for prosecution. Some of them insist that she should refund all the salaries and allowances she received. On the other hand, are people, based, also on their political divide, are praising her for quitting, though they never condemned her for what she did. Among this group of people are those, who rather give the honour to her political party, the Ruling Party. What is true is that most of these people, who crucify or celebrate her, might have behaved differently if they were Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
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The alleged sins against her are: Not doing the mandatory NYSC service, submitting fake Exemption Certificate and working and receiving salary and allowances with it. Being raised in England, a society where integrity is sacrosanct, not resigning immediately she discovered the error.
Thank God that we still have people in this country, whose position in issues, good or bad, is never swayed by their political leaning, tribe or religion. In 1976, thieves attempted to steal my car and my neighbour, Sam Ojo, Yoruba, volunteered to be parking his car behind mine. That was many years before he was born-again. Such people wrote also extensively about Kemi’s matter. I appreciate them. Their write-ups, as good as they are, would not have stayed the avalanche to doomsday, if she had not chosen to resign.
Many years ago, a youth killed a lady crossing the Express Road with my car. The Police discovered that my vehicle license was fake. I went with them to City Hall, Lagos, where I obtained it, for rectification. I did not know that I got it through a tout that pretended to be a staff of the City Hall. What happened to Kemi can happen to anybody. She, being raised in England, and visiting Nigeria with British passport and visa, till she was 34 years, might have been deceived because she might not have suspected the type of things some people do in Nigeria. She might not know that evil is not evil in Nigeria, until the evil one is caught.
In 2001, I wanted to change my Travellers’ cheque in a bank in London and the bank officer told me that they would charge me commission. “If you go to that bank,” he told me, pointing to a not-far-away bank, “you won’t pay any commission because they own this Travellers’ cheque”. I gasped for speech because in Nigeria, a Bank Manager may not reveal that secret to his son. He would render the service and then charge him the commission so as to swell the profit of his branch. Not in England, where Kemi was born!
I wanted to repair my watch in Bay City, US, in 1980, and was told to come the next day to collect it because they would keep it for observation for a day. When I told them that I would be leaving for Nigeria the next day, they gave it back to me, saying that they would not do the job. My God! In Nigeria, a Nigerian would be glad for that. He would not care if the watch stopped ticking when you are in flight. Not in the US! Not in England, where Kemi was raised!
You might have argued, why her parents did not lecture her on how to live in Nigeria. Well, they might not have done so and I cannot blame them. In 2010, a Nigerian, living in the US and I visited a Nigerian couple in Dallas, US. We met them listening to Nigerian news. My friend derided them on our way back home, muttering, “News about Nigeria, what do I do with it?” I was worried because none of his children ever showed interest in visiting Nigeria. Should my friend start coaching them on how to live in Nigeria, would they ever venture to visit here? That could be Kemi’s problem.
Why she did not resign from her job, when she realized that her NYSC Exemption Certificate was fake, had been the agitating question. I do not know why she did not. I wish she did. That would have been the way of handling the problem with great aplomb. No one knows the deep-seated agony in her heart, causing her to bemoan and weep all days. Could it be why she was bereft of speech all through? The good news is that she has done so now. It is a credit to her integrity and not to any person or party. Some people with worse skeletons in their cupboards may still be sitting tight on the tax payers’ money! Nobody should take any credit for her quitting. I see it as her personal conviction, if not, whoever takes the credit should also, make such people to follow her example.
Many Pastors labour in ministering God’s Word to their flock and some of their members refuse to turn away from their wrong ways of life. Are some of these people, not among those looking for Kemi’s head? May God have mercy! This is why the Church has become an object of cynical derision and the ‘yes’ of the world. I thank God for Kemi, not that she did not do wrong but that she has done what many Nigerians hate to do, by accepting her error and then resigning. Nobody will go to hell if all human beings do what she has done by accepting that they have sinned, confess the sins and then surrender their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. We live in a world, some people will commit an atrocious act, yet, they will deny it abysmally, still move around as if they did nothing. Worst of all, they may be loud in condemning people, who did not do half of what they did.
The Prodigal son, in the parable Jesus told, did wrong by leaving his parents and then travelled to a far country, where he was free to do his things in his own way. The beauty of his life was that a day came, when he was convicted of his wrong ways of life and he resolved to go back home. And he did. Many people end half way because of shame or weakness. The issue is not about doing wrong but resolving for a change and then putting the decision to action. That is what Kemi has done. God does not condemn a man because he delayed in repenting from his evil ways. What interests Him is that he did so. There is no special prize in Heaven for those who repented the first day they heard the Gospel message.
Kemi, our Honourable Minister, who resigned from her prestigious job, is a woman! Women are not worse sinners than men. God did not create them to be inferior to men but to be the interlocking piece of the jigsaw puzzle that completes the picture. Let men do the same to complete the picture. Let us hear by tomorrow that a man has also done so!
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