Some years ago, I witnessed a robbery around Ejigbo, Lagos. The two robbers, operating on a bike, were caught. While one was served instant jungle judgment and set ablaze near the police station, policemen saved his partner. What made this incident memorable in my mind was the curious words emblazoned the T-shirt the robber wore: “I wanna be rich or die trying.” Well, I don’t know his fate thereafter but his is a very evident case of the evil quest for wealth that has afflicted our country.
Recently, in Osun State, one babalawo, masquerading as a prophet, deceived a young man and his mother into killing a final-year student of the Lagos State University for money rituals. It was so annoying that the ritualist claimed to be a prophet. It does not even matter whether he was of white or black garment sect but it should have been obvious to the money-mongers that this man could never have been a man of God. What manner of prophet would engage in money rituals? Is there any portion of the bible that mentioned money ritual? Of course not, but some idiots have continued to keep rogues in business by allowing the devil to blind them, only to turn round and castigate the church. It is heartwarming that judgment has begun visiting all the fake people rubbishing the name of Christ.
The wife of a state governor was reportedly distributing ‘relief’ materials to poor people in the United States recently. There is really nothing wrong with that except that it confirms the common belief that this is not a poor country but for the kleptomaniacs in power. They have continuously plundered the commonwealth, leaving the masses prostrate while making out that Nigeria is poor if only to keep collecting loans and grants, which they equally loot without a thought for the enslavement of yet unborn Nigerians.
Back to the Osun tragedy. The so-called prophet was even a foolish babalawo. How could he agree to waste the life of a young lady for a mere N200, 000? His clients were even more foolish; if the man could make money ritual, why had he not made one for himself first? If he were not a poor, suffering bloke, would he have accepted paltry N200,000 for human life?
My goodness! To think there are cannibals in Nigeria! How could a woman ignore maternal instinct to eat another woman’s daughter? From claiming she thought it was goat meat pepper soup she was served, she also said she felt like vomiting after eating it. This is the first time I have heard that someone had nausea after eating goat meat. No, ma, I suspect you knew what you were served. Some mother, this; talk of leading your son to do money ritual.
But this is what you get in a disorientated society like ours. A society where even a banker could arrange a heist in the very bank he works and drive the gang there himself. A banker robber? Haba, what perfidy! According to his own confession, greed pushed him into this unthinkable crime. Yes, greed and avarice has turned everything topsy-turvy in Nigeria, all because of the insensitive sticky fingers in authority.
These unwholesome acts are fueled by activities of politicians, who claim we put them in office but actually stole our mandate and impose themselves on the people. They are also audacious in their thievery of national treasury.
What could be more scandalous than the proposed renovation of the National Assembly Complex with a whopping N37 billion. Ironically, this is happening in a country where the government claims to be fighting corruption.
When NASS increased the meagre N10.33trn 2020 budget proposal to N10.594trn, little did Nigerians know that they were up to some innocuous game with our common destiny. It is shameful that in a country where state governments claim difficulty to pay worker mere N30,000 minimum wage, which is equivalent of a bag of rice, such humongous sum could be so brazenly voted to renovate a building that is not under any threat of collapse. If one may ask, what is actually wrong with the building? Are the contractors coming from Mars? What is the worth of the building if it were to be sold? How much would it cost to build a new one?
Nigerians should not take the Senate President’s word for it. His claim that no major renovation had been done on the National Assembly complex for 20 years, and that many parts of the it had become decrepit should be properly interrogated.
Nigerians are also wondering why President Muhammadu Buhari, despite his anti-corruption stance, could approve such a profligate proposal. Not a few feel that, perhaps, it was payback time for the $29.96 billion loan the NASS approved for the President.
The health institutions are in a shambles and, thankfully, the President himself has seen the need to stop Nigerians from going abroad for medical treatment. I hope this is not a political gimmick because truly, there should be no need. Is it not strange that despite wasting the money that could be deployed to equip our health sector on medical trips to the land of wise people, these rich people still return in body bags for burial? If the stolen money could not buy them life overseas, what then is the sense in continuing such useless expedition? Sometimes, too, when they travel abroad, they are treated by Nigerians, who could have been here, treating our people but for lack of equipment.
Our schools are nothing to write home about. The lecturers are leaving in droves for greener pastures abroad because of poor remunerations and inadequate infrastructure in schools. Yet a whopping N37 billion is to be wasted on renovating just one building. How much allocation did the ministries of education and health get? What did the ministry of works and housing get to fill the valleys on our highways? One could imagine how many jobs this money could have created, how many hospitals and schools it could have equipped, or how much of the debts of ministry of works could have been settled to make contractors return to work.
It is all so baffling that the National Assembly Complex that cost N7 billion to build in 1999 would gulp N37 billion to renovate in 2019. Who has bewitched us, oh foolish Nigerians?
What people seem to ignore is that of all this wretched riches, nobody takes anything back to the Creator when the candle of life blows off. Everyone will return empty-handed but some with consciences darkened by the repercussions of their rapacious greed, pitting them against the wrath of the Almighty. Oh, poor miserable souls! I leave you with two scriptures
“And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” Luke 12:15.
“ But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” 1 Timothy 6:9-10.
Sadly, while they weep and gnash their teeth in futile regret, their ill gotten wealth is laid up for another to enjoy. Think about it now the new year has just begun and retrace your steps.