Tale of Two Nigerians

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Nigeria: A Nation of 75% Idiots, 20% Tribespeople and only 5% Citizens?

Against the backdrop of the trial of Hushpuppi on multiple counts of internet fraud and other related charges on various aspects of criminality in the United States another Nigerian “Lieutenant Victor Agunbiade was awarded the Navy and Marine Corp Development Medal for his exemplary accountability. According to the US Navy, Agunbiade effectively managed its largest cash disbursing office handling $45 million which is approximately N17 billion.

The money accounted for approximately 70% of its overseas disbursing volume.
According to the award citation, Agunbiade earned the honor while serving as cash disbursing Officer at the navy’s Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, between October, 2019 to July this year.
“Additionally, he managed 100 per cent accountability of 23 million dollars (N8.7 billion) across six rigorous inspections and independent audits with zero discrepancies. By his unswerving determination, wise judgment and complete dedication to duty, Agunbiade reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States naval service” the citation read.
Agunbiade enlisted in the US Navy as a storekeeper in 2008 and was commissioned as a supply corps officer in 2013.

He has always displayed a high level of professionalism while discharging his duties. In 2018, Agunbiade was named the Navy’s 2018 Officer Recruiter of the Year, alongside 17 others and honored at the annual Recruiter of the Year ceremony in Washington D.C.”
The same Naija but different persons: what is the explanation?

“According to the ancient Greeks, the founders of modern civilization, there are three kinds of people in any society; The first kind of people in any society are the idiots, not necessarily mentally deficient, but rather one who is a totally private person; totally selfish and totally self-centered (sometimes donning expensive suits, uniform or agbada).

The idiot is always out for his personal gain and his personal interest. He does not have a public philosophy, he has no character, no knowledge and no skills to live by and to be able to contribute in a flourishing society or community. He is all out for his personal pleasures and his personal treasures. The Greeks said the idiot is just an upgraded barbarian – you see them every day in society. They are the ones who form tadpole queues and drive against traffic. They toss litter freely out of their cars and appropriate our commonwealth for their personal use; The Greeks refer to these are the IDIOTS.

The Greek also said there is a second kind of person in any society called the tribespeople. Tribespeople does not necessarily mean belonging to a certain tribe; which is not bad in itself, but when the Greeks used the word tribespeople, they meant a tribal and a tribalistic mentality. The Greeks said the tribespeople are those not able to think beyond their small tribes and their small social groups.
For the tribespeople, the primary, only and ultimate allegiance is to their tribe. Their tribe is their god and their religion is tribalism. Tribespeople are always afraid of things that are different or are a little alien to them. They are always suspicious and fearful, and they always deal with different people and difficult situations with intimidation, force and with violence. The Greeks also said the ideal person for tribespeople is the warrior, because tribespeople are a war making people.

But it was not so for the Greeks, for them, there was another kind of person, and that for them was the ideal person, and they called this ideal person the citizen. When we use the word citizen we are not talking about legal status or political status or the accident of birth; those are outcomes. We are talking about the idea and ideal of citizenship – which is a choice.
Who then is the citizen you might wonder? the citizen according to the Greeks is someone who has the skills and the knowledge to live a public life, and able to live a life of civility. The citizen recognizes that he or she is a member of a commonwealth and thus strives for the common good.
The citizen knows his right in a society but also knows his responsibility to society. The citizen can fight for his right but always with an awareness of, and with the respect for the rights and interest of others; of their neighbors, of the smallest minority and of their worst enemies.

It is citizens, the Greeks said that make up a civilized society, because citizens settle their differences with civility, they produce a civilized society, a society that truly lives up to the meaning of the name society. Society literally means friendship and friendliness.
This is the threefold distinction that the Greeks have given of people in a society. That is the choice that each and every individual, whoever he or she may be, has to make in a society.
Indeed, no sovereign can make any significant advancement when the number idiots and tribesmen far outnumber the number of citizens. When we conducted random surveys on the various cohorts of Delegates at the Ausso Leadership Academy, the perception is that; about 75% of Nigerians behave as idiots, 20% as tribespeople and only 5% as citizens. Do the results shock you enough to want to do something about it?
Nigeria is her people; If we want to see change, we have to start by being citizens of our country. According to Maria Robinson “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

The foregoing was nailed by Austin Okere, the Founder of CWG Plc, the largest ICT Company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange & Entrepreneur in Residence at CBS, New York. Austin also serves on the Advisory Board of the Global Business School Network, and on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Austin now runs the Ausso Leadership Academy focused on Business and Entrepreneurial Mentorship.

NIGERIA: THE GAINS OF CORRUPTION

The new government in charge in Nigeria has embarked on a long overdue campaign against corruption. While the main focus is on the bigwigs, it is rather strange that ordinary folks appear to feel the crunch of the latest anti-corruption drive the most. Just maybe, more than ever before, Nigerians will come to terms with the reason why to the rest of the world, corruption is synonymous with Nigerians, not just the Niger-area they live in.

buhari-headache
In an atmosphere where a large population doesn’t have simple answers to the most basic problems of their nation or indeed the slightest inkling of what the problems really are that are responsible for the overwhelming symptoms of such despicable magnitude, rectifing problems become hopeless. The entire nation seems to be calling out for any kind of lingering respite to a problem they don’t actually understand fully.

“The Niger-area calls out its people to arise as compatriots, to answer the call and obey, to serve diverse yearnings with their quest for spoils of all kinds. The people’s labour of long past shall never be in vain, as long as they serve with might and heart, to function based on little selfless wisdom and plenty of eased up selfish insanity. ”

The Niger-area is the freest region on the African continent, if not the world. Its people laugh at the slaves of freedom in the west, who are not aware of what freedom truly gives them, if they are not really free to do as they honestly like. The many limitations that come with the organized lifestyles of so called developed nations render their long tested freedom styles tasteless and makes them a rich tasteless meal, exotic only because its classy whiff is an attachment of convenience to be eaten with only the right kind of cutleries.

However, in a land where business is not about service too, but primarily for the profit craved for, then profit is not the two way traffic it ought to be. Profit should satisfy both ways, and not some individual obsession of those who are able to dominate everything and everyone in everyway. The discipline people show in their business is packed full of the opportunities they create for only themselves. It is this kind of orientation they comes along with functions in the Niger-area’s civil service, where and when the public servants bully their way into roles that further enslaves the common people they already dominate in all aspects of daily living.
The larger percentage of the Niger-area public servants’ stewardship continues to seek personal profit first, as they indiscriminately excel in their private pursuits mainly. The civil service is all about serving others and not self, hence a conflict is eminent at every turn of the people’s daily quest when those paid to serve their interest only serve themselves instead. This trend doesn’t follow the concept of separate entity which business and private ownership thrives on steadily.

It is the peoples’ life dependent desire to suffice amidst a mounting list of inabilities that forces them to react with cooperating with the corruption than solves their lack of fair opportunities. These corrupt civil servants, forcibly imposed military leaders and highly favoured politicians, deny the people their simply right to public service. The people of the Niger-area simply live in a mazy enclave of a grand collusion of all brands of public authority, functioning mainly in the most practicable means of corruption known to civilized man the world over.

The people’s labour for a fair opportunity to live comfortably is denied them by the lustful abilities of the nation’s leadership, represented not just by the elite but even the ordinary folks in simple places of authority. The simple rewards most privilege people receive for work done is full of abnormalities. The typical civil servant in the Niger-area can oddly afford to live well beyond their official means. They accomplish this feat against all odds because literally the land is full of partakers in this national pastime, in one form or another. It is an insurmountable anomaly that is ironically both cruel and favourable to all and sundry across the board, from an objective point of view. The lucky employed people’s capacity to do their work is continuously polished by everyone else, at the expense of the nation’s credibility. The nation appears to breed a long continous line of similarly gifted and well groomed corrupt people. It is a frustrating experience to abolish corruption in the Niger-area because everyone agrees they are not corrupt but thrive on corruption either directly or indirectly; everyone and everybody. The people of the Niger-area thrive from corruption, more than they do without it. For every single thing lost in the proper form, there isn’t a replacement in the improper form to supplement. Planning has to be on a last-card basis, few risks ever taken.

The nation’s leadership lost out on the key point of note. They failed to realize the importance of creating genuine honest opportunities for employees at the best rates of remuneration. It is the best way to reduce corruption, if there is a genuine will to do so. In the depth that makes up the core of the swelling problems of the nation is a deep set adherence to the reliable unwritten laws of corruption, which always sees to it that both the masses and the elite get through their common difficulties of getting even the simplest things done. It is the readily available factor which can be enlisted as the means of the practical aid needed to overcome basic problems of basic origins. Corruption is boisterous and exuberant in being so appropriate in providing solutions where there are none in sight. The people have always faulted corruption for many of their woes, hypocritical adjudging their assumed or presumed high standards for what they consider as fair and justified. They generally speak ill of the same corruption they rely heavily on to get undue advantage over each other at every given point they feel stuck, which is often.

Nigerian-Presidential-Seal1
Almost every time in the most corrupt circumstances, it is the undeserving person who deserves but is made unfortunate for purely manipulated reasons. The elite and the masses alike, readily use their privileged placings to their advantage and utilize bureaucratic bottle necks to their personal favour and this is always to personalized effect. The whole nation has stereotyped its view of institutionalized entities as a complex world of activities that render specific selfish functions to those within it that are favoured. Member of the society forget that what constitute an organized setting is basically the people. Formal entities are made of separate single individuals that function in their own personal capacities of family and at community levels first, and these are practically informal. Their daily functions as separate micro units are guided by their orientations and relationships with others.
These play a huge role in the manner people present themselves, within a larger context. This also includes how they represent their selfish desire to explore every possible means to get the upper hand at all times, irrespective of who is most deserving. Their efforts always buttress those actions that are constantly seeking to unset the perceived advantage of rivals. All visible encouragement obviously given to this trend is strictly insinuated by the general popular acceptance it receives. This is so especially from the inactions of the multitude concerned with it, the same people that get the bad end of these constantly reoccurring discreet corrupt practices. It is these same clearly disadvantaged persons who actually cheer the numerous gains of corruption and they identify with the reverence it gets in their communities that claim to abhor corruption. This irony is not only contradictory to their verbally professed beliefs, but it is also genuinely complex in revelation. It is completely opposite to what the aspiration for their nation as a whole is.

The country has become filled up with steadily growing perpetrators of the ills of corruption, so much that it is so hard to tell which form of it is derogatory and which isn’t anymore. Corruption has lost its bad face and with its constant gains as a sure means to get firm results; deservedly or not, its human vice status has gained more public appeal and taken on a popular human face. Corruption has bought itself an esteemed status with its visible gains and encouraged more and more people to partake with increasingly conscious intent. With its new air of acceptability, corruption naturally leads the whole community, with a visibly conscious flair. Almost everyone but not everyone, lives in the Niger-area with the honest knowledge that given the same opportunities as those in the most privileged positions, most of those now disadvantaged will happily do the same corrupt stuff, the very same corrupt things they are noisily criticizing others for doing presently.

The ordinary folks readily make all the other less privileged people around them as disadvantaged as they are and don’t think twice about it, because they see through the smoke screens and identify with the origin of their indigenous corrupt tendencies. The ethical origins of corruption are still evident in its manifestation as it was the case in the old days. Definitely the archaic and primitive ways of doing things had not been alone in bringing out the odd need to seek favours from those who can deliver and to gratify their own personal natural needs and lustful wants for merely doing so. Their resolve is to ensure that they follow their lust for selfish gains and still adhere to the dominant national principle of taking advantage of others always, and letting others take advantage of them on the same parallel.

They pay for these corrupt practices in every possible way, through varied and quietly unclear means, with clearly stated or insinuated terms. The insinuation is always clear even if the mode of payment isn’t always. The generous nature of all the perpetrators of corruption deceives by its actions and the lies it tells are quite intentional in every sense of it. All the benefactors are fools because they are used to satisfy a bigger need than they could provide for themselves and are thus only a means to another person’s brief joy, which they can not claim to enjoy too.

That is the only telling streak of corruption that is never necessitated by its course of action, an action not initially viewed as the selfish act it is. It is an action that always resumes its pull for a solution within the sphere of human attraction for individual needs first of all, and then a desire to maximize gains by all workable means. Each lie used to achieve this goal is a generous tool that is evidently steered towards that singular purpose of offering an insinuated insult to the individual who yields to corrupt advances. By succumbing to these advances, the individual is lowering the logical sense of value of their individuality. What credible worth that accrues to an individual is tainted and lost in due course with corrupt practices.

The Niger-area is heavily dependent on corruption and its civility lives within a peaceful anarchy, as a direct result of this. Civility endures the pains of justice when it is denied and suffers the roughness of a terrain it has no exact control over but must still live in. Strangely, it is unfairly just because it appropriately makes a case for the kind of prosperity the society finally attains. The kind of value the society gets at the end of the day characterizes the value it attaches to its well-being as a knitted modern society. A massive majority of the people represent this rude truth that runs in the essence of the nation. More than anything else, this speaks for the holistic national character of the entire nation, if nothing else does.

nigeria

The popularity of corruption is cultural in the Niger-area and its visible effect makes it an accepted norm, embraced mainly because of its success, employed for its viability and endeared for its reliability. It lingers on for this simple reason as the whole country stares with awe as nothing else steadily brings a logical end to corruption without also ending established cultural norms, as they have always existed. Corruption has taken on the same meaning as what was erstwhile proper in the people’s custom. It has suitably taken on a similar face, like the use of faith and belief interchangeably. By admitting this contrasting advantage and shortcoming of malicious corruption, both perpetrators and critics of corruption simply affirm its strengths. The futility in the people’s competing selfish thinking and eventual deeds always comes to the fore even when it is negatively accepted. This likens how true faith always takes root with the illogicality of hope, while it is logical to assume that the reasoning of hope establishes individual and collective faith.

Corrupting became excusable in a land that symbolizes despots as successful icons, where incredibly expensive luxuriously reliable strong four wheel drives and huge standard utility vehicles aren’t only symbols of waste but essentially convenient means of transporting ostentatiously paid important public servants over badly maintained old highways. In a land where hard working people who desire to work for their earnings and have no wish to achieve anything from being lazy but from the harsh unpleasantness of earning an honest living, nothing has proven to be as resourceful to the diverse people as ramifications of corruption has.

Nothing fashioned against the resounding might of corruption prospers in the Niger-area because nothing has as yet replaced or promised to replace its real abundant achievements for the people who grew up relying on it for succor. If the people as one whole identifiable package, with the same single identity, do not have guaranteed legal access to the benefits of their nationhood and they must remain as one entity, then they will obviously take it without any consideration for how legally they do. They will stream out of their shores in search of the golden fleece they know they world offers and will look from it to the ends of the world. The people of the Niger-area will search in the most obscure lands, much poorer than their local villages, which they ran away from. They search in streets that are dirtier than their toilets or refuse heaps, look inside jails more hostile than their indigenous battle fields, in communities that hate them for just visiting. They look for more the only way they had learnt at home; the only way they see work.

The people’s determined whispers stir reasoning ideally fake, just like the leadership they always follow. They mimic a wrongly expressed sincerity and they have raised a banner that says as much to themselves and every other onlooker. Theirs is a fakeness that is too pronounced to be viewed as something else. They reek of shame as a people but individually claim holiness. A whole tradition altered itself to suit its fakeness and finds itself functioning not like it envisaged but like it fraudulently dared to, only so that it can sustain itself, as it calls itself.

FEVER SERIES

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Fever: The Coldness of Fever (Book V)
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And Development Is?

czsxkum

There aren’t pinpoint developed or under-developed nations. The difference in development levels of nations are classed according to proximity to the best examples of the two extremes of the stages of development. Thus the term developing is firstly relative to both extremes. The seemingly endless process of developing is still quiet evident at both extremes. This fact is open dispute and debate.

Stagnation in under-developed nations isn’t permanent either, but the term aptly describes the state it appears to be in presently, just as being termed developed doesn’t describe the former. Development isn’t an infrastructural state, principally. Development is mainly attitudinal; a state of a culture and not the process it had under gone to get where it is. Development isn’t a stage a nation is but the state of the circumstances that surround the entirety of the national entity currently, not where it is at. Development isn’t a stage but a process, it isn’t ever finished but dynamic.

Here is a poem by Portia Nelson that might help us see that if we ever want this misconception of what development really is to end, we must do things differently not merely shutting little people up when they crave for true development.

There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk
Chapter 1
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in. I am lost….I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
Chapter 2
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the side walk.
I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
Chapter 3
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I fall in….it’s a habit…but my eyes are open.
I know where I am. It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
Chapter 4
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
Chapter 5
I walk down a different street.

RELIGIOUS RUSE

angelmetatron
Most current leaders in the black race personify a notable class of people in the larger society that most profited from secular and spiritual corruption. Business men are successful because they are connected and got the most compelling undue advantage to enrich themselves. Clergymen would personify those that had become mythical in their every thought, speech and actions because of the prestige and respect they enjoy from the increasingly popularity of worshiping vague celestial divinities. It is globally the turn of black people to predominantly fear and revere everything termed sacred and the black race have since owned it, more than any other race or people before and now.

This divine slavery has advanced to such an extent that the state of superiority enjoyed by a revered deity is used only for personal advantage. Rogue tendency of being holy is currently more commonly exploited by all types among every brand of the darker races and their leaders. It is their turn to copy the old well tested antics of the white elite.

It goes to show why clergymen shouldn’t be secular politicians, no matter how many good men before had successfully done so. There are more harmful possibilities to it than there are good ones. The confessed faiths of clergymen can only be bias to their beliefs and where they must fairly administer over persons in a secular setting with competing diversely held beliefs, then they must be hypocritical in their desire to be fair, thereby failing to be true to their own faiths; the very basis for being considered ideal for public office in the first place.

pope francis

HISTORY OF AFRICAN CORRUPTION

Face

In all of Africa, corruption is that quiet old pre-independence illegal small structure, built with dry wooden walls of sticks with a thatched grass roof. The earliest native semblance of civilized governments had met the frail hut and turned it into the big personal brick mansions in the outskirts of their villages. The post independence created democracies copied badly because they didn’t naturally evolve and the military dictatorships bullied their way in and institutionalized corruption. They renovated it completely into a massive block of high skyscrapers, with reinforced concrete walls with solid steel fittings and aluminum and glass trimmings, and site it in the middle of the big new cities.

Corruption has taken on a permanent imagery in Africa, much like natural mountains that had been there all along, like immortal living emperors of old reigning over frightened domains, showing love for their land by keeping their subjects alive only to work for them.

FEVER SERIES

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Fever: The Origins of Fever (Book I)
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Fever: Rising Temperature of Fever (Book II)
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Fever: The Appetite of Fever (Book III)
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Fever: Gentle Aching Fever (Book IV)
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Fever: The Coldness of Fever (Book V)
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Forgive and Forget

Obasanjo
(Excerpts from ‘The Assassination of Obasanjo’ in ‘Everyone hates the English’)

“In the popular quest for change Nigerians were yet again willing to forgive the acts of evil committed against them. With this singular act they simply continued their life long legacy of letting thieves, bullies and killers escape justice for their respective acts of stealing, treason and murders. It is little wonder that the Nigerian nation has repeatedly suffered from these many crimes, when the countless perpetrators are always assured of getting off scot-free.

1JbEdG-SNp-109x109

“Strangely though, of the two acts that starts a revolting sequence of prolonged feud, the most damaging is always the second, not the first. The first starts it off and could as easily end it at that, if the second does not see the need to revenge the damage the first act had started. Second act establishes and revitalizes the sequence when it retaliates.”

EVERYONE HATES THE ENGLISH - Small
EVERYONE HATES THE ENGLISH

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NIGERIANS BEGAT THIS NIGERIA

over load
(Excerpts from the Fever Series Books V)

A nation where the extensive roads are barely wide enough for the huge over loaded and over used trucks of all sizes, where highroads are as narrow as foot paths at the height of the raining season, when tall grasses narrow down highways with every curvy slope. A nation where paved roads are as old as the hills they cut through, where highways cratered like the best hostile fighter pilots deliberately make enemy runways after carpet bombing. In a nation where drinkable water is bought only in flimsy transparent packs, sold because it is a huge favour to retailers and drinkers alike, for there are no safer alternative under these circumstances.A nation where the next fellow lives off the sweat of others.

Time flows like ocean waves. No two waves are alike but they all are of the same nature. Time reaches the shores of the Niger-area like floating dead fish caught on the high tides, crashing on rocky coasts, with the many compromises of the perpetual sick west African republic. The waves hold little promise, yet plenty of scented hope ever fills the air with a smell that never seems to materialize to something the people can see. The people wait for their hopes to become meals but they are not assured dead fish can serve as seedlings. The coastal hard rocks are not the complicated destinations they are made out to be but personalized obstacles the people must surmount to reach their objective of a harmonious federation. The visibly stressed state of the people of the Niger-area renders their hope impotent. Their faith in the daunting prospect is inadequate to lift and aid them towards reaching their most desired place of complete national comfort.

Dead fish is soon bad and will serve no good purpose on the meal table after a short period of neglect. The nationhood suffers neglect and the people hadn’t set out on a good bright day, long in the gone past, to catch the fish but wait ever again for a wet rainy stormy night to pick up the dead fish at their rocky coast lines of difficult politics, laced with nepotism and tribalism, with bias politicized ethnicity, pack full with pessimistic cultists, passed off as traditionalists, academics and religious voices, as they all wait for the predestined future until it fails to arrive.

Separate persons complicate the polity with cynicism that covers up the rough outer wrapping of nationhood with little sincerity that doesn’t give a clue to what negative repulsive selfish intent is packaged within their nature. Their love for their diverse principles consumes them and profusely stinks up their country. This is revealed to the detriment of the same nation they don’t claim to sabotage like they know they are doing. They live a lie they know but will never admit it.
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The whole concept of a single national identity was conceived on this disjointed selfishness and that is why the country’s coast is full of bad smelly inedible repugnant fish. That ever burning and ever consuming fire of time has been deployed to destroy all the past good deeds of fellow countrymen by those that come after them. The old memories of the currents successors own moments of cruelty, meted out in reprisals to those of other countrymen, easily forgotten in the midst face serving praise. The people’s general ability to beckon at reciprocal acts of kindness with that interested indifference that hints their want for it, does not expose their pressed, penned up yearning for it. Pretence has shamelessly made the people appear all spent and dried up like the well seasoned dried harden foreign fish the people favour so much. The treated European dead fish they crave.

They are all alike in this regard, in their deficiencies not in their uncommon preference for the well stocked fish but more so for their compared similarity to it. They are well stocked up old common fish, seasoned and rendered lifeless by their dogged preposterous desire to be relevant for ever so long, even if they are aware that they will end up dead, dried and dined by they very own fellow countrymen. The people of the Niger-area are as yet politically useful to all but themselves, with nothing to show for it. The sight of an offensive nature that was lurking within them for so long in their nation-ship isn’t good to see. Since it is the secret of providence that it doesn’t respect destiny, theirs appears more of a tragic shallow experience, as against that of other nations with very similar origins.
1JbEdG-SNp-109x109
The leaders of the Niger-area simply replay the same old music they learned long ago from their colonial masters. The indigenous rulers divide and rule still, like their colonial leaders did. The little bit of success they register or merely claim to have achieved, doesn’t really show that they deserve recognition for those small gains either. The leaders and the led alike, lack the courage to speak up for the good in the face of the bad. The seas were simply filling up with dead fish and it has more to do with the action or inaction of the led than the selfish management of the leadership, because they had built dams to hold back their overflowing rivers of prosperity. The led masses wallow away in the cruel patience of wait, as they pant their tasked calmness, as if they had actually ran a race physically. They wait still and wait and wait still. They are panting their tiredness with the rage of the wait and not the struggle of it that they know nothing about in their lazy comfort.

The people are still holding on to a vibrant confidence that still assures them that they will be richly rewarded and that their perceived cowardice doesn’t flush their struggling resilience, still resisting their final ultimate defeat. They have endured the deception of many of the same kind for long. They have heard and seen each time as yes is maneuvered to mean no with shameless ease, and have come to accept that most times maturity is the diplomatic ability to disguise a lie as the truth. Still they related well when there is no way they could heed the need for caution without requiring to justify their obvious refusal to be sheepishly led and appear unethically rebellious. They have inevitably reached a point where and when every single simple harmless grudge will grow and become a deep set angry ancestral feud. They had witnessed their striped linen of nature so reduced, simply because it had always been taken for granted and it shows in its inadequacy.

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Fever: The Coldness of Fever (Book V)
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The Poet in the Poem
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REMEMBER!!! All Nigerians Are Corrupt: Substituting Subsidy

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(Flash back to Occupy Nigeria Protests in January 2012 when this article was first posted: 8th January 2012)

Don’t mind the title; I had to grab your busy attention from the onset. But really, are we sure we are not all Corrupt in the true sense of the word? Corruption, corruption! All this talk of not trusting our leaders, even when they make policies that are sensible is rubbish. Okay we are corrupt in Nigeria. But do you think we are more corrupt than the Italians, the Chinese, the Indians or the South Africans? We are just a whole lot more lazy, it would appear. We prefer easy Government jobs that guarantee steady salaries and afford some privileged Nigerians the opportunity to sit around doing nothing for weeks without end, giving them time off to do their own personal stuffs at the expense of public funds, allowing them to go on pointless labour strikes for any reason at the slightest prompting.

They incredibly get to buy very expensive modern cars they can not ordinarily afford with five whole years of untouched regular wages. Nigerians spend huge fortunes on festivities and live well beyond their formal means. Most ordinary Nigerians are indeed as corrupt as the worst politicians and actually even more dubious in their own micro sphere of operations than is popularly admitted. A whooping eighty percent of working Nigerians, in every sector are just like their leaders that rob them. The only difference is that they can only nick the odd naira off fellow Nigerians as a mere bribe or as the unwarranted overpricing of essential items. Some of Nigerians are even worse because they as easily kill their own neighbors in their worship places and burn up their fellow citizens’ homes while they are in bed, for the flimsiest reasons. Their leaders do not do that to their neighbours but they easily give them pittance to murder their fellow masses.
At this juncture let me define corruption from the Nigerian’s general perspective, which incidentally doesn’t differ from the conventional one but emphasizes one Nigerian’s misgiving and particular distrust for another Nigerian having the means to exercise their advantage over him. Corruption to the Nigerian means ‘having undue advantage’ and the definition of the phrase ‘undue advantage’ is relative to the individual, his orientation or bias. Already some Nigerians have started exercising their advantage by making fellow citizens pay over hundred percent more than they ought to after just a few days of no fuel subsidy, making them pay more for stuffs that don’t even have anything to do with fuel.
We blame everything on Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan because he is the president and rightly so, but then we find ourselves completely blameless for the pains we inflict on our fellow citizens and our own lazy carefree-ness, for craving so much more than we earn. We need a pinch in the arm so that we would wake up and grow up to the reality of things. When we grow up to our own simple honest responsibilities then maybe we can have the moral right to “Occupy Nigeria” as progressive citizens and not the disoriented, cheapened & perpetual government welfare population we have made of ourselves.

It is such a pity that so many intelligent people can not understand the simple economic advantage of removing oil subsidy. It is such a pity that they actually chose not to because it quite conveniently fits into their larger plan of discrediting this president for either fraudulently ‘winning’ an election, or ‘hijacking’ the PDP apportioned Northern Nigerian presidential slot! It is a huge insult to our teachers who had painstakingly taught us the viability of market forces. We either conveniently dumped their lessons on demand and supply, with their elastic curves or actually failed our O’levels school certificate.
If we would just study the GSM progression in Nigeria and the glorious demise of NITEL as a direct result of this, we would draw parallels on why the over pampered civil service is in the forefront of the Pro-subsidy campaign. The old NITEL staff had tried to compete with the flock of new telecommunication companies then. NITEL floated a GSM venture (M-TEL) and it was always destined to be a stillbirth. With this deregulation drive, the old NNPC and old NEPA entities seem destined to go in that direction. It will be a pleasure to see this because it would mean an efficient market driven economy with less idle civil servants to pay with public funds for inefficiency.
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I have woken up to the fact that a lot of Nigerians are hell bent on having an economy that is predominantly dependant on government policies and not on market forces. The former (Government Policies) is prone to corrupt practices while the latter (Market Forces) is mainly in the hands of the people. The developed world has since come to terms with the fact that there is no substitute for a market economy. This debate has since left the realm of academic theories and transmitted into proven practical facts. The demise of USSR and other nations of the Soviet bloc is an eternal endearing case study.
Presently the Chinese are cheating their way to world dominance through the rewards of demand and supply; cheating because they steer the factors to ensure that it is more of the western world’s demand and their supply. The simply practicality of market forces makes it virtually impossible for prices to go beyond adjustments of Productivity, Availability, Profitability and Acquisition (PAPA). We must discipline our minds and perspectives.
Nigerians prefer the former because they love to demand and wouldn’t bend over and supply. Most Nigerians lack the personal discipline to be progressive and task themselves to persevere under a strenuous regime of creativity and its prolonged lingering changing effects. This is plainly because of the popularity of the age old quest of hanging to the past way of doing things and lying to ourselves that we live in a market driven society.
We grew up hearing tales of new university graduates driving into waiting jobs in brand new company cars. We learnt of; and sparingly got, education scholarships from the Government and glutted on how easy life should be if it isn’t. The persons who had shouted to the roof tops about our corrupt officials are now old in Government and they are worse than those they complained about, when things were a whole lot better that they are now. As such it seems better for most Nigerians to just sit back and watch, while amassing more fraudulent wealth for themselves and their kith & kin. Thus the corruption hydra would only thrive if the status quo remains as we endlessly pursue a vicious cycle.
We are still under the impression that Nigeria is rich and we can some how get all our stolen money back and have incorruptible diligent leaders in waiting to take over and take us to the promise land. We are dreaming still. For these reasons I am therefore so sure the Occupy Nigerian movement will lose in the very end, if it indeed succeeds in getting the status quo back. We will go the way of Greece, Ireland & Iceland when our corrupt cronies are done with us and we haven’t taught ourselves to market our resources and trade amongst ourselves but to rely on the flow of our abundant oil that is dwindling fast.
We also forget that we have a lingering sentimentality problem which is ceaselessly harnessed by a small portion of our parochial ethnic, religious and political elite in pursuit of their own selfish quests for relevance and dominance. So it is very difficult for the typical Nigerian to rummage through all these factionalized mess and determine the reality of thing as they truly are. It is important that we are not fooled about the true state of things about our national economics as they are now. These facts are in summary;
– The Nigerian nation is broke; how or why it is broke doesn’t change this fact.
– Nigerian can not gamble that things will change if they remain as they are.
– Nigerians must pay their way through this period ultimately, now or later.
– The Government is unreliable and can not be depended upon, now or later.
– The people can not guarantee fuel subsidy but can determine every price.
– Market forces will empower Nigerians economically and thus politically.
– Only empowered Nigerians can change the nation with their votes and activities.
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Nigeria needs the price of fuel to be determined by market forces more than it needs anything else now. A lot of things rest on this, from the price of a cup of Gari to the exchange rate of the US dollar. The capability to determine the unit prices of every single item in the country should be in the hands of the final consumers of these items, to a very large extend! With proper handling the Nigerian economy will explode and we will stop stocking dollars indoors and waiting for its dilly dallying exchange rates to guide us. As it is now the dollar continues to have a dual rating; an unrealistic pegged government one and another unrealistic Black market maneuvered one, both playing games with us.
We will weep for Nigeria if all is lost when we refuse the present truth because of the old lingering lies. The world economy is not healthy, why do we think that somehow we will be immune to that effect. In the last five years Fuel prices in Nigeria has been fixed and unchanged. Within the same period every other price elsewhere soared and it is amazing that a lot of intelligent people can not understand the need to put an end to this uncertainty. Just as the decision to favour either creation or evolution theory is beyond the academic minds of a lot of very educated persons, they likewise find it difficult to see how increasing a price today will make the same price to fall and stay down tomorrow.
Already the fuel pumps that were selling fuel at crazy astronomical prices after the first few days of subsidy removal have dipped their prices by as much as 5% after a single day, without Government interference. That is unheard of before now. Also a majority of the urban commuters that paid rates increased with 100% overnight were confronted with newer rates reduced with as much of 40% after just one day! That is market forces at work, reflecting the simple fact that commuters reduced and transporters bought less fuel. There were even early signs of the naira gaining on the US dollar because confidence in the world economy toward Nigeria soar suddenly, making the Nigerian economy a potential home for more foreign investors orphaned by the financial crisis in the west.
Now the almighty Nigerian Labour Congress decides to sit back at home again for so long, because their predominantly civil servant members’ salaries are fully guaranteed to be paid while all those daily earning masses suffer the strike they call for. Everybody that is Pro-subsidy forgets the fact that any other president that wishes to have an easy time in office will gladly keep the subsidy in place with a brave face and leave office a small hero. The nation suffers eventually with a lean purse, huge debts and angry citizenry still.
President Jonathan is considerably unpopular up and down the country because he is sitting in a northern Muslim‘s presidency and he is not a Yoruba or Igbo southerner. These are the three major factions in the country that form popular opinion. It is now common knowledge that this president inherited a mine field for an economy and those who know better agree that the end to all subsidies is inevitable. There is hope still, if we could put measures in place to fix the real trust and corruption issues we all have against our leaders. Once empowering the masses is prioritized, subsidies will not me craved for.
Most feelings generally accept that removing the subsidy is not in itself wrong, but many people had emphasized that plans to subsidize mainly the transport sector and agriculture while enforcing existing laws that are presently ignored, will curtail excesses amongst those saddled with managing public resources. There must also be a drastic reduction of the crazy fraudulent overhead costs of government. As it stands now, it just amounts to ostentatious waste that gives the impression of blatant thievery. Still this endless Government intervention in prices only empowers the black market, it only enthrones a dual economy in parallel contradiction, discourages investment because of the lack of confidence in the profitability of returns and that ultimately transmits into less viable paying jobs for the teeming unemployed. With the right handling, this subsidy removal would make Nigeria‘s economy more viable and definitely more realistic; at last.
In Nigeria, all prices go up around the end of every calendar year anyway. Business would then slow down around mid to late January and the prices start to fall. Hence this hike in prices fitted into this period snugly, making a good unexpected cushion for the increase in fuel prices. The timing isn’t the best but what timing will really be, honestly? The people in Government and the rogues in the Black market are persons that only seek to please themselves firstly, so the masses can really only rely on their demand and supply to force the hands of everyone else, even the organized private sector. Also a free market will ensure competition and not a monopoly that is impossible to regulate.
As long as the old practice of the federal Government, the informal Black marketer and a monopolistic sector continue to controls prices in Nigeria and not the real market forces, the masses will never have a real say in these matters or any for that matter, no matter what impression is created by some aspiring future government leaders who are still making unrealistic and utopian economic promises to the naïve and gullible masses.
A partial removal of subsidy is as good as useless. Actually it will possibly be the most detrimental outcome if the present pro-subsidy campaign results in such a compromise. History should teach us this lesson best of all. Every single time the military regimes of old and their civilian successor removed a tiny piece of the subsidy, prices still soar by as much as fifty percent at least; much more in some regards, irrespective of the percentage of subsidy withdrawn. This has over time been the sole driver of high inflation in the Nigerian economy. As such a partial removal will virtually have the same effect on prices as would a full withdrawal, without the many gains of the finality of a full withdrawal.
The people can only control market forces and the complete removal of fuel subsidy is the only certain way we can end the annual year ending fuel panic buying, hoarding and price increases. It is the first essential step in ending the habitual inflation gallops based on the arbitrary surging of prices in general because of our huge reliance on fuel. Market forces also guarantee diversification of the economy, investments and jobs. These are all devoid of whatever any government would promise now. This is the only true substitute for the removal of fuel subsidy, which will actually empower Nigerians more, rather than further enslave them. Keeping the subsidy is mere postponing the inevitable anarchy.

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NIGERIA: THE GAINS OF CORRUPTION

The new government in charge in Nigeria has embarked on a long overdue campaign against corruption. While the main focus is on the bigwigs, it is rather strange that ordinary folks appear to feel the crunch of the latest anti-corruption drive the most. Just maybe, more than ever before, Nigerians will come to terms with the reason why to the rest of the world, corruption is synonymous with Nigerians, not just the Niger-area they live in.

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In an atmosphere where a large population doesn’t have simple answers to the most basic problems of their nation or indeed the slightest inkling of what the problems really are that are responsible for the overwhelming symptoms of such despicable magnitude, rectifying problems become hopeless. The entire nation seems to be calling out for any kind of lingering respite to a problem they don’t actually understand fully.

 

“The Niger-area calls out its people to arise as compatriots, to answer the call and obey, to serve diverse yearnings with their quest for spoils of all kinds. The people’s labour of long past shall never be in vain, as long as they serve with might and heart, to function based on little selfless wisdom and plenty of eased up selfish insanity. “

The Niger-area is the freest region on the African continent, if not the world. Its people laugh at the slaves of freedom in the west, who are not aware of what freedom truly gives them, if they are not really free to do as they honestly like. The many limitations that come with the organized lifestyles of so called developed nations render their long tested freedom styles tasteless and makes them a rich tasteless meal, exotic only because its classy whiff is an attachment of convenience to be eaten with only the right kind of cutleries.

However, in a land where business is not about service too, but primarily for the profit craved for, then profit is not the two way traffic it ought to be. Profit should satisfy both ways, and not some individual obsession of those who are able to dominate everything and everyone in every way. The discipline people show in their business is packed full of the opportunities they create for only themselves. It is this kind of orientation they comes along with functions in the Niger-area’s civil service, where and when the public servants bully their way into roles that further enslaves the common people they already dominate in all aspects of daily living.

The larger percentage of the Niger-area public servants’ stewardship continues to seek personal profit first, as they indiscriminately excel in their private pursuits mainly. The civil service is all about serving others and not self, hence a conflict is eminent at every turn of the people’s daily quest when those paid to serve their interest only serve themselves instead. This trend doesn’t follow the concept of separate entity which business and private ownership thrives on steadily.

It is the peoples’ life dependent desire to suffice amidst a mounting list of inabilities that forces them to react with cooperating with the corruption than solves their lack of fair opportunities. These corrupt civil servants, forcibly imposed military leaders and highly favoured politicians, deny the people their simply right to public service. The people of the Niger-area simply live in a mazy enclave of a grand collusion of all brands of public authority, functioning mainly in the most practicable means of corruption known to civilized man the world over.

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The people’s labour for a fair opportunity to live comfortably is denied them by the lustful abilities of the nation’s leadership, represented not just by the elite but even the ordinary folks in simple places of authority. The simple rewards most privilege people receive for work done is full of abnormalities. The typical civil servant in the Niger-area can oddly afford to live well beyond their official means. They accomplish this feat against all odds because literally the land is full of partakers in this national pastime, in one form or another. It is an insurmountable anomaly that is ironically both cruel and favourable to all and sundry across the board, from an objective point of view. The lucky employed people’s capacity to do their work is continuously polished by everyone else, at the expense of the nation’s credibility. The nation appears to breed a long continous line of similarly gifted and well groomed corrupt people. It is a frustrating experience to abolish corruption in the Niger-area because everyone agrees they are not corrupt but thrive on corruption either directly or indirectly; everyone and everybody. The people of the Niger-area thrive from corruption, more than they do without it. For every single thing lost in the proper form, there isn’t a replacement in the improper form to supplement. Planning has to be on a last-card basis, few risks ever taken.

The nation’s leadership lost out on the key point of note. They failed to realize the importance of creating genuine honest opportunities for employees at the best rates of remuneration. It is the best way to reduce corruption, if there is a genuine will to do so. In the depth that makes up the core of the swelling problems of the nation is a deep set adherence to the reliable unwritten laws of corruption, which always sees to it that both the masses and the elite get through their common difficulties of getting even the simplest things done. It is the readily available factor which can be enlisted as the means of the practical aid needed to overcome basic problems of basic origins. Corruption is boisterous and exuberant in being so appropriate in providing solutions where there are none in sight. The people have always faulted corruption for many of their woes, hypocritical adjudging their assumed or presumed high standards for what they consider as fair and justified. They generally speak ill of the same corruption they rely heavily on to get undue advantage over each other at every given point they feel stuck, which is often.

Almost every time in the most corrupt circumstances, it is the undeserving person who deserves but is made unfortunate for purely manipulated reasons. The elite and the masses alike, readily use their privileged placings to their advantage and utilize bureaucratic bottle necks to their personal favour and this is always to personalized effect. The whole nation has stereotyped its view of institutionalized entities as a complex world of activities that render specific selfish functions to those within it that are favoured. Member of the society forget that what constitute an organized setting is basically the people. Formal entities are made of separate single individuals that function in their own personal capacities of family and at community levels first, and these are practically informal. Their daily functions as separate micro units are guided by their orientations and relationships with others.

These play a huge role in the manner people present themselves, within a larger context. This also includes how they represent their selfish desire to explore every possible means to get the upper hand at all times, irrespective of who is most deserving. Their efforts always buttress those actions that are constantly seeking to unset the perceived advantage of rivals. All visible encouragement obviously given to this trend is strictly insinuated by the general popular acceptance it receives. This is so especially from the inactions of the multitude concerned with it, the same people that get the bad end of these constantly reoccurring discreet corrupt practices. It is these same clearly disadvantaged persons who actually cheer the numerous gains of corruption and they identify with the reverence it gets in their communities that claim to abhor corruption. This irony is not only contradictory to their verbally professed beliefs, but it is also genuinely complex in revelation. It is completely opposite to what the aspiration for their nation as a whole is.

 

The country has become filled up with steadily growing perpetuators of the ills of corruption, so much that it is so hard to tell which form of it is derogatory and which isn’t anymore. Corruption has lost its bad face and with its constant gains as a sure means to get firm results; deservedly or not, its human vice status has gained more public appeal and taken on a popular human face. Corruption has bought itself an esteemed status with its visible gains and encouraged more and more people to partake with increasingly conscious intent. With its new air of acceptability, corruption naturally leads the whole community, with a visibly conscious flair. Almost everyone but not everyone, lives in the Niger-area with the honest knowledge that given the same opportunities as those in the most privileged positions, most of those now disadvantaged will happily do the same corrupt stuff, the very same corrupt things they are noisily criticizing others for doing presently.

The ordinary folks readily make all the other less privileged people around them as disadvantaged as they are and don’t think twice about it, because they see through the smoke screens and identify with the origin of their indigenous corrupt tendencies. The ethical origins of corruption are still evident in its manifestation as it was the case in the old days. Definitely the archaic and primitive ways of doing things had not been alone in bringing out the odd need to seek favours from those who can deliver and to gratify their own personal natural needs and lustful wants for merely doing so. Their resolve is to ensure that they follow their lust for selfish gains and still adhere to the dominant national principle of taking advantage of others always, and letting others take advantage of them on the same parallel.

They pay for these corrupt practices in every possible way, through varied and quietly unclear means, with clearly stated or insinuated terms. The insinuation is always clear even if the mode of payment isn’t always. The generous nature of all the perpetuators of corruption deceives by its actions and the lies it tells are quite intentional in every sense of it. All the benefactors are fools because they are used to satisfy a bigger need than they could provide for themselves and are thus only a means to another person’s brief joy, which they can not claim to enjoy too.

That is the only telling streak of corruption that is never necessitated by its course of action, an action not initially viewed as the selfish act it is. It is an action that always resumes its pull for a solution within the sphere of human attraction for individual needs first of all, and then a desire to maximize gains by all workable means. Each lie used to achieve this goal is a generous tool that is evidently steered towards that singular purpose of offering an insinuated insult to the individual who yields to corrupt advances. By succumbing to these advances, the individual is lowering the logical sense of value of their individuality. What credible worth that accrues to an individual is tainted and lost in due course with corrupt practices.

 

The Niger-area is heavily dependent on corruption and its civility lives within a peaceful anarchy, as a direct result of this. Civility endures the pains of justice when it is denied and suffers the roughness of a terrain it has no exact control over but must still live in. Strangely, it is unfairly just because it appropriately makes a case for the kind of prosperity the society finally attains. The kind of value the society gets at the end of the day characterizes the value it attaches to its wellbeing as a knitted modern society. A massive majority of the people represent this rude truth that runs in the essence of the nation. More than anything else, this speaks for the holistic national character of the entire nation, if nothing else does.

The popularity of corruption is cultural in the Niger-area and its visible effect makes it an accepted norm, embraced mainly because of its success, employed for its viability and endeared for its reliability. It lingers on for this simple reason as the whole country stares with awe as nothing else steadily brings a logical end to corruption without also ending established cultural norms, as they have always existed. Corruption has taken on the same meaning as what was erstwhile proper in the people’s custom. It has suitably taken on a similar face, like the use of faith and belief interchangeably. By admitting this contrasting advantage and shortcoming of malicious corruption, both perpetuators and critics of corruption simply affirm its strengths. The futility in the people’s competing selfish thinking and eventual deeds always comes to the fore even when it is negatively accepted. This likens how true faith always takes root with the illogicality of hope, while it is logical to assume that the reasoning of hope establishes individual and collective faith.

Corrupting became excusable in a land that symbolizes despots as successful icons, where incredibly expensive luxuriously reliable strong four wheel drives and huge standard utility vehicles aren’t only symbols of waste but essentially convenient means of transporting ostentatiously paid important public servants over badly maintained old highways. In a land where hard working people who desire to work for their earnings and have no wish to achieve anything from being lazy but from the harsh unpleasantness of earning an honest living, nothing has proven to be as resourceful to the diverse people as ramifications of corruption has.

Nothing fashioned against the resounding might of corruption prospers in the Niger-area because nothing has as yet replaced or promised to replace its real abundant achievements for the people who grew up relying on it for succor. If the people as one whole identifiable package, with the same single identity, do not have guaranteed legal access to the benefits of their nationhood and they must remain as one entity, then they will obviously take it without any consideration for how legally they do. They will stream out of their shores in search of the golden fleece they know they world offers and will look from it to the ends of the world. The people of the Niger-area will search in the most obscure lands, much poorer than their local villages, which they ran away from. They search in streets that are dirtier than their toilets or refuse heaps, look inside jails more hostile than their indigenous battle fields, in communities that hate them for just visiting. They look for more the only way they had learnt at home; the only way they see work.

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The people’s determined whispers stir reasoning ideally fake, just like the leadership they always follow. They mimic a wrongly expressed sincerity and they have raised a banner that says as much to themselves and every other onlooker. Theirs is a fakeness that is too pronounced to be viewed as something else. They reek of shame as a people but individually claim holiness. A whole tradition altered itself to suit its fakeness and finds itself functioning not like it envisaged but like it fraudulently dared to, only so that it can sustain itself, as it calls itself.

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