By Solomon Okocha
It’s the reason why productivity, creativity, innovation, and motivation became meaningless in our nation. Study all that you can, read all the books in the whole world, attend the best universities in the universe, heap degrees upon degrees, generate mind boggling ideas, but unfortunately, you might forever remain unemployed and useless in Nigeria except you receive an anointing from above. Even the menial jobs in the land, were/are all controlled by the high and mighty.
Nigeria was operating on high speed corruption. Our brains were becoming useless; the billions and trillions in the private bank accounts of premature elites took the place of analytical reasoning and futuristic planning. Agbada-wearing rogues were allowed to take over governance, whilst men and women of sound intellect stood by in tattered and old fashioned suits, watching sheepishly and hopelessly as ill-mannered politicians raped the economy to death. Brain dearth is a by-product of corruption.
Brothers and sisters please tell them that it’s development that gives value to money and not vice versa. Billions and trillions are completely useless in an unconducive environment. How can you have billions and trillions stolen from public office in the bank, yet your village does not have pipe-borne water, good schools, electricity, good roads, health-care facilities, and other basic amenities of the modern man?
Don’t you get it? It’s not the money in the bank that gives value, rather, it’s what the money in the bank has achieved for the masses that gives value. It is an archaic pattern of thinking that must be flushed out of the wacky minds of most public servants in Nigeria. Money without development is useless!
When did the primitive accumulation of billions and trillions become a norm in public service? How can an economy survive when huge sums lie dormant in the private bank accounts of public servants? What is money without development? In other parts of the world, business men and women are richer than public servants, but here, reverse is the case. It then follows that economic recession is directly proportional to the rate of corruption in a country.
Just recently the media went agog with news of how Dame Patience Faka Jonathan, the wife of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, is battling with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC ) in court over ownership of a frozen $31.4 in an ongoing fraud case. While I do not want to delve into the nitty gritties of the matter at hand because it’s still undergoing adjudication, however, I’ll still throw a challenge at Mrs. Jonathan and so many other public servants who have billions and trillions sleeping in their private bank accounts, whilst Nigerians are groaning and bleeding under the terrible burden of recession.
The challenge is quite simple. I dare any of such persons mentioned above to show me one developmental initiative that they’ve embarked on in the past one year in order to better the lives of the impoverished masses of Nigeria. For instance, the people of Otueke, the hometown of former President Goodluck Jonathan, after years of living without access to clean water, have just received succour from President Buhari’s completion of ‘Central Ogbia Regional Water Supply Project’ in Bayelsa State. About 130,000 people are expected to benefit from the project estimated at N5.9 billion. Is this not the type of impact that Dame Patience should be making in her husband’s land?
Wait a minute: is this just a fluke? Or could this be the universe jamming time and chance together to produce a blend of synchronising rhythms of truth and reality? Or maybe, this is just the handiwork of a master strategist working for the Presidency, assiduously trying to perfectly draw a correlation between recession, corruption and mediocrity? Whichever way it is, the story of Dame Patience Jonathan’s billions, and the present economic recession is a reward for our mediocrity.
*Okocha can be reached on