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Corruption, Not in My Country

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By James Ogunjimi
We live in a season of denials. Ask President Buhari about making naira equal to dollar and he will tell you that you misheard him. It does not matter if you have three hundred recordings of that statement shot from thirty angles and zoom the image on the screen to show the movement of his lips as he made that campaign promise. He will tell you that you heard wrong. Your ear and that evil called technology must have a problem, not his integrity.

Ask those who inserted millions into the 2016 budget how that happened. They will swear by their sultana and prayer beads that they didn’t do it. The computer, the white man’s evil technology inserted those extra zeroes to implicate them and taint their 100 years of anti-corruption crusade. The white man’s technology must have a problem, not their integrity.

Ask Yari Abdullahi what happened to the BRT of change he hopped on to get to power. Ask him what happened to those speeches on repositioning the state he delivered during the electioneering campaign and he will tell you that he has delivered. He will swear to you by the holy Quran that he has wiped out corruption from the state. Ask him how money disappeared under his watch as head of the Nigerian Governor’s Forum and he will tell you those are unfounded allegations.

Where is the proof? Didn’t his fellow Governors rally behind him when the news broke? The detractors and agents of corruption are the problem, not his integrity.

Ask that secondary school lesson teacher that chanted “Sai Buhari” during the last election and danced on the road after Buhari won what his stand on corruption is. He will tell you Buhari is going after corrupt people. Ask him about the runs he does during WAEC and UTME and the special centers he organizes. Ask if he doesn’t think he deserves to be wiped out along with those Buhari is wiping out and he will tell you that he is doing his own to survive the country; he is not a thief like the ones Buhari is going after. The big thieves and the economic situation are the problem, not his integrity.

Ask that policeman that will stand by the roadside listening to Fela sing fire and sing along with him: “You be thief, I no be thief. You be rogue, I no be rogue. You be robber, I no be robber. You be ‘amu’ robber, I no be ‘amu’ robber…” before asking the next car that passes to drop N100 naira or park. Ask him about the country and he will tell you that Buhari should hold those people well, that they have spoilt the country. Ask if he does not think he is one of the country’s many problems and he will tell you it is the economy and the way the country treats force men.

He will tell you about utopia and how policemen are the highest paid there. Ask him if that is a justification for collecting bribes and if those he is ripping off are not victims under this system too and he will stare hard at you, cock his gun and ask you to ‘waka’ or he will ‘drop’ you. If you stay too long and speak more English, he will ask if you think they won’t find a gun in your bag if he shoots you dead. The country and the economy are to blame, not his integrity.

Ask that lecturer that can exhaust all the English in the dictionary and even add a few more words to the dictionary when dissecting the nation’s politics if he is not just one of the problems. Ask him about how many girls he has told the “If you want to pass, you know what to do” statement and how many people are still rewriting exams in the university simply because they were not willing to ‘do normal’.

Ask him about that 10-page Wikipedia article he printed and made photocopies of and sold for N1200 to the students with a buy it or fail order. Ask him why he would lecture his students once throughout the entire semester and still set questions during exams. Ask him about all those and he will tell you it’s the economy. He’ll tell you that you eat where you work and if he is more unfortunate than normal, he will throw in a few Bible verses to back up his defense. The economy and the country are the problem, not his integrity.

Like I said, we are all in denial. There are no corrupt people in this country. Damn the white man and his rankings. Our country is not corrupt. Corruption, not in my country.

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