Hi peeps,
How now? Hope all is well? Good. E don tey abi? Life has been happening ojare. I lost an aunt last week. To all my cousins, if you reading, stay strong, it is well.

Today’s topic is based on an interesting encounter I heard about a few years ago. In addition to being a chronic acada, I also do some mentoring thingys with some of the African undergrads here. So one of them told me about a disconcerting experience she had when she first landed in these shores. Turns out that many of the non-african undergrads have very little exposure to the world outside the US, and so they ask some of my little girls some very interesting questions. Someone on her floor wanted to know how her parents could afford her tuition in a foreign country and wondered aloud, in front of my dear girl, whether her parents were in government, and were stealing money. Teheheheheheheh! To say that the girl in question was piqued by this question was to put it mildly.The girl was outraged, enraged, furious and fuming when she recounted the story to me. For the record, while I have no idea how her parents are paying her fees, it is in extremely bad taste to ask someone that kind of question, unless of course you have substantive proof that the parents are dubious.

What made me decide to write on this today, however, is this blog post by one of my fav bloggers ( though he blogs infrequently) who wrote an opinion piece here on this article here.

For those of you who don’t want to read the whole thing, its an article on Chukwuma Soludo, the current governor of the central bank of Nigeria. We Nigerians are so used to corruption , that we find it hard to believe any public official is not stealing. We even expect them to steal, and steal big – often in the billions (of naira). There is actually a thread here devoted to tracking corruption in our polity, and believe me, it ain’t pretty. However, even by Nigerian standards, our CBN governor is living large – if the article is to be believed. The core issue however, for the purpose of this writeup, are the kids. To quote Next directly :

One of their two children is enrolled at Ampleforth College, an elite parochial school known as “the Catholic Eton,” and where the Central Bank governor pays an annual fee of £25,000 for this privilege— roughly half his annual salary. The other child attends a similarly expensive public school— which in Britain actually means private school— so that in theory Mr. Soludo’s entire earnings of about N12 million a year hardly covers his children’s school fees

.

My people, e get as e be o. For me it is clearly unambiguous how we are supposed to treat thieves ( although in my neck of the woods there is almost never any consequence), but how are we supposed to treat the children of public officials who are living large off our taxes (or in Nigeria’s case, the Niger Delta’s oil)? We know who they are – many of them are in fancy schools abroad, chopping life with impunity.Some of us go(or have gone to school) with them. Some of us work with (or for) them. How do you treat a thief’s child?

And if your daddy/mommy is a thief, if you know that either/both of your parents are public officials who normally should not be able to afford your car, your tuition, your plush apartment, but seem to be pulling it out, how are you supposed to react to it? Are you seriously supposed to say “Excuse me sah, please I don’t want you to use stolen money to send me to Harvard?” Or do you close your eyes and spend the money?

I really am serious with my question: Are these charmed kids innocent beneficiaries, or are they accomplices to the crime?

Meanwhile, I leave you with an interview that the immediate past president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, recently granted to a BBC reporter. This man was president of Nigeria twice – first between 1976 and 1979; and then between 1999 and 2007. He had an opportunity during his second coming (bad pun, I know) to create greatness, but he squandered it. SQUANDERED IT!! He did not have the willpower to fight corruption with any kind of seriousness. Many of the individuals who were indicted (we believe for show)got away with slaps on the wrists (6 months in jail for stealing billions of naira for example), and light fines (3 million naira for the theft of billions) that were frankly laughable, when compared with the amounts they were accused of stealing. He let us down so badly! Watch the video:

See Baba Iyabo (Iyabo is being investigated for corruption by the way), making gragra. Shaving our head and adding paint and expecting us to continue to say rankadede. GOD dey!

And a special shout out to all the students who turned out at the London School of Economics to protest his presence. Thank you, GOD BLESS YOU. About time we started to inform these bloodsucking vampires about how we really feel about their flagrant disregard for the rest of us. You can find that story here

So tell me, how are we supposed to treat the children of looters?

 

Tags: , , ,