The stories of how prominent Nigerians, both those into politics and non-politicians, steal huge amounts of cash from their country make a country like Ghana the land saints.
It’s always disgusting and somewhat inspiring when you read in the news how a certain Nigerian has been arrested for stealing millions or sometimes billions of dollars from the country. The disgust comes from the notion that one person or with a few others are able to safely swindle the country of such gargantuan sum.
And the inspiration showers down in two folds—that Nigeria is still that rich and some efforts, even if feeble, is being scrambled together to bring the growing population of Nigerian thieves and corrupt officials to justice.
Earlier this week, Reuters reported that Nigeria’s former attorney general Mohammed Adoke was “arrested in Dubai, his lawyer said, seven months after Nigeria’s anti-graft agency issued a warrant for his arrest as part of an investigation into one of the oil industry’s biggest suspected corruption scandals. Adoke’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, said Adoke was arrested by Interpol on Monday 11 Nov., after travelling to Dubai for a medical appointment. The investigation by Nigeria’s anti-graft agency relates to the $1.3 billion sale of a Nigerian offshore oilfield known as OPL 245 by Malabu Oil and Gas in 2011.”
Yesterday, it emerged that the “United States has charged Allen Ifechukwu Athan Onyema, the CEO and founder of Air Peace, a Nigerian Airline with fraud and money laundering. According to court papers, the businessman laundered more than 20 million dollars from Nigeria through the United States’ bank accounts.”
Nigeria is being crippled each day, an enterprise which did not start today, by its own leaders with the unending race as to who is capable of stealing more from the country. This continues to happen when the ordinary Nigerian is struggling for basic needs.
Comparing what happens in Nigeria, caused by the leaders of the country to the thievery or corruption that makes the news in Ghana makes Ghanaian leaders come off as saints—and “petty thieves”
It’s absurd, perhaps it even embodies a dose of generational depression, that fellow countrymen at the top are able to swindle everyone in the bewildering manner it happens in Nigeria.
A Nigerian friend told me, “Oga Chris, if you no steal in Nigeria, another person go steal am—so what’s the point.”
Still, what Nigeria has become is depressing.