When a Country is Poor By Alex Agbo


President Muhammadu Buhari

Many of the governors, including those reelected, met ’empty treasuries’. Inheriting empty treasuries is now no news, such that if a new man comes to the helm of affairs and doesn’t meet an empty treasury, one begins to wonder.

Even, Governors Rauf Aregbesola and Rochas Okorocha, after their reelection for second term in office, met an empty treasury.

Aregbesola was the one who was governor in his first tenure and got immediately re-elected, now our question is who left the empty treasury for him?

This is happening in a country of severe moral bankruptcy. In Nigeria, whether one likes it or not, the only sector that works, almost automatically is the corruption sector.

Many years ago we were told that Malaysians came to Nigeria and picked palm kernels. That means we were their leaders then, a model of growth. Today, table has turned. What happened?

I was listening to a testimony in a Church, which made me almost weep for my country. It was time for testimony, and here comes this half literate woman, shouting praise the Lord.

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Then she proceeded to give a testimony of her son gaining admission into the university, with an additional emphasis ‘not even in Nigeria but in Benin Republic!’. I almost had a stroke.

Now that’s indictment on our leadership as a country. We don’t care for our own. It brings me to a theory I’m working on. I am trying to find out if the black man has a DNA that is allergic to good things. We have been crying of marginalization of the blacks in America, here comes the first black president of the United States and the only legacy he could leave is that of establishing gay marriage, and jailing pastors who refuse to wed them in their churches! Pray, if the whites stop black men from holding political posts would the whites not be justified?

Now to Nigeria, I don’t think any normal person steals what they don’t need. According to Senator Ben Murray Bruce, extreme poverty and extreme wealth coexisting side by side, this is a sign of a morally depraved society.

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In essence, we have lost it all. Logic now stands on its head in Nigeria; a man steals a goat, he gets forty years in jail while a big thief gets a pat on the back.

Nowadays, family members curse their ‘Illustrious sons’ who find their ways into government and fail to steal from the coffers.

Something is wrong in a country where merit has been sacrificed for nepotism and tribalism. Something is wrong with a country where jobs are for sale. How then do you expect a police man whose family gathered N400,000 to get him enlisted in the force to turn his face from bribe?

Assuming his parents borrowed the money, how much is his salary? He needs the shady deals to pay back on time.

Then arrest the perpetrators of such acts and take them to the courts and you can wait forever, if you don’t become the victim even.

We need to go back to the drawing board. Our Churches and Mosques as well as schools should go back to their traditional roles of imparting morals.

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Education without morals is just nothing. Nigeria can still make it. Teachers should stop sleeping with their students. Lecturers should stop collecting money for marks. Pastors should focus less on materialistic gains.

Stop telling little kids less of morals. Make them understand the worth of hard work – There is dignity in labour. Again, let us get back to the drawing board.

*Alex Agbo wrote from Abuja.


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