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Understanding The Big And The Small Thieves

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By Citizen Agba Jalingo

Apart from the AK47 Economy criminals who are the cash-out partners and stand-by forces, of the political elites, the small thief in Nigeria comes to your house to rob, only to meet his basic needs first, and greed, in minority instances. His primary reason for invading your property is not to kill you but to hurt you and instill enough fear in you to be able to disposes you of your valuable property which will in turn meet his basic need.

He steals your cash, jewelry, your car, your phones, your clothes, your generator, your atm, and maybe foodstuffs.

Unfortunately for the small thief, we all form vigilantes and community watch groups, we contribute money to build street gates and pay monthly for local security apart from police, we purchase and install tech cameras and alarm bells, we even curse and pray incessantly, all to ward off the small thief.

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When people catch anyone of the small thieves, we are very quick to dish them jungle justice and feel like we have triumphed over our problem.

There is another thief. The big thief. The one who steals those things that we may be incapable of ever recovering. The one who steals those things that would have taken care of majority of the needs of the small thief. The one who steals our future, our health, our education, our jobs, our infrastructure, our security, our vision, our youth and also stealing our old age pensions, that big thief, we are all protecting him.

We fight amongst ourselves to defend him, we form groups and contribute money in meetings to feather his interest, we form prayer groups to fast and pray for him, we slave ourselves at his orders, we kow-tow and genuflect in his presence. We veer our cars off the way when we hear his sirens.

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Even the police, are his militia at a beck or call. Are we not a wonderful people? So wonderful that we are even willing, ready and able to kill for him as at when due.

But the irony is that, though the small thief may not bring you Christmas rice, okada, grinding machines, cash and tokunbo cars like the big thief does, verily verily, I say unto you, the small thief is the one who wishes you well.

Unlike the big thief, the small thief wants you to be in good health, have good money and own all the good things of life so he can come steal from you.

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The big thief doesn’t even want those things to get to you. He seizes them before they get to your sight and comes to placate you with crumbs. Yet, the big and the small thieves are both thieves and their actions are equally condemnable, intolerable and punishable.

If you are any of the two, then I am writing to you this morning. So it helps you know where you belong and also know that we know who you are. Desist!

As for the people, sooner than later, we will be ready for good governance and when we are ready, we will resist the two thieves and look for the one leader.


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