Nigerian leaders and foolish game of accumulation
By Ijeoma Ononogbu
Special to USAfricaonline.com, Nigeria360 e-group and CLASSmagazine, Houston
Watching and reading about the hundreds of millions being budgeted and spent for Nigeria’s 50th independence anniversary, a visitor from another planet may not know that Nigerians have suffered severely, over the past 50 years of its political independence, in the hands of corrupt and thieving leadership at various levels.
Will I be sorry to call our Nigerian leaders who loot the country’s treasury fools? You bet I am not. To be sure, it’s not all of them. Who’s a fool? It has been defined as “a person deficient in intellect; or pursues a course contrary to the dictates of wisdom; one without judgment; a simpleton; a dolt, an idiot… one who lacks sense or judgement.” It is certainly a foolish act by the officials of the Nigerian football federation to make mockery of Nigeria’s standing at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and allegedly hit the country with bills/expenses of N950 million — as reported only a few hours ago (September 7, 2010) on USAfricaonline.com titled ‘N950million World Cup Soccer fraud: Nigeria officials on trial.…’ https://usafricaonline.com/2010/09/07/n950million-world-cup-soccer-fraud-nigeria-officials-on-trial-nff-execs-sacked-again/
It baffles me how human beings can accumulate without a thought for the next man or woman out there on the street. I just can’t understand the game. Regardless, among those fools who stole our country’s resources, some will stand their ground to “fight.” They will “defend” their actions. They will come up with all sorts of arguments and excuses, however daft they may come across.
I am especially bothered by those who steal, hide and run away after fraudulently accumulating so much money.
It seems more a mad race among men, to accumulate so much, that they cannot even remember. It’s total madness.Why are Nigerian leaders doing this to us; and I ask: why?
The other perennial question asked by Nigerians and its analysts is: Where did we get it wrong and for How long will this go on? What happened to fairness; what happened to human reasoning and the pursuit of the common good.
No matter how much money you accumulate, no one will leave this earth with those.Not that I have anything against the late Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’adua (the late President’s brother) or the late MKO Abiola, the truth of the matter is that these Nigerian billionaires are D.E.A.D. They left their wealth here on earth and are ignorant of the state of their accumulation, that is the cold fact of the matter. They arrived here empty handed, they left the same. So why the quest to amass so much that people cringe at the mention of the accumulation.
We need to re-prioritize our goals in life. It is not the amount of money under your bed, millions in your bank account or the unaccountable number of cars parked on acres of land that define your wealth or the jet planes you own, honestly, it is the effect you have on a human being that sets you apart. It’s that simple. When you touch a life and the person turns to say ‘Thanks’ from the heart or you are an answer to an issue in the life of a generation, to me, is wealth.
We all know how wealthy Microsoft’s Bill Gates is, and deservedly so. After all, without him, so many people on this planet would not have had the opportunity to use a computer by making it cost accessible. As an added leverage, many people now remember him for his determination to terminate malaria from the world which accounts for a great deal of deaths in Africa and other tropical regions. That will be his legacy, not merely his billions of dollars made from Microsoft. Millions of Nigerians suffer from malaria but none of the stolen funds are put to fight malaria. What a disgrace? Nigerian leaders mismanage these funds.
It is sad that men are in some desperation for wealth accumulation rather than leave a lasting, worthy legacy. Ononogbu is an attorney/barrister in England. This, her first commentary for USAfrica multimedia networks, has been edited for exclusive publication across USAfrica platforms. Web links to this page are permitted but archiving on any other web site is not authorized without written authorization from USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu.