USAfrica: Nigeria’s season of stray cash

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Special to USAfrica magazine (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com, first Africa-owned, US-based newspaper published on the Internet.

Kene Obiezu is a contributor to USAfrica

It is no rocket science to pinpoint exactly where Nigeria`s decline as a country began with the military coups of 1966 and the civil war of 1967 standing out as chief culprits. It is easily correct to argue that though Nigeria survived the coups and the war but has never remained the same as a country since.

Something was broken in the heart of the country during the civil war and whether the country can recover today is a question on the lips of many.

Nigeria lost its soul years ago as a country. Over the years, this loss has become marked by a steep decline in the morality of Nigerians especially the young people who by reason of age are supposed to survive those who stand before them on the age ladder.

These days, it is easy to see how deeply those vices which were hitherto alien to the Nigeria have taken roots, threatening an entire country with collapse.

Of particular concern is the inordinate role that money increasingly plays in Nigeria today.Nigeria has become that country where anything and everything can be bought and sold as long as the price is right.

As a fall out from the pervasive corruption feeding voraciously on the country, votes as well as political offices are bought and sold. Employment opportunities are bought and sold. Even judgements of court are bought and sold.

In many ways, money has become the god many Nigerians worship and as things stand, nothing is about to change, soon.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission recently announced the arrest of one Ismaila Yusuf Atumeyi who is a gunning for a seat in the Kogi State House of Assembly on the platform of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP). He was arrested in Abuja together with one other person for being in possession of N326 million and $610,500 cash respectively.

The arrest followed a sting operation within the Federal Capital Territory and the Commission has since moved the suspects to its Lagos Command where they stand accused of hacking into the system of a commercial bank and defrauding the institution of over N1.4 billion naira.

There is no doubt that with the 2023 general elections just by the corner, politicians and those who front them as well as those who do their dirty jobs would be scrambling for money with which to fund their ambitions in  a country whose politics have become outrageously expensive.

To get into political office in Nigeria today is inexplicably one of the most expensive ventures anyone can delve into. This sad situation persists because over time the country has developed an unfortunate culture that  where money dictates the choice of almost everything including those things that should be left unsoiled by the distractions of filthy lucre.

Until Nigeria can at least get this right, it will continue to recycle money bags who care for nothing other than their private pockets. For these people, leadership is a little more than “business” for profit. Twitter:@kenobiezu

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