It was Ayn Rand, a Russian-American writer and philosopher. In this rather amazing piece, she was describing a society that somehow resembles our particular circumstances today. She posited thus: “When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favour – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them but protect them against you – When you see corruption being rewarded, and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doom.”
The statement credited to Ayn was written 64 years ago – in 1957. She seems to me like a prophet who saw tomorrow, in the context of the present political and economic situation in Nigeria and by extension Africa as a continent. Chief Obafemi Jeremiah Oyeniyi Awolowo’ in his usual characteristic of grace, also validates the position of ‘Ayn’ when he made it known that, there’s Danger in not practising what we preach. He had said: “If we are in the habit of practising the opposite of what we preach, our admonition will not only lose their force and cogency but also we ourselves will forfeit every claim to credibility. An ounce of example it has been widely said is far better than a ton of precepts.”
Flowing from the above, with a specific focus on Nigeria as a classic example of moral decadence and a huge contradiction. How do you explain a situation where you have a multiplicity of anti-graft agencies in a country that its government pride themselves as fighters of corruption. And, yet we remain mentally married to everything that is associated with corruption leading to the economic downturn. This is a huge contradiction, it is evident in the global index.
First and foremost, the motives and intentions are nothing but self-serving. Take, for example, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), among others, was primarily set up for a purpose and as an instrument in the hands of the ruling party, presently and in the past. It is clearly a weapon of blackmail in hands of a sitting president. This, of course, is the reason why the former national chairman of the ruling party ‘APC’ in the person of Adams Oshiomole, openly said: “If you cross to our party, your sins are forgiven” he was wooing the opposition elements with carrots and stick as they ‘say’-
Adams Oshiomole is not alone in the fallacious mindset. Maj-Gen Muhammadu Buhari RTD, as a major opposition candidate in the 2015 general elections during the campaign, made a lot of promises: He promised to end the wastefulness of resources on medical tourism; he promised to fight corruption by reducing mismanagement of resources; he promised to sell off most of the aeroplanes in the presidential fleets and many others. He was projected as a man of “integrity” who could not even afford to buy his nomination form, yet his children are schooling in the United Kingdom. This is clearly a good reason for what Awo said; it is an attribute of falsehood intention which contradict all the claims. It is most disgusting, to say the least.
Everything that was said during and after the campaign, is presently going in the opposite direction. Therefore, we need to build strong independent institutions similar to how strong institutions were activated to curtailed the event in the United States of America on 6th January 2021. But not for the strength of strong independent institutions, America would have gone down completely as a nation because of one man madness. The time has come for us as a people to bond in unity to get cracking. The nation is not smiling at all. But it’s not all gloom and doom. REDEMPTION is nearer than is expected.
This is certainly unacceptable, the carnage must stop… please permit me to dedicate the article on “Materialism, Greed And Corruption” to the evergreen memory of the immediate younger brother of Omoyele Sowore, Olajide Sowore and many of our compatriots who have suffered the pain of poor leadership. DRY BONES SHALL RISE.
REST IN POWER — FELIX OLAJIDE SOWORE
Richard Odusanya is a Social Reform Crusader and the convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE ACRI