Nigeria: Why is everybody stealing?

Nigeria: Why is everybody stealing?

Why is everybody stealing in Nigeria? Please, why the stealing? Here, in our country, stealing seems like an act of worship, that if you didn’t steal, you might lose the eternal bliss. Therefore, everybody strives to steal, irrespective of its implication on the populace. In Nigeria, there’s pride in stealing!

Even those who are gainfully engaged still take pride in stealing. It’s no news that civil servants are super “stealers”. They steal as much as public servants.The higher the degree, the smarter the “stealers” . Professors can steal and “pretend” to faint. When you didn’t have the heart of Akpabio, why did you steal?

Academic scholars are usually entrusted with the “destiny” of their people because of the integrity of the books they read and write, the titles they carry with their names and whatever they profess in the field of study, but they end up stealing like the politicians they condemn with big big vocabs.

A PhD thesis is an instrument of change, for having identified a problem for which it provides a theoretical solution, but in Nigeria, PhD holders, like Prof Daniel Pondei, are parts of the problem that must be resolved. But who is actually dirtier between an academic and the gentle men of the press, another gang of “stealers”?

Certainly, the academics and gentle men of the press are true custodians of the pen, but false vanguards of the truth. They write to enhance the highest bidder. They strangle the truth that fail to pay. They are always thirsty of sharing a champagne with power mongers and they become dirty like their hosts.

But the uniformed man who holds the gun inside his barrack is even worse. He steals the money and allows the blood thirsty dissidents to slaughter the populace. Thus, he compromises the national security and risks our union. Is he an armed robber? No, he is an armed “stealer” Who else is clean?

Church fathers? Muslim clerics? Youth leaders? Health workers? I have always talked about the swatch-buckling “men of God” in designer suits swindling the sheep with anointing oil. These are holy “stealers” , as meek as the lamb. Like the sacred malams who, in Muslim circles, survive on people’s folly, they’re pious “stealers!”

The unschooled artisans who manage your cars, electrify your houses or fix your plumbing defects are also “stealers” . However intelligent you claim to be, you’ll be forced by your instinct to be nervous while negotiating with them. Your certification at the highest level in the University may not save you from being cheated by unschooled artisans!

The first thing that crosses the mind of an employee on receiving his appointment letter is how to steal or probably take advantage of his employer, not minding the fact that he had just been done a favour. The employer may also be out to exploit the employees. Both are “stealers”, both are not sincerely committed to the contract. The company fails because it is devoid of the spiritual blessings of good intention.

Then, the youthful swindlers, kidnappers, bandits, the hushpupp(ies) – the global merchants of pain, grief and sorrow, the human ritual mongers, the greedy masses who take advantage of every situation to amass wealth and the bitchy ladies who flaunt their boob to distract the world, are also “stealers….”

But why is everyone stealing?

A friend told me that poverty has no relative or friends. Nigerians would hardly identify with an extreme lack. Here, the poor is doubly humiliated – by both his status and the people around him. We celebrate riches and the affluent. Thus, the impoverished poor succumbs to his folly when he becomes so desperate for a quick breakthrough!

Also, if our own man is appointed or elected to a position, we belabour him with our needs and multiple demands and if he failed to do it, we run him down. The fool steals from the corporate cover to meet our demands and bites his finger at the end, as he steps into the jail or bargains for freedom with all he has acquired in life.

The real thieves, sorry, I mean the ordinary “stealers,” are those in the chambers of power – Parliamentary chambers, Executive chambers, the chamber of law – Palace of the devil, where tyranny reigns, where the dominant power steals with baskets of deciet, where the real thieves probe the “stealers” . I seek refuge in my Lord from the chambers of thieves!

If everybody is not “stealing” , then the majority is certainly “thieving”. Whatever the case, let’s not be so carried away by what the philosopher, Joseph Fletcher, called Situation Ethics. But rather, let’s learn to live with the Moral Ethics taught by Al-Gazaali. What is right and what is wrong are all known to all of us, beyond the caution and prescription of the positive law, for indeed, the natural law is boldly written in human conscience.

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