Please take a good look at most people at the high tables and front pages of newspapers, tell us those preaching morals. If you are sick and tired of crooks lecturing us about how to turn Africa or Nigeria around, you are not the only one. Of all people, those who have stolen us blind in Nigeria are prescribing solutions to us. Even the intelligence of poor people like us cannot be so easily insulted. Ok, maybe it takes a rogue to betray their loop holes so that it would be difficult for another rogue to steal. Not these vultures, they are not ready to give up.

Every day, they teach to us how to secure a hitch free election and how to rid our countries of corruption. These old recycled immoral politicians crowding out young intelligent minds still dominate the Continent and hardly lose elections with their power of incumbency. They attract the press and sometimes actually own the press to publish their magic diarrhea of the mouth to the rest of us. Fat cats giving us lessons about how to preserve mice.

Despite our cry, Nigerian politicians pay themselves so much money, it will be foolish of them to change places with any politician anywhere. Yet they fight for more, with all the allowances and estacode accrued, whether they are at home or travelling around the world. These are the people we put in charge to find solutions for majority of Nigerians with hungry bellies they deny live on less than 300 naira a day. Do we believe their solution on the page of daily newspapers?

Right now, not even an angel can tell the difference between small and fat looters. On their way to the treasury, they grease some hands with chicken change. If you dare raise hell, you are going straight to jail. In other cases, the names of clerks, secretary and other subordinates are used to collect billions. If those ones are scared enough not to query the invoice their names are written on, for fear of losing jobs or favors, they are potential prisoners without bail.

We have so many cases of the big fish blackmailing house helps and babysitters whose names have been used to collect billions. If you see the name of your relatives in newspapers attached to mansions in some high class neighborhoods overseas, knowing she has never travelled out of the country, please think twice before you kidnap her for ransom. Chances are she does not know she had that much until the name appeared in newspapers. Ironically in cases where they are used as courier for overseas deposits, some smart ones have disappeared with the money!

Are these the people we want in jail? There are cunning looters these days that have outfoxed us and we are now confused between the real rogues, the small thieves and the innocent man. Everyone deserves to be punished accordingly but in Nigeria, those who steal us blind have enough money to bribe their way from a prosecutor to a probe or from tribunals to our courts. The more they steal, the more their lawyers want and the more they become sacred cows.

Fortunately for them, people are divided on how to deal with these vultures. In Nigeria as in many African countries, they buy loyalties with their trickle down crumbs. They make sure they never pay enough so that the masses can keep on depending on them for more. It is the only way to keep people coming back to them knowing it is the source of their daily bread.

However, only Murtala Mohammed in a position of power has forfeited his loot to the State and come clean but he never lasted. His forty thieves hunted him down in cold blooded murder as a warning to defecting Ali Baba trying to be wise. Can anyone compare the Ali Baba that took over from him and almost went broke to the second coming that made OBJ a billionaire?

Babangida, Tinubu and Buhari are preaching democracy, Ibori gave a lecture at University of Benin, Soludo on mass revolution at University of Nsukka and Yerima preaching Sharia. Aliens would think Nigeria must be bereft of role models. Most of the people given the highest honors with fun and fanfare are recurring looters or killers of innocent civilians and opponents. Pity must go to those poor men that were unfortunate enough to be classed with the same honors.

So when they told Ebele not to run so that his name can be embedded in gold, we wonder who made the list of golden plaque. What we see are vagabonds telling us how to turn the Country around with a loophole big enough for an elephant designed for their return. Meanwhile, they are voraciously festering their nests with contracts none of us can ever dream of, even when they are out of power. They are the people that become godfathers, install their cronies as governors, or remain hands on as unofficial minister of “Contract Unlimited”.

Some governors, like Tinubu seeing himself as Governor Emeritus, padded his pension better than the incumbent, with official houses and cars in Abuja and Lagos. This is along the line of the usual favored contracts from the governors that took over from them. Luckily for us it does not always work out because unlimited greed split some open as they develop bad bele.

These days, contracts are the only way to go. Even when there are job openings, it is shared amongst relatives. The beneficiaries and providers of contracts are those telling us how to move our Country forward. They are ready to collect taxes or take tolls from the poor folks on the roads they did not build, just to award contracts. Allocations from the Federal and foreign loans are used for projects that suit their pockets and foreign account or partners is a must, so their percentages are secured in foreign accounts. If a previous government had sucked out its kickback percentage, contracts can be inflated again.

As a result, most aspect of life in the Country depends on contract, not meaningful job creation, productive business or agricultural endeavors. Central Bank could not get half of the agriculture loan reserved out, because food or cocoa and groundnut bags are more useful for transporting loot than back breaking tractor/hoe in the soil. It is how their children are trained to be lazy and greedy while poor kids without access watch from the sideline. What morals can they teach us?

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Articles by Farouk Martins Aresa