When he is employed in public service, he resumes daily thinking of how to steal from the people. These days, he does it so brazenly. No one cares. He takes it all. No amount is too small to take from the people. His meanness and heartlessness don’t bother him. There are always religious houses waiting to serve as laundromat for the washing away of all sins.
First, our economic model is wrong. In every other country – and especially in the developed world – people aspire to have fairly paying jobs, a modest life that adds value, and living in peace. In Nigeria, everyone aspires to be a billionaire and so you cannot trust anyone around public money because that is the only place where their innate robbery gene drives their conduct. In the private sector – except you are lucky to be a ‘top banker’ – it is not easy to be a billionaire. Most billionaires are living on huge loans, and you will know the true position of things only when they die. But there is this Nigerian exceptionalism whereby everyone believes ‘God’ has destined him or her to become extremely ‘rich’. It is a primitive mindset but it is what they go out chasing everyday, even when they have NOTHING on ground to make it come true. No skills, no acumen, no ideas, not even a dream, but just some prophecy from the nearest Babalawo or religious marauder. What God usually destines is that you will be comfortable – be able to feed yourself and provide for your family – and be able to add value to your society. That is what guarantees happiness. That is a good destiny.
But not the Nigerian. His religion teaches him wrongly and bends his mind. His primitive culture haunts him at night and he sees apparitions, witches and wizards and ogbanjes pursuing him everywhere and preventing him from ‘blowing’. He believes he should be the cynosure of all eyes, ahead of and above everyone around him. He believes his neighbours hate him and are after his progress. So, he goes into a ‘me against the world’ mode. He finally accumulates and then celebrates lavishly because ‘he wants to appreciate God’, for ‘hammering’ or ‘hitting it’. The old do there own. The young aren’t much better. The Nigerian personalises God, and hears from Him every second. He is too selfish to allow God to go and help the remaining 6.999 billion people of the world. It is always about the self. The Nigerian has evolved into a specie without perception. He revels in his own luxuries, always raising the bar for self-aggrandisation and the open display of illicit wealth. He never gives a thought to the unfortunate in the hospital, or elsewhere those who cannot afford what he is even complaining about. He takes everything for granted, not knowing that it is not by his strength that he wakes up every morning, or that his heart pumps every second, or that his blood flows around every part of his body without hitch, or that his internal organs perform their duties unceasingly, or that his eyes and ears and mouth work, or that bad micro-organisms have not eaten him alive.
He thinks nothing of the inventions and innovations of the white man. He’s only interested in buying them up as soon as they are perfected. He will even preorder so long as the people he leads pay for it. Not for him to sit and think seriously about how to add to the progress of humanity.
And so he acquires to prove a point, even when no one is looking. He ‘overcompensates’. Because he is usually a non-achiever, he wants to rub it in. With a third class from the university, he wants to buy more exotic cars than all his mates to show them he has ‘arrived’. He buys what he does not need and cannot use, to impress people he does not like and who certainly don’t like him or don’t even care that he exists. When he is employed in public service, he resumes daily thinking of how to steal from the people. These days, he does it so brazenly. No one cares. He takes it all. No amount is too small to take from the people. His meanness and heartlessness don’t bother him. There are always religious houses waiting to serve as laundromat for the washing away of all sins. This mindset drives politics, where the people subjugate themselves to this sick person, and would rather beg for crumbs, and wait for their turn, because they cannot see that anything should be changed. May God save us from this monster called the Nigerian.