Inspirational and Socio-Political Blog.

Monday 25 February 2013

Corruption In Nigeria: Let’s Call A Spade A Spade.

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
-   Mahatma Ghandhi.

The parable of the wise and foolish builder as illustrated by Jesus in the Bible (Matthew 7: 24-27 and Luke 6: 46-49) is a complete similitude of events in Nigeria.  Jesus while emphasising the need to put His teaching into practice used this illustration and he emphasised the need to build a house on the rock and not on the sand. The house built on the rock can withstand the rain, wind and flood, but on the contrary, the house built on the sand is swept away very easily when rain, wind and flood came calling.

Let’s call a spade a spade; the level of corruption in Nigeria is astronomical.  Corruption runs in the blood of most Nigerians and are ready to participate in corruption at the earliest blast of the whistle.  Nigeria is a house built on the sand of corruption, but regrettably its people expect it to withstand the calamities and afflictions that go with such quest.  

Many Nigerians will profess several verbiages to convince themselves that they are not part of the Nigerian corruption.  They convince themselves that things are not what they are and expunge fallacious claims to support every corrupt practise. The fact remains that Nigeria is corrupt by default.

 Irrespective of what you convince yourself to belief, the fact cannot be erased.  Nigerians live, dine and wine in corruption and these corruptions run from the leaders to the common man on the streets. The leaders steal and share big money, while the rest steal and share the little money left.  You can hide the fire that is burning, but you can’t hide the smoke. The smoke is everywhere, nothing gets done except bribe change hands.  Ask for a little favour without throwing a bribe, then consider the job best ignored.  

Everywhere you go is the same from public sectors to private institutions, everyone readily participate in bribery.  I cannot overemphasise the facts that we all need a radical change in our ways.  Let’s call a spade a spade, we cannot continue to live this way and expect to get a sudden transformation.  Life is only a miracle to those who obey the rules. You cannot live your life anyhow and expect to get a worthwhile result out of it.  Until we all stamp out corruption, yes every one of us, Nigeria may not yet be ready.

We need determination and discipline to live corrupt free life.  Bribery and corruption has become part of our culture and way of life, we are so much enmeshed in it that it ceases to make any difference to us anymore.  Corruption is now normal.  If you can’t beat them, you better join them, but must we live our lives this way?

I am convinced we are not corrupt because of poverty, but we are corrupt because we are rich.  This is exemplified in the recent bribery scandal between Hon Farouk Lawan, the chairman of the house Ad Hoc committee monitoring the fuel subsidy misappropriation.  A bribe of 3 million USD was agreed and 620,000 USD already paid to Lawan by Femi Otedola, the chairman of Zenon Oil and Gas, so Lawan and his panel can doctor the report to remove Zenon name from the report.  How much worse can it get for a country laid on the foundation of corruption?

I am particularly disappointed by the role played by Hon Lawan, who initially denied the bribery allegation, before finally submitting to it when evidence was presented.  Hon Lawan is another gentleman and trustworthy leader gone badly.  He represented Nigeria’s incurable money-craziness. Lawan and his gang of dis-honourables are well paid, even better than their counterparts in every other parts of the world. But money is not the reason why they steal more, but greed and the culture of corruption which must be nipped in the bud.  Dis-honourable Lawan and his gang is typical example of many more syndicated bribery scandals that have rocked the country in recent years.

Nigeria has reached the climax of corruption; you either play by the rule or get sucked in forever.  You are not allowed to say no to bribery and corruption, if you do, you may get cut down in their wheel of scandals.  This unfortunate predicament has got to a very dangerous level, it now runs in every sector of the economy, from judiciary to legislature, executive to business, religion to education, health to power generation and many more.  Nothing works on merit in Nigeria; you either pay for it or lose out on it.  Sad, really sad, how can we continue to live our lives this way?

Let’s join hands to say no to corruption. Play your part in stamping out this deadly practice.  We cannot be free if we continue to sell our conscience for money.  Edmund Burke wrote; “among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.” We need to come together and say no to corruption in Nigeria, which is the only way forward.

By Abiola Olaifa,

Monday 11 February 2013

Super Eagles, Odemwingie and President Jonathan.

It was highly comforting to see Nigeria’s senior football team win the prestigious African Cup of Nations 2013.  What a great way to begin the year and to see Nigerians with a reason to smile-together as one after a long time.  The victory is a huge achievement for Nigeria after what seems to be a disaster-soaked year 2012 with the many horrible incidents ranging from suicide attacks, kidnapping, plane crashes, road accidents, flood, hunger, riots, betrayals, deaths and many more.

The win was a soothing relieve, the smile and comments from every Nigerian showed how starved Nigerians are of good news and a much needed better-life.   The expression of joy and wild jubilation over the win by Nigerians  at home and all over the world is an indication of the scarcity of events that makes Nigerians smile.

Coach Stephen Keshi has proved his critiques wrong, many do not believe in his abilities when Afcon tournament started, his was a case of another sad story turned good from Nigeria.  Most of the players in the team were little known, a few still playing in the local league, a very rear occurrence in the super eagle’s team of old, mostly made up of foreign based players.  Perhaps one of the biggest discovery is Sunday Mba, currently playing for Warri Wolves, a local team in Nigeria,  he scored the magical trophy-winning goal. 

It is important for the Super Eagles of Nigeria to build on this success and integrate a long time plan in order to achieve more for the future.  With a little more efforts, team spirit and positive attitude, the Super Eagles can be a team hard to beat by any team of the world.

Peter Odemwingie is a prolific footballer for Nigeria, currently plying his trade for West Bromwich Albion, a football Premier League club in Great Britain.  Odemwingie’s first mistake was his overreaction and twitter banter to his exclusion from Nigeria’s team list to the 2013 Afcon in South Africa, he showed a high level of immaturity and arrogance to the team coach and other football decision makers, as much as the whole world can see his frustrations, it is without a high level of condemnation from his fans on how he handled the situation.  Apart from that, he is not the only top flight player excluded from the list, the likes of Oba Martins and Taiye Taiwo were excluded as well and none of them took to twitter.  Odemwingie has since shown remorse for his immature actions.  

The second mistake by Odemwingie is driving down to QPR in a bid to force through a deadline-day transfer.  This is the most ridiculous thing any player can do and Odemwingie has since apologised for this silly mistake.  However, this would not go well in the minds of West Bromwich supporters who have always adored him and his expertise in the round leather game.  I am very worried for Odemwingie, as he has laid a precedence that will take a while to erase from the mind of West Bromwich supporters and the English press.  Get in the bad book in Britain and you are sure of a frustrating experience in the league.  Mario Balotelli’s experience in the UK was a typical example, he made a couple of incoherent decisions and he had a big share of bad press.  In England you need to behave yourself and play to the rule, else you have yourself to blame.  Though Odemwingie has since apologised for his silly mistake and West Bromwich FC has since announced that they have disciplined him internally as necessary without given any specifics.  However, Odemwingie needs to make up his mind and not take to heart if made a laughing stock in England.

President Jonathan was so much interested in the Super Eagles team’s victory that he called the team to give them his words of inspiration. This is a good thing to do, however it shows how much Nigerian’s need something to smile about.  Nigerians have had to survive the torment of a very ash and unfriendly economy for decades.  All that seems to filter out and about the country are series of bad reports ranging from corruption in high places to poverty, kidnapping, murder and many more.  The win by the Super Eagles team is a way to show to the international world that Nigeria can do better and all thanks to the current Super Eagles team and management who have achieved this for the nation.

 It is therefore important for President Jonathan and his crew to build on this remarkable achievement by the Super Eagles after decades of under achievements to implement long time structure for sports and other sectors of the economy.  Nigerians need more reasons to smile.  The government  of the country needs to build on this new trend pioneered by the immaculate Super Eagles and give Nigerians more reasons to smile in terms of Economic recovery and empowerment.  It is not enough for the president to be happy about the Super Eagles great achievement, he also needs to take a deeper reflection and make his tenure that of historical accomplishment in every sector so as to bring a lasting smile to every Nigerian.  President Jonathan still has the time to accomplish and build a legacy.

We want a nation that works; because we know that together we can achieve more victories.  Bravo to Coach Keshi  and all his crew who have done the country proud this time.  We look forward to more trophies; world Cup here we come.

Long live Super Eagles!

Long Live Nigeria!

Abiola Olaifa writes from UK. (,,
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