The love of money is said to be the root of all evils. And we are living witnesses to what love of money has done in our country.
Indeed, the love of money is getting worse. It is the love of money that is the cause of the monumental corruption in high and low places of both the public and private sectors.
Those we elected or appointed to oversee our affairs have taken advantage of their position to loot our commonwealth. The majority of roads are in disrepair, the hospitals remain ‘mere consulting clinic,’ the number of schools and universities have quadrupled, yet our public schools are sorry sights, not fit for secondary schools talkless of universities!
We have become the poverty capital of the world despite our enormous human and material resources; our nation has been overtaken by kidnappers, bandits, insurgents, terrorists and all manner of outlaws, all thanks to the inordinate quest for money by both leaders and the led.
The other day, the federal government revealed that it was making efforts to recover about 200 million pounds looted by former public officials and stashed in the United States. Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made the disclosure while speaking on the fight against corruption and illicit financial flow in Nigeria. It was at an event of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“We are looking at the possibility of recovering further 200m pounds among others but then, that does not mean they are not other associated assets being pursued, in terms of other countries of the world inclusive of Ireland,” Malami said.
“We are pursuing a lot of assets across the globe and then we intend to coordinate further meetings relating to recovery in the United Kingdom which is associated with certain personalities.” Also recently, the All Progressives Congress APC Legacy Awareness and Campaign, a voluntary think-tank of the governing party, disclosed that under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch the Federal Government has recovered about N1 trillion of stolen funds and assets since he assumed office in 2015. The group in a statement said the Buhari Administration has prioritized the recovery and return of stolen assets belonging to the Nigerian people.
It is so sad that many Nigerian leaders including ministers, governors, former heads of state and others have turned Nigerians into paupers, while our commonwealth are in their foreign bank accounts.
They are the reason why we have over 13million out of school children; lowest doctor-patients ratio in the world; nation of illiterates, terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and advanced fee fraud. And they did not stop at taking our money abroad; they have also polluted the society with their primitive display of wealth when they are holding wedding ceremonies for their children. The opulence of their homes, the luxurious vehicles they own and unashamedly display on social media and on TV would make Warren Buffet, one of the world’s richest men, known for his frugality, wonder whether we have leaders that think.
The bad behavior of the political elite has been copied by upstarts who want to be like the politicians and compete with them in hosting lavish parties. That is why ritual killings are on the rise in our country. Young men in their early 20s are slaughtering their parents, children and others because they love money and are too lazy to work for money in the right way. A few examples suffice. There was a story trending on social media recently on how ‘Yahoo’ young man tried to remove the eyes of his mother for money ritual. According to the story, Emma Eregarnoma invited his mother, Mrs Oke Eregarnoma, to his house on Caroline Street, Okuokoko in Delta State after he persuaded her that he had a surprise package for her. The surprise ‘package’ was to remove her eyes for money. Thank God that she fought the irresponsible son till help came from neighbours. The suspect was consequently apprehended and taken to the police station. Emma was detained at the Orerokpe divisional police headquarters in Okpe Local Government Area, Delta State over the incident. The acting Police
Public Relations Officer, Delta State, DSP Bright Edafe, confirmed the incident, adding that the suspect was in custody.
Similarly, a suspected ritualist on Saturday in Offa local government area of Kwara State allegedly killed a nine year old girl, Faith Samuel of Onireke area for ‘ritual purposes.’ The suspect, Alade James, of Alawe compound, Offa, was said to have killed the victim and buried her with a N1000 note in what sources said was for money ritual. It was gathered that he ran out of luck after some residents got wind of the incident and alerted the police.
These aforementioned stories exemplify how low our country has sunk, all thanks to the love of money by our leaders. The political leaders are being emulated by those who don’t have access to national resources like the leaders, but who believe killing people for ritual could make them rich.
To stop this socio-economic decay in our polity the laws on corruption must be maximally applied no matter whose ox is gored. It is time to put a halt to ostentatious weddings and parties by political leaders and their offspring. There should be consequences for those in public office displaying unusual opulence even if they want us to believe that they had been rich before entering public offices. Our religious leaders should know that they are also responsible for this love for money by the young and old that is costing lives because they have failed to preach contentment but are quick to give front row to the high and mighty even when the source of their wealth are questionable.
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) also has a role to play. There is need for campaign on dignity of labour, patience, contentment, and diligence in the quest for money. Aluta Continua!