ACCOUNTANT GENERAL: NIGERIA IS A COUNTRY OF 200 MILLION AHMED IDRISES – HUSAINI
I no longer get excited about EFCC arrests and prosecutions, no thanks to President Buhari’s blundering failure in fighting corruption. To be very honest, the EFCC itself need its own EFCC if Nigeria is serious about fighting corruption. But Nigerians love spectacles and spectacles they shall get.
I see that even ASUU is celebrating the downfall of the man that ‘bullies’ them with Ippis, but Idris Ahmed is not Asuu’s problem, and they will do better to focus on their own internal reforms as the stewardship of some vice chancellors proves that some university administrators are no better than the disgraced AG.
Fact is, corruption is a Nigerian way of life, no matter how we want to pretend otherwise. It is endorsed by our masses, enabled by our system of governance and rewarded by our institutions. It is not like there is no corruption in other countries. Many countries – even advanced democracies – have more than their own fair share of corruption.
But what makes the difference is that in those countries, there’s no elite and popular consensus accepting corruption as a national way of life as seen in Nigeria. And still, there’s an irreducible minimum of good governance like stable electricity, decent infrastructure, social welfare and basic services that corruption and elite greed cannot tamper with.
The major problem we have in Nigeria is our tendency to live beyond our means, both our rich and poor. The poor man who can only afford a wife and 2 kids ends up marrying 3 wives and birthing 13 children. He would knock on the door of the nearest public official looking for money to be irresponsible, that’s, add another wife or welcome the addition of new child.
Where do you think the public official will get the money from? The public treasury. That small money given to you by your public official is from money meant to provide education and healthcare, fix your roads, provide water and sanitation services, etc. You even rephrase your greed and foolishness as stomach infrastructure.
That’s how the society enables it. Public officials who don’t pay such patronage are condemned even by religious leaders. Your family will deride you, your community will scorn at you. How dare you have access to the national cake and you don’t fetch our share. You can call it the tragedy of the political commons.
Prior to his arrest, Ahmed Idris is celebrated as a good man and his suspicious wealth as a sign of divine grace. He may build mosques and Islamiyyas, send some Mallams to Mecca and distribute favors to people in his society. He’s feted by men of authority, a societal figure that everyone looks upto and not even his arrest will change that fact.
But nothing in this world happens by accident, there is a divine natural law. You cannot plant corn and harvest yam. You cannot accept and normalize unbridled corruption and culture of prebendalism and expect development. There cannot be collective responsibility without individual responsibility and discipline.
Do you ever wonder why the worst governed states in Nigeria are the ones suffering from security challenges the most. Name them: Benue, Zamfara, Katsina, Abia, Imo, etc. Why do you think, despite their security challenges, development still continues unhindered in Borno and Kaduna? And why is a state like Gombe, despite being in the middle of the Northeast subregion, somehow immune from Boko Haram and other security challenges. It is because of good governance.
Do we blame the people? No I think it is the system that’s responsible. Do we then blame the system, no because it is the people that make the system. Let’s imagine a simple experiment. Take Canada and Nigeria and swap their people (transfering all Nigerians to Canada and all Canadians to Nigeria). In 20 years, those same Nigerians will turn their well-found Canada to Nigeria while Canadians will turn their badly-found Nigeria to Canada.
To cut the long story short, we are a country of 200 million Ahmed Idrises, active and inactive, bar few exceptions!
Ahmed Musa Husaini wrote via his Facebook wall