We Get That You Have To Steal

I read the following comments from some Russians who had been interviewed by a BBC reporter on Putin’s connection with the Panama Papers. “I don’t know about any of these offshore accounts, but I do know that a head of state has the right to be well off. He carries such a weight of responsibility,” says a pensioner selling socks and stockings on the pavement to supplement her pension.

Another Russians says, “people high up always had accounts like these and they always will, and Putin can’t keep an eye on everyone.”

Then I say to myself, I can’t say this about any Nigerian leader. Instead we spend our time cursing their fates as news of various stolen funds filter in every other day. Roads are bad, electricity supply is non-existent, potable water is a luxury, too many unemployed youths, and the list goes on and on.

You know what? We get it, you just have to steal. We accept that, but at least, steal the money and put it back in the system, stop taking it out of the country, at least that way we can also benefit from it. Steal and build power generating plants, and give us electricity; steal and build more refineries; put the stolen money into the agriculture sector. Let’s see those groundnut pyramids again, let’s become the number one exporter of cocoa in the world, let’s grow our own rice fields, let’s have more automobile assembly plants…so that when your names come up top as tax evaders and billionaires, we wouldn’t even bat an eyelid.