Corruption is a cancer to development anywhere in the world. It destroys the destiny of future generations and locks the present generation in a maze of darkness and underdevelopment. This is the reason many countries in the world are treating corruption like a fugitive that should be given no hiding place.
To make development happen, it is very essential to prevent corruption from eating up the foundation of any nation’s progress.
The latest discovery made by the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC of $43.4 million, £27,000 and N23 million at House 6, Apartment 7B, Victoria Island, Lagos raises further questions as to how much Nigeria has fared in the fight against corruption. The amount is scary to the ordinary Nigerian. Imaginations are running wild. Who owns the said money? Who owns the house? Is the money supposed to be in a private residence? These are questions begging for answers.
According to Africa Renewal Online article published on the United Nations website, between 1.2 trillion and 1.4 trillion dollars left Africa between 1980 - 2009 in illicit transactions and since then, even more has left. This is unacceptable considering the fact that a good part of the continent’s population is dying of hunger and starvation.
Despite the weak attempt by the government at justifying the money found in this private residence, now known as Osborne Towers - by connecting the money to the National Intelligence Agency - the whole story leaves much to be desired. While many prominent Nigerians are bashing the present government and accusing the ruling party of a cover up, little is being said of the plight of the common man, the average Nigerian who is at the receiving end of this financial tales by moonlight. It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth when one thinks of the unstable power supply that is still plaguing Nigeria, bad roads, and poor state of our education and health facilities which could become world class with proper management of our national resources.
At the end of the day, it is the commoners that suffer the brunt of a society that cares little about its own development but prefers to go a-borrowing in different western countries. It is this glaring inability to plug the leakages of our national resources that has kept us the way we are. This is the reason we look our children in the face and tell them to pray for Nigeria without placing that advice side by the side with the need to take action for the Nigeria we really want to see. This is why people are quick to leave their responsibilities to God and later wonder why God will not come from heaven and heal the nation of corruption. This is the reason we turn up late for events, shunt queues or run red light and then, we explain it all away with the term: The Nigerian Factor.
When we look at it holistically, it is not just about corruption, it is about ‘dearth’. It is about a lack of sincerity on the part of our leaders on the ideals of nation building, it is indeed about the absence of passion in a young boy whose innovation is being hampered by lack of constant electricity. It is also about the young lady who drops out of school because her parents have just lost their jobs. It is when you and I allow our leaders do as they please with our National development funds without accountability.
It is all connected – this wheel of corruption that grinds all of our progress to a perfect halt. But this question is still valid.. who owns the monies found in Apartment 7B?