CBN is the Central Bank of Nigeria.
A Maryland woman was arrested after allegedly stealing french fries from a Washington D.C. police officer.
The Washington Post reported on Sept. 7 that the officer was eating in a restaurant on U Street, not far from Downtown D.C. around 9:40 p.m. The woman, 26, allegedly approached the officer and first took one of his french fries.
Although warned multiple times to stop, she continued eating the fries. She was arrested for second-degree theft.
A police report listed the stolen property as: French Fried Potato,
Quantity: 3 pieces of french fries
As a typical Nigerian, the first thing that would come to mind would be ‘charged to court, for three pieces of French Fries’? Some would even question the conscience of the authority: ‘how about if she’s hungry’? Generally, some Nigerians would throw attacking verbal rocks at the officer and the authority: ‘would she be the first that will steal’ or ‘how about those who have stolen French Fries in the past’?
I can swear that most Nigerians who would be willing to offer opinion on the legal turn of the event would see it as an “ethnic agenda”: “how many thieves from the officer’s ethnic group has he charged to court for any theft”?
That is the trajectory of our present Nigeria situation: cynical, mundane mentality and ethnocentricity at its worst.
Any society that has disdain for rule of law, any community that lacks the respect and cohesion for rule of law will continually mortgage her peace to the whirlwind. In a society where opinions are divided about what constitutes corruption, it would be difficult to inculcate the right frame of mind as well as acceptance against the menace.
Interesting is the fact that those who should know, more of those who are learned and are convinced about the peril of thieving our commonwealth are the ones pushing the emotional questions. They help the thieves of our collective “fries” to come up boldly with all kind of shameful excuses for why they can or should not be prosecuted.
Headlines like “I only collected $30,000 from Dasuki, not N100m”; “I got N4.6b from Dasuki for spiritual purposes”; “I got N2.1b from Dasuki for publicity”; “I got order from above to pay Tompolo N13B for Maritime university land”; “My boss asked me to get $11M from the CBN”, etc. point to a country with rudderless leadership AND a populace that does not see corruption as well as dishonesty as anti-social behavior. Lack of visionary leadership over the decades, and a population whose systematic impoverisation has rendered seemingly impervious to the suffering that is the result of their detachment to how they are governed, looks on in bewilderment at their predicament.
Is anyone out there still wondering why none of these guys is yet to be conclusively prosecuted? Simple, we are not united in the fight against thieving. It emboldens them to give shameful excuses. Soon, they will be asking that it is their fundamental rights to steal and keep the loot! Oh! Haven’t we been reading about that already happening?
Former President Goodluck Jonathan’s wife, Patience, has sued the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Skye Bank at the Federal High Court in Lagos over the freezing of her bank accounts. How much in her account? $31.4 million!
Our success in the fight against this malaise is to unitedly show the traits of nation building devoid of cynical mundane mentality. A thief is a thief. Be it Yoruba, Hausa, man, Igbo, rich or poor, anything, any size, anybody, under any circumstances should be subjected to the rule of law. Otherwise, we all would be fighting our cause individually based on our cynical mundane mentality. It is the reason many of us have diminished in intellectual capability and/or stature.
Unfortunately, with such, the society will continue to breed “yahoo –yahoo” guys, daylight armed robbers, shameless politicians who steal us dry, and past governors being paid retirement equivalent to current governor salaries and perks while continually receiving salaries as senators where many end up after 8- or 4-year stints as governors.
In the society that a thief who ate someone else’s 3 pieces of French fries without the consent of the owner is prosecuted as a thief doesn’t mean that there’re no thieves or crimes. No, they are plenty and even more sophisticated in some instances. The difference is that once you are caught, the society unites on the prosecution. No cynical mundane mentality.
After all, a “respected” Emir (Northern Nigeria) was reported as saying that once the huge amounts of money stolen by the looting class can be recovered, there is no need to send anyone to prison! That is the perspective of a religious leader.
Meanwhile, the president has refused to release the names of those who have returned stolen money despite an earlier promise to do so, claiming a legal reason he has not stated to Nigerian people.
The time to change our ways is NOW. It should fit into the President’s new “CHANGE” campaign.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2016. 1:20 p.m. [GMT]