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African view: Insane with greed

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by BAK, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Oct 14, 2009
    Joined: Feb 11, 2007
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    BBC News Online


    The current corruption harks back to Africa's most notorious kleptocrats

    In our series of viewpoints from African journalists, Sola Odunfa considers the possibility that Nigeria's corrupt officials may need psychiatric help.

    I was settling down to write this letter when a back-page column in the Punch newspaper seized my attention.

    [​IMG][​IMG] We have observed people amassing public wealth to a point of madness or some form of obsessive or compulsive psychiatric disorder [​IMG]

    EFCC's Farida Waziri

    The Punch is a daily published in Lagos but its distribution spans the length and breadth of Nigeria, and it claims to be "the most widely read newspaper".

    The columnist in that issue dealt with the well-flogged subject of corruption in the country.

    I had thought that there was hardly anything more to say about the brazen ravage of the Nigerian treasury by public officers and officials but this columnist brought a fresh insight into the subject.

    Obsessive, compulsive

    That insight was provided by the executive chairman of Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Farida Waziri in a public lecture.

    Her statement bears quoting verbatim: "The extent of aggrandisement and gluttonous accumulation of wealth that I have observed suggests to me that some people are psychologically unsuitable for public office.


    Some say the Delta crisis and amnesty are rooted in greed

    "We have observed people amassing public wealth to a point of madness or some form of obsessive or compulsive psychiatric disorder."

    How else does one describe a situation in which a public officer who has stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from the public purse acquires property in key Western countries and, of course, South Africa, maintains multi-million bank balances abroad and yet continues to steal?

    They can hardly keep track of their wealth, the full extent of which they must hide from even their spouses and children.

    Their obsession with stealing is such that they are totally incapable of having any feeling for the scores of millions of other Nigerians around them who are bearing the consequences of their action in poverty, deprivation, disease and hopelessness.

    Business as usual

    The Niger Delta crisis is a direct product of that obsession.
    Officials at all levels cornered so much of the revenue from oil and gas that there was nothing left for the welfare of the hapless populace.

    [​IMG][​IMG] Dollars will also start flowing again - into the permanently open mouths of gluttonous public officers [​IMG]

    When youths of the region rose in protest the army, backed by helicopter gunships, was sent in.

    The youths responded by stealing oil to acquire weapons. Eventually revenue into the public purse was reduced by half.

    There was less money in the kitty to steal. Panic set in! Amnesty came to the rescue. High-profile militants have since surrendered their arms. They are now talking peace with the government.

    What happens in this new era of peace in the region?

    I think oil and gas will resume flowing in the pipelines. Dollars will also start flowing again - into the permanently open mouths of gluttonous public officers.

    The situation will return to normal. Business as usual.
    Honestly, Mrs Waziri's concern and suggestion of psychiatric evaluation of some people in public service made comic reading only here.

    Something tells me that the legacy of Mobutu Sese Seko, Jean-Bedell Bokassa and Sani Abacha (former leaders of Zaire, the Central African Republic and Nigeria respectively) is alive and well somewhere not far from here. (That is totally true...and the name of that place is Tanzania!)
  2. K

    Kwame Nkrumah JF-Expert Member

    Oct 14, 2009
    Joined: Dec 2, 2008
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    Mmnnh...interesting way of solving ufisadi...but then stranger things have happened. Who knows, it might actually work.
    Sending mafisadi to a psychiatry camp, with guest speakers such as primary students who don`t have desks.