Nation of scammers and gamblers

For reneging on some of his party promises, his mismanagement of our crisis of nation building, treatment of corrupt elements in his party with deodorant, his slow response to bandits and terrorists’ declaration of war against Nigerians, his provincialism which has exacerbated tension among Nigeria federating nationalities, Nigerians cannot wait for Buhari to go in 2023. Those who promoted his candidacy and aided his election in 2015 have been accused of railroading Nigerians into boarding a ‘one chance bus’. But it is not difficult to read hypocrisy into Buhari bashing by Nigerians who are in the main, scammers and gamblers

And as Joseph De Maisre once observed: “In a democracy, a people deserve the leaders and the government they get”. The truth is that as a nation of miracle seekers without faith, fortune seekers without sweat, and outright scammers and swindlers, what we were looking for in 2015 were politicians who fitted well into our paradigm of leadership. Because of our mind-set, we all settled for President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo, two prayer warriors who like many of us, but unlike leadership of Israel and Saudi Arabia the home of our two Abrahamic religions, believe prayers without cease is the panacea to societal problems. We knew Buhari and Osinbajo before we voted them into office. We cannot plant cocoyam and expect to reap yam. We must admit we are all gamblers.

Our descent into unthinking morons started with the advent of the military that destroyed our socialisation process which often starts from the home, through schools, churches, university and larger society where the media set the agenda. Before their misadventure into politics, families valued honour and integrity. Children were admonished to remember the children of whom they were. They were made to imbibe value of hard work and told a child brought to the world who does not strive to be better than his parents are brought to the world in vain. Our youths back then believed “ise logun ise” (hard work is the only panacea to poverty’. The churches and the missionary schools they set up as well as the nationalist schools, by their teachings and actions consolidated these values. Besides salvation, the missionaries were dedicated to grooming men of honour and integrity. Missionary schools like Christ School, talks of “boys of spirit, boys of will, boys of muscle who with hard work and character cope with anything”, St Joseph celebrates, Ring of the battle call of duty, Unfurl the flag of faith and Toil”; Kings College talks about being “Nurtured in the class room in our youths, Where we learn to learn chivalry and truth”. Igbobi College asks “Give me a torch which shall shine, where ever there is an Igbobian, there also is a noble Nigerian”. Loyola College stands “for truth and knowledge and strives for perfection”.

Admission into the university and recruitment into the bureaucracy were based on merit. There were no imperatives of quota system, federal character or religion affiliations. Our gradual descent into a nation of scammers and swindlers started with military’s wrongheaded public policy thrusts. With S. G Ikoku and his pretence to socialism as the federal commissioner of education, Gowon found a reliable ally in government take-over of missionary schools from their Roman Catholic, Anglican, Baptist and Methodist missionary owners, expunged religious teachings and wrecked original structures of their schools.

But since there is no vacuum in nature, from the wreckage sprang evangelical churches, promoted by intellectual and other elites protesting against stringent rules of some of the orthodox churches. Exploiting the ignorance, poverty and lack of consciousness of our people, they introduced selling of grace and healing for a price which went on in the Catholic church before the emergence of Martin Luther, a German professor of theology, Roman Catholic priest, author and former Augustinian monk before the Protestant Reformation leading to the age of enlightenment some 500 years ago.

Decadence soon crept into the new churches driven by love of money with prosperity prophets dwelling more on wealth creation than drive towards salvation. There were other aberrations including the emergence of charismatic groups in the catholic church who claim to speak in tongues, asking the blind to come for blessing and healing during mass and introducing raffle draw to raise funds during harvests, a euphemism for gambling which is one of the seven mortal sins in the Catholic church doctrine, just to raise funds at harvest celebrations.

The moral decadence in the church, the oldest social institution in the world soon led to moral decadence in the larger society. The new churches take the form of cults to which notable members of society from captains of industry, bankers; top civil servants university chancellors must belong to be relevant. All our socialization agencies from parents, schools, including universities, churches and the media freely promote the new decadence. Parents who spend most of their time in house fellowships and night vigils have little time to teach their children beyond speaking in tongues, fasting and praying for some imported toys while those that brought Christianity to us teach their own kids science and mathematics to equip them towards becoming future inventors and manufacturers .

Many of the teachers double as pastors. Many university professors paid and saddled with responsibility of raising youths as critical thinkers are themselves pastors. Leaders of the media that are expected to set agenda for society are also pastors who when not engaged in commercialization of news are busy promoting or celebrating thieving governors, fraudulent bankers and other dubious leaders of industry. They do more damage by giving adequate coverage to aberration such as a university vice chancellor welcoming their impressionable new students to citadel of learning where critical thinking is the a major pursuit with praise worship during which pastors as scammers speak on such topics as power of prayers to resolve all problems including their parents broken marriages.

What the scammers do not tell our youths who hardly read the Bible is that Saudi Arabia, home to one of the Abrahamic religions we embrace are trying to conquer space after turning Dubai to a paradise and that Israel that despised and murdered Jesus Christ, her most illustrious son and our saviour that today practices agriculture in the air, controls everything from arts, literature, science, computer and even targeted assassinations on behalf of those who can pay for their services.

We have today become a nation of scammers where churches, lottery business, betting and Interactive Online Gaming/Mobile Vas Operators have become the most thriving industry displacing and taking over corporate headquarters and warehouses of once-thriving pharmaceutical, automobile accessories, textile, electronics and many others industries in Ilupeju, Ikeja and other parts of Lagos . To underscore the importance of gambling, the government has set up the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC). Gambling or playing a game of chance has been legitimized by government.

As a nation of swindlers where, according to Thomas Hobbes “a man is a wolf to another man” find expression in the recently collapsed Ikoyi Towers which has so far claimed lives of about 40 people including Femi Osibona, a pastor and owner of Fourscore Homes. Many of the flats were said to have been sold for between $1m and $5m to Nigerians.

A nation of scammers and swindlers get the leadership they deserve.

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