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THE NIGERIAN FACTOR 2

Note: First published on November 4, 2019. The “published” date on the tab is the date that it was uploaded on this new site. Though some issues in this piece may still be current (depending on…), this info is to avoid your mistaking the piece as current news.

This is “No Bullshiting,” by Harry Agina.

Greetings!

In my previous blog on The Nigerian Factor, I condemned Nigerian politicians who make stupid excuses for the demo-crazy, which is destroying Nigeria. I specifically condemned a nonsensical argument that Nigeria must be as old as America before we practice true democracy. I have the link for ya: https://nobullshiting.com/the-nigerian-factor-part-1/

This time, I offer my overview definition of “The Nigerian Factor.” Voila. If you are Nigerian, then you know about The Nigerian Factor. But, how you define it is most likely different from my definition. And if you’re not Nigerian, you probably have heard the parlance, too. I will offer my definition of this scourge. But first, I have to introduce a second peculiar ugly Nigerian parlance—This is Nigeria—which goes hand in hand with “The Nigerian Factor.”

So, “The Nigerian Factor” is the notion that anything and everything can happen at any time, because “this is Nigeria,” where shit happens, and a lot of flies flock around the shit! Expatiating on this can easily make a hundred big volumes of books. But I have to limit myself to the following concise analysis.

“The Nigerian Factor” portrays Nigeria as a lawless jungle of dog-eat-dog. It says that the society is unique and peculiar, in very uncomplimentary ways. Nothing is too strange in Nigeria; anything is possible. For a start, “The Nigerian Factor” is the reason that the government that is supposed to uphold the nation’s constitution is the most criminal violator of that constitution. “The Nigerian Factor” is the reason that, contrary to the constitutional provision that all citizens are equal in law, there are actually two laws in practice. One is for the poor, and the other for the rich and politically powerful who are placed above the law. “This is Nigeria,” where a wealthy or politically powerful man kills a poor man like a rat and easily gets away with it. In some cases, the killer does not even as much as step a foot in a police station or a law court. His ‘boys’ sort it out with the authorities over the telephone, because ‘this is Nigeria,’ where money and political power can buy anything.

“The Nigerian Factor” is the reason that criminals and idiots are commonly found in several leadership positions, and people of virtue and merit hardly ever get into those positions. Here are two examples: (1) The nation’s present Speaker of the House of Representatives had been pronounced to be a criminal by the Supreme Court of Georgia in the USA. Many Nigerians (including I) kicked against it, but the nation’s lawless ruling cabal told us to go to hell. It had its way to install a criminal as the Speaker. (2) I once asked my brethren who lives in Nigeria: How come Nigeria always gives the top-cop post of National Chief of Police to junior officers. The leaders pass the the most qualified police officers in the country to appoint less qualified officers as Inpector General of Police; why? I was told that qualification and experience means absolutely nothing to most of the presidents who do the appointing of IGPs. Lack of integrity is the qualification that such presidents need and want.

Yeah, I know; if you’re not Nigerian you must be shocked, and want to know why lack of integrity qualifies a person for a job. The first time I heard it, I was shocked, too. Naturally, I asked: “How in the world does the possession of good virtues, especially integrity, disqualify a man in a contest?”

          “This is Nigeria,” said my informer. That accursed phrase again! “The bad presidents want Police Inspectors General who can carry out any command thrown at them; the loyal and obedient boys,” he said.

           “Command like what?” I pressed. I already got the point by now, but I still pretended to be a naive ‘Johnny-just-come.” I wanted to hear it from my informer.

“Like anything you can think of,” he said. “Recalcitrant presidents need loyalists to foster their dictatorial leadership in our demo-crazy, especially during elections. If a president wants to rig elections, or even to kill people, he wants a Chief of Police that would not hesitate to send ‘the boys’ to get the job done.

And, check this out; each time that senior officers are passed over to elevate a junior officer to the IGP position, the nation loses in many ways. For one thing, all the officers above him in rank and experience are compulsorily and prematurely retired. It does not matter that they are still in their prime to benefit the nation’s police. All their training and accumulated experiences are wasted, just so that evil presidents can elevate their hitmen to the top position, meeeeeeeeen!!!

To many Nigerians in Nigeria, the parlance, This is Nigeria,” justifies every atrocity that anybody commits in the country. It’s like asking ‘why do you expect anything better in Nigeria?’ “This is Nigeria,” where murderous criminals are celebrated, as long as they have money to ‘spray’ around. ‘This is Nigeria,’ where the people worship and sing the praises of a governor of a state for using a tiny fraction of public funds to build a couple of substandard roads. To the constituents, the governor has done them a favor with the couple of roads. They don’t give a damn anymore if the governor steals everything in the state purse. What is more, when he presents the roads to the people, he has the audacity to announce that he has done them the favor because he loves them. The people and the governor seem to forget that the funds belong to the people, in the first place, meeeeeeeeen!!!

“This is Nigeria,” where a politician points a gun at the head of an electoral officer, in broad daylight, and forces him/her to declare him the winner of an election. The poor electoral officer, who wants to stay alive, does as he is told. What is more, as long as the criminal is able to pay a heavy bribe, a Nigerian court readily affirms the criminality. Why? Because, This is Nigeria,” where “justice” is sold to the highest bidder. The most recent examples include a former governor, Rochas Okorocha, who forced an electoral officer to declare him winner of 2019 Senatorial contest. Naturally, he was subsequently challenged at the election tribunal. Eyewitnesses to the crime, including the electoral officer whose head Okorocha’s thugs pointed the gun, testified to Okorocha’s crime. Yet, the judges affirmed his so-called victory…absolutely unbelievable!!!

“This is Nigeria,” where it’s not news that governments—Local, State, and Federal—are run on tremendous economic waste. And, it is no news that Nigeria ranks top in the global list of most costly governments. The nation’s resources are wasted on running government with bloated budgets. It is also no news that the “wastage” actually wastes its way right into the bank accounts of the leaders and civil servants. The entire world does know all these already. So, let’s talk about something you probably do not know if you don’t live in Nigeria. But then, you probably do know it, too.

Did you know that Nigeria’s civil servants actually literally dump public funds into refuse bins? I ain’t bullshitting you; they truly dump money into refuse bins!!! Yes indeed, this is a popular practice. Civil servants allot huge sums of public funds to projects that they have no intention to put into any use. The projects are mere conduits to embezzle funds. Typically, an astronomically inflated budget is raised, and the money is drawn from public funds for a product or service. Then, a ridiculously minute fraction of the funds (usually under 10%) is given to a ‘contractor’ to produce the product or service. The rest of the funds are shared among the conspirators. They already know that the product or service is never going to be put to any use anyway. Hence, there is no need to spend much money to make it of good quality.

In such arrangement, whatever is allotted to the so-called contractor is actually his/her own share of the booty, for providing the credentials/documents for the scam. He/she is only expected, indeed, he/she is told to produce rubbish with just a tiny fraction of the funds given to him/her. Of course, this makes criminal sense, since the product is not intended to be put to any use in the first place. It is dumped into refuse bins. There are abandoned projects all over Nigeria, because contractors and their cohorts in government have shared and embezzled the funds. Nobody is ever prosecuted or punished, because, those who are supposed to do the prosecuting or punishing are the principal culprits. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about, from personal experience. Once upon a trip to Nigeria for a proposed media campaign project, I was offered such a deal.

“This is Nigeria” has been the easy Nigerian public’s cop-out for so long, to justify disgraceful apathy and complacency in the midst of huge rot. It has been the excuse for the people’s cowardice and failure to demand justice and probity from debased leaders and civil servants. This treatise would not be complete without introducing another disgusting component of “The Nigerian Factor. I speak of the “God will save Nigeria” mentality of the public. Nigerians have gone so nuclear in ignorant religion. They now want God to come down and spoon-feed us like babies, and do everything for us! Nigerians are too apathetic to challenge few debased leaders that are destroying Nigeria. Instead, they (especially Christians) prefer to sit back and call upon God to come down and stop the oppressors. They forget that the ancient Israelites, who are described in the bible as God’s favorite people, had to fight their own wars. God supported them only when they made the moves against their enemies, and not a moment before. Today’s atrociously sinful Nigerians (compared to the ancient Israelites) want God to come down and make the moves for us. Ignorant Christians are busy stupidly invoking their misconstrued “Holy Ghost fire” to burn the bad leaders!

In essence, and in conclusion, “The Nigerian Factor” is the reason that every concept or notion in the world has two definitions and approaches. One approach is for Nigeria, and the other for the rest of the world, in a very uncomplimentary sense. All human concepts are often bastardized as soon as they get into the hands of Nigerians in Nigeria. Note my differentiation with Nigerians in Nigeria,” because Nigerians outside Nigeria are basically different, and in line with the rest of the world. No wonder, although a Nigerian, I am totally disgusted by many of “the Nigerian ways.” Some Nigerians often criticize me as a non-patriotic Nigerian. They say that I “wash our dirty linen in public.” I put such critics in two categories. One category is the bullshitting crooks called leaders who want us to keep quiet as they commit atrocities. And, the second category is the ignorant bunch who have been brainwashed and hoodwinked by the crooks to buy into their see-evil-but-speak-no-bad bullshit.

But, of course, I do not intend to imply that enlightened Nigerians in Nigeria are in tune with “The Nigerian Factor,” of course not!!! The crust of the matter is that the ignorant masses have been conditioned to the Nigerian Factor syndrome by evil smart ones. And, mind you, the Good Guys overwhelmingly outnumber the Bad Guys. But, the adage that “empty vessels make the most noise” never fails. The “noise” (bad deeds) of the few bad Nigerians tends to overwhelm the majority good people of Nigeria. And, our solution to this problem is massive enlightenment campaign. There is need for an information war of the Good Guys versus the Bad Guys…I ain’t Bullshitting you!!!

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THE NIGERIAN FACTOR PART 1

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