Nigeria, a country blessed with crude oil reserves that built strong economies for other OPEC nations, has been plagued with what I consider a home-grown Ideology of Mass Destruction (IMD) for over 30 years now. It is an ideology that PROUDLY defines successful leadership as a COMPETITIVE RACE to rob fellow Nigerians of their oil money ONLY to hide the loot in some foreign countries. This ideology has murdered hundreds of thousands of Nigerians. It is an ideology of genocide by starvation and generational destruction. Its mission is painful death by starvation and abandonment, and its vision is to exterminate a people.
The vicious, brutal, and senseless nature of the robberies and starvation of fellow Nigerians by most of their leaders and their cronies has kept some people wondering whether “all animals” are created equal. Below is a list of a few ruthless robberies:
4. “Well over US$3.6 billion (1.3 trillion Naira) was stolen from public coffers between 2011 and 2015, a sum that could have secured the future of the next generation, the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria’s anti-graft body, said on Monday” (OCCRP or OCCRP saved copy, March 27, 2019).
5. “In Nigeria, plans are in motion to distribute US$322 million recovered in Switzerland from the late General Sani Abacha, the country’s former military ruler. Abacha is suspected of looting between US$3 and $5 billion in public money” (Transparency International or Transparency saved copy, Aug. 3, 2018).
7. “The Delta State Government may not get anything from the about $250m worth of assets and money which the United Kingdom claims a former governor, Chief James Ibori, stole from the state, The PUNCH has learnt” (Punch or Punch Saved Copy, Dec. 28, 2016).
12. “The scale of the task facing Tony Blair in his drive to help Africa was laid bare yesterday when it emerged that Nigeria’s past rulers stole £220 billion” (Telegraph 2005 or Telegraph saved copy. June 25, 2005).
Of course, there are more instances of this heart-wrenching, mindless robberies of Nigerians by those who took an oath before God and man to protect them. Here is one of the most painful, despicable implications of these loots: More than $436 billion (i.e., a 15-year federal budget of Nigeria) is in the private bank accounts of some ruthless Nigerian leaders and their cronies in foreign countries. Below is the math (excluding all the loots from 2015 to this year):
As you just read in item 12 above, in 2005, “£220 billion” (i.e., $286 billion) of the Nigerian oil money “was stolen by Nigeria’s past rulers.” Let us do simple math by comparing this loot ($286 billion) to the 2019 federal budget of Nigeria ($29 billion). If you divide $286 billion by $29 billion, you get a 10-year national budget of Nigeria in private bank accounts of some Nigerian leaders in foreign countries. Similarly, if you divide $150 billion reported in 2015 (see item 11 above) by $29 billion, you will get a 5-year national budget of Nigeria in private bank accounts of some Nigerian leaders in foreign countries – all growing greener pastures in those countries while Nigerian masses are dying daily like poisoned rats for lack of green pastures. This is how senseless the behavior is: The Looters will sell our oil ONLY to turn around and return the money they make for Nigerians to the SAME international buyers to use in developing their countries. They might as well give the buyers ALL the land areas of Nigeria that have crude oil – FREE. What a disaster called leaders –the creators of the “shithole”!
Now, compare life expectancies in other OPEC nations with that of Nigeria: In Qatar, life expectancy is 79 years; in Kuwait, 78 years; in the United Arab Emirates, 78 years; in Algeria, 77 years; in Libya, 77 years; in Saudi Arabia, 76 years; in Venezuela, 76; in Iraq, 75 years; in Nigeria, 54 years. In the whole world, the oil-rich Nigeria ranks #214 out of 224 countries in life expectancy (World Bank/CIA). The truth is that we, Nigerians, do not have to look at the DATA of the World Bank/CIA to accurately estimate life expectancy in Nigeria. We can tell by the alarming frequency of deaths in our towns and villages every week – looters are a pure disgrace to the black race.
Below are some specific, long-term devastations caused by IMD in Nigeria and the necessary steps the administration of President Buhari and the general public should take to end IMD.
II. SPECIFIC HAVOCS OF IMD ON NIGERIA
1. The worst havoc of IMD is that it has produced and continues to produce so many leaders and elites whose actions question the eternal, fundamental truth that “all animals are created equal.” IMD has reduced and continues to reduce the thinking faculty of so many Nigerian leaders and elites far below that of animals. No lion, for instance, would steal from fellow hungry lions only to feed a pack of wolves – it will not happen. No rat would labor for a squirrel – no matter what. Stupid animals, as we call them, still have that common sense, conscience, and a sense of moral goodness to feed and save their kind! Now, what can one say about a leader, a human being, for that matter, who robs his people ONLY to feed Swiss people and their cohorts with the loot? How can human beings, i.e., those leaders who have been stealing from Nigerians for years, reason far below “stupid animals”? Nigeria is in trouble – of mammoth proportions!
2. IMD has practically banished a lot of Nigerians from their country. It is no secret that IMD is the main reason why millions of Nigerians have been fleeing to some other countries, including OPEC countries, despite the apparent risk of being enslaved in those countries or being killed along the way. Here is a horrific report by BBC last year (2018) of how Nigerians are being ENSLAVED and BRUTALIZED in Libya. They ran away from a frying pan (or what President Trump called a “Shithole”) ignited by the looters of the Nigerian Treasury into the fire, Libya. “Even in prison in Nigeria, they don’t beat Nigerian people the way they beat Nigerian people there, Fatima Atewe said.” For details, read “Migrant slavery in Libya: Nigerians tell of being used as slaves in Libya” (BBC or BBC Saved copy).
3. IMD has ruined and demolished so many families, turned friends against friends, groups against groups, religions against religions, regions against regions – demonstrating in no uncertain terms that “a hungry man is an angry man” and “man must eat, either by hook or crook.” It has turned out that so many Nigerians are “eating” by crook as IMD continues its genocide by starvation to this day.
4. IMD has MURDERED SHAME in an OPEC, oil-rich Nigeria to the point that so many Nigerian leaders and their crony elites who fly to other progressive OPEC countries (e.g., United Arab Emirates/Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait) for medical treatment or vacation, do NOT feel shameful enough or wrong enough upon returning home to develop the economy of Nigeria as seen in those OPEC countries.
Consider the Nigerian network of roads, for instance. In Nigeria, billions of dollars are budgeted for roads yearly. But the reality is that most of the Nigerian highways are deathtraps, filled with potholes, and ready to kill so many Nigerians. For the looters to continue to build up their foreign bank accounts, the roads have to be poorly designed, poorly constructed, and built with low-quality materials (watch the video above for an eyesore called road construction in Nigeria or click here). Many a time, some highways are abandoned to claim the lives of Nigerians. The point is that the looters who fly to those OPEC countries and enjoy their well-constructed roads have no shame or feel any remorse for the potholes called roads in oil-rich Nigeria.
5. IMD continues to create so many unpatriotic leaders and elites who hate Nigeria and consider Nigerian people incapable of scientific discoveries and breakthroughs. For the past three decades, a lot of Nigerian leaders and elites have abandoned the pursuit of quality education, and research Nigeria used to enjoy before the mid-80s only to send their children to schools in foreign countries and shamelessly hire international engineers to build Nigerian infrastructures.
With the looters, senselessness has no limit. It is well known that looters and their crony elites hardly visit the High Schools or Universities that produced them, let alone donate one Kobo to improve those schools. That most university Professors are selling their notes/handouts to students, do not bother them. That teachers often go on strike for low pay does not bother them. That so many university graduates can hardly write or display some mastery of what they studied in school do not bother them. That the buildings of their alma maters look like the house of dirty pigs with NO doors, windows, desks, chairs, libraries, etc., do not bother them. Why these looters are so busy destroying the cradle of civilization (Africa), and the black race is beyond human comprehension. This is so disgraceful.
6. IMD has practically rendered millions of Nigerians into non-disabled beggars. Our oil money that could have been used to create jobs, and provide real wage earnings is in the private bank accounts of the looters in some foreign countries creating jobs overseas. For decades now, the most lucrative career in Nigeria is to be a politician or have connections to politicians at all costs. So, the looters continue to work in cahoots with their crony elites to share and siphon, without mercy, Nigerian oil money overseas.
What is more bizarre and callous is that the looters draw tremendous pleasure watching and laughing at the unemployed poor as they beg them for money, and worship them more than they worship God. IMD has produced and continues to create so many sadistic, shameless leaders and elites who enjoy watching their fellow human beings suffer from hunger, malnutrition, and disease until they die. No animal will hate and treat its kind this way, and this is how lots of Nigerian leaders and elites are treating their fellow children of God. Unbelievable!
7. IMD has succeeded in keeping hundreds of thousands of Nigerian brains outside their fatherland in perpetuity, and here is one of the proofs of that brain drain: “Nigerian immigrants have the highest levels of education in the United States, surpassing whites and Asians, according to Census data” (Houston Chronicle or Saved Copy). Are the looters concerned about this brain drain? Of course, not! They NEVER think of the brains Nigeria has lost or continues to lose to this day. They never think of how and when Nigeria will be an industrialized society. They are only preoccupied with the sharing of the Nigerian oil money ONLY to send the loot and their children abroad and hire foreigners to build and maintain Nigerian infrastructures. What a feeling of inferiority, low self-esteem, and the destruction of the black race!
8. IMD has permeated the general population and shamelessly normalized some behaviors that are abnormal, immoral, shameful, obscene, and unGodly. IMD has created generational destruction in Nigeria as the looters have succeeded, in the last three decades, in teaching most Nigerians that the job of an effective leader is to hate the people, rob them and hide the loot abroad. Indeed, blatant lies, deceit, buying and selling exam questions, buying and selling university degrees, and all sorts of corrupt practices have become standard ways of life to so many Nigerians. The fact is that truth has died among so many Nigerians. Trust is dead among so many Nigerians. So many business and social partnerships in Nigeria are on the verge of total collapse because of trust issues. Now, you wonder: What kind of relationship will people have in society if truth and trust die? What is a happy life without honesty and faith?
Fellow compatriots, there is a state of emergency in Nigeria. Nigeria is in trouble – big trouble. Indeed, candidate (and now President) Buhari was correct when he made the following statement about five years ago: “If Nigeria does not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.” An evil ideology, IMD, is the engine of corruption and looting all over Nigeria. IMD has eaten far deep into the bodies and souls of so many Nigerian leaders and their crony elites that the ONLY thing that matters to them is how to rob fellow Nigerians only to hide the loot abroad. This sinful, senseless ideology must be courageously rejected and boldly destroyed NOW if Nigeria could be saved and the people enjoy their OPEC nation.
III. THE SOLUTIONS TO IMD
Patriotic leaders with common sense and courage approach crises by legislating and enforcing sensible laws through an impartial administration of justice. Unfortunately for Nigerians, IMD makes a whole mockery of the Nigerian laws and the entire judiciary. As such, often those who rob the country only to hide the loot abroad are NOT brought to justice – they are head and shoulder above the laws of the land. Similarly, passionate, caring leaders love their countries and their people. Sadly for Nigerians, most leaders and their cronies hate Nigeria and Nigerian people with everything in them and continue to rob and starve the people to death. It is in recognition of these two deplorable, harsh realities in Nigeria that the Umez Foundation is searching for a solution where success could be found, namely, the HEARTS OF MEN.
Accordingly, I appeal to the hearts of ALL Nigerian leaders (shameless looters and the good ones) and the general public through the lenses of COMMON SENSE and COURAGE to declare war against IMD. Let me start with “common sense” because the lack of it is the foundation of IMD.
(A) Common Sense: King Solomon asked for wisdom – the common sense, he did NOT ask God to help him rob his people. He knew that common sense (defined as “good sense and sound judgment in practical matters“) would make him a successful leader that would serve his people well – after all, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul.” Similarly, Plato argued that only the “philosopher kings” (i.e., lovers of wisdom, who possess “the intelligence, reliability, and a willingness to live a simple life”) should govern because they aim to discover a beautiful city and maintain it for their people. Indeed, to the progressives, common sense is sacrosanct; hence, “a handful of common sense is worth a bushel of learning.”
I defined common sense FIRST because a lot of Nigerians tend to believe that mere possession of university degrees and chains of titles mean common sense. This is bunkum! Experience and history debunked this belief since time immemorial, even though some use those degrees to intimidate some people. Academic degrees are nothing other than certifications for completing some formal training – they have little to do with “good sense and sound judgment in practical matters.” Indeed, an intelligent person is an intelligent person – formally educated or not. Again, “a handful of common sense is worth a bushel of learning.”
While no one denies the importance of formal education, one must know that if chains of academic degrees and bogus titles mean common sense, no Nigerian leader will steal from the hungry masses in Nigeria ONLY to feed Swiss people and their friends with the loot. It is common knowledge that the looters have formal certifications, and they know that Swiss leaders do not steal from their people only to feed Nigerians with the loot. Put differently, if chains of academic degrees and bogus titles mean common sense, Nigeria could have been enjoying a robust, growing economy by now, marching shoulder to shoulder with at least other OPEC nations cited above.
The point is that intelligent people (i.e., people with common sense) or Philosopher Kings, in the words of Plato, aim at building a “beautiful city” and not to destroy their city/country. The looters of the Nigerian treasury have not only proven beyond all doubts that chains of degrees and bogus titles have nothing to do with common sense, but they have also confirmed that “common sense is not common.”
For the record, common sense is everything. Everything we do begins with the mind – the faculty of consciousness and thought. We are what we think – day in, day out. If we think right, we do right. If we think wrong, we do wrong. If a leader thinks of industrialization of his country, he will work towards economic growth, more efficient division of labor, and the invention and the use of technological innovations and advancements to solve problems instead of depending on other countries. If a leader thinks of robbery, he will be a thief – stealing from his people ALL the time. Below are some specific illustrations of common sense (or lack thereof):
1. Leaders of other big OPEC countries use their oil money to build and maintain quality hospitals – “a beautiful city” Plato talked about.” They do not fly to Nigeria for medical checkups or treatment, and neither do they sell their oil and return the money they make to the international buyers. That is common sense. Again, the looters of the Nigerian treasury will sell our oil ONLY to turn around and return the money they make to the SAME buyers to use in developing their countries. Why not give the buyers ALL the land areas of Nigeria that have crude oil – FREE! Similarly, the looters abandon Nigerian hospitals and the overall healthcare in Nigeria only to fly abroad with the looted funds for medical checkups and treatment. Some looters even build mansions abroad with the loot and fly their pregnant wives to those countries to deliver their children. To them, their children cannot be born in the “shithole” they created. What a complete lack of common sense and foresight. What a caricature of the entire black race. But there is more to this senselessness.
2. Again, Swiss leaders and their cohorts do NOT rob and starve their people to death only to feed Nigerians. That is common sense. However, the looters of the Nigerian treasury continue to steal from Nigerians only to feed Swiss people and their friends. In so doing, life expectancy in Switzerland remains at 83 years, while life expectancy in Nigeria is 54 years. The behavior of the looters is not only senseless, but they are also barbaric and shameful destruction of the cradle of civilization – Africa. Still, there is more to this madness and sheer lack of common sense.
3. Leaders of other OPEC countries use their nations’ money to build good, quality schools capable of producing professionals and experts to create a “beautiful city” and refine their own crude oil. That is common sense. Looters of the Nigerian oil money abandon Nigerian schools, send their children to study abroad and remain abroad indefinitely with Nigerian oil money, and then hire foreign engineers to build Nigerian infrastructures and refine Nigerian crude oil. What a complete lack of common sense, a feeling of low self-esteem, and a big disgrace of the black race.
Here is the point: If the looters start using their brains to think as God intended, the Nigerian economy will turn around in one year – unquestionably! Therefore, the time has come for those Nigerian leaders and elites who believe that they have common sense, moral compass, and leadership acumen to demonstrate that God created all human beings equally by giving each person one head. In other words, God did not make a second trip to other OPEC countries and other progressive countries and added one extra head to their leaders and elites that taught them NOT to rob their people ONLY to hide the loot in Nigeria. God did not do that!
Let us now turn to courage – another quality of great leaders, and one of the solutions to IMD.
(B) Courage: Courage matters – and it matters a lot in the success equation. No one can defeat an ideology without first defeating the ideologues and the protagonists. To destroy IMD, President Buhari’s administration should have the courage to punish evil to the full extent of the law because a thief is a thief – whether he robs a person, a bank, or his country. A THIEF IS A THIEF!
If IMD is not destroyed in every section of Nigeria by courageous leaders with the minds of John Joseph Magufuli of Tanzania, Jerry Rawlings of Ghana, and Julius Malema of South Africa; if the looters continue to loot FREELY ONLY to hide the loot abroad; if the recovered loots are not wisely invested in Nigeria and prepare the country for industrialization, and sustainable growth, the future of Nigeria is ONLY a guaranteed nightmare. President Buhari and his administration should double the efforts to recover multi-billion dollars of the Nigerian money hidden abroad, invest the funds all over Nigeria and bring the looters to justice.
(C) Community Check: The general population of Nigeria also has a big role to play in this fight to demolish IMD. Nigerians must know, as one of the greatest civil rights activists, Steve Biko, taught us: “the most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” If the oppressed do not fight against oppression, the oppressor will NEVER stop! Put differently, the character “Emperor without clothes” (in 1837) could have been walking around naked to this very day in Denmark if that child in the audience did not cry out that the Emperor “is not wearing anything at all!”
There are so many “Emperors” in Nigeria walking around “without clothes” for years now, and many pretend they do NOT see the apparent nakedness and continue to praise them anyway. Cheering up those leaders and their cronies who rob us cold and deny us green pasture at home ONLY to grow such pastures abroad with our oil money makes no sense at all – and will never make sense. We do not need a child from “Denmark” to tell us that something is fundamentally wrong with a leader who robs his people to feed others. Similarly, singing songs of praise to those who have abandoned our schools, send their children to study abroad only to hire foreign engineers to build our infrastructures or pay foreigners to refine our crude oil makes no sense.
We, the people, do have a choice in our communities: a choice to continue worshiping the thieves and their wicked Ideology of Mass Destruction (IMD) and die or condemn IMD in every possible way for the thieves to at least think of their evil ways and possibly stop. It is our choice, and we must choose to end senselessness and wickedness! A man who is an instrument of his destruction has no common sense at all, and therefore must not be praised!
The Ideology of Mass Destruction (IMD) is the worst enemy of Nigeria. If one compares the growing economy of Nigeria between say 1974 and 1985, the era of the “Giant of Africa,” or the age of Udoji Award, with the worsening economy of Nigeria since 1985, it then becomes more apparent that IMD is the worst enemy of Nigeria and her people. IMD deviates from the norms of social behaviors. It departs from the norms of leadership behaviors. Indeed, it is the PRIMARY source of the constant RISE in joblessness, hunger, starvation, hate, jealousy, envy, crime, disease, and high mortality rate ALL over Nigeria for over three decades now. It is an ideology of genocide by starvation borne out of pure wickedness, shamelessness, and complete lack of common sense. Again, its mission is agonizing death by starvation, and its vision is to exterminate a people. It must be eradicated in our midst – NOW!
PS: Umez Foundation still holds the belief that Nigeria has, to this day, some leaders and elites with common sense, patriotic spirit, and moral compass to turn the country around. If the former Ghanaian Head of State, Jerry Rawlings could turn Ghana around; if President John Magufuli could turn Tanzania around, it is conceivable that a few Nigerian leaders and elites with common sense, patriotic spirit, and a sense of national pride can also turn Nigeria around or at least restore the country to its progressive economic status of the early 70s and the early 80s – the era of the “Giant of Africa” and the age of “Udoji Award.”
Thank you for reading, and kindly share. PEACE!
Prof. Bedford N. Umez