And thus it happened. It was late in the afternoon. The man was seated all alone in the garden. He was busy reading one of the newspapers for the day. All of a sudden, his youngest child, a boy of ten years old who was still in the junior school, walked up to him and gleefully announced: “Dad! I’m considering a career in organized crime”!. The old man did not think twice before responding, saying: “where would you want to do that: government or private sector’’!?
Yes. What a “successful” career some compatriots of ours have built from organized crime! What a ‘wonderful’ patrimony they have left for their children! These are men and women who have dedicated their lives solely to the perpetration of crime, of corruption, of sleaze and scum. “Seek, through that which the Almighty has given you, the home of the Hereafter… do good just as the Almighty has done good to you and desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, He does not like the corrupters”, so says the Almighty in Quran 18: 46.
“No! Seek through that which has been given to you, the pleasures of the here and now”; so says Beelzebub and its agents among Jinns and mankind- the Prince and Princess of Darkness, the hellion, the Mephistopheles, the Lucifer; the adversary of trust, the liquidator of honour, the antithesis of honesty. These powers of darkness appear to have wrestled authority and suzerainty of this land away from those ornaments and the crème-dela-crème of our nation in whose hands the destiny of this nation had been reposed. Welcome to the Federal Republic of filch and heist; welcome to the federal ‘shrine’ of fraud and embezzlement where libations of extortions and deprivation are poured on a daily basis to the gods of looting and larceny by organized criminals, official snitchers and swindlers. Hardly are there any sacred spheres left in our national life that has not been impacted by the virus of corruption. In fact, it feels as if our nation has become an underground; the underworld. The public and private sectors and the formal and the informal spheres of life have all been infected. Fraud and payola have become like cancer eating away the future of this nation.
“Do not perpetrate corruption in the land”, so says the Almighty in Quran 18: 46. Again this is ironically true- the forbidden fruit is usually the sweetest. Since humans made their appearance on terrestrial earth, that which is prohibited has always had the greatest attraction. While pondering these realities, while pondering the news of the arrest of the erstwhile Acting Chairman of EFCC broke, I searched frantically for what that meant for the Nigerian in me. I then chanced upon Quintus Horatius Flaccus, the Roman lyric poet who lived in the 8 BC and was popularly known as Horace. Horace was blessed with the power of the spoken words. There you have one of the best poets in the Western tradition whose works always beckon to the reader to be read and reread again. There is no way you could miss the profundity of his imagination and the ingenuity of his talent. Horace’s works call attention to other highly ingenuous and extremely sound Arab-Islamic poets and writers; poets like al-Abul Alaa al-Maari and Abu Tayyib al-Mutannabi whose ability to capture and preserve the good, the bad and the ugly in human realities are simply awesome.
Thus, when I read on the social media about the arrest of Mr Magu as a suspect in a series of egregious acts of criminality and peccadillo, acts which only an anti-crime police-officer like him could commit, I pooh-poohed the news as one of those stunts that peddlers of fake news are capable of. “This can’t be true!” I soliloquised. How could Mr Magu, the czar of President Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade become the criminal in a crime he was commissioned in the past five years to investigate.
To be continued
This can’t be true. How could Mr Magu have forgotten that in the scheme of the Almighty, nothing can be hidden, and permanently too? How could he have forgotten? How could Mr Magu have succumbed to eat from the forbidden fruit? How could he have chosen to engage in these acts of infamy even in the full awareness that corruption is like the proverbial adulterous married woman who had been injected with Magun – literally, dare not mount her?; an invisible, anti-infidelity concoction known in Yoruba culture. How could Mr Magu have forgotten that to sit atop such an eminent position of power is to ride on the back of a voracious and dangerous lion? How could he have forgotten that to seek to go to equity is to do so with clean hands?
To be continued