Thus he was loved by some among his subordinates who shared his vision.
He was loathed by others most of whom desired to exploit and corrupt the system but could not do so. In other words, while Alhaji F was in the civil service, he ensured every kobo of the ministry was accounted for; he would not steal and would not allow others to steal.
His story is different from that of my brother at that government secretariat. He is known as a practitioner of the ‘Sunnah’. Ironically however, whenever it was time for ‘kick-backs’ to be shared, he would swear with the Quran that he would fight all acts of injustice! Yes. If thieves were to fail to uphold the virtue of justice even amongst themselves, Aristotle argues in Plato’s Republic, no robbery operation would take place!
Brethren, one day, Alhaj F returned home after close of work to learn he would never go back to his office again. He never knew that the powers-that-be had decided that it was high-time he was sacked from office. Thus before dawn, the office complex was taken over by military men. His office was put under lock and key. Messages were sent to him that he had been sacked and that he should not venture to go near the ministry again. The person who was asked to take over after him happened to be Mr J who took the sixth position when the test for the position of Company Secretary was conducted years before then. He was asked to take over the secretariat of the company not because he could add any value to its operations. Rather, he was asked to take over because he could ‘add value’ to the fraud and corruption the leadership of the Ministry wanted to perpetrate.
Brethren, three things subsequently happened. Junior officers who worked with the former secretary and had thought that probity, honesty and integrity were needed to survive in the civil service quickly joined the new dispensation. They queued behind Mr J who opened the pathway to sleaze and corruption in a manner that was previously unknown in the ministry. Soon, the company under his watch became bankrupt and was consequently declared insolvent. While the company was being wounded up, its managers were busy counting millions of naira. Brethren, Mr J eventually became a billionaire like the Minister in Charge of the Ministry. He bought nothing less than fifteen houses in London and over a dozen of mansions in Nigeria. He also changed his name. He was wiser than Alhaj RM who set new records for the most corrupt public servant in the country. I thought Alhaj RM was not smart enough. He ought to have resigned from the Civil service immediately he cornered the billions of naira which belonged to the Pension Fund Commission. He ought to have changed his name like Mr J, and probably his face too!
Brethren, Mr J was eventually ‘liquidated’ by the unseen mover of events in our world. The fate which befell him awaits those who are amassing wealth illegally all around the country. At the onset of the political experiment that followed the liquidation of the company, he sought to become a member of the Nigerian Senate. He, therefore, sold all his mansions in London. When this proved inadequate, he also sold his houses in Nigeria. Eventually, he lost his bid for the political post. Soon, he began to find it difficult to live and survive. One day he was invited over to Abuja by one of his old friends with whom they stole millions which belong to the said ministry. The day he set out to meet the said friend of his happened to be his last day on earth. He died in his car before he could begin a new life. Today dear brethren, we have many Mr Js in the civil service: “servants” of the nation who have become ‘masters’ of the nation; public officers who have become millionaires and billionaires. The question is never asked: how could a civil servant whose annual salary is not more than a million naira end up building mansions in choice cities across the country The question is never asked: how could a civil servant afford thousands of British Pounds as school fees for his children in United Kingdom?
Brethren, the worst scenario is the assumption by some among these elements that once they build mosques and establish Islamic charitable outfits, these will obviate the oddities of their treacherous and iniquitous ways. They work on the assumption that the Almighty will not question them thereafter with reference to how and where they got their wealth. How mistaken they could be. Al-Ghazali says that the example of those who commit fraud and bring same to the mosque is like that of a woman who commits adultery and proceeds to use the money the adulterous partner gave her after the act to prepare a sumptuous meal for her husband. No matter the quantity of the honey added to the cup, poison will always be poison. No matter how hard the thief strives to keep what he stole, what belongs not to him will never stay with him.