A ONE time United States of American Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, once referred to Nigeria as the poorest oil rich nation in the world.
What an oxymoron? How can a country be oil rich and yet extremely poor? This is because her wealth is looted by conscienceless power elite given to stealing everything within reach. They steal public funds with the impunity and ruthlessness that will stir the conscience of even the most dangerous armed robber.
Paradoxically, they pretend to be sentinels of the public good and paragons of moral rectitude. In their hypocrisy, they ignore their own moral problems and make believe that they have the moral authority to lecture Nigerians on morality and to enforce the laws of the land.
In his denunciation of hypocrisy, Jesus Christ urged the hypocrite to “first cast out the beam out of thine eyes” before offering to “pull out the mote out of thine (brother’s) eye”.
The import of that admonition was that if the hypocrite can first remove the beam in his own eyes, he will see clearly, and consequently, realise that there was really nothing in his brother’s eye. He thought there was a mote in his brother’s eye because what was in his own eyes was obstructing his vision, and therefore, distorting his perception.
The Nigerian power elite, through their underpaid and unappreciated band of ill-motivated and lethargic men and women (the Nigeria Police Force), are fighting crime in Nigeria. But they need to awaken to the incontrovertible reality that there is really no crime to fight in the Nigerian society. What they perceive as the crimes of the Nigerian society are only reflections of the criminality of the Nigerian power elite.
It is the ruling class, and not the masses, that are in desperate need of reformation. If they can vigorously assault their own issues of lechery and lawlessness, greed and graft, cupidity and corruption, cruelty and cold-heartedness and dishonesty and downright thievery, they will come to a consternating realisation that the Nigerian people have no problem.
Mr. TOCHUKWU EZUKANMA, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Lagos.