"Politics today are making the world a precarious place to live."
By Sam. Akinola (Published 23rd July, 2020)
As Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world as at now, with millions of people infected and hundreds of thousands of recorded death, one thing that keeps popping into my minding is the endemic corruption, confusion and sheer incompetency that has bedevilled politicians and their policies relating to this highly contagious virus.
True, there are overwhelming pieces of evidence that China did not warn the world enough at the earliest outbreak of the virus, or tried to conceal certain facts of the potency of the virus before it spread from Wuhan, in China. It did spread, completely catching some countries unprepared and makes politicians making conflicting policies to combat the novel virus. However, some countries swift response (if one can call it swift indeed) to initiate lockdown and other counter-measures did save some lives that otherwise would have been among the recorded deaths, while those that delayed (like the USA) due to incompetency of their governments or misinformation had a sordid rate of recorded deaths to account for their delayed actions. Well, analysing different policies of different countries relating to Covid-19 is not my focus here. My focus is on Africa, predicted as the next epicentre of the virus—majorly the effects in Nigeria.
Nigeria, my beloved country (the song of Funmi Adams still fresh in my mind). The endemic corruption of the political class and sheer incompetency of almost all government agencies are legendary, to say the least, if not the worst. So there is little surprise amongst the populace as Covid-19 has become dramatic hot puddings our politicians are jostling to gobble up and wash down the sordid meal with blatant lies. There is now craze amongst the political elites to have their share in the billions of dollars of foreign aid money being pumped into the county to battle the virus.
It is in Nigeria we heard of a state government with no recorded case of Covid-19 forging figure just to share in the billions of dollars in aid flowing amongst the political elites. There is another case of another state government who built a make-shift isolation centre with mere tents for purported billions of naira while economists analysed the cost for just hundreds of thousands of naira. Thank God for the rain that brought down this ‘billions of naira’ worth buildings in a matter of minutes and exposed the allegation of embezzlement to national shame. There are numerous cases of embezzlement of Covid-19 aid funds, diverted funds and missing funds, exaggerated spending cost and so on. I should not go into full details here, maybe in some other write-ups. More dramatic and comic are the cases of missing billions of naira from one government agency allegedly ‘swallowed by a mythical python’ from government coffer, as we Nigerians were told.
Covid-19 has become a money-making pandemic, not just amongst political elites alone; in every government agency dealing with this pandemic directly or indirectly we have heard cases of the ‘ogas at the top’ diverting aid funds to their wallets, manipulating COVID-19 patients figures to get more funds for more embezzlement, which runs down to some staff in the lower rank. What corrupt practices haven’t we seen or heard in our beloved country? Even an average Nigerian of the corrupt stock given the chance to catch in into this money-making pandemic will gladly join the bandwagon and ride on to corrupt wealth however brief it would be.
Oh, my beloved country, it shall be well with the masses plagued with corrupt leaders.