Friday, 25 September 2015 20:01

Poem: Reasons Why I was Corrupt

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I have heard so much about Nigerian corruption it is a shame; it's hard to know where to start

Woman with PhD in physics took American friends home to set up NGO to attract girl scientists

She reported to a Nigerian Minister who enquired into the size the group's budget

"To obtain permission for your NGO," the Minister said, "You must surrender 50% to me"

Dr. Boniface was offered lectureship in Nigeria, providing he paid a kickback of 500,000 Naira

Bonny calculated cost of the new job and told his wife: "Baby, we aren't going anywhere."

A White American's weekly flight from Nigeria to London was halted because he refused  to bribe

"We know you're picking up passengers, and you can't pay us: better take your business elsewhere"

Federal civil servants in Nigeria cannot pass promotion exams unless they first fork over N300,000

And after paying the sum, they aren't guaranteed the promotion because "there's no vacancy"

At the universities, they say, lecturers sell lecture notes to students for as much as N5,000 a copy

The Professors say: "if you don't buy our notes and don't sign your name, don't expect to pass "

And if you are a young and beautiful coed, you are said to pay through "poooossseeeyy" to pass

Have you ever heard of STG&D, Sexually Transmitted Grades and Diplomas?

If you pay closer attention, you would see several homes at Abuja, Jos, Lagos, as evidence of bribery

And in the villages, bribery buys 300 acre farms where a man grows vegetables and millet

I once walked into mansions with 4-6 vehicles, salaried cook, gardener, driver and gateman.

I thought corruption was learned in the social environment, much like Albert Bandura's  theory

But  someone asks " Suppose it is caused by inherited criminal genes, and there is no cure for it?"

I became frightened, meaning I was terrified, alarmed, anxious, startled, upset, worried, or panicky

Let it not be true, I prayed, let it be a lie from the pits of Hades that my country should be incurably ill

The fear persists annoyingly, just to think corruption is inherited in the genes of Nigeria like leukemia?

Then, I cried: Lord, let it not be so; let it be a temporary setback, provide opportunity for a comeback

My Father, please think not that I am crooked; I am not, Father, the fault is not in my stars

Is corruption due to being born in corruption and growing  up in a crooked  environment?

I saw corruption when Mother gave birth to me in a hut at brutal Ibkuntakpo

Delivered by unhygienic 'midwife ' while my playmate Ndem's  Mother delivered in London

My people, think not I'm stupid; I am not, people, the fault is not totally mine that I am poor

That I could not pass the West African Examination Council and was held back in life

Because my father was poor and could not afford my secondary school uniforms and pencils

You know, Ndem schooled at Eton and entered Oxford while I repeated Class Three

When I was finally awarded university degree, what good was it  when I was still jobless?

And Ndem  drove Camry  as bank employee  through help of manager friend  of his father Eket

My people, think not I am a fraudulent politician when I joined the PDP escape route

That I am corrupt, being confronted with opportunities to take bribes and I did not

And  Ibkuntakpo millionaires  ran wuru  wuru  campaign for Minister of Commerce

Four years after being Minister I had no mansion and Ibkuntakpo  community jeered

I know the  Ibkuntakpos call me stupid, brainless, dim-witted who can't steal enough

Last year, I hear  Ndem was Managing Director over Atlanta  Fund with stolen millions

His father stole millions to set up Family Fund with help of Atlanta American wayos

My people, think not that I have disappointed you; I did not, people, the fault is not mine

That you were furloughed  as Messenger with no retirement and unaccounted pension

My people, think not that I am heartless; I am not , I only wanted to be unlike Ndem

Whose father bulldozed his way into Ikoyi and Aso Rock fastidious rolling meadows

And Dad and Mom are in rat and malaria infested tenement with no water or light

I renounced my Methodist faith and embraced Islam and flew to Mecca in Saudi

After Methodist morals prevented my taking bribes and doctoring the documents

Think not I am corrupt, my people, when I prayed and got a second redemptive chance

Thank God, my people, through His mercy  I am Junior Ambassador  in charge of commerce

No more hospital-less Ibkuntakpo , no failing Cantab, no more garri with water and sugar

It's importation of Germany's rejected Mercedes, Chinese expired drugs, Italian plastic  leather

I have thugs to eliminate opposition, rob banks and fly in with boxes of cocaine and US dollars

I pay billions for protection of Alhajis, mallams, Ayetollas, Yoruba and Igbo assassin squads

Blame me not, people, for not playing by what you taught me; I'm playing by their rules

You say "Don't fornicate" but they carry our wives; you say "Don't be conceited" but do they?

Is life functional  like in America from where Ndem emailed me , yes  emailed  me for years

"In America, they have our little houses, little motors, little jobs, little clothes, and little pride

But over there, you still struggle with daily necessities of life, yet amassing wealth like crazy

You steal billions and don t know when or how to spend money with uncountable zeros

How many mansions can you live in your lifetime, how many Rolls Royce, how much garri

And how many beaches can you sleep at, and how many trips to Dubai to buy expensive toys?

One day, you die miserable death with nothing but rice and chicken in your lifeless stomach

The late Alhaji Okeke, converted to Islam to be near corruption when Christianity wasn't paying

"Now that you're dead, Alhaji,  where are your billions abandoned in Barclay's Bank in London?

Aren't you the Biggest fool, trick, hoodwink, and you pulled the wool over somebody's eyes?"


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James Agazie Ed D

A retired college Professor  with educational backgrounds in law (JD) education (Ed.D, MA) counseling,( MS) and and mathematics.  Write on topics dealing with Nigerian families, marriages, education, and employment.