Friday, June 15, 2012

How To Behave When Accused Of Corruption In Nigeria

Nigerians are corrupt. Even a suckling knows this. From time to time however, the odd situation arises where one Nigerian accuses another of corruption, you know, like armpit calling mouth smelly.

To be too clean in Nigeria is as bad as being too dirty. You must maintain a corruption balance. Moderate corruption. All our good men have been moderately corrupt. It is the greedy ones, the wicked ones who want to keep it all to themselves, that we call corrupt. The Dictionary of Nigerian Terms defines corrupt as: “an adjective implying inordinate insatiable greed above and beyond the Nigerian benchmark for acceptable theft.”

As a politician or big businessman connected to politicians, your enemies abound. And their favourite social weapon is an accusation of corruption. God sees your heart and He will judge those judging you. Here on earth however, this is what you must do when faced with the threat of corruption charges.

If you are really highly placed, like the President or something, and someone says your wife or other relative is corrupt, ignore it. Nothing will happen. The evil people will talk and talk and then stop talking. Nigerians may make noise on social media but, ultimately, they are too concerned about poverty and how to get fuel for their generators during Big Brother season to care too much. Plus, Nigerians have the attention span of goldfish.

However, if you are still climbing the political ladder, you must act decisively. Put out a press release denying every single allegation, even the ones you are guilty of. Nigerians are wicked. If you admit to something as small as running through traffic lights, they will gather and impale you and proceed to run through several traffic lights on their way from impaling you. So when faced with accusations of corruption, say you have never ever committed a sin or done a bad thing in your life, or peed on the bed when you were little or lied to your friends that you didn’t have money in secondary school.

A great comeback is to declare that the person who accuses you is your political enemy. It is because he wants to spoil the good work you are doing and distract people from the main issues. You must use words like ‘campaign of calumny’ and ‘detractors’ when you reply.

So you made a mistake and collected a gift you thought was harmless. I mean, foreign currency should be harmless. But you realised it was a trap when you started reading in the papers that two months ago, this guy gave you a bribe to do him a favour. You have probably spent half of it already (but then you can replace it). You must go to the press immediately and say that although you collected this so-called bribe, it was your intention to keep it as evidence of being bribed. You have a little evidence room in your bedroom where you keep evidence of such nature. You were only waiting for the right moment. God knows.

Worst case scenario, plead entrapment. What is entrapment? Simply, it means that if they had not offered you a bribe you would never have taken it. Like, if the serpent did not offer Eve the apple she would never have eaten it. With entrapment, it is the person who lured you into committing a crime that is guilty. Use this excuse and Nigerians will believe and join you in asking God to judge those setting traps for you.

You can use this as a weapon also. They say attack is the best form of defence. Every successful Nigerian politician knows this. You must give people money and capture it on tape. This is political insurance. It is important to mark the bills, just in case something goes wrong. Give the money to people you think can turn rogue. No politician can turn down money (Ok, maybe guys like Buhari, but where has that gotten him?). One day, when you are accused, you will bring out the tapes and records of those you have bribed and show it to the world as evidence. Because Nigerians are tribal and selfish, all your tribesmen will support you even in the face of your guilt. They will band together and say that no one should touch their ‘son’. There will be so much controversy that no one will be able to tell the truth from a lie and in all the commotion you will get away unscathed.

This is what you must never do: Never ever resign. Don’t even think of it. It is white people who resign. Look at their countries collapsing one after the other because they can’t stand still in the face of accusations. You are Nigerian; it is a taboo to resign just because they found out you took half a million dollars in bribe.

Never admit to your crime except you are found guilty by a foreign court and taken away in handcuffs. And even then, do it only as the condition for a plea bargain. Nigerians are forgiving – they will hold a public reception for you when you are released from jail.

But it doesn’t have to get to that. In the end, if you play it right, your enemies will fail and God will bless your hustle.

Friday, June 1, 2012


People ask me why I always bring God into my advice. It’s really simple. Nigeria is a nation loved by God. When we needed independence, instead of making us fight like the Mau-Mau in Kenya or the ANC in South Africa, He made the British leave in a peaceful handover ceremony. When the military planned to stay in power forever, we didn’t have to march in protest. He sent angels (some say of Indian origin) to take out Abacha. And when it seemed like the minorities were going to die under the oppressive yoke of the major tribes, He gave them the Presidency. Nigerians affirmed God’s gift by re-electing him in a landslide. Thank God for democracy.
This surely is a thing worth celebrating, dear President. This is just how you must celebrate it.

The country is being crushed under the weight of violence, darkness, poor infrastructure and corruption. You know this and do not need to be reminded by wicked people who call themselves men of God. So when you are planning the celebrations and some man of God decides you must spend your day saying amens to anti-corruption prayers, ignore him. They have no idea the heavy thoughts you have for this country. How can you waste your time saying endless amens? It is noisy and noise is bad for thinking.

You must prepare a speech. Every Nigerian, including the wicked unpatriotic ones who refuse to watch the local channels, tune in to watch the Democracy day speech. You have the undivided attention of the entire country so the speech must be long and impressive. It must, like a short story have little twists which will reveal exciting things. 

Evil people who cannot see that you have achieved so much in so little time need to be reminded of all they have missed in the past year. They need a little history lesson. How God cleared the way for you to get where you are. People thought there would be war abi? But God was faithful and our democracy is stable. Isn’t that enough for people to be thankful? 

And oh, cassava. They don’t know but you must tell them that cassava is the thing that will replace oil in this country. I mean your Aso-Villa Cassava Bread is already a best seller and you are sure that when it hits the market and Chinese people get used to its taste, they will be buying so much bread from us, that we won’t need America to buy our crude oil. Imagine one billion plus people eating our cassava bread, soaking our garri, swallowing our eba, snacking on our cassava chips on the way to work. People don’t know yet, but one day, they will thank you.

You must say in your speech that although the terrorists are succeeding, Nigerians are resilient. God will judge those terrorists. They can never, ever make Nigeria disintegrate. That is why you are really doing nothing serious about it. You just feel it in your heart, the way you knew you would win last year’s elections, that they can never, ever, succeed. 

You must give Nigerians a gift. Every democracy day, they expect a gift to keep them happy until the following year. Pick a university and rename it. Like the University of Maiduguri. Because you feel guilty about the way the Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf was killed, rename the university after him. I mean he was a bad guy and all but no one deserves to be shot with handcuffs on. So call it ‘Mohammed Yusuf University’, MYU. I know the students will be confused about what to call themselves. Provide useful suggestions, like Yusufiyya’s or Sufi’s for short. Greatest Sufi’s! They will love it. Oh, then announce the establishment of an Institute of Anti-terrorism studies in the university.

You must not in your speech talk about corruption. I mean it’s becoming a cliché and Nigerians are tired of hearing it. It doesn’t matter that the House of Representatives just unraveled damning information about corruption in the oil sector. After all, your former mentor called them rogues, so we can’t trust a word that they say. 

You must not apologise to the Youth Corp members who were not paid for many months. Young people these days are just ungrateful. I mean you see many of them carrying expensive phones- iPhones and Blackberry’s. Some Corp members even have cars! God is watching them. When you were their age you barely had shoes, so they should stop whining. 

People are hard on you. They have been since day one. Nigeria’s problems didn’t start with you. You tell them this but they refuse to believe you. So you will announce the opening of a museum housing images and legacies of all our past leaders just so Nigerians can visit and know just how each of them contributed his quota to spoiling this country. When they see it they will be grateful. Those who still refuse to see, well, God will judge them.

God bless your reign.