By Okike Benjamin
I write to express my profound displeasure over the comment made recently by the Prime Minister of Britain, Mr. David Cameron that Nigeria is a ‘fantastically corrupt’ country. This type of negative comment should be totally rejected by all Nigerians irrespective of place of residence.
If there is any country’s leader who should make such a comment, it is not expected to be from that of Britain, Nigeria’s colonial master. Whether Nigerians like it or not, the act of corruption is passed to us by the British. Today, such is becoming a culture in Nigeria. Nigerians are very smart people and as we learnt from our colonial master, the “Great” Britain this ill wind of corruption which blows no one any good, we have perfected this act and made it a way of life before now. Today, the government of the day is doing all within her disposal to make corruption a thing of the past within Nigeria and we hope that this would be achieved by collective efforts by all Nigerians.
It is unfortunate that not only did they (British) teach us the act of corruption when they were our colonial master, they still watered and nurtured it to ensure that it flourishes in the country. This they achieve by encouraging corrupt Nigerians to keep their monies in banks in Britain. I do not have any statistics as the amount of money belonging to Nigerians stashed in various banks in Britain, but it is possible such amount could fund our 2016 budget. The country, Britain aid and abet corruption till date.
History revealed that in 1839, British government sent an expeditionary force of 12,000 soldiers into Afghanistan to dethrone the then king in the person of Dost Mohammad and set up their own hand-picked king. In other words, Britain also cultivated and allowed the growth of corruption in Afghanistan, one of the countries mentioned alongside Nigeria by the Prime Minister of Britain as a ‘fantastically corrupt’ country.
From the experience of the British in Nigeria during colonial era and her role in Afghanistan, it may not be out of place to say that Britain is ‘fantastically more’ corrupt than Nigeria, which learnt corruption from them and Afghanistan where they planted the crop of corruption and supplied it with adequate manure to grow to maturity.
Okike Benjamin is a teacher in the Department of Computer Science, University of Abuja, Nigeria.
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