Monday, April 4, 2016

PIUS ADESANMI: NKOSI SIKELEL' IAFRIKA


The only good news I see coming out of the African continent this week is that there is enough reason to grant political independence to two African citizens and welcome them as the newest member states of the African Union.
Come with me and do the math as you come along.
In Ghana, we hear that somebody or some people stole $89 million of that country's oil revenue. Peanuts but not a bad beginning for a country taking her oil industry doggedly down the familiar path of her giant cousin's oil industry in the sub-region. For now, only New York-based Sahara Reporters has reported this case. With dedication and application, corruption figures in Ghana's oil sector should increase next year and approach levels that are worth reporting in traditional media in Nigeria.
In Liberia, we hear that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has upped her game. By appointing her sons to what we, in Nigeria, call "juicy positions", President Sirleaf had debunked the myth that only the continent's patriarch-presidents were capable of personalizing the state and turning it into an extension of your father's farm.
Reading the sexist scholarship of Africa's political scientists, you'd think that only the Dos Santoses, the Sassou Nguessos, the Yoweri Musevenis and the Teodoro Obiangs of this world were capable of personalizing the state for your children in Africa. Mama Johnson Sirleaf debunked that myth by appointing her son Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia.
Then she got bored on the state personalization front and has now outsourced Liberia's entire pre-primary and primary education system to an American company. What used to be a funny joke in cities across Africa that the continent should be returned voluntarily to the former colonizers for more competent management has suddenly become reality in Liberia. Well, Liberia was never really colonized. Maybe that is why President Sirleaf has decided to redress that historical anomaly by handing over the education of every Liberian child to an American capitalist company making a killing in Africa.
When France was designing the curriculum for children across Francophone Africa, the generation of Leopold Sedar Senghor went to school and were taught that they had no ancestors. They were taught that their ancestors were the proud Gauls who defied the savage Romans to pave the way for the emergence of France - the only European civilization worth talking about.
It took a lot of work and Negritude for kids across Africa's Francophonia to understand that they had ancestors like Lat Dior and Samory Toure and those ancestors were not the unworthy savages and heathens that they read about in the curriculum designed by France.
Now that Mama Sirleaf has decided to roll back the hand of the clock in Liberia, here is looking forward to future generations of Liberian kids raised in awe of their illustrious ancestors such as Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. Because the outsourcing of Liberia's pre-primary and primary education system has been announced as a public-private partnership, Liberia will pay $65 million to the company over the next five years.
God bless that American company for being so generous. If somebody was willing to pay me money to enslave them, I'd charge them more than $65 million to make them slaves of their own volition.
Then in South Africa, our brother, President Jacob Zuma, spent a cool $15 million of public funds to upgrade his private home. Remember, President Zuma had wanted to buy a pimped up presidential jet while raising school fees. Popular protests by ignorant South Africans who do not know that the Nigerian President keeps a harem of 11 palatial presidential jets prevented brother Zuma from acquiring his second jet. While South Africans protested the jet idea, Brother Zuma scurried behind their backs to upgrade his country home at public expense. He has now been publicly humiliated and asked to refund the money.
When I look at this continental round up of corruption figures (or waste in Liberia), I see $89 million in Ghana, $65 million in Liberia, and $15 million in South Africa.
The total in these three cases still falls way below the monthly haul of any serious individual player in Nigeria's corruption sector. The totality of the figures from Ghana, Liberia, and South Africa in the cited instances hasn't even come close to Dasuki or Badeh.
This is why I believe that where we have players in our corruption sector whose individual haul exceeds corruption figures from three African countries combined, we should grant political independence to such individuals instead of prosecuting them with our scarce resources.
Dasuki and Badeh - each of these guys has stolen enough to become an independent African state.
Once we start granting political independence to meritorious players in the Nigerian corruption sector, professional demonizers of Nigeria in the continent, such as Ghana and South Africa, will leave us alone and face their own gigantic corruption industries - which they ignore while badmouthing Nigeria.
God bless Africa.