Dasukigate has all the ingredients of a great plot from a Mexican mob movie. A heist goes wrong, and the bad guys get into trouble. Except this case, the set is Nigeria and it is in fact very real. This is one story that will be told to generations of Nigerians to come. The actors in this movie cut across territories, regions, languages, ethnic groups, political affiliations, religion and gender. Everyone benefitted. The names keep dropping and they say this is just the beginning!
It is a very rare and sad occurrence in the life of a country that something like corruption would unite so many people. I had always believed football was our uniting factor but this whole matter has shown how wrong I’ve been.
They say our leaders are a subset of who we truly are. Well, if there is any truth to that, what does it say of the rest of us? Everyone is now talking about how messy the situation is but here is the crux of the matter, if you ever ‘sorted’ anyone to pass an examination, you are a Dasuki. If you ever cut down your age or bribed anyone to get a job placement, you are a Dasuki. If you bribed your way through government offices to get those contracts, you are a Dasuki.
You are not any better than these wicked people who stole from our commonwealth and our unborn children. That I am made the custodian of something does not give me the right to appropriate it. I am only a custodian!
I would not be the least surprised if somebody is reading this and thinking “this lady loves poverty mehn”. Now, whoever said being a Nigeria is easy? Being a human being is hard enough, before you add Nigerian to it. I know firsthand the struggles; pain, suffering and temptations people face every day in this part of the world. But I also know we are mostly a religious people, even to the point of fanaticism for some. Yet some people will not as much as bat an eyelid to steal, lie and maim to get rich. I hear even armed robbers pray before setting out to rob their equally religious victims. Which God do we even pray to? Is it the same one that abhors sins including corruption?
My cousin argues that cutting corners is the only way to keep your head above water in Nigeria. And he is not even the first, second or last to point this out. What happened to us? You think we are talking about just stolen money here? No, we are not. It is about the deterioration of values; of integrity replaced with “don’t be dull, everybody does it!”
We know things are hard but we cannot continue like this, lest we eat the yam seedlings as well as the yam. Each of us has a special, unique weapon; our conscience. Let’s use it more often. Let’s use it for the love of our country, our children and generations to come. In our own small spaces and daily lives, let’s use it. Can we start?
Anibe Idajili is a freelance writer and auditor. She can be reached on twitter at @Nathsdaughter