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The Monster In Africa

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THE

MONSTER

IN

AFRICA

 

 

REASONS WHY THE RICHEST CONTINENT

 

IN THE WORLD INHABITS THE POOREST

 

PEOPLE IN THE WORLD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Monster in Africa | <>. |<>\2/2.
p<>{color:#000;}. Copyright © 2015 | <>. |<>. | <>. |<>\2.
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| <>. |<>. | <>. |<>\2/2. p<>{color:#000;}. Tel: +905342443166 , +2348033332169 | <>. |<>. | <>. |<>\2. p<>{color:#000;}. All rights reserved. | <>. |<>\2. p<>{color:#000;}. No portion of this book may be used without the written | <>. |<>\2. p<>{color:#000;}. permission of the publisher, with the exception of brief | <>. |<>\2. p<>{color:#000;}. excerpts in magazines, articles, reviews etc. | <>. |<>\2. p<>{color:#000;}. Note: The bible quotation is taken from the New Living Translation. | <>. |<>\2. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>\2. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>\2. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>\2. p<>{color:#000;}. Published in Nigeria. | <>. |<>\2. p<>{color:#000;}. Printed by: | <>. |<>\2. p<>{color:#000;}. MTA Prints, | <>. |<>\2. p<>{color:#000;}. Lagos. | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. 08130853314

ISBN: 9789789530120 |<>.
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Dedication

We will like to dedicate this book to everyone who has died as a result of the hardship and deprivation in Africa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acknowledgement

Our heart of gratitude goes to God Almighty who gave us the wisdom and divine inspiration to write this book. Our appreciation also goes to Pastor (Engr.) & Deaconess M.O., Rev (Dr.) & Prophetess (Dr.) Sola Adeuja and Mr. Olayinka Oyegbile for their advice, guidance and counsel during the course of writing this book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Dedication……………………………………………..iii

Acknowledgement……………………………………………iv

Introduction……………………………………………..1

1.0 Change in Value System…………………………….8

2.0 Prioritizing Education………………………………32

3.0 Despotism to Democracy…………………………..50

4.0 The Get Rich Quick Syndrome.…………………..57

5.0 The Ethnicity Syndrome……………………………68

6.0 My Family and I Syndrome………………………..76

7.0 Capital Punishment for Corrupt Individuals…..84

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Africa is the richest continent in terms of mineral resources yet it inhabits the poorest set of people on the face of the earth. Certainly, you want to ask why? The monster in Africa has made the continent unavailing. The influence is so prevailing that it has disguised itself as democracy and majority of Africans have been consumed by this monster.

 

It has taken over our character and we have become a shadow of ourselves.

Currently, with 47 countries and 6 islands, no African country ranks among the first 50 countries in the Human Development Index as included in a United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report released on 24 July 2014, out of 167 ranked countries in the world .

Let us take a trip to Singapore. The socio – economic metamorphosis that occurred while Lee Kuan Yew was its prime minister were not accidental, they were deliberate and pragmatic.

Singapore, which is a country that was expelled (gained independence) from the Federation of Malaysia in 1965^2^ is now the ninth in the Human Development Index as included in a United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report released on 24 July 2014, which makes it one of the richest countries in the world [1]. Doing what was right, taking no nonsense and not following one particular ideology were some of the traits of the leadership style of Lee Kuan Yew. Taking a cue from Lee Kuan Yew means that a leader owes more allegiance to his conscience than his political party.

There is need for us to understand the fact that leadership has gone beyond trying to take control of a region and building a kingdom for oneself, thereby taking the people back into the pre-colonial era and ice-age. Leadership today is about taking the people into the future. The ability of a leader to think into the future and take mankind along with him as he realizes his or her dreams and visions, defines an insightful leader.

Leadership has gone beyond trying to take control of a region and building a kingdom for oneself

thereby taking the people back into the pre-colonial era and ice-age. Leadership today is about taking people into the future

 

In simple terms, it is

Bringing the

23rd century into

the 21st century

Now let us consider the monarchy system of leadership: The success of a king is determined by the prosperity of the people in his kingdom during his reign as a king; on the other hand, the failure of a king is also determined by the anguish and poverty the people in his kingdom experienced when he was the king.

The present-day leaders can take a cue from this and it is as simple as “how many people’s dreams were fulfilled while you were in charge” instead of “how many people came begging at your doorstep for their daily bread while you were in charge”.

Corruption is a “monster” that can consume a whole nation, continent and even the world if it is not destroyed while it is still immature; It grows in the mind of the people, takes over their thinking and guides their decision-making process. This monster is invisible but its manifestations are so glaring; these manifestations snowball into socio-economic catastrophe that might be difficult to deal with. Corruption which is a disease of the mind can still be a thing of the past in the continent of Africa if we all rise up to the challenge.

This book has analyzed certain measures that can be put in place in order to deal with this ugly and destructive monster in Africa because, we, the people make up the continent and not vice versa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

CHANGE IN VALUE SYSTEM

Value System is the principle of right and wrong that is accepted by an individual or a social group.

The first thing we need to do, to get rid of this mess called corruption, is to review and reorder our values because our values define our sense of judgment. When a child is born, the child cannot differentiate between what is right and what is wrong, but the society in which the child grew up helps him or her to determine what is morally wrong and what is morally right. In other words, the child’s environment shapes his or her ideologies and determines his or her moral values.

 

THE COLONIAL ERA

We heard a story of what happened before and shortly after Nigeria’s independence; it was said that a shopkeeper could leave his or her shop for another engagement and while the shopkeeper was away, any buyer that came around would drop his or her money on the table and pick whatever he or she came to buy. Wow! The transaction took place in the absence of the shopkeeper. We wondered what could have made such miracles to take place in those days – ‘values’ i.e. in those days, we placed more value on our integrity, good name and morals rather than money.

MONEY AND POWER DRIVEN SOCIETY

Today, we are in a society where almost everyone wants to be richer than his or her peers, and some people go to the extent of killing a fellow human being just to become rich and powerful in order to attain a high status in the society. Corruption has given birth to so many megalomaniacs suffering from a psychological disorder called megalomania i.e. obsessive desire for power and wealth. The definition of success has changed over the years and it is rather unfortunate that we now define success to be “being rich and being powerful” In fact; the new editions of our dictionaries now define success to be the attainment of fame, wealth and social status. When the younger generations get to read this, then it spells doom for our continent.

Nelson Mandela said “Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will. Success is often measured by the amount of wealth someone has amounted, but it’s far from that. Everyone’s entitled to their own definition of success, yet money always leaves people becoming greedy for more. You should redefine your definition of success, to more measurable and life-worthy things such as having a career you love and enjoy, being able to surround yourself by family, living freely and wherever you want to”.

We think that sounds more like it; Madiba said what is exactly in our mind and to complement this, we will say:

 

Success is the ability to make impact in

your generation and also leave a

good lasting legacy behind for the upcoming generation

 

 

JESUS CHRIST, A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF SUCCESS

In order to justify this definition, we will give you a perfect example of success: Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He came to die for the sins of mankind and if not that He accomplished His assignment and He was successful there will not be anything called salvation today for us all. That is a perfect definition of a successful life. We need to first of all re-define success before we can totally eradicate corruption in our continent because:

Your definition of success

defines how you go about achieving it

 

We mean if you have a wrong perception of success i.e. “being rich and being powerful” you will do anything to be rich and powerful and on the other hand, if you have the right perception of success as displayed by Jesus Christ i.e. “impacting your generation and leaving a good long lasting legacy behind” you will do anything to impact your generation and leave a good long lasting legacy behind.

BEGIN TREATMENT FROM THE MIND

Most African countries have been making the same mistake of fighting corruption from the outside only through anti-graft agencies and other security agencies but little or nothing has been achieved because corruption is a disease of the mind and the treatment must begin from the mind. Therefore, we need to fight corruption from the inside (mind) and the outside (anti-graft agencies); and until we begin to do these, success in the fight against corruption will continue to be an illusion. Firstly, there is need for us to accept that there is a driving force or motivation behind corruption and deal with it, thereafter, we can fight corruption externally.

 

WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION?

Now back to our talk on values, another sincere question we need to ask ourselves is “what is our motivation?” We mean the rationale behind everything you do. This is a very crucial point that we need to take with all seriousness because our tendency of being corrupt is determined by our source of motivation. Have you ever wondered why some passionate, intelligent and valiant individuals, who were human rights activists and anti-corruption crusaders before they got into public office, suddenly changed after they got into public office? Did you bother to ask about the rationale behind their actions and the so-called selfless service they were rendering to the public before getting into public office? It might be very difficult for us to ascertain their source of motivation until they get into a public office, but we assure you that once they get there, their source of motivation (money, power etc.) will be evident to everyone.

As Africans, we all have to do a reality check on ourselves individually to ascertain our source of motivation in life and if it is anything close to money, fame, power, wealth, luxury and any of those perishable stuffs you have the tendency of being corrupt if the chance falls into your lap.

LEADERSHIP IS SERVICE TO THE PEOPLE

We are always bewildered when we see elected or appointed public officers throwing parties after being elected or appointed into a public office to serve the people. The question is, why the jamboree? Well our answer might be as good as yours. They say and we quote “our days of hardship are over, now it is time to get rich”. What a pity? Such celebrations are of no use because they send a wrong signal and notion about leadership to the society, in other words, the wasteful and needless jamboree makes the society believe that leadership is all about being superior to others by virtue of the appointee or the elect’s new position rather than being at the service of others by virtue of his/her new position. Therefore, all celebrations should be after the successful completion of a corrupt –free and impactful tenure in office as a leader.

 

Leadership is not about being superior

to others but it is about being

at the service of others

 

 

 

MOTHER TERESA’S LIFE OF SERVICE

We believe you must have read or heard the story of Mother Teresa, and if you have not we would tell you some things about her.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, commonly known as Mother Teresa was born 26 August 1910 and she was a Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary who lived most of her life in India. She was born in today’s Macedonia, with her family being of Albanian descent originating in Kosovo.

Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and is active in 133 countries. They run hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; dispensaries and mobile clinics; children’s and family counseling Programme’s; orphanages; and schools.

Mother Teresa was the recipient of numerous honours including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2003, she was beatified as “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta” [3] though she is dead; she lives forever because her legacies live forever. The life of Mother Theresa is an epitome of leadership by service per excellence. Today, we have many St. Teresa Churches like we have St. Paul, St. Peter etc. What a glorious life she lived!

WHOM DO WE CELEBRATE IN OUR SOCIETY?

Who are those that receive national awards and recognitions? Are they the same set of people that have looted the nation’s treasury or the true and patriotic citizens? Come to think about it, if a man is being celebrated for stealing from the people who are celebrating him, then it takes a “nincompoop” not to go back to the treasury to steal more from the people so he can get more recognition from them and have more influence over them. In other to get out of this mess that we have found ourselves in Africa, we need to stop celebrating corrupt individuals and begin to celebrate true patriots.

 

CORRUPT INDIVIDUALS SHOULD BE TREATED LIKE OUTCASTS

We have to come to a point whereby the society frowns at corrupt individuals like we used to have in the pre-colonial and colonial era. In those days, anybody that went against the standards of our society was always ostracized and such individuals will not be seen among the people anymore. Today, we welcome them with open arms and honour them for stealing from us. Though it might be difficult to ostracize people from the society but when the society discourages an act of corruption, disciplines whoever is involved in any form of corrupt practice and treats such individuals as outcasts by not allowing them to attend public functions, social gatherings etc. Then, it is as good as ostracizing such people from the society.

Corrupt individuals should be

unwelcome at public functions and social gatherings

THE ROLE OF RELIGIOUS ORGANISATIONS IN FIGHTING CORRUPTION

For ages, religious organisations have always represented institutions that uphold moral standards and we strongly believe it is time to re-establish that mindset in the people.

Religion has a big role to play in all of these because the religion, the politics, the military and the economy of any country are the four pillars of that country. Therefore, understanding this reality coupled with the fact that religion is an integral part of our lives in Africa; is an effective way to transform the mind of the people from “a corruption-prone mind” to “a corruption-immune mind” by teaching the true and unadulterated morals.

True and Unadulterated Morals

Transform a Corruption-Prone Mind

[* to a Corruption -Immune Mind *]

 

 

WAKE-UP CALL TO RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS

All religious institutions need to wake up to their responsibilities. Virtually every African represents one religious institution or the other. Therefore, the influence of religion on each African cannot be over emphasized. Morality still remains the fundamental principle that guides every religion and as a matter of urgency, should be used to salvage our continent from this dreadful and destructive monster called “corruption”. Our hypocritical way of life must also find its way into the abyss if we want corruption to be a thing of the past in our continent. We need to uphold our religious tenets such that these tenets should not be confined to the walls of our places of worship alone, but we should begin to profess what we confess.

 

ROBBING PETER TO PAY PAUL

This is a new phenomenon among political leaders in Africa which is “Robbing Peter to Pay Paul”. This phenomenon is prevalent among African leaders; their moral values have been so demeaned that they steal money under the guise of “Charity”. How does it work? While the husband is busy stealing from the public treasury, the wife goes about setting up “kangaroo” charity organisations in the bid to receive undeserving glory and praises from the people. A dinky amount out of the stolen wealth of the public is transferred and used to run these charity organisations all in the name of helping the less privileged in the society. At the same time, a substantial amount of the stolen wealth is transferred into their foreign account or spent on frivolities. It has become so pronounced that in a report published by The Guardian (a British daily) on 15 July 2014, it was disclosed that while western countries send about $30bn in development aid to Africa every year, more than six times that amount leaves the continent, “mainly to the same countries providing that aid”. [4] In other words, more than $180bn is being stolen every year. We dare not have the guts to say Africa is a poor continent, after all these reckless looting by some greedy leaders. In fact, it is the richest continent but a sleeping giant.

For Africa to progress, we need to change our avaricious and grasping attitude towards life and be hard-nosed towards getting rid of corruption in Africa

 

THE “I AM WORTH CONCEPT

 

Concerning our attitude towards life, the first question we need to ask is “what defines us?” i.e. what is of importance to us or what is of worthwhile quality to us. Here, our value system is of utmost importance. Firstly, the concept that a man is worth some amount of money is a big problematic concept.

Let us go back to the etymology of the word “worth” which is “weorþ” from the Old English and it means “value, price, price paid, equivalent value amount, monetary value”. We now understand the meaning of worth from the definition above. Think about this, how much is the monetary value that can be placed on a man that is composed of “spirit, soul and body” we believe your answer is as correct as ours, absolutely no amount of money can buy the spirit, soul and body of a man because money itself is man’s idea and creation. Then, here is the big question; why should a human being (spirit, soul and body) place monetary value on his/her life; after the ultimate price, which is priceless has been paid for us all i.e. the blood of Jesus. We make funny statements like, I am worth five million dollars, I am worth 10million dollars and some even say I am worth one million dollars. We call them “Human being with a price tag” jokingly, probably they are for sale and that is the price to be placed on them; absolutely not us.

Wherever this “I am worth concept” came from, it is a big problematic concept that we need to deal with before we can totally eradicate corruption in Africa and the world at large. It has successfully created a craving and aggressive society which is unreasonably competitive such that people can do and undo to increase their monetary value and status.

 

 

FROM CREATION

From the history of creation, the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. Therefore, we were specially created in the image of God and we have no estimable value hence, it beats our imagination when we begin to place monetary value on our lives, understanding the fact that, money itself was created by us as a medium of exchange.

This “I am worth” concept has snowballed into what is now also one of the causes of corruption in our continent today. It is sad that we now worry and have sleepless nights over how we can own fleet of cars, edifices, fat bank accounts, business conglomerates etc. We voraciously amass all these things not minding what it will cost for them to be acquired, even if it will cost the life of other human beings.

As a matter of urgency, we need to abolish the “I am worth” concept because it hasn’t done us any good, but rather, it has created an unduly aggressive society with grasping and money-grabbing individuals. So, it is crucial that we move from money driven society to morals driven society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2

PRIORITIZING EDUCATION

 

Education is the bedrock of development and for any country in the world to be able to attain sustainable developmental phenomena; we have to make education first on our priority. We might begin to question the relevance of education in the fight against corruption. We are obliged to make it clear that poor quality of education has contributed to the alarming rate of corruption that we are contending with in Africa today. Let us begin with the quote of Derek Bok “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance”. [5]

 

 

COST OF IGNORANCE

Now we will continue from where Derek Bok stopped.

What is ignorance and the cost of ignorance?

 

 

We will not give you a specific definition of ignorance, but we will rather tell you about the cost of ignorance and that will create an absolute image of ignorance in your mind. Insurgencies, ethnic crises, religious crises, political violence and many more are costs of ignorance. The effects of these things are costly and they have affected the growth of our economy in Africa.

 

EDUCATION AND SELF-RESPECT

We have also seen several cases where citizens worship those who have embezzled tax payers’ money or who have been involved in one form of corruption or the other, seeing them as demi-gods. It is rather unfortunate that it is mostly the uneducated ones among the citizens that fall victim of such foolishness. Therefore, we have to pay keen interest on education so we can correct this societal problem.

The self-dignity and self-respect that naturally appears when a man or woman is educated will prevent such people from stooping so low to worship thieves, who have stolen from the tax payers’ money so as to increase their status in the society and thus oppress the people, whom they are supposed to lead. Hence, at this developmental stage in Africa, we must turn the table round from the point where education is been acquired by the people to the point where it is been required by the society. Once this is done, corruption is gradually on its way out of Africa. Instead of the people chanting the praises of the so called “demi-gods” who have stolen their money, they will begin to chant their condemnation i.e. no more thugs in the society.

 

We must turn the table round

from the point where education is being acquired

by the people to the point where it is

being required by the society.

 

 

INCLUDE MORAL LESSONS ON ANTI-CORRUPTION IN THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM.

Without mincing words “corruption is very infectious”. In fact, it is epidemic in nature and it spreads like wild fire. Therefore, as we are fighting corruption at the top, we should also include it in our school curriculum because of our children, so that their generation will not turn-out to be like ours. To be candid, there is no place in the world where corruption can be eradicated within few years, but fighting corruption is a long-term task. So, before this ugly monster called corruption becomes mature in our children, we have to kill it quick by including moral lessons on anti-corruption in the school curriculum from primary level to tertiary level. The purpose of this is to make them squash the “Corruption-Prone Mind” and develop a “Corruption-Immune Mind”.

MAKING EDUCATION AFFORDABLE AND ASSESSABLE

Whether it was deliberate or unintentional, the educational system in Africa has been weakened and this has given rise to corruption. As a matter of urgency, all African countries need to implement free and affordable education for her citizens if we want to get our continent off the clutches of poverty and corruption.

Corruption is a psychological illness that is pandemic in Africa and one lasting guaranteed way to get out of this mess is free and affordable education for Africans in their various countries. If we are really serious about eradicating corruption in our dear continent then, making education our priority should not be an option. For this to be a reality, government of every country throughout Africa should devote a substantial amount of money on education from the budget as stipulated by the United Nations because most Africans are poor and one way to get out of poverty is education. If this is not addressed, corruption will continue to ravage the African continent.

The Fruit of Corruption

is Poverty

 

 

THE FRUIT OF CORRUPTION IS POVERTY.

Poverty and Corruption are bosom friends; that sound hilarious, right? It may sound hilarious but it is the truth,

because when corruption is prevalent in any society, it leads to an uneven distribution of wealth that results in what we call a triangular society where minority is lavishing in plenty and majority is gasping for little. The microcosm of the population (people at the helm of affairs) are stupendously rich while the majority of the population are wallowing in abject poverty.

 

 

 

 

Diagram Showing a Triangular Society

 

GAMBLING WITH EDUCATION IS GAMBLING WITH THE FUTURE OF OUR CONTINENT.

 

There is no doubt that if the government of every country in Africa prioritizes education, it will contribute immensely to the alleviation of corruption in our continent. We have to stop seeing education as money-making venture and begin to see education as a pre-requisite for our socio, political and economic development.

It is parochial when people say free and affordable education is a mirage and that it is not workable. Perhaps, they should visit countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland etc. and see how the government spends so much in financing education with several scholarship opportunities for their citizens and even foreigners. Therefore, the government should look elsewhere for revenue generation because it is a crime to humanity for a government to see education as source of income, especially in under-developed and developing nations in Africa. It is so sad that because the government has seen education as a business venture, individuals and even religious organisations have followed suit, charging exorbitant amount of money as tuition fee in the same country where an alarming population of graduates are unemployed.

 

It is a crime to humanity for government to see education to see education as a source of income, especially in under developed and developing nations like we have in Africa

 

 

We really have to understand that education is the bed rock of development in any country, and it has no substitute, so we cannot shy away from this responsibility.

We think one of the problems we have is that in terms of the policies governing the educational sector, most African countries compare themselves with countries like United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada etc. forgetting the fact that these are developed nations and they can afford to do away with free education but even at that, they still have many scholarship opportunities for the exceptionally brilliant ones among them and even for foreigners too.

These countries are not ignorant of the fact that gambling with education is gambling with the future of the nation. Therefore, every country in Africa should still embrace free and affordable education. This can be in the form of scholarship opportunities for citizens and even research grants for tertiary institutions.

We have to start from the primary level, because that is where we can lay the foundation for good and qualitative education. Therefore, free education should run from primary to secondary up to tertiary level. At the tertiary level, the government should pay keen interest on financing research and development because that is the engine room where the control of a nation’s progress can be made.

 

Research and development (R&D) is the

*engine room where the control of a nation*’s progress can be made.

 

The adoption of free and affordable education by the government might be expensive and burdensome. Hence, the government can partner with the private sector (Corporate Social Responsibility) to be able to achieve this. We believe if this can be done the future is secured. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommended that 26% of the annual budget of developing nations should be on education. [6] If the government of every African country can implement this we will not be where we are today in Africa in terms of literacy level.

 

The wealth of a nation does not lie in the value of natural resources the nation is endowed with but rather it lies in the value of its human resources

 

Every nation in Africa should begin to move in the direction of investing in the minds of its citizens, and one of the ways this can be achieved is through education

 

 

Education being the bedrock of

development simply means empowering the citizens with the capacity to bring about development

 

Although, there are some African countries that are not rich in terms of natural resources while some are. Hence, our economic growth rate should not just be determined and dependent on the value of our natural resources alone, but we need to look further into the minds of the people by investing in the people (human resources).

 

The mind of a man is the most

valuable asset a man possesses

 

INVESTING IN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

No nation in Africa should be limited by the amount of

resources it has. Therefore, a nation that is not rich in terms of mineral resources should look into the area of Research and Development. Such countries with little or no mineral resources can begin to focus on developing new inventions that will transform the world and shake the international market.

 

The world is moving from mineral

resources driven world into

inventions driven world

 

Today’s world is moving from mineral resources driven world into invention driven world, e.g. petrol vehicles are being replaced with electric vehicles, which may reduce the value of crude oil in the international market.

 

HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT

There are still many discoveries yet to be made in science and technology, finance, tourism, medicine etc. Therefore, instead of public officers spending fortunes on acquiring luxury cars, magnificent houses and other frivolities; let us imbibe financial discipline and channel those funds towards human capacity building because in it lays the true and sustainable development.

 

The true and sustainable development lies in people development and not just in developing policies and frameworks

 

Human Resource Development plays key role in human capacity building, it is beneficial to the individual and even the society. For example, there are corporations of this world that their turnover or budget is more than some country’s turnover or budget. These corporations are owned by individuals who by one way or the other have benefited from the human capacity building programmes of their country.

The government will benefit from such individuals through the payment of taxes, mopping up the unemployed populace, rendering corporate social responsibility and many other obligations they have towards the society where they operate. If the government of African nations can envision these, investing massively in research and development will be a duck soup for them.

Chapter Three

DESPOTISM TO DEMOCRACY

 

Democracy is said to be the government of the people for the people and by the people.

But what we have seen over the years in some African countries is democracy that has turned around to become despotism.

When an elected leader holds on to power for more than the time specified by the Constitution and begins to exercise power in an oppressive way then, it becomes despotism.

Leadership is not an opportunity

to flex your muscles but it’s an opportunity

to prove your mettle

 

 

STOP BUILDING WEAK INSTITUTIONS AND STRONG INDIVIDUALS

 

There are instances in which we hear things like: “it’s only a man that understands a nation or it’s only that man that can fix the problems of that nation” if he does not, no one else can do it. That is a very myopic view of leadership. If we want our continent to move from where we are to where we ought to be, we have to erase that mentality, because recycling the same individuals around the corridors of power for too long a time results in strong individuals and weak institutions.

 

Recycling the same individuals around the corridors of power for too long a time results in strong individuals and weak institutions

 

For Africa to move from this “despotic era” we have found ourselves, to a “true and completely democratic state” we need to be keenly interested in how long our elected democratic leaders stay in power.

Also, who gets re-elected and who gets re-appointed into office should be of great importance to us. A situation whereby a particular person or a specific group of people call the shots in a democratic society is bizarre. For this to be a thing of the past we have to stop recycling our leaders because that is one of the best ways to build strong institutions rather than strong individuals.

 

EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE IS NOT EXTRAORDINARY

Excellent performance should be the order of the day by all public servants. Hence, re-appointing or re-electing a public servant should not be based on excellent performance. In fact, excellent performance can be rewarded, but it should not be seen as extraordinary thereby becoming a yardstick for re-election or re-appointment into public office.

As far as excellent performance remains a yardstick for re-election or re-appointment into public office, the trend of “I will impress them in the first tenure then later oppress them in the second or subsequent tenures will remain the rule of the game”.

If excellent performance remains our yardstick for re-election and re-appointment, public servants will continue to perform excellently well in their first term in office and later enrich themselves during their second or subsequent terms in office since they know they cannot get re-elected or re-appointed again as laid down by the constitution.

Allowing our leaders to spend donkey years in office, either constitutionally or unconstitutionally should be strongly opposed by the people because while they are in office for donkey years, they groom followers (legislative, executive or judiciary officers) who will be loyal to them, thereby having the means to alter the constitution to suit their selfish interest e.g. a third term bid. If the altering of Constitution is successfully done, another despotic leader, demi-god and tyrant is in the making.

 

ADOPTION OF A SINGLE TERM TENURE

Africa’s democracy can still be classified as nascent democracy. For this reason, we should begin to consider tenure of single term in office. In Africa, we believe so much that continuity depends on the successor based on his political party; whereas, continuity depends on the sustainability of the frameworks or structures in place. If a leader has developed a framework that is sustainable, he does not need to stay in office for donkey years before meaningful development can be attained. Therefore, we will recommend that for the peculiarity of Africa, we should begin to adopt the method we call “Lead and Leave”. How does it work? A leader will spend a single term in office, develop a long-term framework while in office and his successors will carry on with the framework. We believe if single term tenure for elected or appointed officers can be adopted alongside having strong institutions, corruption is on its way out of our continent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Four

THE GET RICH QUICK SYNDROME

 

The get rich quick is a syndrome that has deluded the minds of many Africans, especially young Africans. It is because we have a money- and power- driven society in which you can get away with all kinds of evil, provided you can buy your way through.

IS MONEY ALL WE NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL?

Our psyche has been programmed to believe that money is all we need to be successful in life by virtue of our experiences and environment. It is heartbreaking seeing a boy of fifteen years old, who is supposed to be in school, sitting down day and night before a computer and looking for how to defraud people of millions of dollars. It is a reminder that we are in a crazy world, because we cannot just phantom the motivation behind such indulgence.

It is obvious that this young boy has been influenced by the environment in which he grew up, which is the corrupt African society.

The get rich quick syndrome stemmed from corruption in the African society and if Africa does not deal with corruption as fast as the speed of light, many more syndromes of this kind will emanate in our society.

We now see funny titles and captions on books and magazines like “How I made 1000 000 dollars out of 100 dollars within two days” and you wonder what legal business or investment could have yielded such an incredible interest? Anyway, those who are publishing and selling the books already know what the society wants, which is “quick wealth”; therefore, they have decided to take advantage of it.

 

EFFECT OF GET RICH QUICK SYNDROME ON OUR CULTURE AND TRADITIONS

Even our cultures and traditions are not spared by this syndrome. In times past, people who were outstanding in their career, businesses and all other endeavors were always honoured traditionally within their communities by community leaders and royal fathers, in recognition of their outstanding performance and accomplishments. These acknowledgements came in form of chieftaincy titles conferred on the fellow who was remarkably outstanding in his or her endeavors. Nowadays, it is no longer the case. What we now see is a case of the highest bidder e.g. a fellow who can buy luxury cars for the traditional rulers and their aides will be considered for such titles.

Friends, let us take a look at the educational sector, precisely the higher institutions that reserve the right to confer honorary doctorate degrees (honoris causa) in recognition of distinctions or accomplishments not achieved in course, but for the sake of honour to any fellow who deserves it. What do we see these days? Doctorate degrees are being conferred on the highest bidder by higher institutions. The same individuals who are being given honoris causa are the same people the anti-corruption agencies are hunting.

National Awards! Maybe we should not even go there, or should we talk about it? We believe that it is the highest form of recognition that should be given to a citizen of any country, for being fabulously formidable and exceptionally excellent in their chosen career.

This should be in recognition of an outstanding performance of the people who have contributed immensely to the development of their country and showed acts of patriotism in their profession. Such people should be in the category of those that should receive national awards, which is what it used to be. But nowadays, the standard has been compromised.

Private Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations and many other organisations that reserve the right to give awards in recognition of outstanding performance, now throw awards around to the deserving and the undeserving, as long as you have a deep pocket.

All the recognitions that were mentioned above are supposed to be sources of motivation for patriotism and excellence; but today, they are catalysts for the get rich quick syndrome i.e. people want to get rich quick at all costs, in order to be able to receive the recognitions which they do not merit. Now, the question is how do we solve this problem? But before we answer that question, we have another question which is a guide to the answer of the first question. “Why do people get away with evil?”

The get rich quick syndrome (GRQS) has cost us the untimely death of many of our loved ones. Take for instance, in the aviation industry a plane that is not airworthy and certified airworthy by the officer in charge because he had received kickbacks from the airline operator, when the airplane unsurprisingly crashes in flight, many lives would be lost. Such inhumane display of greed and avarice, which led to the death of many people, should be reprimanded and such individuals should be apprehended.

In addition, the get rich quick syndrome (GRQS) has led to many road accidents e.g. when inferior materials were used to construct a road such that the road could not stand the test of time thereby resulting into pot holes which are major causes of accidents on our roads. It would have been better, if they were humane enough to fix the pot holes they caused as a result of their “I don’t care” attitude which led to the use of inferior materials to build roads. Instead of fixing the problem they caused, they will rather play around with the ill-gotten wealth.

Many of such bad roads have led to the disability and even death of many of our loved ones. Though, these corrupt individuals might have enough money to play around with and spend on their friends and family members, but the health damages and deaths caused as a result of this heinous and corrupt act cannot be reversed.

This is why we have to open our eyes to the reality of the havoc that is being caused by the get rich quick syndrome which has given rise to a society where our perception of success is “having a fat bank account” rather than “making a positive impact in our generation”. It has become of no significance what you do and how you do it to become rich. Therefore, the younger generation have subscribed to internet fraud also known as yahoo yahoo, since what you do to make money and how you do it is no longer important.

I remember what a friend once told us that adults, who are complaining about the moral decadence among the younger generations, have forgotten that they were the ones that raised them. Since all that matters now is becoming a money bag, many African youths are pulling out of schools in order to subscribe to internet fraud. Moreover, even those ones in schools are carefree about their education, since education has been devalued in the society that it can spell doom for the future of our continent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Five

THE ETHNICITY SYNDROME

 

Ethnicity is the state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition. Belonging to one ethnic group or the other is natural and healthy. In fact, every human on the face of the earth is identified with one ethnic group or the other. The diversities in culture and tradition of different people from the same country and different people from different countries makes every continent an interesting place to live; and even the world at large.

Having a multi-ethnic society is supposed to be an advantage and a blessing to every nation in Africa, but it is rather unfortunate that this has become a mechanism for political, social and economic retrogression. It is wrong to see our diversification as a disadvantage rather than an advantage. “Survival of the fittest” among Africans is one major factor that has led to ethnicity syndrome; the act of seeing people of other ethnic groups as outcasts.

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

For several years, Africans, have been swindled by those they have entrusted their resources with and this has led to what we call “a triangular society” where minority is lavishing in plenty and majority are gasping for little.

 

 

 

 

In a triangular society, survival of the fittest is the order of the day; since those in the corridors of power have enriched themselves with the state’s resources while there is just little left for the populace to contend with. Instead of the populace to contend with rogues siphoning the wealth of the nation, they are contending for the little leftover of what was stolen by the rogues in the corridors of power.

At this point, we need to change our perception about people of other ethnic groups because they are human beings like us and we need to live above ethnicity syndrome for the fight against corruption to be successful. For example, if a man is arrested for corrupt practice, and he is from a particular ethnic group out of many ethnic groups in the country, people from his ethnic group will begin to complain that the government is biased in its fight against corruption. In addition, people from his ethnic group will begin to threaten the government that they will cause civil unrest. We have to put away this attitude for the fight against corruption to be successful.

 

We need to live above ethnicity

syndrome for the fight against

corruption to be successful

 

We are in a society where “survival of the fittest” has been the order of the day. In such societies, it is not surprising to have “ethnicity syndrome”. In fact, most of the problems we are faced with in Africa are by-products of corruption.

 

 

 

ELECTIONS AFTER ELECTION

Our question is, after we have gone to the polling booth to vote and given our support to a leader and entrusting him or her with the resources of our country, why do we still need another representation from our ethnic group in the corridors of power? Your guesses are as good as ours. Firstly, maybe you do not have enough confidence in the leader you voted for. Secondly, it could be that you perceived inequality in the distribution of the nation’s wealth etc. One major way to eradicate ethnicity syndrome in our continent is for African leaders to desist from stealing the wealth of the nation.

 

 

We have Replaced Merit with Ethnicity Syndrome

As it stands, most African countries are suffering from this syndrome; which has made us to throw “merit” into the dunghill and embraced “the ethnicity syndrome”. This syndrome has manifested in different forms e.g. the zoning formula, the federal character, quota system etc. all these namby-pamby ideologies cannot take us anywhere unless we deal with the actual problem which is moving from “a triangular society” into “an equity-driven society” where everybody is treated equally. We are more than convinced that if African leaders can deal with the issue of “triangular society” sectarian violence, ethnic crises, religious crises etc. will be a thing of the past in our continent.

Countries with prominence in religious crises, sectarian crises, ethnic crises etc. are countries where the government of the day has failed in her responsibilities towards her citizens; hence, all these crises are consequences of bad governance. Therefore, “eradication of corruption” equals the “eradication of ethnicity syndrome”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Six

MY FAMILY AND I’ SYNDROME

 

Are you wondering what this means; my family and I syndrome? There is something that is missing among African leaders and even among majority of Africans. This is the spirit of patriotism and nationalism. We have successfully replaced “the spirit of patriotism and nationalism” with “my family and I syndrome”. Do not be surprised that this syndrome is one of the major causes of corruption in Africa because its symptoms are all around us, e.g. what on earth will make a man rule a state for eight years, handover to his son, his son handovers to his brother in-law etc. and they continue

to pass the baton round within the family. Though, they may be “magnanimous” enough to permit a godson who is a friend of the family to rule for some time in their own doltish wisdom.

We have successfully replaced

the spirit of patriotism and nationalism

with my family and I syndrome

 

 

The mentality of “let me steal all I can steal now before I leave office” is as a result of “my family and I syndrome” because if you truly love your country as a patriot or nationalist, you will not steal from your country to enrich your family.

The symptoms of this syndrome are everywhere, not just among the leaders alone. Now ask yourself this question, if you are chanced to employ or award a contract to somebody and your family member is among those that applied for the job or bid for the contract, will you not overlook all requirements and imbibe the spirit of nepotism? These are issues that we are facing every day and almost everyone is guilty of this, not just our leaders alone, because leaders were followers before they were elected as leaders. Therefore, whatever you are doing now is what you will do when you have the opportunity to lead.

Now, how do we bring back the spirit of patriotism and nationalism? Before we provide an answer to that question, we need to go back to the causes of this syndrome called “my family and I” because it is difficult to solve a problem if you do not know the root cause of the problem.

We will start from the words of the former President of United States of America John F. Kennedy during his inauguration. He said “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.“[7] John F. Kennedy had the confidence to say this because the United States of America is a country that has the interest of its citizens at heart. Therefore, the country did not fail in its responsibilities towards the citizens. In a case where your country does not care about you, then, it will be very difficult to have the spirit of patriotism and nationalism, let alone ask what you can do for your country.

Now, we believe the whole picture is getting clearer to you. “My family and I syndrome” has thrived amongst us because the government has failed in its responsibilities towards the citizens. The family has taken up the responsibilities of the government, in addition to its own normal responsibilities.

When you were sick, your family spent so much on healthcare because the government has refused to provide good and affordable healthcare, when you were studying in school, your family spent so much on education because the government has refused to provide free and affordable education etc.

Now, could you please tell us why on earth will you not owe your allegiance to your family and not your country? In fact, if you do not, you may be regarded as unappreciative or even a bastard because they believe they were there for you when you needed them, and now that they need you, so you also need to be there for them. Therefore, if your uncle calls you that your brother has applied for a job or contract in your office, which you have the power to employ him or award him the contract, you may want to overlook all necessary requirements and go ahead to employ him or give him the contract.

Hopefully you now understand the solution to this problem of “my family and I syndrome”. Therefore, if we want to get rid of nepotism in our society and bring back the spirit of patriotism and nationalism, the government needs to wake up to her responsibilities towards the citizens. The government should begin to nurture and help in the realization of her citizens’ ambitions and dreams by doing what she is supposed to do instead of killing the dreams and ambitions of her citizens. If this can be done, “my family and I syndrome” which is one of the major causes of corruption will give way to the “spirit of patriotism and nationalism” in our continent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Seven

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT FOR CORRUPT INDIVIDUALS

 

Oh! This is so irrational and unjustifiable! That might be what is running in your mind right now, but we believe it is rational and justifiable for imposition of capital punishment for corruption cases. We are going to use you reading this book as our case study. Now hear this: Are you where you are supposed to be in life? How many of your loved ones and family members have you lost through road accident which was as a result of bad roads? How many of your loved ones and family members have died due to poor health care delivery and facility? How many of your loved ones and family members have died as a result of religious crises and ethnic crises? Open your book of history; how many times have you cried over a family member that died as a result of generator fumes and petrol explosion? How many of your children, whom you paid through your nose to give good education, after they have obtained several degrees, they are still living in your house and eating your food? How many times have you or any of your associates been maligned and brutally beaten by the law enforcement agents and after complaining to the necessary authorities about the barbaric act, you were apprehended and remanded in prison custody?

How many times have you gone to bed hungry and hoping that there will be a better tomorrow, but that better tomorrow never came. Maybe you do not know the large number of youths that die every day while trying to cross from Africa to Europe in search of better “life” which their various countries have refused to give to them. Our friend, we need to be sincere with you, all you have been saying is “it’s gonna get better” “it’s gonna get better” “it’s gonna get better” and this has been your anthem ever since you were born, even until now that you are growing older.

Friends, we Africans need to wake up from our slumber because our fathers said the same thing that “it’s gonna get better” but unfortunately, it never did and now we also want to continue singing the same anthem that “it’s gonna get better”. Let us face it; it will never get better until we make it better ourselves. Those benefiting from the corruption in Africa can never and we mean will never desist from the crooked act. Therefore, we need to make strong laws that will debar anyone who has the intention and plan to siphon public funds or enrich himself through tax payer’s money from doing so. As a matter of emergency and exigency, we need to clamour for the enactment of the law that imposes capital punishment on whoever is involved in any form of corruption. After the enactment of this law, we can begin to work on changing our value system, prioritizing education, practicing true democracy and not despotism, dealing with the get rich quick syndrome and doing away with the ethnicity syndrome.

At this point, we will quit but before we do please read this: Exodus 14:15 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.”

What does that connote? Your destiny is in your hand. Dear readers, nothing changes until we as Africans make deliberate and conscious effort towards the development of our continent.

Thank you very much and God bless you.

 

 

Reference

[1] Human Development Report Office, 2014, Human Development Report 2014, UNDP, Tokyo

 

[2] Jennifer Eveland, 2007, Frommer’s Singapore &

Malaysia, 5th edition, Wiley.

 

[3] Mary Poplin,2011, Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service, Intervarsity Press.

 

[4] The Guardian, 2014, Aid to Africa: donations from west mask ‘$60bn looting’ of continent, The Guardian, UK

 

[5] Judith Schiek Robinson, 1998, Tapping the Government Grapevine, 3rd Edition, Orynx Press, Arizona

 

[6] EFA Global Monitoring Report,2015, Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges, UNESCO Publishing.

 

[7] Eileen Coussens, 2014, JFK’s Gift of Rhetoric.

 

 


The Monster In Africa

Africa is the richest continent in terms of mineral resources yet it inhabits the poorest set of people on the face of the earth. Certainly, you want to ask why? The monster in Africa has made the continent unavailing. So, who or what is this monster? This book reveals the monster and is geared towards alerting us of the destructive effect of this ugly monster in Africa. It has also analyzed certain measures that can be put in place and the roles we should play as Africans in order to deal with this destructive monster.

  • ISBN: 9781370865888
  • Author: Yetunde Omowunmi Adeuja
  • Published: 2016-11-22 20:50:17
  • Words: 9363
The Monster In Africa The Monster In Africa