The Dana Air plane crash that took the lives of over 150 people is a grim reminder of the bloody price of corruption in a geographical space that is better renamed “the federal republic of corruption.” It is also evidence of the genocide to which corruption subjects millions of Nigerians annually. Those innocent victims perished because they were unfortunate enough to be Nigerians or to be in Nigeria where the airline industry is not spared the ravages of Nigeria’s monumental corruption. The Indian owners of Dana Air know Nigeria is a vast estate of corruption where anything is possible and thus they brought old, faulty and ill maintained planes (flying coffins) that would not be allowed anywhere else to ply Nigerian routes and profit from the dehumanization of the citizenry.
The context of Nigeria’s stupendous corruption is better understood from the gravitational pull of Abuja, a city that is totally bereft of any productive or commercial activity but yet has become a bustling centre of gravity that pulls governors, local government chairmen, councillors, commissioners, senators, permanent secretaries, generals, godfathers, ministers, special advisers, traditional rulers, area fathers, cultists, ritualists, civil servants, contractors, pastors, imams, entrepreneurs, sycophants, native doctors, contractors and others into its orbit, creating a global capital of corruption and the largest congregation of criminals feeding on “the corruption industrial complex” in the world’s most notoriously corrupt nation.
In normal climes, a non-productive administrative city like Abuja would be serene and saved from the madness of productive industrial and commercial centres, but the trillion dollar corruption industry has ensured that Abuja has become a vortex that sucks all within its radius into the vast criminal syndicate that constitutes Nigeria’s psychopathic leadership. As the Dana Air plane crash, the Farouk Lawan comedy of hypocrisy and the trillion naira loot in the oil subsidy scam exemplifies, the Nigerian masses are in an open prison and death row faced with penury and genocide as a consequence of a sadist and mentally retarded leadership that thrives only on corruption.
Every month, each of the 774 local governments receive hundreds of millions destined for the provision of basic services such as pipe borne water, construction and maintenance of primary health care centres, primary schools, rural roads amongst other functions. State governments likewise receive tens of billions monthly destined for the provision of major health centres, state schools, roads, job creation, vocational training, urban development schemes, agricultural schemes, security, housing and other developmental and social programs. The federal government formulates policy and has overall control and responsibility for the rest of the nation with an annual federal budget in trillions destined for the national maintenance of security, the provision of federal schools, electricity, the construction and maintenance of major federal roads, health centres, the formulation and implementation of policies on industrialisation, job creation, defence, foreign affairs and others.
Alongside the offices of the local government chairmen, governors and the president are councillors, commissioners and state assembly members, special assistants and advisers, secretaries, federal ministers, national assembly members, federal boards, parastatals and other government agencies, all with varying degrees of budgets, constituency votes and responsibilities for which they all get substantial monetary allocations destined for infrastructural, economic and social development across the nation. The sum total of budgets and allocations accruing to different tiers of government annually amounts to billions of dollars, enough to build all the necessary infrastructure, create jobs and substantially reduce poverty across the nation.
In spite of the colossal annual amounts accruing to all sectors and tiers of government, the nation is a failed state lacking in all of the most critical infrastructure such as pipe borne water, roads, electricity, rail lines, functional hospitals, functional schools and other basic infrastructure as the funds are simply looted by the leadership at every level. The immediate effects of such massive looting have condemned the citizenry to the genocidal consequences of corruption with Nigeria having the single highest poverty rates in the world, one of the highest road accident, infant and maternal mortality rates in the world and one of the lowest life expectancy rates in the world which all constitute a veritable death sentence with the average Nigerian expected to die young from the genocidal ravages of corruption.
The absence of pipe borne water and functional hospitals have ensured that thousands of citizens die needlessly on a daily basis from water borne diseases and other treatable diseases, while bad roads constitute death traps killing thousands on a daily basis. Poverty, homelessness, hunger and social violence send other thousands to an early grave added to the mass exodus of thousands of youths through perilous routes in tragic circumstances leading to the untimely deaths of many of such youths. As the empirical evidence have shown, the cumulative genocidal effects of corruption is unquantifiable and Nigerians will continue to be in an open prison and on collective death row, paying the bloody price of corruption until they rise-up against the corrupt and unconscionable leaders holding the nation hostage.
Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu