A few days ago, a friend of mine joked that he has observed enough blatant hypocrisy in just two months to conclude that a majority of Nigerians are hypocrites. I must admit that I agree with him. The level of shameless hypocrisy that pervades the Nigerian space these days is mind boggling. The recently signed anti-gay laws by President Jonathan and the support it has garnered from so called “moralists and traditionalists” must count as the greatest act of hypocrisy in human history. It is strange that a deeply immoral nation convulsed by corruption and reeking in infamies suddenly found gays as the convenient scapegoat for the attempt at re-creating a long dead morality. Why if I may ask has gays who make-up less than 1% of the population and whose act does not in any way constitute any crime or endanger anyone become a priority in a country where criminal leaders are stealing billions and Boko Haram is slaughtering hundreds on a daily basis?
Why wouldn’t enacting tougher legislation against corruption that has denied the nation roads pipe borne water, functional hospitals, functional schools and created unprecedented levels of unemployment, poverty and social violence be the priority? If morality and crime has suddenly been recognised as a problem, why is corruption that is responsible for the ongoing ‘structural genocide,’ killing millions of Nigerians every year in everything from road accidents to minor ailments and condemning others to destitution not on top of the scale? It beggars belief that in a nation that is literally dying from corruption, the law makers and the president ignored that monumental problem and chose to prey on something as inconsequential as gays. The nation is littered with looters from ex-governors, legislators, ministers to presidents who in spite of their stupendous loot have never been convicted. A case in point is the legislator Farouk Lawan who was caught on camera collecting bribe from Otedola, yet has never been convicted nor the bribe retrieved in spite of the overwhelming evidence against him.
The decision by the lawmakers and the president to prioritise laws against gays while ignoring the cancer of corruption only exposes the mind boggling hypocrisy of those who call themselves leaders in Nigeria and much of sub-haran Africa. Anyone who is familiar with Nigeria and Africa’s leadership at all levels would know that these leaders are expert in the serial abuse of young girls. Some are even paedophiles who prey on underage girls. The former Zamfara state governor Ahmed Yerima who is now a senator recently married a 13 year old girl. Such a sick paedophile is most likely among the group of hypocrites who hastily passed the anti-gay laws. From corruption to the abuse of young girls and paedophilia these leaders are more guilty of immorality and criminality than the gays they are perched to persecute.
The strange obsession with gays by Nigerian and African leaders in a continent that has the highest levels of corruption, the highest levels of failed states, the highest levels of poverty and the highest levels of internal strife is amusing. Such level of misplaced priority can only be deliberately designed to confuse the public while they continue their looting spree. They make strange noises about protecting African culture, but the question is; where do they place African culture when they loot the treasury, deprive and oppress their citizens? Is there anywhere that African culture or morality subscribes to looting? So why should the question of tradition and morality be limited to gays while leaving out corruption which is the mother of all immorality and vices? They accuse the West of trying to impose their immorality on us, but the Western countries they accuse don’t loot their nation’s treasuries. Their countries are so well run that the same African leaders buy homes there, go to hospitals there and send their children to school there. Many African countries are totally dependent on foreign aid from the same Western countries for their survival. So who between the African leaders and Western leaders has the burden of immorality in the true sense?
If the Nigerian and African ‘lootocrats’ masquerading as leaders were really serious about morality, they would have devoted the time they wasted on something as frivolous as anti- gay laws to making water tight legislation that includes life sentences and possibly capital punishment against corruption which is after all the mother of all immorality and crime to prove their mettle. But they didn’t because while they are desirous of punishing the weak and the powerless who happen to be gay, they are busy looting the treasury and wreaking havoc on their various nations. Ultimately, it has become obvious that as far as corruption and other such criminalities are concerned, these hypocritical leaders would never do anything to change the status quo, rather they would continue to chase shadows to confuse a gullible public.
And this brings to mind the saga of Olusegun Obasanjo and his letter to President Goodluck Jonathan that reeked of monumental hypocrisy. Sometimes I wonder if the Obasanjo’s of this world are capable of looking at themselves in the mirror and feeling some shame at their bare faced hypocrisy. Here is a man who as president was guilty of rigging practically every election under his watch, guilty of lawlessness and grave human rights violations, guilty of series of high profile assassinations including the assassination of a serving attorney general, Bola Ige, guilty of massive corruption and conflict of interest and most infamously guilty of trying to get a third term even when he was initially supposed to do only one term in his agreement with his Northern benefactors. Is it not strange that the same Obasanjo is now accusing the president of everything he himself did in his own administration and most importantly asking Jonathan not to go for a second term when he attempted a third term?
Indeed most people seem to have forgotten that the president he now loves to criticise and the late Yar Adua were both single handedly foisted on the nation by the same Obasanjo in the worst electoral heist in the nation’s history. Such is the brazen shamelessness of the hypocrites that populate the Nigerian space. Nigeria we hail thee!
Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu