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Like Niggas, like Nigerians

President Muhammadu Buhari being received by the Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Mustapha Maku, on his arrival in London for the International Anti-Corruption Summit
Many thanks to Cobus de Swardt, Managing Director of Transparency International (TI), who's swiftly come to the rescue and or defence of Nigeria after the latest diplomatic faux pas by the gaffe-prone British PM, David Cameron, branding Nigeria and Afghanistan as “fantastically corrupt” countries and in fact two of the most corrupt in the world.

Thankfully, someone at the top perch of the renowned global anti-corruption agency, TI, spoke up against Britain (ably represented by its PM) which he described as also corrupt and, therefore, like a pot calling a kettle black, lacked the moral justification to make such a sanctimonious statement-which, to me, was a deliberate act of mischief. But the angry retort by the Nigerian government, though justified, got me laughing out loud and equally, may not equally, reminded me of what they say about the blacks in the United States.

It is said that blacks in the US playfully call themselves Niggas and even make music with it and about it, but the moment a white person calls them Nigga, they get very, very angry. It sure doesn't sound the same or mean the same thing, the word Nigga, just because of the person calling the name. Very funny indeed. And so, President Buhari has been telling the world how corrupt Nigerians are, and telling whoever cares to listen how fighting corruption is his overarching challenge. The media is awash with daily news of arrests and arraignments by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, which even a casual follower of Nigerian affairs can misconstrue to mean that we are almost all thieves here (perhaps, except this writer, who's a living Saint. LOL)! But the moment David “the loose cannon” Cameron called us corrupt, all hell was let loose-like he called us such an abominably unprintable name. Indeed.


So, was the PM right? Probably yes. Was he tactless? May be yes. Did he do it deliberately? I think so, because there's no way he wouldn’t have known the cameras were rolling. What should we do? We've done the best we can, by denouncing the atrocious gaffe. Should Buhari pull out of the upcoming Anti-Corruption Summit in the UK as some local commentators are advocating? No! However, it presents an excellent opportunity for the Nigerian president to demand more commitment from the British government in helping discover and recover proceeds of corruption hidden in their country by Nigerians. President Buhari must not return the favor by calling Cameron or Britons corrupt before, during or even after the Summit. That would be equally tactless and no less a diplomatic gaffe in its own Nigerian rights. The folks at TI have already done that for us. It's now time to focus on highlighting the effort being made to fight the scourge of corruption, demonstrate the sincerity and integrity of the war and demand the support and cooperation from the British government.

As for Nigerians, like the Niggas, it's up to us to clean up our acts. As Dr. Christopher Kolade, former Chairman of Cadbury Nigeria and former Nigerian High Commissioner to the Court of St. James once said, over 150 million Nigerians cannot allow less than 1% of their population (who are corrupt) to tarnish their reputation. One way to demonstrate the seriousness of the war against corruption is to expeditiously try those in custody and send them to prison. Considering the considerable time it took the President and his party, the APC, to dethrone the former ruling party, the PDP, one would have expected them to have completely anticipated and figured out how to take on the resistance currently being posed by corruption and the corrupt. Something just has to give soon; and some people just have to be jailed soon to send the right signals to the likes of Prime Minister Cameron and other doubting Thomases within and outside Nigeria.

The time to rebuild the image of Nigeria is now, and charity, they say, begins at home. We shall rebuild our reputation from inside out. I'm glad the President, as a person, represents all that is good and patriotic in Nigeria, and so is the poster boy of his own campaign against corruption and for a better and more respected Nigeria. No amount of bad mouthing, wittingly or unwittingly, by David Cameron and his ilk should deter or distract us. Ighotago?
Like Niggas, like Nigerians Like Niggas, like Nigerians Reviewed by Emeka Oparah on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 Rating: 5

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