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Ben Bassey: Fantastically Corrupt: Yes We Are, So Is Cameron

DAVID CAMERON
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So PM David Cameron called Nigeria “fantastically corrupt” while speaking with the Queen Of England and some Nigerians are catching feelings. I have no idea why people are angry, the man actually gave us props. This is some super hero ish.

The man is in awe of us and rightly so. They only have the Fantastic Four, we have the ‘fantastic millions’. Everyone in Nigeria is corrupt, including me and your pastor. We just don’t see it as corruption, it’s more of a way of life. We ‘sort’ Nepa officials when we fail to pay our bills, sort police and LASTMA officials rather for traffic offences, sort filling station attendants to jump the queue, sort school authorities to accept our unqualified kids… this ain’t corruption, it’s just the normal everyday life of the average Nigerian.

Nigeria's President-elect Muhammadu Buhari (R) departs after meeting with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron at Downing Street in London, England, May 23, 2015. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Nigeria’s President-elect Muhammadu Buhari (R) departs after meeting with Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron at Downing Street in London, England, May 23, 2015. REUTERS/Neil Hall

When we think of corruption what comes to mind is Saraki and his forty thieves, forgetting that they are the product of the society they live in. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. We are a nation that worships wealth. We not only ascribe success to rich people but also a hint of divinity.

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Corruption is ours, we own it, but just like it’s not cool for a white dude to call a black man a ‘nigga’, it’s also not cool to have a corrupt Prime Minister call us corrupt. Especially one who’s not done defending his role in the Panama Papers scandal. If it’s his father who set up the account as he claims, that makes him a product of corruption. And as Transparency International rightly pointed out, “we should not forget that by providing a safe haven for corrupt assets, the UK and its Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies are a big part of the world’s corruption problem.”

Every country, people and institution suffer from corruption, there are just levels to this thing. That’s what makes us Fantastic.


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