Talking of society and debts, no doubt, the learned mind reflects first and foremost on state lending, interest rates, lending institutions and the generational transfer of repayment burden.
In the lending system of third world impoverishment, the rules are simple. A state ascertains its needs for a crucial project to better the lot of its citizenry. It needs, perhaps, to build railway lines to ease the conveyance of goods from the urban conurbation to the needy folks of the hinterland and boost economic activities across the countryside. It approaches the lending institution to strike a deal. The institution ascertains the feasibility of the project and is satisfied.
The same trouble accompanies the country, when we talk of moral debt on top of physical debt in cash and kind, in the pockets of Dicks and Harries of the highest echelon. It is a double jeopardy. But wait a minute. Remember the days? The days when the economy in Africa was cashless? The days when trade was done by barter? Corruption was not in our vocabulary.
The reality today, though, is as simple as the murky rules of third world impoverishment. It is murkier. It is devastating not because of the lending institutions. It is devastating because it is Iborinic!
Go through life the normal way. Find a way to quit abjection and hit the streets of England and Wales. Earn yourself a living rocking through the lands in the bouncing routine of the clean-up crew. A few check-frauds here and there and get a brush with the law with sentences that don’t mean a thing.
Then fate smiles at you and you hit the right buttons meeting the Who-Is-Who of the land of your birth and you quickly become a Pharaoh of a state with milk and honey. With documents adjusted and history revisited, you effect an identity transformation for marketability. You symbolise a generation that the people yearn for. Young and dynamic and highly promising too!
State funds became your private funds. Allocations were stuffed in private banks, far, far away. You ordered private jets. State-of-the art. You pay off your cashier-days-mortgage with the chicken feed of the funds of your state. Income was hardly generated for the state that you loot.
The Iborinic conundrum means wealth and power. Illicit wealth and power! The obsession with stolen wealth from public sources is unfortunately, a crazily hyped African affair. Nowhere else in the world is the obsession so great, with stealing as much as one can, when in positions of influence. Nowhere else is it so widespread than in Africa. They acquire flashy cars and do not seem to care that there are no roads to drive them on safely.
In their obsession, they can’t have enough. They compare themselves and compete with the Rockefellers, the Buffets and all the Bill Gates of the world without an iota of common grounds covered by their biographies.
Having acquired stupendous illicit wealth ruining state resources, they move one step further to form alliances with political power houses with the ultimate goal of determining the political future of their ridiculed land. They seek to steer the boat of political leadership by aiming for the highest position for even more stolen wealth that neither they nor their family can ever spend in generations.
To ensure the endlessness of their status, they channel the funds of their state to the political ambitions of those higher up than them. They appease the establishment characters, who pull the strings from behind the scene. People that they seek to emulate and inherit by installing gangsters in higher places. In other words, the future of the nation is mortgaged for a few generations ahead, to a gang of kleptomaniacs, who know nothing about nation-building.
The story of an unknown senator, Peter Nwaoboshi perfectly suits this scenario. To boost the Iborinic conundrum, he travels to London to pump a lot of air into the brain of a celebrated looter and pitiable convict of the British crown. Irrespective of the trail of blood, economic and political devastation that lines the path to the packed reception room of the now officially coronated Criminal of the Delta State house, the deplorable senator lived up to Nigeria’s own conundrum with a pack of lies.
As if the bloating of the ego of James Ibori was what Nigeria needed most, we were thrilled to the lies of installing almost every powerful political personality in today’s dispensation, from the comfort of a modest British prison cell. No doubt, access to stolen state funds will have been granted and ordered from the prison cell and appeals made to the political surrogates of old including successors and aides, the margin of Iborinic contribution to the installation of a rogue Senate President and rebellious Speaker of the lower house can safely be described as marginal.