By Dele Aina
One of our pastors gave an insightful testimony of his life. He had started smoking Indian hemp in secondary school and really got addicted to hard drugs while schooling in a polytechnic in the North.
He became a cult member and the head of drug addicts in the school. Although very mischievous, he was very brilliant and did very well in his studies. By providence, he served with YMCA in Ibadan, Oyo State, and later got a job in a card company where they paid him #20,000 monthly.
After spending a short while there, he got another job (factory manager) in a multinational company based in Lagos, where his monthly salary was #97,000. Thereafter, his life began to unravel deviously. Hear him.
Stealing from the company
“Brethren, when the Lagos offer came in 1990, I didn’t even know what to tell the card company. I just told them that my mother was dying and she wanted me to come and bury her. I was an unbeliever, so the lie flowed freely. People of God, the very first day I resumed at the multinational, just about two hours on the job, I started stealing. I didn’t plan to steal. What happened!? The General Manager (GM) – a white man – sent for me, and asked me to find out why the workers were scampering about as he approached the factory.
When I got into the factory, two directors of the company (Nigerians) came into my office. They put an envelope on my table and said, “You have to help us. Just mellow the thing down. That’s #850,000.” So, I sat down and cooked up a big lie in my report to the GM.
Remember, I was an unbelieving sinner and lying was no big deal for me. When I came out of the GM’s office, the directors gave me another #150,000 for a job well done. So, on my first day at work, I went home with #1m. That’s how I joined them in stealing and defrauding the company.
I didn’t touch my salary at all during the first two years, so much so that the bank sent one of their staff to our office to make inquiries about the anomaly.
Fortunately for me, the lady they spoke with was my girlfriend, and she cooked up another lie to cover me. otherwise, the company would have known there was something seriously wrong, and that could have led to further investigation and the probable termination of my appointment.
N1.8m daily bribes
As the factory manager of an organization that made over 500 products, everybody wanted to relate with me. Before GOD, and I lie not, every day, I got nothing less than 1.8m in bribes. And I worked in that company for 4 years.”
The bubble burst when the directors of the company (18 of them, all Nigerians) tried to forcefully initiate him into their Ogboni cult just to be sure he’ll never betray them because they were diverting company goods (worth billions, even back then) to other places for personal benefits.
At the birthday party of one of the directors’ children, they called him into a private room and asked him to enter into a blood covenant with them. He refused. Then and there, they threatened to chop off his head with an axe, before one of them informed the others that he didn’t come to the party alone.
Meanwhile, our brother was screaming frantically as he searched for an escape route. Luckily, he got out, but the following day, he met a freshly chopped-off head of a dog on his table at work, meaning, ‘We can reach you even behind closed doors. Leave! We don’t want you here anymore!” Thus began his travails and frustrations in the office, leading to his exit from the multinational, and eventual Salvation and transformation. Today, he preaches the Gospel of our Lord JESUS CHRIST. Praise the LORD!
However, his story reveals to us why the likes of Michelin, Dunlop, Exide Batteries, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Leyland, Steyr, and many other multinationals have folded up, and become history in Nigeria. ‘Ajewonrun ni!’, meaning, we ‘ate’ them to destruction! There are many such unrepentant ‘eaters’ in churches and mosques all over the country today. These are co-destroyers of Nigeria.
Many Nigerians kill companies
Question: Are you building or destroying the country, state, your employer, your family, yourself, and future generations by your actions (lifestyle) of today?
Our problem is not only bad leadership; beyond that, many Nigerians are too self-serving and avaricious beyond sensibility. We ‘kill’ industries and establishments that should serve generations with our greed and lust for ill-gotten wealth. Let the real change begin with you and me.
Let our churches, mosques, spiritual leaders, and all ‘faithful’ of the different religions in Nigeria, return to the Living God and treat one another with brotherly love and kindness.
As we celebrate our 62nd Independence Anniversary, let’s stop our religious hypocrisy and lead lives that truly bring Glory, Praise, and Honour to our God.
“Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free (be delivered) – Proverbs 11:21 (NIV).
Great story. But not quite what the reality is in major companies and churches. The major problem in Nigeria is leadership failure – pure and simple.
First is the failure of personal leadership. The key needed virtue of a great leader is character – which most Nigerians lack whether in the corporate or church organisations. Once a man has character deficit, he will bend the rule, break the law and do bidding that will satiate personal aggrandisement. Saying that he was forced or coaxed to do evil is an ingenuity in falsehood. No one can convince you to do evil without your consent. You have a choice – resign. We have seen those in the same situation described in this piece that refused to join, and rather resigned – and you know what, the person is neither a Christian or Muslim! So, joining to do evil is because of what you have within you that oozes out as a result of the temptation. Period.
Apart from personal leadership, we have failure in corporate leadership. Most of the accomplices of those in government are either in the corporate or other private sectors. Most of these leaders in organisations also have character deficit and lack of commitment to ethics and values they sworn to defend. Rather, they exploit the loop holes in the company’s rules, regulations and laws for selfish reasons which to me is a betrayal of trust. So, such individuals cannot be said to be sincere, and they can’t be patriotic either.
Thirdly, we have governmental leadership failures – which cut across all the 3 tiers of government – Executive, legislature, and judiciary. Most of these people in government – including civil servants (the initiator and perpetrator of corruption in Nigeria) have character flaws which has ennoble their sense of right judgment to the detriment of the larger majority. You see a civil servant on a salary of less than N100k/month living big, with several houses all over town and children schooling abroad, and you wonder how? It is corruption that has been glorified in a decadent society of ours created by all.
So, how do we come out of this connodrum? Very simple but no going to be easy. We need a hard and disciplined leadership at the governmental levels who will lead by example, and demonstrate that they are not going to condone corruption by first cleaning the surrounding of the heads! Then, the present structure need a rejig to move some of the things on exclusive legislative list to concurrent list so that the centre can be free from too much overseeing that are too farther from view. Then the LGAs must be permitted to operate freely from the gulag of States. These won’t be easy, and may be undone in a corruption infested democracy that we are running now.
The only option we have is to have an ABL – Autocratic Benevolent Leader – who can put things right for us in a short time, and get out of the way.
Today’s church organisation in Nigeria has failed, and they are still applauding this monumental failure. Are these leaders not in these churches? What influence does each of the church leaders exert on their followers who are in the various arms of government? Nothing at all! What of the civil servants? Are not given front seats in most of these churches when most of their giving surpasses their income? Only few churches have refused big money donors with income sources unknown or indeterminate!
Corruption is the bane of our development. Until we are serious in dealing with it, we will remain at its mercy and we will all be worst for it. The issues is that the coming generation won’t forgive our sins of omission and commission on a hurry!!!