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your origin story
Any one who has met me in recent weeks will tell you the one thing that I have consistently asked people is what their origin story is. I believe that it is very important to get to know people beyond the surface. A lot of the troubles the world has ran into in recent times has been as a result of the inability to figure out what our origin story is. Now, I ask you, what is your origin story? What has shaped you today? What will influence your tomorrow? Who are you?
Nigeria is a funny place. The Works Minister came to work by 9.30am and realized that half of the Ministry staff were not at work so he ordered that the entry gate be closed. Guess what happened next? The late workers then decided to lock the Minister in his own office and said he was not going to go anywhere until he apologizes for locking them out. I have never seen anything like this before. When people say Nigeria’s civil service is the root of our problems, they probably have a point. This is also why high handed men seem to be the ones that achieve results and they use a combination of fear, and ruthlessness to keep them in check. Imagine Nyesom Wike being locked in his office by staff? That imagination is enough to last you through the weekend.
People usually say developing economies are corrupt but I tell you, more corruption happens in developed economies. It’s just very subtle and well organized that it’s difficult to pinpoint or in some cases, very formalized. A US Senator was accused this week of collecting thousands of dollars from some Egyptian businessmen to influence policy and business decisions to favour them. Agents found cash stuffed in his closet and also saw gold bars and a luxury Mercedes. Interesting. This is the second time this Senator has been charged with pressuring officials to influence a decision.
Corruption is really a universal language. It looks like money is a tool that gets things done irrespective of the clime or system in place. Little wonder those who rise to the top of the food chain are those who believe that whatever “money cannot do, more money can do”. Barcelona, a renowned football club made payments totaling more than 7 million Euros to the Vice President of the Spanish Referring Association and heads are not rolling. A football club of that stature was paying referees and they have the effrontery to defend those payments as for “technical reports”. I will expect Barca to be stripped of all the titles they won during this period and for Arsenal to be awarded the two champions league titles they won within this time frame. Oh, they should also be relegated.
Imagine getting arrested and sued for criminal conspiracy for your Amazon reviews, or your tweets? When I say Nigeria is a funny place, it’s because there are somethings that literally cannot happen anywhere else int he world except Nigeria. Nigeria' is the dream for rich people, little wonder Charles Taylor turned himself into a King here while being a fugitive. A customer bought a canned tomato paste and went on facebook to complain about the product, within days, despite being a nursing mother, she was arrested and flown far away from her State and spent multiple nights in jail because the owner of the product did not like her bad review. The said owner of the company then went on TV to double down on the arrest, showing no remorse and saying they will be suing the customer for damages. Never seen anything like this before. Read about it here and here.
America’s politics is such a funny thing. It’s incredible how the biggest democracy in the world cannot get governance right. See this, the House Republicans started an impeachment proceeding against President Biden, and they called in witnesses to strengthen their case but they are so incompetent that even the witnesses they called in on the first day told the the evidence does not support any Biden wrongdoing. Yet, they are still going ahead with it, just to retaliate the impeachment proceeding against Trump. America for you.
This week, the Governor of a Nigerian State put out a public letter acknowledging the public apology from his deputy governor. The two of them had been at loggerheads as the Deputy Governor had wanted to succeed his Principal but it looks like the Principal had someone else in mind. It’s been very hilarious to see. When I talk about origin story, this is what I mean. Nigeria’s dysfunction is purely a structural problem, if you trace our history back to 1958, you will see where the problem started. We have built a system that is weak of values and rewards noise. We need to build a new nation where peace and justice would really reign.
I end this Pillow by reminding you of the story of Doug Stamper who I chronicled in Pillow 002. Zero is the most powerful number there is; the ide that you can do good all your life and just one mistake resets your progress count back to zero. Avoid the zeros this week. Have a great week.
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