So, this week, it has been discovered that a citizen of this county had a pipeline, used for smuggling crude oil, running directly into his home. A private citizen like you and me. Nothing special about this man at all, he does not have two heads and neither was he born on a special day. He was born on an ordinary day, in an ordinary month. The only thing that makes this man so special is that he was born in Nigeria. Yes, only in Nigeria can such a thing happen. Only in Nigeria can a private citizen “steal” crude oil from a refinery without the refinery or the government’s knowledge.
Yesterday, I performed an experiment. I went into the home of a neighbour and stole a bottle of normal cooking oil, vegetable oil to be precise. Do you think my neighbour did not notice? Within an hour, my phone was blasted with calls and texts. Of course my neighbour knew that a bottle of oil had gone missing even though it was just a small bottle. Now, please, can somebody, explain to me how in the world a pipeline of crude oil is connected to a man’s house without anybody’s knowledge? How is that possible? I repeat again, a pipeline? Where else but Nigeria could such a thing happen? Where else but Nigeria will we be proud to announce to the world that we have caught “a pipeline thief”?
It seems that there are thieves and there are thieves. In Nigeria, greed is insatiable. The hunger for money is insatiable. It is never enough. Even if we have enough money to last a couple of generations, we want more. Yet, this is the same country where almost everybody you meet is either a born again Christian or a devout Muslim. Forget about the pagans, they do not exist except in Nollywood. So it seems we all have the fear of God in us.
Our appetite for money is drowning this country. We are the laughing stock of the world because we cannot control ourselves. Everything has to be in excess. The cars have to be jeeps when you know very well how narrow and congested our roads are. The houses have to be mansions so it can be seen from far and wide when you know very well they are huts at the turn of the corner. The fabrics have to be strong and heavy when you know the ferocity of our sun. Nothing is ever done in moderation. Just like every project we embark on, we manage to cause wastage and spillage.
Nevertheless, we turn a blind eye everyday to these things. Just like I have never figured out who throws dirt on the road (it cannot be the Christians because “cleanliness is next to Godliness” and definitely not the Muslims since they wash five times a day and the pagans do not exist), we shall all live with the ridiculous situation in this country and once in a while, say “God dey” or “It is well”. We shall pretend that it is possible for a private citizen to connect a pipeline to his home and we shall also pretend that we have a great police force who managed to make this discovery after months of underground work and investigation.
P.S: To borrow the words of Patrick Obahiagbon, the Edo state representative in the National assembly, you all should stop “big stouting”, “suyaing” and “peppersouping” and get to work. The security problem in this country is out of control. Whose mother, wife or sister has to be raped by an armed robber before something is done? Whose baby has to be shot at close range before something is done? People are suffering and yet their cries seem to be falling on deaf ears. It is only a matter of time before people start taking matters into their hands. Abeg, I don tire.