Regardless of how scary it may sound, it is axiomatic that life was longer when it was slower, and as life gets faster with technological leaps, life will continue to get shorter. I don’t know the calendar or the lunar cycle that was in place at the time, but we are told in the Bible for instance that one Methuselah lived for 969 years. Clearly, that was a time when there was no knowledge of life beyond the precincts where people found themselves.
There were no roads. No transportation other than foot. No telephone. No internet. No satellites. No letter writing or post office. Nothing that has today given our lives a juicy turn existed then. Life was slow, so life was longer. As life got faster, when man began to impact on his environment to improve the quality of his life, and make it faster by building roads, airports, telephones, the internet, and the likes, life has consequently become shorter on the calendar and shall continue to, as long as it gets faster.
But whether this life gets shorter or longer, the bottom line is that life will eventually come to an end here one of these days. And no matter the length of time God allots to each one of us here, how much money do we really need to survive for that time and even stockpile for our generations if we must?
It is a very important question that we need to ruminate on because our inability to interrogate this reality has led us to see some of the most humongous stealing in the history of politicking and public sector assignments in the world’s history. Mindless stealing that when the figures are broken down, you conclude that those who do these things are not humans like the rest of us.
No matter how much money you amass, if you spend 1 million every day from the day you are born non-stop, and live for 100years, you will only have spent thirty-six billion five hundred million. And if you spend 5 million every day from the day you are born non-stop, and live for 100years, you will spend: One hundred and eighty-two billion five hundred million Naira.
Yet with all those bogus calculations, we only need a tiny percentage of that money to live comfortably here because we can’t start spending from the day we are born till the day we die for so many reasons and how many of us will even get to 100 years?
So when you hear that public officials are stealing and sharing hundreds of billions of Naira from public coffers, the first question that comes to mind is, “what do they need all these numbers for? How long are you going to stay here? Why deny others the chance to taste a good life? That biggest mansion you are excited about buying or building, even your children will not sleep inside unless the ones that fail and are unable to build theirs.
In taking it home, let me assume that there are not many people in this country who spend 5 million daily nor desire to. For tens of millions of Nigerians, their desire is to have a system that can work and secure their daily bread for them. There is no man in Nigeria today that needs money to the tune of the embarrassing and mind-boggling figures we read they are pilfering from the government at all levels. None!
It is sheer wickedness and a debilitating mental condition for our public officials to continue to neglect public needs and steal monies they really don’t need. The simmering anguish in the country is almost bursting. It is trite that stealing public money in Nigeria has been democratized and corruption now has a tribe amongst us, but when that endemic compulsive desire to steal has come over you and you must steal, please kindly steal with a human face.
Citizen Agba Jalingo is the Publisher of CrossRiverWatch and a rights activist, a Cross Riverian, and writes in from Lagos.
NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Agba Jalingo, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.