Opinion

Between US’ Passion for Gun and Nigeria’s Passion for Corruption

Venue of the shooting in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017. Photo credit: nbcnews.com

Sophisticated gun possession and arbitrary use by US citizens is what the country has been battling with even when some countries either find it extremely difficult to adequately equip their Armed Forces or still use obsolete guns that can’t be found in any gun shops in the United States.

That has been described as “America’s passion for guns: ownership and violence by the numbers” in a post by The Guardian.

Photo credit: gunfaq.org

While the US has passion for gun, Nigeria has undeniable passion for corruption: from the Federal government down to the local government authorities.

In his October 1, 2017 Independence Day speech, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari admitted that corruption is the most difficult problem to solve, “We are fully aware that fighting corruption was never going to be a straightforward task. We expected corrupt elements to use any weapon to fight back, mainly judicial obstruction and political diversion.”

In the US, no one asks how many guns you’ve got in your arsenal, or how you possess your weapon, the situation is the same in Nigeria’s endemic corruption catastrophe where looters are not asked how they got their money. They’re rather celebrated, conferred with national honours of OON, and OFR and be referred as “statesman” when they grow old.

According to a report by the UN’s office on drugs and control, the rate of gun possession in the US is the highest in the World with 88 guns for every 100 people. No statics is available for how many guns each US citizen possesses. It’s a free market. That means one could get as much guns as he wanted in as much he has the financial capability, and he doesn’t have criminal record.

In Nigeria, it isn’t about gun possession. Those who are elected to implement developmental policies resort to stealing the collective national resources without remorse for the generality suffering of the masses.

In Nigeria, the masses only hear about the figures stolen without bringing anyone to justice which could have been deterrent to high profile corruption cases in a country that prides itself as the giant of Africa. The Maina Pension Scam is one such, when one Abdulrasheed Maina was accused of looting of a whooping sum of N195billion fund that was meant for 141,790 pensioners.  The said Maina was the Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team. Pathetically he reformed his personal account with billions of naira budgeted for thousands of souls. Up till now, his case has been swept under the carpet.

While the list of deadliest shootings in the United States is as long as Mississippi, list of corruption cases in Nigeria is limitless.

Venue of the shooting in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017.
Photo credit: nbcnews.com

Just on October 1, 2017, US recorded its first ever deadliest shooting at Las Vegas, where 58 people were killed and at least 500 others injured when a 64-year-old gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on music lovers at a country music festival near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Reports say more than 20 guns were found in his hotel room. They’re convertible automatic guns, reports say. That’s the extent at which US has passion for guns.

More than 100,000 people are shot each year in the United States, theguardian quoted a study published in the journal Health Affairs.

Back home, Nigeria battles with corruption cases everyday thereby making past corruption cases suffer. A new corruption case surpasses the old one. Some of those that have been inconclusive include Grass-cutting scandal involving the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Kerosene subsidy scam, Police Pension Fund (N32.8billion), Stella Oduah Armoured Car Scandal (N255 million), Missing N20billion Naira oil money (2013), $15million private jet/arms scandal, and Abba Morro Immigration Recruitment Scandal are some of the corruption cases that have been forgotten or neglected by the prosecuting authorities.

A civil servant whose annual salary is below one million naira per year could wake up and lay claim to billions of naira loot with so much happiness and fulfillment.

Two countries, different passion, while US’ passion for guns hasn’t hold it back from achieving good governance and development, Nigeria’s passion for corruption has made the rich to be richer, the poor becomes more vulnerable to the poor economic policies of the corrupt political class.

About the author

Opeyemi Quadri

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