Do Corrupt Nigerian Politicians Need Psychiatric Help?


That is a question posed by EFCC Chairman Farida Waziri.  An article on the BBC website quotes her as saying that:

“The extent of aggrandisement and gluttonous accumulation of wealth that I have observed suggests to me that some people are psychologically unsuitable for public office……We have observed people amassing public wealth to a point of madness or some form of obsessive or compulsive psychiatric disorder.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/8302729.stm

So has corruption in Nigeria reached the level of a psychological disorder requiring treatment? ….

African view: Insane with greed

Sanni Abacha, Joseph Mobutu and Jean-Bedell Bokassa

The current corruption harks back to Africa’s most notorious kleptocrats

In our series of viewpoints from African journalists, Sola Odunfa considers the possibility that Nigeria’s corrupt officials may need psychiatric help.

I was settling down to write this letter when a back-page column in the Punch newspaper seized my attention.

We have observed people amassing public wealth to a point of madness or some form of obsessive or compulsive psychiatric disorder
EFCC’s Farida Waziri

The Punch is a daily published in Lagos but its distribution spans the length and breadth of Nigeria, and it claims to be “the most widely read newspaper”.

The columnist in that issue dealt with the well-flogged subject of corruption in the country.

I had thought that there was hardly anything more to say about the brazen ravage of the Nigerian treasury by public officers and officials but this columnist brought a fresh insight into the subject.

Obsessive, compulsive

That insight was provided by the executive chairman of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Farida Waziri in a public lecture.

Her statement bears quoting verbatim: “The extent of aggrandisement and gluttonous accumulation of wealth that I have observed suggests to me that some people are psychologically unsuitable for public office.

Weapons handed in by Niger Delta militants, 3/10

Some say the Delta crisis and amnesty are rooted in greed

“We have observed people amassing public wealth to a point of madness or some form of obsessive or compulsive psychiatric disorder.”

How else does one describe a situation in which a public officer who has stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from the public purse acquires property in key Western countries and, of course, South Africa, maintains multi-million bank balances abroad and yet continues to steal?

They can hardly keep track of their wealth, the full extent of which they must hide from even their spouses and children.

Their obsession with stealing is such that they are totally incapable of having any feeling for the scores of millions of other Nigerians around them who are bearing the consequences of their action in poverty, deprivation, disease and hopelessness.

Business as usual

The Niger Delta crisis is a direct product of that obsession.

Officials at all levels cornered so much of the revenue from oil and gas that there was nothing left for the welfare of the hapless populace.

Dollars will also start flowing again – into the permanently open mouths of gluttonous public officers

When youths of the region rose in protest the army, backed by helicopter gunships, was sent in.

The youths responded by stealing oil to acquire weapons. Eventually revenue into the public purse was reduced by half.

There was less money in the kitty to steal. Panic set in! Amnesty came to the rescue. High-profile militants have since surrendered their arms. They are now talking peace with the government.

What happens in this new era of peace in the region?

I think oil and gas will resume flowing in the pipelines. Dollars will also start flowing again – into the permanently open mouths of gluttonous public officers.

The situation will return to normal. Business as usual.

Honestly, Mrs Waziri’s concern and suggestion of psychiatric evaluation of some people in public service made comic reading only here.

Something tells me that the legacy of Mobutu Sese Seko, Jean-Bedell Bokassa and Sani Abacha (former leaders of Zaire, the Central African Republic and Nigeria respectively) is alive and well somewhere not far from here.

Advertisements

2 responses

  1. […] Corrupt Nigerian Politicians Need Psychiatric Treatment? https://maxsiollun.wordpress.com/2009…chiatric-help/ __________________ […]

  2. Girdhar Patil. | Reply

    Indian politicians too need the same treatment, if any !!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: