A couple of weeks ago, a 14-year-old Malaysian teenager, Ricky Ganya was reportedly missing at a riverbank in Kuching, where he had, in company of his siblings gone to collect snails. Ganya, was found dead inside a crocodile's stomach.

 A family source, who was at the scene of the incident said the 14-feet giant reptile leapt out of the water, clamped its jaws around the boy's foot. The poor boy was eventually pulled from the riverbank and dragged underneath the water before the aunt could call for help.

Sadly, in a bid to recover his carcass, the villagers mounted a manhunt on the Crocodile, using a chicken as bait to lure the croc back out of the water and it was trapped in a snare some days later. The locals who operated the reptile's stomach found clothes belonging to Ganya as well as a number of human remains.

According to an officer from the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Operations Center, "At about 9:15am, the crocodile took the bait, a chicken, attached to a hook laid by a team at a spot about three miles away from where the boy was last seen. "The crocodile was pulled onto the shore where its stomach was checked. "And the remains of the missing teenager were identified" 

 Consequently, the crocodile must have died as a result of greed, just like most Nigerian politicians. Imagine after feasting on a full-blown human, and the "food" hasn't even digested, the croc still gathered the balls to have a field day on a little chicken used as a bait? Just like the crocodile, Nigerian politicians don't really need most of the money or food they steal, because every ill-gotten wealth usually comes with a sore taste at the end. They won't even be able to completely spend the ones they have already looted. Sadly, this wouldn't stop them from looting whenever they get the opportunity.

More so, the croc and the Malaysian boy's story typifies the Nigerian human condition in the jaws of those who lead them; it glaringly portrays how most of our politicians, if not all, has eaten us raw and swallowed our commonwealth, hook, line and sinker all to themselves. They have stunningly planted a seed of corruption in the minds of the young breeds, who today clamour for a chance in the political space, while basking on the euphoria of the "not-too-young to rule law".

Interestingly, do we all think the young want to takeover because they want to do something differently? I doubt; perhaps, they also want to have their own share of the National cake, vis-a-vis perpetrate what they have learnt overtime from our "Looters” instead of Leaders. It can only take the grace of God for Nigeria to remain intact for the next generation, because of successive lootings, outrageous borrowings, style of combating graft, the caliber of leaders and we, the masses inclusive. Like they say in America, our collective wealth in the hands of this present crop of leaders is a goner, as dead as a dodo. Greed wouldn't let looting and bad governance stop anytime soon. Corruption has infiltrated every aspect of our human life. It would take serious efforts on the part of everyone, including myself, to set Nigeria on the path of righteousness. This is because we're all culpable, the only difference is our level of culpability.  It's not a wish, if care is not taken, those who represent us would loot Nigeria out of the map of the world and locate it somewhere in China suburb, where we would be doing menial jobs for Chinese government.

However, loans are good for every government all over the world, when they are committed into judicious use. But let's be frank, the rate at which our government incur loans is alarming. We need to interrogate the policy thrust of this administration toward sustaining the process for future contingency. We should be more concerned about the future of this nation because as stated by Dr. Bongo Adi, the Director of Centre for Infrastructure Policy Regulation and Advancement (CIPRA) at the Lagos Business School, “Nigeria lacks accountability, transparency and responsibility to refund its loans. What this implies is that our leaders would still loot some of these funds and thereby mortgage the future of this nation”.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has obtained 17 Chinese loans to fund different categories of capital projects. And it would be servicing these loans till around 2038, which is the maturity date for the last loans obtained in 2018. And the collateral of these loans are tied to our infrastructure, which the government said they are using the funds for, which inter alia include: stabilizing electricity, upgrading federal roads and rail transport system. It should be noted that among these three key areas, so far, our fortunes on power supply has neither improved or diminished; it's a matter of stalemate, which shows that there are serial crocodiles swallowing our resources in this sector.

Come to think of it, since all Chinese loans are tied to infrastructural developments, why not we draw lessons from some of the African nations who have had to forfeit their stakes in the infrastructure, which they used as collateral, after they defaulted? Or, would there still be Obasanjos to beg for any debt relief on behalf of Nigeria, like he did in the past, should if we default? As we all are aware, China is not a member of Paris Club, an international body responsible for loan regulation. Though China attends certain Paris Club meetings as an ad hoc participant, it is not a formal member, and as such is not required to disclose its own external loan claims or meet other club obligations. It therefore means that China would take her pound of flesh in due course with no plea bargain or mercy. If China is to live up to its responsibilities, and, if there are no ulterior motives to the loans they dole out to the poorest African countries, which Nigeria, the once Giant of Africa is the capital (indeed, there were and there are still crocodiles in government), as a creditor nation, it ought to have become a full-fledged member of the Paris Club.

Going forward, with these crocodiles in power and our obsessive romance with Chinese loans, we may be heading for doom. Ipso facto, we need to brace up for the worst times to come. And as a people, we must come to terms with the implications of these excessive borrowings and the path our nation is currently treading. Am afraid, if at all, there would be anything to write home about after this inglorious reign of corruption, this era would be a child's play in the corruption to come. As it stands, Nigeria is on life support, suspended on a weighing balance to ascertain her survival rate.

Lest I forget, just like the greedy crocodile who thought he had it all, those who lead us can continue in the vainglory of corruption at their own peril — there is an elastic limit to every act of man. It's a golden principle that everything sweet has its bitter side — after all, cake is sweet in the mouth and toxic in the stomach. They should be reminded that the day of reckoning is near, wherein, every man shall give account of his stewardship — but the hour is not known to man. Also, on our part as onlookers of this outrageous outings, it's high time we allowed the Law of Gravity guide our doings. "What goes around, comes around"— "whatever a man sows, he shall reap" — if you sow the wind, you would reap the whirlwind. Allah the Almighty says, “Every self will taste death. You will be paid your wages in full on the day of rising. Anyone who is distanced from the Fire and admitted to the Garden, has triumphed. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of delusion,” (3:185).

More importantly, we all need to imbibe the lessons of the Crocodile and the Malaysian boy to fashion our ways and make good use of the borrowed time while in public service. Public office is not an avenue for self-profiteering, it's a call to get things done right. China may be using their loans as bait to conquer our sovereignty. Like they say, to be forewarned is to be forearmed!

 May the soul of Ricky Ganya rest in peace.

Kebesobase Ibiang Ofem is a Staff Writer with midlandpost.ng


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