Many might have forgotten but in March this year, we had a Nigerian Police Chopper crash which took the lives of four (4) top policemen, including DIG John Haruna. In the wake of this accident, I wrote a piece on my blog Ooh the Chopper went down!. The premise of my write up then was that these machines don’t just suddenly stop flying, it usually has to do with human failures in maintenance as per the dictates of the manufacturers.
Maintenance is costly and I need not re-check the budget of the federation to know that huge sums of money are earmarked for these, for the Police and the military forces. So the question that needs be asked is what happened to these allocations if they were not used for the maintenance schedules for which they were appropriated? One doesn’t need an Harvard degree to reach a conclusion that these funds were consumed by the corruption that has eaten so deep into the fabrics that weave the Nigerian nation together.
While all death is saddening and the nation mourns the death of Yakowa and Azazi, we should brace up for more! I am not a saddest but the truth is always a bitter pill to swallow. If we continue on the path of misappropriating funds and starving critical needs of funds, there will be increasing mishaps similar to the one that has claimed the lives of these two gentlemen, amongst others.
The mystery of death is that not many of us knows when and how we are going to die. Unfortunately the grandiose attached to the office of those who are ruling us has deluded them into thinking they are not as mortal as the majority of us are. This in itself is not a phenomenon new to man. In Ancient Rome, legend has it that victorious generals while parading through the street were often trailed by servants whose job it was to repeat to them “Memento mori”:Remember you will die. While our death is a certainty (except for those who are fortunate to witness the rapture), lest it not be said that we hasten our death by being directly or indirectly responsible!
If there is any lesson at all to learn from this loss, it is the need for all of us to shun corruption and get our dilapidating equipments and infrastructure maintained. Again, the paper is awash with news of how the government will investigate the cause of this naval crash in Bayelsa, who is fooling whom? When the Police helicopter crashed in March, the Inspector General was also all over the press promising an investigation. Have we stopped to ask what was the outcome of that investigation? What lessons did we learn from that investigation? What measures have we put in place to assure this will not happen again?
The bell is tolling again and who is next, we do not know. Lest those who are in the corridors of power stop a second and think of their mortality. Let them think of what legacy they will leave behind. This corruption is killing us all.