Abi Adegboye, PhDFriday, February 16, 2018
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was flummoxed at the Facebook campaign mounted by the wife of the brutal kidnapper, Evans (Chukwudidumeme Onuamadike) pleading for her husband's life. In her posts, she showed her children and herself living large in Canada while her husband terrorized and murdered innocent, hard-working Nigerians. She wanted Nigerians to be merciful to her captured husband, a goodwill he had not extended to those who'd fallen into his hands during his reign of terror. When Mrs. Evans was challenged about her complicity in his nefarious deeds, she claimed she did not really know what he did for a living. Yet, she was feeding fat from the proceeds of his criminality.

In a separate incident, Abacha's daughter had the unmitigated gall to call out Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka for refusing an honor offered him alongside her dictator father, Sani Abacha, by then President Goodluck Jonathan. Like Mrs. Evans later, Gumsu Abacha posted on her Facebook page, "someone tell Soyinka I liked his books when I was younger but that is where it ends. Today, I reject his stupid, foolish, insignificant statement."

These two incidences along with the flaunting of ill-gotten gains during the weddings of their offspring, flamboyant holidays, and wasteful parties, demonstrate, without reservations, that criminals are top dogs in Nigeria. If we were in doubt, Rotimi Amaechi throws it in our faces, "We steal because you never stoned us for it."

The audacity of the beneficiaries of criminals is disturbing on many levels. In a society where criminals can strut around in broad daylight and make law-abiding citizens cower before them, there is little hope for justice. Rather than the righting of wrongs, justice is simply a perversion that reinforces the power of the mighty over the weak.

The normalization of criminality - whether it is embezzlement of public funds by reptiles or humans, kidnapping, armed robbery, extortion, etc. - presages a lawless society where people do whatever they can get away with. Unfortunately, we already see this to a worrisome extent in the country. If such trends continue, civil society will be unsustainable. Therefore, there is a need to put criminals and their beneficiaries, where they belong - if not behind bars, at least, behind curtains where they are afraid to show their faces in public. To do this, we must:

Revive Morality: Once upon a time, politicians accused of stealing money, could not walk the streets without shouts of "Ole! Ole!" For example, it was said that Ladoke Akintola could not enter Ogbomoso after he'd been accused of embezzlement in the 1960s. In those halcyon days, families were thoroughly investigated prior to marriage contracts because no one wanted to associate with a lineage of thieves.

Stand for Justice: if not because it is right or for the future of Nigeria, choose to stand for justice because your turn will never come. When will you get in proximity of a million naira or better yet, a million dollars, free and clear?

Support those who stand for justice: Let's not keep sacrificing the Saro Wiwas amongst us; those who dare stand up to challenge the criminals. They are standing together as Jonathan stood for Abacha; let us also stand together against morally decrepit in Nigeria.