By Suleiman Yakubu

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Former president Jonathan’s burgled house in Abuja

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

Matthew 6:19-20, Bible

Sometimes last month, the news came that the house of former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was burgled and valuables including six television sets, three refrigerators, one gas cooker, furniture, electronics, toilet and electrical fittings and internal doors and frames were carted away. This got me thinking and the Bible verse above which says “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal,” came to mind.

Far from it, and God forbid that I should make mockery of the former leader’s misfortune, however there are many lessons in the unfortunate incident for our leaders. First, it shows that one must one day part with whatever he acquired on earth. Needless to say, there are several ways that one can lose his fortune; in fact, some opined that maintaining one’s fortune is more difficult than the process of acquiring them, especially ill-gotten wealth. Even in the case whereby one is able to safeguard his wealth, with time and in the end, he will ultimately have to part with them when his time on earth is up.

It is therefore baffling how our leaders go about siphoning so much money as if it will last forever. The type of money our leaders keep for themselves at the expense of the populace is so astronomical that I have truly lost count. I recently heard that a female minister in Jonathan’s cabinet returned billions of dollars. Sometimes I get headache when I hear the amount that some had stolen from our national treasury.

Yet, it is all for nothing because nothing lasts forever and more often than not, nemesis, the law of natural justice, usually catches up with such people. Believe it or not, most of them end up sad and full of regrets. But that is not the most unfortunate thing about it; the saddest part is the unnecessary hardship that millions of Nigerians are subjected to as a result of the action of some privileged few. Can they ever pay for the mess they have thrown us into? Many have lost their lives through road accident because someone decided to keep monies earmarked for fixing the road for himself. Sometimes it is the monies for healthcare or education that were eaten thereby adversely affecting the destinies of many.

The most annoying type of philandering is when they cart away monies meant for security. In fact, security votes are some of the most common means of siphoning, because they are usually big and difficult to trace. This is not surprising when even at the peak of insurgency by Boko Haram, some who should ensure that our military is better equipped and motivated to fight the menace are busy sharing the money that should be used for the purpose.

Our nation is in this sorry state today because our leaders are not thinking right, are fruitlessly trying to build their heaven on earth instead of simply  laying up for themselves treasures in heaven, “where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal”. If our leaders can just adhere to the advice to lay up their treasures in heaven and stop all the cheating and stealing that characterize our polity, Nigeria will be heaven on earth.

Going back to the issue of Jonathan’s burgled house in Abuja, now we know that some suspects including six policemen have been arrested, dismissed and dealt with accordingly. Although it is disturbing to note that the arrested policemen who are supposed to be guiding the house masterminded the whole thing; the scenario is hardly different from that of Nigeria whereby our leaders who should engineer the growth and development of this nation turned out to be the ones stealing her blind.

Also, one cannot help but wonder what level of neglect of the property gave the policemen the idea to plunder the house. Surely, to do something like that, they must have come to the conclusion that nobody will ask about the items. It is regrettable that in a country where most of its citizens have no decent accommodation, some have well furnished accommodation lying waste.

I feel for former president Jonathan because what happened to him could have happened to most Nigerian politicians who are busy laying their treasures on earth, conveniently forgetting that there is a day of reckoning when we shall all give account of our stewardship here on earth.