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Now I know why they steal.


Now I know why they steal.



Now I know why they steal. At the Nigerian Air Force club in Kaduna, the live band improvises a tune in honor of a professor in the house. They say the Professor is from Canada. They say the Professor is now temporarily based in Ghana. Nothing swells the head like the praise tunes of a seasoned juju musician. They invent oriki for the professor. The head swells. They wish him good luck. The head swells. They wish him good health, plenty of children, and plenty of women. The head swells. They curse and abuse his enemies. The head swells, giving names to those enemies in Aso Rock and other residential addresses of corruption. All that head swelling creates an immense feeling of power and invincibility. To spray or not to spray, that is the fundamental philosophical question. The professor remembers all the bills and taxes back in Canada. Spraying could cause economic kwashiorkor in the domain of his Canadian salary. The band persists: “professor show color e ka jo ma gbadun”. Resistance to spraying is now useless. To hell with Ottawa and her bills and taxes. When the fumes have cleared, there will be time enough for the professor to assess the damage to his dollars and cedis. Between weeping and gnashing of teeth, the professor will have plenty of time to wish he were a Nigerian government official, able to steal with impunity and replenish what was lost spraying musicians who massaged his ego and vanity. Professor show color e ka jo ma gbadun… Now I know why they steal!


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