Strange things happen in Nigeria, like someone locking up millions of dollars in a safe in an air-conditioned empty room in Kaduna; and like discovering another room with filing cabinets containing $43 million cash in a luxurious apartment block in Lagos.
But that is not the strangest thing. Pray tell this reporter why a young average citizen is now being branded a pariah and a lunatic, after the same guy, in a fit of patriotic fervour, blew the whistle to the federal government on the $43 million loot recovered in Lagos earlier this year.
Instead of the concerned authorities to settle the whistleblower his five per cent of the recovered Ikoyi loot, which runs into hundreds of millions of naira, he is reportedly being derided by the security and anti-corruption agencies, at the risk of exposing his identity to those he exposed, who surely want to get back at him for making them lose such a princely sum.
Fortunately enough, if media reports are to be believed, the finance ministry is set to pay the â€˜derangedâ€™ whistleblower his cut this week. But the damage has been done already, and the government, which initiated the reward system under the whistleblowing policy, can only blame itself.
For those potential whistleblowers, either motivated by the need to make corruption history or the lure of the juicy reward, the concerned authorities have already sent out a very negative signal, and many would think twice before ratting out on powerful looters and interests.
The sincere hope is that this Ikoyi whistleblower would be promptly paid his due cut and also certified fit to spend his millions in peace and safety. Anything less than that will surely derail the whistleblowing train before it fully takes off…simple truth
– Abimbola Akosile