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What Makes You Better Than Diezani Alison-Madueke?

I’ve been musing over this news of Diezani’s arrest and all the things that have been revealed and I just don’t get it. How can a woman of such means steal so much money? What was she planning to do with the money; go to heaven with it? Even before her appointment as a minister, she was already a successful woman in terms of her achievements and material possession. And she is intelligent too. I mean, anyone who can steal such an amount of money must be intelligent right? Yes she is intelligent and she could have done so much more with the position that she occupied.

One thing that has amused me more than the news of her activities is the reaction of people. Many were quick to condemn her. “She’s a thief”, “She is greedy”, “She should rot in jail”… those were some of the things I heard. Some said, “How can someone of her means ever steal such an amount of money? I can never do that.” It was at that point that I decided to take a step back and think about the lessons to be gained from this drama.

It’s easy to point fingers at Diezani and call her different names but can you really say with 100% certainty that if you were in her shoes you won’t have stolen the same amount of money or even more? I know your immediate answer will be to say “I can never do that” but the truth is we can never know how we would act in certain situations until we are actually there. I have always hated assumptions because they offer the lazy way out. They prevent you from thinking of the possibility of the other side of the coin occurring. It is not 100% true that you will never steal money if you occupy an office in government because inherent in all of us is the capacity to do good or evil. What we all pray for is that the good in us will outshine the bad in such situations.

I now know why the Bible says that we should not be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. You renew your mind on a daily basis. It’s not something that happens once and you become a perfect person. You do it regularly because all of us are susceptible to our weaknesses. So instead of saying you can never steal, pray that God will uphold your integrity when faced with situations that tempt you to compromise your values and principles. Those of us who haven’t been in Nigerian government don’t know how the spirit of corruption that is prevalent in our nation can lure and entrap a person. We don’t know because we haven’t been there.

So as you call Diezani as many names as you feel she deserves, look inward. Do you lie, even if it is just a white lie? You will lie when you get to government. Do you cut corners? Do you give the gate man down the street a little bribe? You will do all these when you get into government. Corruption, greed and little white lies are siblings; they just manifest themselves in different degrees. So if you tell lies now, you are not better than our lovely minister. What you need to do is to ask God to work in you and transform you. Ask Him to give you the strength and power to overcome that besetting sin in your life. Most importantly, ask Him for the grace to do what is right at all times even if that decision will make you unpopular. It’s easier said than done but it is not impossible.





About the Writer: Adedoyin Jaiyesimi is a Writer, Media Content Creator and Brand Manager. The various publications she has written for include Y! Magazine (now Y! Africa), Discovery, Pride Magazine Nigeria, Butterscotch magazine amongst others. She currently holds the position of Brand Communications Manager at Victor Adeyemi Ministries and she is also the founder of LRouge Media, an editorial and brand consultancy company which provides content writing and editing services for business websites, magazines and blogs. When she is not creating content, you can find her in church doing the work of her Father. She tweets @msdoyeen and blogs at

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