A few years ago an officer was sent to go and arrest a man for stealing. On getting to the man’s place, the officer immediately recognized the man as someone who had offered him some money long time ago, which was (the officer gladly collected) his own due from a deal that was carried out. On sighting the officer, the man became very happy; believing that his “paddy” (the officer) won’t arrest him—but he was wrong as the officer asked him to follow him to the station.

Shocked and unable to believe what was happening to him, the man tried to remind the officer in case he had forgotten who he was. The officer reminded him that he was a policeman whose duty it is to protect the law, friend or no friend.

In anger, the man said: “…but officer, a thief is a thief; how can you arrest me when you also collect bribe and share in my loot anytime there is a deal? Reluctantly the man followed the policeman to the station in obedience to the law and not wanting to be seen as resisting arrest.

Moral of the story:

Is it right for us to judge or point accusing fingers at politicians and government officials who loot the national treasury when we are also guilty of stealing in our offices and other places? We offer and take bribes at will, but are quick to point accusing fingers at others. We all have skeleton in our cupboards, while hitting others below the belt.

The man who steals one Naira is not different from the man who steals a billion Naira because both of them are thieves. While both are likely to get different sentences or fines as the case may be; the truth of the matter is that they are both thieves.

So check yourself and make sure you don’t come to equity with a dirty hand.