Whereas governments, either military or civilian, come and go, civil servants are always there. Even when there is a civilian-to-civilian transition, they are present. They are largely anonymous. But when the chips are down and a push comes to a shove, it is the politician that is the fall guy.
What was not clear to many is that the civil servant is as guilty of misconduct in public office as any politician. In fact, when it comes to corruption in high places, they show more sleight of hand than the politician. Go to Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Ibadan, Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto, Calabar and other big cities, civil servants own imposing buildings, vast estates and posh state-of-the-art automobiles. Yet, they drive rickety cars to the office to hide their obscene wealth.
That was why the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, said it was ready to deal with civil servants who loot the nation’s treasury. According to its chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde: “The way they steal is mind-boggling. We have to look at those of them that enriched themselves by helping politicians to steal or through other corrupt means. Some of them even steal more than the politicians. There is no level that is not involved, from directors to the messengers. It is such a shame.”
There are different strategies civil servants have adopted to bleed Nigeria dry. In this week’s cover story, Super Rich Civil Servants (How They Bleed Nigeria) we present
the strategies these officials use to feather their nests.
Furnished with this brief, the creative came together to brainstorm on how best we could
communicate this graphically. The approved concept hovered around the keyword ‘imposing display of stolen wealth by Nigerian civil servants’. At the end, We used an imposing image of a Bentely we downloaded online. It was later suggested that we
incorporate the image of some of the civil servants involved in heavy looting of
Nigeria treasury. We opened the images in Adobe Photoshop and traced them nicely
ensuring edges were properly feathered. We added the Nigerian flag to the car in
Photoshop. We then imported the images in Coreldraw where we now organised them properly.
Text elements were also done in Coreldraw. We chose to give the ‘Super Rich’ color gold
fill to project riches in its literal sense also we filled ‘Civil Servants’ in our traditional national green colors to bring it home.
For The Flip Stories, we explored going off our usual conventional way of image placement by having the images of just some of the Nigerian Stars going international falling on the magazine’s masthead solid red bar.