NIGERIA’S CORRUPTION IS NOT JUST ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT
Corruption is probably as old as Nigeria. It has enjoyed free accommodation in the lives of Nigerians that it appears too impossible to deal with it. This is very pathetic. One of the cardinal reasons for past military coups has always been resolve to fight corruption. Even democratically elected governments are sometimes sent packing democratically as a result of corruption endemic. Apart from rapid population growth accused of causing poverty in Nigeria, corruption is popularly known to be a great contributor.
Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nation described corruption in the best way, when he said ‘Corruption hurt the poor disproportionately by diverting fund intended for development, undermining a government’s ability to provide basic services, feeding inequality and injustice and discourage foreign investment and aids’.
Corruption of the system as well as the people encourages system failure: bribes, stealing, embezzlement, mismanagement, denial of justice and manipulation of truth among others, etc.
All we have been doing for ages is to complain against corruption, and against leaders as the actors of corruption, neglecting the followers who are equally perpetrators at the receiving end of spilled ill-gotten wealth. For this reason and many more, we have neglected the main work and deviated from primary focus of finding an end to it. But how do we find an end to what we also enjoy?
You have to take personal responsibility and do something differently.
I still remember the popular adage of the olden days:
‘If a big thief goes into the ceiling to steal palm oil stored in 20 litre keg, he needs a ground support thief to collect it and put on it the ground’.
Just imagine the man on the ground accusing the big thief as a criminal all because he did not climb up into the ceiling, something must be wrong because they are both culprits of the crime.
The system empowers the rich against the poor, the poor cry while the rich fly, civil rights and privileges are normally exclusive preserves of the rich, the poor continue to complain while the rich become wealthier riding on the ignorance of the complaint poor.
But come to think of it, the followers, in the category of the poor are also part of the corruption undertaken by the rich and powerful. Take for instance, who collects money from politicians during elections? Who sings praises on the powerfully corrupt leaders? The poor followers of course! So it is imperative to accept that corruption is a shared phenomenon.
Have you seen the book by John Obajinmi? In his book ‘credible leadership solution to Nigeria’s problems’ he classified corruption into two categories namely, Corruption of need and Corruption of greed. I totally agree with him. These summarises all corruption activities in Nigeria or anywhere in the world. However, have we ever considered that nothing corrupt human race more than failure to take responsibility to address societal abnormalities?
When we fail to play our personal roles for development or to solve community or nation problems, we all get corrupted, and go deeply, rottenly corrupted until you rise up to solve the problems.
Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide.
It perceived Corruption as a problem for all countries. A poorly scored country like Nigeria is believed to experience widespread bribery, lack of punishment for corruption and failure of public institutions to respond to citizens’ needs.
Some of the other evidences and consequences of corruption are poor education
system, counterfeit medicine, and elections decided by highest backroom deals, stealing resources from the most vulnerable, undermined justice and economic prosperity.
An excerpt from Corruption Perceptions Index 2015 read ‘Not one of the 168 countries assessed in the 2015 index gets a perfect score and two-thirds score below 50, on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). More than 6 billion people live in a country with a serious corruption problem’.
Out of about 152 countries ranked in Corruption index 2014, Nigeria, by order of Transparency took 136th position meaning Nigeria was about 36th most corrupt nation in the world.
The problem is, corruption is usually defined based on public sector, not all inclusive. That makes citizens to shift blame only on the government, public servants and the political leaders.
It is high time we shift focus of Corruption Perceptions beyond limited scope of public sector to include informal sector which includes you and I. Perhaps this will enable every individual to take personal responsibility in addressing the problem of corruption and its associated problems.
To be continued Tomorrow, don’t miss it.
Excerpts from the Book “You Are Born To Make Your Nation Great”. #DSABOOKS
This book can be found on dsabooksplanet.com and Amazon.com
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CHURCH AND NATION
By Pastor Sunday Adelaja.