Corruption is illegal, dishonest or an immoral behavior, especially from someone with power, for some leaders in Nigeria, they see corruption as fashion. For me I define corruption as a tree with many strong branches that can lead to destruction of a well-built nation.
Nigeria as the giant of Africa, in 2014 the Transparency International (TI) ranked Nigeria the 136th most corrupt country in the world and the 3rd most corrupt country in West Africa after Guinea and Guinea Bissau. In its 2014 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, it ranked 174 countries surveyed based on how corrupt their public sector is presumed to be.
The measurement is based on a scale of 0 to 100 with a score of 0 perceived as “highly corrupt” and 100 “very clean”. Nigeria was ranked 136th in the world with an index score of 27.
Corruption lead to poverty and poverty lead to disorder and other misconduct, such as bribery, stealing, armed robbery, fraud, house breaking and many more others that can lead to lack of peace in the nation. Our politicians, judges, schools, uniform men/women, places of worship, people in authority practice corruption while only few are clean,
Corruption simply means breaking the law of the country by cheating or manipulating anyone under your command through power of your uniform or position in the country or the rich to the poor.
Nigeria as a powerful and strong nation in Africa, it is time we fight this menace. We should treat tribe and religion as one and avoid discrimination or ethnicity. Indeed most people don’t understand that the ability to avoid the minor act of corruption would assist the nation in eradicating the major ones. This can only be realised by applying justice in all our transactions- both at homes and work places.
Today, in Nigeria, one has to pay to get a job after spending years in higher institution to acquire qualification required to secure better job. However, people collect money from young undergraduates to get them employments in the public service-that is Bribery- both of you are corrupt persons, the person given and one collecting the money.
In such situation, people go to any length, such as stealing or robbery to get the money. Thus, how do we eradicate poverty when powerful people and those in top positions in the country failed to pity the poor and the vulnerable in the society?
Corruption is the major problem we need to fight in all our actions. The differences between corruption and insurgency is that insurgency kills people and make them live no more while corruption kills and leave people alive to suffer. That is why someone with ungrateful mind can commit suicide when tired of poverty.
In Nigeria, people without qualifications and unqualified are those with good jobs. They earn more because they know someone in top position or in power-due to our corrupt mind and lack of justice/discrimination.
In Nigeria, corruption is akin to cancer as the great English intellectual, Rev Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1932), put it: “Corruption is like a ball of snow, once its set a rolling it must increase.” Indeed this has been the Nigerian experience with corruption developing to such staggering proportions that it today as only a bane of the country, but has largely defied present and pass efforts to stymie it.
Now, the situation is that corruption is so entrenched that anyone hoping to do any kind of business with the Nigerian bureaucracy must take it into account. The situation is now bad that even some government officials are alleged to bribe one another to get government business done. But in the political arena, Nigeria has found it difficult to prove corruption while it is also impossible to prove its
Indeed, there are indications that many Nigerians, some politicians, retired civil servants, judges and a few generals are found to be corrupt. Politicians are often placed in apparently compromising positions because of their desperate need to solicit financial contributions ostensibly for their campaigns, but in reality for rigging elections. They appear sometimes to be acting in the interest of parties that sponsor them, however they are driven by personal aggrandizement.
Political corruption is a persistent phenomenon In Nigeria. President Muhammad Buhari defined corruption as the greatest form of human right violation since the creation of modern public administration in the country. There have been cases of official misuse of funds and resources. The rise of public administration and the discovery of oil and natural gas are two major events that have led to the rise in corrupt practices in the country.
However, some analysts have blamed colonialism for the amount corruption. According to their views, the nation’s colonial history may have restricted any early influence in an ethical revolution; “the trappings of flashy cars, houses and success of the colonist may influence the poor to see the colonist as symbols of success and to emulate the colonist in different political ways”
Involvement in the agenda of colonial rule may also inhibit idealism in the early stage of the nascent nation’s development. A view commonly held during colonial days was that the colonists’ property (cars, houses, farms etc.) is not “OUR” property.
This vandalism and looting of public property was not seen as a crime against society. This view is what was degenerated into the more recent disregard for public property and lack of public trust and concern for public goods as a collective national property.
The government aimed at eradicating corruption through the enactment of laws and the enforcement of integrity systems. However success recorded was slow. As at 2012, Nigeria is estimated to have lost over $400 billion to corruption since independence.
The Nigerian government is trying all possible best to eradicate corruption by creating Anti-Corruption Agencies including the (EFCC) and (ICPC), but why are all these not stopping corruption? They are working and getting paid but the rate of corruption continue to increase.
In my opinion, corruption should be fought at the lower level, any misconduct start from a lower level to the higher level. If it can be tackled at the lower level, its growth can be prevented to the higher level that can be effectively monitored by these Agencies, had it been this solution has been applied to tackle corruption in Nigeria before now, I am sure Nigeria will change for better. Government should create more jobs for the youth or provide them opportunities to be self-reliance and the Anti-Corruption Agencies should closely monitor the activities of politicians and civil servants. Also, the nation’s colleges of educations, polytechnics, universities should also be checked for corrupt practices.
The government should treat every Nigerian as one regardless of their religion or tribe to protect and put the nation in good stand to attract the interest of anyone outside the country. Indeed for corruption to be eradicated each and every Nigerian must fight against the menace -“don’t take, don’t give Bribe”.
Due to lack of job opportunities, graduates and non-graduates take part in internet frauds or cybercrime to earn a living. Nigeria government should provide well satisfied opportunities for the youths. The workers’ salary should be made satisfactory to their need.
I call on our politicians, army, police and all uniform men/women, pastors, Islamic scholars to always treat each and every Nigerian as one to avoid discrimination and other misconduct for a good and better Nigeria, We should love and care for each other as brothers. We should have a mind-set that corruption is our greatest enemy that one day it will be history or story to tell.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Written by Mujahid Saleh Saad from Bauchi State.
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