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|Rethinking The Fight Against Corruption by searchMaster(m): 4:06pm On Jun 16, 2020|
RETHINKING THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION
It's no longer news that Nigeria is one of the most corrupt countries in the world but many of us hope to see it end, and surely it will end. But the way we go about fighting and subsequently putting an end to it matters a lot.
The sentence "Our leaders are corrupt" is very popular and so, many people think changing our leaders will end corruption.
Let's go back to history. The first fight against corruption in Nigeria was staged in January 1966 by members of the Nigerian Army who thought overthroning the then obviously corrupt civilian leaders will end corruption. Did it? It only brought to the knowledge of our military leaders that there is something called a COUP - if I fight and win, I become the next head of state. Hence, the several other military regimes that followed. In fact, the generally accepted most corrupt administration was headed by a military officer, Gen. Sani Abacha - till date, we're still recovering his looted funds.
Also, many of the politicians of 1966 are no more and many new politicians have been born (that means the old ones are actually been replaced), yet the cry of the citizens "Our leaders are corrupt" is only becoming louder.
More recently, the President Goodluck Jonathan's administration was termed a corrupt government by the then U.S. President Barack Obama and other notable Nigerians including Prof. Wole Soyinka and so in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari who took over from President Jonathan promised fighting against corruption; yet, the cry of the citizens "our leaders are corrupt" is now even louder.
Do you still think changing our leaders will end corruption in Nigeria?
I am of the view that the sentence "our leaders are corrupt" is not fully correct. The bigger truth is this: WE (NIGERIANS) ARE CORRUPT. The lesser is included in the greater. Let me explain: our leaders are Nigerians voted into power by Nigerians. If 50% of Nigerians are good, the chances of having a good leader will be 50:50. If 70% are good, the chances of having a good leader will increase to 70:30, and if up to 99% are good, we would have reduced the chances of having a corrupt leader to only 1%. Let me say this again: WE (NIGERIANS) ARE CORRUPT. We tend to use every opportunity given to us to oppress others.
My Vice Principal (Academic) categorically told me on my face that I will write WAEC's SSCE twice simply because I refused to pay the illegal expo fee he demanded to enrich himself. When I requested for extra booklet from the invigilator, the V.P. walked up to me and told me that nonsense, and the inviligator did not answer me because he has been bribed by the V.P. Isn't this corruption? I was forced to write JAMB's UTME in less than 2hours when the authorized time as at then was 3hours, 30 minutes (Paber based) because I refused to pay for malpractice. Should I begin to narrate the level of corruption in our tertiary institutions? Corruption is every where. You were just appointed chairman of a screening committee and you've started sending messages to the female applicants to "do the needful." What about the leaders of community based organizations who use the organization's fund for their private needs? Do you think if they are given access to the state's treasury, they'll miraculously turn good? Even the Police is not excluded. Consider this: several boys are arrested after being charged of a particular crime and the following day one of them is released, if you ask what happened he'll tell you, his (probably rich) dad placed a call and he was immediately discharged and acquitted of the charge, while the others sit in cell. What about that choirmaster who allows only his girlfriends to lead praise & worship? Do you think if he's elected into office, his appointments will be based on merit? As in, corruption is now part of our everyday life and I'm afraid, it's almost becoming natural. I slapped a two-year old baby and he started crying while trying to hit me too. As soon as I gave him biscuits and asked him, "who slapped you?", he pointed someone else. You can try it. Like I said earlier, I'm afraid it's becoming natural.
For me, THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION WILL HAVE TO START FROM THE INDIVIDUAL. We should try to stop corrupt practices by all means in our daily lives. Everyone should beat his chest and say: "I can live and succeed in Nigeria without being corrupt" and try to uphold it. This is the only way we can truly put an end to corruption. As more and more citizens live up to good ideals and practices, the chances of having good leaders will also increase and in no distant time, we'll have a corrupt-free country and Nigeria will be great once again.
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