How corrupt are Nigerians?

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Chris Odinaka Nwedo



The extensiveness of corruption in Nigeria expressively demonstrated culpable failure of cooperate citizenship watch, viciously pliant institutions and poor governance philosophy. The situation is indeed pitiable and actively suggests some of the major reasons why Nigerian has remained a toddler and an under-achiever notwithstanding the nation’s exceptional privileges for super-power statures. It is undeniable that Nigeria is endowed extra-ordinarily, and the immense fortune is literally perverted thus disrupting and suffocating exciting prospects of prosperous nation and people. At the independence, Nigerians brimmed with excitement with the hope that ‘the human and material resources of the country guaranteed her to become by the turn of the century, a developed leading African country, playing significant roles in the comities of nations.’ But today regrettably the prevalent societal and national values have become debased and stained by disorienting culture of indiscretion, subverting corruption and impunity that were permitted to rapidly evolve, undermine and collapse opportunities for stability and quality national development.

The aberrant developments relentlessly dilute the prodigious stamina of Nigeria for greatness. For egotistical political and/or ideological reasons, we rebelliously messed and abandoned unique opportunities nature supplied gratuitously for ascending Nigeria to greater heights. Even the need to rediscover ourselves as a people that cannot achieve quality progress without bounding together in pursuit of a common goal is today sacrificed on the altar of short term ethno-centric goals.

The greed and subjective values of a very few privileged are pitilessly running over Nigeria and people. The ignoble developments have imposed on susceptible Nigerians negation of the invaluable need for fraternity, unifying solidarity and strength on which the founding fathers founded Nigeria. It is terrifying and bleakly that some Nigerians encourage and celebrate curse and/or pains of the other in the face catastrophic security challenges, deprivation and political repression. The insensitivity restrains and frustrates Nigeria and the people.

The discursions and suggestions of many essentially after declaration of 2015 presidential election and all other subsequent ones demonstrated how some of our compatriots are politically and socially disoriented and deluded. These Nigerians embarrassingly and disdainfully invoke curses, demonise and advocate stringent chastisement for those suspected of not supporting the winners of the elections. The deplorable attitude is backed by false alarm, malicious fabrication of lies, negative characterization and deliberate misinformation. Considering the volatile nature of the Nigeria polarised along religious and tribal lines the negative ideas about us propagated for an indeterminate political gains have significant potential to deepen disaffection among Nigerians. A disposition of this nature is highly disreputable and capable of devaluing whatever gain and stability Nigeria has had since last major conflicts with some of her components. This is because the embers of discord are fanned by the scandalizing misinformation and hostile postures. The unrestrained disparagement of some sections and politically divergent views are uncomplimentary and truly a solicitation of crisis. Our social media platforms and other channels of formal or informal discussions about national issues display testimonies of terrifying ideas by Nigerians about the imperatives of integration, democracy and quality development in Nigeria. The discerning must be reading with disgust and frustration the motley views disparaging and describing the incumbent Nigerian president as crude, illiterate and every other northerner irredeemably vicious, violent and Boko Haram by nature.

The annoying polemics naturally start with disparaging descriptions of the former president GEJ who is described as clueless, indolent and deeply corrupt, and then glide effortlessly to calling Buhari senile Boko Haram commander, uneducated, analogue in mentality and incompatible with the demands of modern Nigerian political and social society as a President. The conversations finally climax on negative characterisation of the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba, the components of the tripod Nigeria. The most common polemics is that North contributes nothing to promote healthier Nigerian society but violence, blood shade, instability and disloyalty.


The ‘winning’ of the 2015 election by Buhari is excessively an agonising subject for which these schools unpardonably berate the former President GEJ. Some of these camps contend that northern Nigeria drags the nation down the steep of demise with preponderant weight of vicious distraction and wasteful attention. However, the disparagement of the president was a denigrating campaign strategy introduced by the All Progress Congress. Jonathan, the former president, was condescendingly belittled, lampooned and nicknamed ‘clueless’ and I do not see Buhari escaping the wrath of verbal slaughter both by those who worked for or against his triumph as time goes on with the progressively growing distasteful comment on his sluggish and insensitive governance style.

It happened however, that the seeds of discord and hatred of the other by the few unpatriotic Nigerians make the citizens suspicious of warped thought and actions. Among the fans of Buhari particularly of northern extraction, the north is back to prominence and predominance and never again will the power go down south. Because for the most part of the past 16 years the south has shown unbridle corruption of nation and the institutions. They are materialistic, egoistic, and traitorous and lack ‘political managerial expertise’ compatible with the needs of the present Nigeria. The south is pretentious, arrogant, discriminatory and boastful. For these reasons, the south should be brought to account by impoverishing it politically and otherwise. The propositions above recapped the shapes of conversations by some ‘infected’ supporters of Jonathan. It was the views of the gullible that the north needed not complain of political ‘relegation’ for the region was the greatest beneficiary of political power which it imprudently abused and mismanaged to the region’s greatest disservice. Consequently, the allegations of political marginalisation by smart politicians from the north were exaggerated and evidently untruthful. The south must carry-go until 2030s when the relics of the oppressive northern hegemony must have been interred. The dominating elites are bleeding sores of Nigeria, the egomaniacs vainly squandered the Nigeria’s political and economic years.

To support the hypothesis that the power should not shift to the north, the circle contended that the north is vindictive, indifferent about Nigeria’s progress, suspicious of divided loyalty, have Islamic Jihadists agendas, cannot be trusted with power, fraudulent, mostly ignorant, impulsive, crude, show favouritism to northerners only, duplicitous, exploiting Nigeria, violent, chauvinistic, crude, lawless, unproductive, wasteful, loves luxury excessively, negative to national integration and development.

The hypothetical disfranchisement of the Ndi Igbo politically by the present government as propounded by some sections of Igbo community seemed embraced with contentment by people wishing to have the easterners severely decapitated. For those eulogizing the development, Igbo deserves the misfortune because ‘they love money too much and can do anything because of money’. The argument is that ‘the senseless traders need to be castigated and disgorged of their ill-gotten wealth’. Igbos are ‘covetous opportunists and truly very wicked, and their political stupidity was well demonstrated in their massive support for PDP in the 2015 general election and they need to be thought real lesson thank God PMB has Nigerian politics in his fingertips’. ‘PMB is incorruptible, tested and trusted, and he is on top of his game in disorganising the easterners and their collaborators’. ‘With PMB, Igbos will never smell Aso Rock with their secessionists’ agitations. Thank God that South-southern region rejected their Biafra. In fact Nigeria is better without the pests’. Igbos must be hated for being impatient, proud, arrogant and too conscious of money. The ethnic sensitive, stupid people like to dominate’. A commentator in a social media platform contended that ‘the easterners are problematic tribe-group of people with dark hearts. They abused and complained about Obasanjo and Buhari. Their hearts are filled with rebellion, hatred and are overly aggressive. The characterization of the Igbos as political and social idiots by this commentator and others of like-mind manifests the anger against people who voted according to their conviction in the last election. The ‘pundits’ with bizarre claims objectivity call Ndi Igbo clannish, sycophants and religious bigots because they were perceived to have expressed their democratic right to vote in favour of GEJ and have less passion for PMB and APC.

These intensely mischievous wide spread negative ideas of our people by our people espoused in unlikely quarters denigrate the prospects of our common fraternity, quality national integration, security and stability strategic to cooperate national development. This is because the reproachful descriptions, references and misrepresentations provide facilities for continued mutual distrust, alienation, hatred and relentless invectives that have done us the most injuries. By the distrustful falsification of the Nigerian people, the nation seemed tied to stakes without compassion to bleed. The last election and the continued sentiment of dissatisfaction by some sections about the current political configuration may have the potential to rupture meaningful cohesion and inspire crisis.

Despite the sentiments, significant percentages of Nigerians are inclined to describe the current political dispensation as change, and it is the earnest prayer of the well-meaning citizens that the change should herald real orientation against the frustrating malaise of brands of depravity in the national system. The corrupt assessments of Nigerians by warped citizens is a grave disorder triggering Nigeria’s depreciation and breeding crippling tribulations of prejudices, ethnicity and favouritism, fraudulent politics, animosity and widespread insecurity.


In Nigeria, corruption is the greatest obstacle to the evolvement of factors that help integration and fraternity among the citizens and make democracy and good governance work. Corruption is an impediment to authentic economic growth and social development, and in many ramifications a starving factor in the nation’s democratic politics. Experience has shown that no institution in Nigeria is saved from the perversion of this scourge. The most surprising of all is the report that the national anti-graft institutions are infiltrated, stained and degraded by this sinister plague. The most current episode is non-satirical confinement of the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar, for a N10 million bribery scandal. Interestingly, Justice Danladi is the point-man for chastisement the Senate President Bukola Saraki for his revolt against APC’s leadership plan for the Senate. Saraki was arraigned for allegedly criminal false asset declaration. The offense was allegedly committed more than a decade ago. The arraignment of the Senate President was generally perceived by large sections of Nigerians as based on false-motive.

However, case against Justice Danladi is deeply embarrassing, disappointing and chocking considering his grand standing as a hunter for criminals now on a wanted list. Nigerians considers Saraki’s CCT trial as malicious chastisement. For these, the trial is evidently tainted by political colouration and therefore the process is bound to go on devoid of equity and fairness. The legitimacy and the credibility of the process are without reservation suspicious so long as it was believed that the trial was selective with traits of witch-hunt while the Tribunal Chairman was found grievously deficient. The whole controversy is sickening and worrisome instead of inspiring confidence in the anti-graft agency. On the other hand the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde, is also in the same mess, accused of expropriating a trillion of the funds recovered from duplicitous government agents. Notwithstanding, preponderant moral burden on Justice Danladi, he was empowered to carry on. This coherently proves the propositions that our national institutions are degraded alongside with those superintending them.

How do we react to motley national commentators who in spite of claims of objectivity, patriotism and non- partisan speak with vehement passion for one political party against the other. These compatriots speak persuasively and contend fiercely that Mrs Diezani Madueke, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Orubebe must be lynched ignominiously for allegations of financial impropriety and mismanagement while Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and Fashola should be confirmed as ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because the court in the land has not found them liable for weighty allegation of fraudulent misappropriation of funds under their care.

The courts’ whimsical disqualifications of elections in PDP states of Akwa Ibom, Taraba and Rivers were applauded as right and indispensable measures against the impunities and corruption of the GEJ. The reasons for which elections were up held in APC states are the reasons why victories must be turned-down in the PDP. Some called these “spurious judgments.” Nigeria’s predicaments are complicated by the hypocrisy and duplicity of citizens that seem so perverted and false. The reports demonstrated that all the funds budgeted for infrastructure development, health care system, education and agriculture were diverted into individual coffers while the general impression was that the government is just helpless and indifferent. Like in many other nations of Africa, corruption is a phenomenon robustly wrecking the foundations of Nigerian nation at least in the last four decades. The basic modes of corruption in Nigeria include felonious chauvinisms, bribery, fraudulent expropriation of public funds marked for infrastructure and social services.

Corruption accounts for the unlimited resources used by treacherous political classes and the vicious political patrons. The funds in wrong hands have continued endless destabilization of the nation’s democratic institutions and stopped impenitently the genuine democratization processes. Corrupt wealth are the sources of funds for settling inconsiderate political thugs, for financing the purchase of lethal weapons for political and social unrest and for empowering all layers of godfathers to intimidate, subordinate other competitors and subvert of electoral processes.

Opinion Politics