By Chris Odinaka Nwedo
Nigerians should appreciate the fact that an overall culture of good governance will play significant roles in the never-ending disorder of corruption. We need to contribute in evolving, and supporting without prejudice measures to strengthen transparency in elections, wake-up against conspiratorial politicians that weakened institutions of government and made our legal systems dysfunctional.
The metaphorically repelling profiles of Nigerian society and politics can factually be attributed to ‘defiant’ strains of corruption that turned the great nation upside down. The corruption promoted and reinvigorated unproductive politics, fraudulent policies, mismanagement and expropriation of state funds. Consequently, these provided palpable sense of impunity among the nation’s political scoundrels. The atmosphere ‘funded’ and proliferated insecurities of all kinds as terrorists groups and allied villains seemingly vowing to make Nigeria unsafe and unstable. Political scoundrels are the ones surreptitiously dichotomizing Nigerians along religious and tribal lines for ephemeral power related gains. The most immediate impact of the abnormality is the destabilizations that rendered the populations discordant, mutually antagonistic and distrustful. It is evident that no quality development can be sustained in such unwholesome atmosphere.
The steam of corruption and insincerity intensify and sustain active bitterness, discontentment and desperation among Nigerians particularly during election seasons. Election seasons are times of tactless invectives, falsehood and palpable ethno-religious tension. In the environment of the irrational contest, all colours of deceitful folks callously turn facts up side down for transitory political gain. For the circumspect, qualitative development of Nigeria, as a nation unusually endowed, remains formidable task as far as substantial compatriots remain warped in ways and thought. It is progressively becoming disingenuous to blame only politicians for ravages of corruption in Nigeria. If you blame, alone, those at the peak of political power, what would say of a clerk who insists on criminal gratification indiscriminately? Consider the exploits of unscrupulous religious men and women on rampage looting and destroying homes with contaminated religious messages. The northern Nigeria is endlessly volatile with gory tales of death and destruction due to inspirations from the devious preachers. Corruption is absolutely responsible for the contradiction that the more religious the folks are the more deceitful they act. As religious houses are rapidly springing up, the society is nonstop drifting to chaos.
Is it not fraudulent that patrol stations not only lawlessly sell above pump prices but smartly reduce the quantity and quality of legitimate entitlements to susceptible customers? At the gates of the filling stations are the bold and depraved undertakers willing and ready to fill your tanks with inducement. These crooks can go every length and frighten anyone just to get fuel for a bribe. In the markets both the rich and the poor are victims of heartless rip-off. It is a routine that some clients are smoothly induced by clever merchants to pay exorbitant prices even for fake and unworkable products. Often these products are tampered especially the ones with expiring dates. The realization that those who patronize food vendors indiscriminately are in danger of slow death is definitely scary. Until Nigerians stop looking at corruption in the context of the operations of the government and big institutions the cure for the malady will remain illusive.
It is undeniable that corruption is one major unresolved but resolvable problem that disapprovingly staggers and twists Nigeria out of shape. Corruption recurrently remains a long-term debilitating major challenge for Nigeria. This malevolent alien was permitted to progress like fireball from criminal and crude egoism, inconsequential kickbacks to felonious diversion of billions of Naira from the state treasury to private accounts.
One the issues of insecurity, the proposition is that Boko Haram terrorism was conceived and forced to rapidly develop by Nigerians who for corrupt self-indulgence thought they have fruitfully invented a process of dealing treacherously with the rest. Again, the nation is also contending with fiercely ruthless killers, the Fulani herdsmen. This group is bold and pitilessly ravaging with alleged tacit supports of subversive Nigeria’s security agents. For the apprehensive Nigerians, the ‘herdsmen’ are encouraged and funded by some sections of irresponsible politicians and armed by security agents for what is today known as Fulanisation and Islamisation agenda of Buhari’s government. This embarrassing insecurity has become channel by covetous compatriots for expropriation of billions of Naira from the national treasuries as thousands of the citizens are daily roasted like yam by proliferating groups of abductors, hard-hearted criminal and reprehensible terrorists.
Corruption is an inexcusable impediment to national growth and development. The most audacious brands of are the ones that are concealed and defended using national institutions and establishments. A new dimension that complicates the fight against the contagion is that the public officials who steal billions use the money to obstruct or payoff both probe and punishment. The convicted are prepared to spend comparative short custodial terms than return the looted billions. The reasoning is that it is more pragmatic to accept special prison sentences and bounce back to affluence with the plunder intact. It is exceedingly controversial and misrepresentative to include poverty, job insecurity, under-remuneration and financial hardship as incentives for this extensive corruption. This because most of the Nigerians already indicted for corruption-associated crimes are highly privileged public servants with unlimited access to state funds. Many prominent Nigerians have chronicles of disreputable charges bordering on corruption and money laundering. The facts are discernible evidences that it is completely inaccurate that people engage in corrupt practices in Nigeria because of pressure of poverty.
The corrupt religious upturned God and the scriptures to the point that it is difficult to covert those who are not already converted due to absence of good work. It is incomprehensible that those claiming God and godliness are the bosses of tricksters and deceivers, willful destroyers and slaughterers. At the commencement of campaigns of destruction by some Islamic fundamentalists in the north, many of the corrupt religious people were demonstrably comfortable because Christians were the primary targets. In some circles the passionless murderers were praised as emancipators, the courageous few who have come to fulfill the prophetic elimination of the ‘infidels’ and enthronement of the supremacy of sharia. As the so-called infidels are massacred old and young, the ovations were at the peak. At the end, the infidels were annihilated and the heroes of Islam cheerfully shared their properties. It was when it became clear that there were no more church standing and the ‘infidels’ eliminated that the fighters and the supporters started purging themselves of ‘conspirators’.
It is the vigorous campaign of terror against the ‘conspirators’ that bombs are detonated in the markets populated by the Muslims. These bomb attacks have successfully harvested tens of thousands of lives. As powerful explosions stampede the markets and other soft targets, Mosques are no more sacrosanct. In fact, the Islamists target more Mosques for easy harvest of blood. I think the rise of vicious Islamic fundamentalism is the result of moral relativism founded on the prevalent corruption. For those who care, it has become more practical to understand that evil is evil notwithstanding the doer and the reason. If we have not sold our conscience to the devil we could not have allowed groups of this nature to spring even if we are so sure we are not destined to be the eventual victims.
Although the pains of the betrayals of corruption and cheating in our system have been long lasting and injurious, Nigeria as a nation has the capacity to denounce the evil and reinvent herself. We need to do more to reinvent proper steams for active war against the national malady by evolving culture of rectitude, integrity and objectivity. It is discreditable that Nigeria still ravaged by ethnicity, malicious religious principles imposed on us by the strong and wrong temporal and spiritual rulers, the rulers whose self-centered dispositions go against the collective aspirations of Nigerians for better and more compassionate society. The negative experiences of today should make senseless the never-ending cannon-folders Nigerians have become for these debauched rulers. It is expedient to say that Nigerians have yielded to their discomfort the divisive gospels of those who have something to gain from a discordant national society.
In a sincere society, leaders are selected on the grounds of compatibility with the task ahead, but in Nigeria we have been configured to think of leadership in context of religion, region and tribe. This delusion has been catastrophic because it magnetized anguishes, insecurities and significant stunting of affirmative national development. Today, most Nigerians have ended-up more frustrated, disadvantaged and globally distrusted and mistreated.
Nigerians must appreciate the fact that an overall culture of good governance will play significant roles in the never-ending disorder of corruption. We need to contribute in evolving, and supporting without prejudice measures to strengthen transparency in elections, wake-up against conspiratorial politicians that weakened institutions of government and made our legal systems dysfunctional. We can collectively stop egocentric manipulation of our public institutions by insisting on service and accountability. Indifference and prejudice are two very common factors making the war against bad government intractable in Nigeria. The palpable lack of transparency, insufficient strategic vision and weak monitoring mechanisms, culture of deceitfulness and misrepresentation made Nigeria a fertile the location for brands of corrupt practices. Nigerians no longer need to lament frivolously as things simply go wrong. We need to start following actively for the right to justice and service. The change we need is inherent in the change of our attitude to those who lead and setting the target for service. Obligatorily, those who need change must work harder because all who considered the old order beneficent will never idle until new order fails. A new positive order of governance is a collective aspiration of most Nigerians but the advocates of the repressive, disingenuous and depraved old order remain intensely antithetical to any change of order with potential to harm the illegitimate advantages inherent in the old order.
We must remember that this old order is a scourge against virtues of our common humanity. The old order among other things accommodated permissiveness and self-centered compromise that allowed socio-political and economic imperfections to take over the polity. This old order is responsible for the spiteful impact of corruption demonstrated in the incapacitation of our national establishments. The Nigeria’s national institutions provide scripts for impoverishment of the citizens. As Nigerians, we have enough to be absolutely free from perennial downgrade and want.