By Elijah Emmanuel
I have cataloged corruption as the most considerable challenge in Nigeria. This is a fact obvious even to the blind. Corruption as defined by the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary 8TH ED, is a dishonest or illegal behavior. This could be for the purpose of obtaining money or an advantage. Pratibha Patil says corruption is the enemy of development and good governance. It must be got rid of. Both the government and the people at large must come together to achieve this national objective.
Recurrently, when corruption is being mentioned, the searchlight is focused on the government only, ignoring the fact that corruption is an individual instinct. If a country is to be corruption free, and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly agree that there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher (APJ Abdul Kalan).
Beginning from the home, a father who tells his son “ tell landlord that am not at home” while he is in- there, is already nurturing a skunk. More so, a cloth merchant who packages a hand-me-down cloth rebranding it as “New packaged shirt” is a schemer. Corruption like a virus has eaten up the nigerian society upstream- downstream. Our leaders at the top cannily hoard or divert every possible dime for themselves and their posterity, leaving the rank and file with crumbs from their table:
Salaries are not being paid or delayed, capital projects are allocated to self or nepotized, which end up uncompleted. The great unwashed are therefore left with no choice but to ply the bad roads, use hospitals with inadequate facilities, send their wards to public schools where the buildings are dilapidating , lack adequate security and are being impoverished with no basic need provided.
These populace some with a weak conscience hence have no choice but to indulge in body snatching, robbery, violent protest resulting in killings and destruction of lives and properties, vandalization of government properties, etc . And some fall for being used as thuggery weapon by these superiors.
A system where the chasm between the well-heeled and the beggared is expanding massively, chaos, mayhem, riotous living and even death are the results. However, a system where the gap is bridged, the voters put up a grin, with no reason to fight. Joe Biden says “Fighting corruption is not just good governance, it is self defense. It is patriotism”
The nigerian civil service at all tiers is overburdened with employees who are on double pay rolls, some used forged certificates to obtain the job, while some who are due for retirement have falsified their ages so as to extend their stay in service. As a matter of fact, In some state ghost workers have metamorphosed to ghost institutions.
To mention a few, uniformed men on the high ways prefer the fifty naira tip to arresting the lawless. The offender goes scot free for paying his tribute while the inculpable is detained for hours. Denial, delay or twisting of justice has flooded the judiciary. Justice is no longer sacrosanct. Medical practitioners avail themselves to all sorts of medical aberrations indicting the medical practice.
In a hospital here in Kogi State, a woman’s baby disappeared few hours after delivery in the hospital ward. What a villainous act!
Finally, corruption ruins the future of any nation. This is because as the young minds are continuously akin to its machines, they transfer same to their unborn. It reduces a country from grace to grass, enlist her among villains in the annals of history and leaves her completely void. Corruption robs a country of any form of mental, social, economic and physical development. This is due to the fact that as the populace is being oppressed, they give back aggression and other vice rather than a mind full of positive impact.