On a cool morning when ideas roll in your head fighting for your keypad as a medium of revelation you can’t but be in a mix. This might succinctly describe what I passed through before corruption took the lead; probably because there’s so much noise about this our ugly friend who is almost assuming the ownership of our land these days. May I ask if corruption in Nigeria is over-rated? Now you’re wondering if I ‘know’ Nigeria, aren’t you? Perhaps it’s underrated then, but I think I will choose the word misplaced. Corruption seems to be misplaced in our society.
Misplaced in the sense that everyone seems to hate and speak against it yet it festers, everyone seems to point accusing finger to the next man yet forgetting himself. The trend seems to be that the moment you start crusading against corruption, it is a given that you are not corrupt. And that is why even those who know that we know that they’re corrupt still sing the anti-corruption song albeit off-key.
So, who is corrupt? Shhhh….. please don’t mention names, it might be a better idea to look first into the mirror. Oh! You feel insulted? Then wait till you see the definition of the word corruption and a part of your angst against me might be doused.
• Lack of integrity or honesty (especially susceptibility to bribery); use of a position of trust for dishonest gain.
• Moral perversion; impairment of virtue and moral principles.
• Destroying someone’s (or some group’s) honesty or loyalty; undermining moral integrity.
• Inducement (as of a public official) by improper means (as bribery) to violate duty (as by committing a felony).
You can go back to the definition and look more intently before your flaunt your anti-corruption gown in our faces. Do I then mean all Nigerians are corrupt? Absolutely NO! This attempt is at directing us to the ‘electric pole’ in our eyes before we point out the speck in the next man’s eye.
And to think that the best means the NLC thought to inadvertently reduce the Nigerian population is to propose death penalty for corrupt officials is shocking. But trust Nigerian politicians, while the NLC was talking on the terrestrial, they went to the mountain tops shouting as it were, ‘don’t kill us for mere corruption’. Questions are, ‘is the NLC itself ready for an internal sweep, the kind that will see their officials being hung when next they compromise us during labour protests’?
Is Mr. Lecturer corrupt for trading marks for sex, or the female laggard that flaunts and seduces Mr. Boss for favours? What do you call it when you swear to an affidavit by the road side? You resumed 8:15a.m but signed 8:00a.m, that isn’t corruption I guess? As if you’ll let it pass if your bank gives you a lesser bank balance on your account other than what it should be! What about those office items you take home that never makes their ways back to the office? Did I hear you say they’re little? Looks like someone forgot that the way a stapler is ‘little’ to you is the same way a Prado jeep is ‘little’ to others. I’m actually smiling now.
What do you call Daddy running after that ‘little’ girl, or Mummy inflating children’s school fees, or the chocolate ‘bribe’ by Uncle to the little niece? Wait a moment, what about the Bros that will not declare his income to his wife? And to think you want public officers to publicly declare their assets is self-serving. Common, don’t just give me the triviality argument, never heard about increase, growth, development or improvement? The trivial carries the ability to become serious and monumental with passage of time, given the opportunity and the ‘right’ environment.
Take a look at the fake measures at filling stations and markets. Yes!, the Iyaloja that sells with a thoroughly panel-beated congo/derica or a wickedly padded lambebe as the case may be. The illegal and frivolous deductions by commercial institutions, the unsolicited adverts by telcom operators. You thought that’s going too far? They should try and put up and advert on Channels TV or the Punch Newspaper without permission, because a bank holds my money in trust doesn’t give it the temerity to take out of my money so does a telecom company who has access to my line in trust shouldn’t take undue advantage.
I heard a man recently sued the ‘wife’ after few days of marriage, reason? He said she was not the woman she new before their marriage, the make-up covered up so much. Unfortunately, ladies today can pad-up ANYTHING and selling you about 85% artificiality. Now, I didn’t say that is corruption! How dare I forget the so humongous religious corruption, from deceitful enrichment, to deceitful carnal knowledge, to deceitful dispossession of valuables to deceitful……. You don’t need to tell me, I know it is very unfair to dedicate a meager two-liner to spiritual corruption considering its hugeness.
I think a decreased human intervention in our activities will reduce the incidences of corruption drastically. If I have a prepaid power metering system, I don’t need to beg or bribe to reconnect illegally, if my driver’s license can be procured online, you need not pay needlessly to issuing officers etc. I know a thousand and one instances where and when you don’t want to be corrupt by offering any form of inducement but the authorities will surreptitiously compel you. And on the other hand to help is our willingness to cooperate with the few already existing platforms for reduced human intervention.The government should as a matter of urgency strengthen her anti-corruption organs and institutions and also provide a thick cover for the whistle blowers.
The task is no doubt daunting and ginormous, but the good news is that it is doable. ‘If we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us’. I dare to say, it starts with me.
Let him that is without a sin cast the first stone. THINK!