The fight against corruption is not as arduous or herculean a task as Nigerians are being made to believe given the proper mindset and simple understanding of the concept of corruption we possess. Corruption is a global phenomenon. What makes it look as if it is predominant in some places while sparse in others is the fact that the latter locations focus their attention on the right priority. You don’t combat corruption in order to achieve development or economic stability. You create the enabling environment for development to flourish and take root, then only thereafter can the address to corruption be both effective and in fact ensue its natural course. The good news is that the state has the wherewithal to realise its aspiration. The authority of the state differs from every other earthly authority so much so that it alone has no imaginative limit. No wonder the state is sui generis – indeed constituting a class of its own. Therefore, it is established that the state is not in any manner handicapped or limited towards tailoring the framework upon which corruption can be obliterated.
First and foremost, what is corruption and what breeds corruption? Corruption is eminent especially where poverty is all encompassing, it sails unchecked where the majority of the people are impoverished and only a privileged few lords it over the servile masses. Corruption, on its own, is actually not the major problem hindering Nigeria’s development. Conventional understanding on corruption and its relationship to development is not only erroneous, but it debars countries like Nigeria from developing. Our best option is, therefore, to formulate good laws and ensure their implementation is not marred by nepotism or sectarianism or impeded by lack of diligence, following which will prepare the ground for innovation, progress and development to flourish.
The restructuring of the present political system in Nigeria is such a national assignment and duty that we owe one another and our posterity to fulfill. Otherwise, deploying even maximum efforts upon what is currently available, as in the laws and constitution, and expecting change for the better, will only amount to waste and labouring in a vicious circle. It has been proved that often people are disposed to err as members of a society or group than as individuals. This is why surprisingly to some, Nigerians in the Diaspora do not, on average, have difficulties complying with the rules and regulations, as stipulated in their respective foreign destinations. Whereas, this same individual back home in Nigeria turns to a tiger and goes berserk immediately he lands in the home country vis a vis obeying the laws of Nigeria, as it were. There is a running system that encourages this and to this monster fixed structure, everyone is an unwilling subject but it is high time that is corrected. You may invite an angel in human form to come and function as the leader on this slippery platform, it’s only a question of time, that perfection similitude will be worse than the devil, courtesy of the system, and not necessarily due to the person’s ineligibility or incompetence.
It will interest anyone who is truly not just concerned about the betterment of Nigeria but indeed is committed to its realisation, how and what other nations did to achieve development. Let’s take a brief tour… Singapore should be a pertinent reference. Lee Kuan Yew, who singlehandedly reformed and transformed his dear country in his classic, From Third World To First: The Singapore Story (1965-2000), demonstrates the miraculous possibility of lifting even a moribund nation from the abyss to the glamorous height of affluence and wholesome stability. Details of the theme of the said book I cannot reproduce here due to space constraint but suffice it to say that the sine quo non for a substantial mobilisation towards reformation of nations is finding ready humans with strong will, resoluteness and the commitment to undertake leadership functions and do only the needful.
Finally, let the sanctimonious moral man halt his frenetic search for equally an utopian world and a habitable moral society, return home and draw up a plan, a framework peculiar to his societal circumstances and henceforth invest efforts towards reaching the set goals. A nation where the purported combat against corruption is so entangling to the level that a certain privileged perceived and particular perpetrators of criminal offenses are not apprehended but venerated, only submits to this strong points of arguments established here. In Nigeria, for example, we appear to be yoked with a champion who was entrusted with hopes to conquer the monstrous enemy called corruption on the battlefield and lavished with more than enough weapons ever necessary to accomplish exploits in this regard, comes back home while the war rages to inform us that our monster enemy, corruption, is retaliating with equal force and vehemence – “corruption is fighting back,” he bemoaned. And while he expects us to swallow that hook line and sinker, deliberate efforts are not spared in instigating government forces towards stifling and silencing any disagreeing voice especially heard loudly on social media platforms. That sounds like a joke but it is the blunt narration of what is going on presently in Nigeria in the name moral exhibitions fair in an immoral and complex society. Yet, through it all, ours is the victory and Nigerians shall conquer.
Orajiaku, freelance journalist and social activist, writes via [email protected]; + 2348187885533