by Charly Boy
really cannot discern “manor farm” from “Animal farm.” I cannot differentiate “Napoleon” from “Snowball.” Both men and pigs now work with two legs. I see pigs attempting to put on human faces, human clothes. I see pigs attempting to eat on the same table with men.
My apologies to Eric Blair, for using the imageries of farm and pigs as presented in his most popular fable, carefully written to ridicule the Russian situation during the reign of Sterling. His work was a premonition on the dethronement of the Great Russian Lord, but mine is only an attempt to look at the niceties, the mystery and the endemism of corruption as it stands today.
Today, the greatest question of our time is the question on whether we all have accepted corruption as a way of life, or we still believe that even with the rot, we can soar above corruption in order to build a better future for our children? This question, OBJ left unanswered in his last interview on CNN just some few days ago. An individual in Nigeria is richer than 10 structured organisations put together.
A Nigerian can pay the salary of entire workers in small countries, like Togo and Niger; and the question is: how did he make his money? A governor’s child of less than 22 years of age is already a millionaire, taking ownership of houses and cars albeit with little or no skills. How many of them were outstanding while in school? Out of the 36 states, whose governor’s child that did well in school is independent today?
Are they not all living under the shadows of their parents? With the current attitude of our leaders, the monster called corruption will continue to thrive in this clime. So many things have remained vague and unexplainable as to how Nigerians finance some of the expensive, luxurious, breathtaking mansions in towns as well as villages, not to speak of the load sum and handsome social parties thrown at every nook and cranny of our towns.
These as stated above are put on display by senior public servants, businessmen, military personnel, both serving and retired. It should no longer be oblivious to anyone that the challenge with tackling corruption in Nigeria is that most of the bodies charged with responsibility of combating corruption are in themselves having issues on how to sanitise the general public on their own integrity. Are the lawmakers making the laws for the public or for themselves?
Have they tried to explain why Nigerians today live above their visible legitimate income? Have they made any strong law relating to tackling corruption in both the public and private sectors? Can a thief catch himself or another thief? Can a ghost hunt himself? Can the night complain of darkness? I do not doubt my limited knowledge, as far as government policies are concerned, but I trust my understanding and general knowledge of the endemic corruption in our system. Even a child of yesterday knows this, no doubt.
For there to be a dramatic change in Nigeria, the social, bureaucratic and business environment must detest corruption, rather than embrace it. This entails that there must be a comprehensive public education and its negative effect in the Nigerian polity. Nigerians have discarded the use of handbills, adverts, posters, radio/TV jingles for the fight against corruption, we have completely left behind the use of credible people who have stood against all corrupt practices to devise ways to come out of the endemic corruption.
The citizens should also be made aware of heavy penalties that await those that get involved in corrupt practices. To foster the above, certain legal instruments must be put in place to enable corruption detection, arraignment, and conviction to be facilitated. In this regard, appropriate legislation should be enacted. Today, Nigerians believe that nothing works in this country without employing the shortcut method.
This notion has driven many youth into criminal activities. While some have succeeded, others have ended up in jail. Our secondary schools and universities are not devoid of this notion, as most of the students believe that to even pass their examination, the tactics of corruption must be employed. Most of them rely on paying their teachers, as influenced by the parents, to write their SSCE examination for them, after which they go with the only available option of paying a mercenary to push them through their University Matriculation Examination.
The students have been made to understand that no one gains admission into the higher institution without attempting to bribe one or two persons in the school of their choice. They are beginning to see corruption as a way of life, and if this is not curbed in the shortest time, one wonders where we shall be in the next five years. Imagine the contradiction of our living condition.
Imagine the contrast between Asokoro and Mpape. I just can’t imagine the contrast between Ajengule and Victoria island in Lagos. I’m the Areafada, and I have seen it all. The ugly sight is what I see most of the time. I’m here to correct this with you. If we can work together, we can achieve together.
My brother, the gap is just too much… If we must fight corruption in this country, then the bodies responsible for the fight against corrupt practices must understand that certain societal inequalities we experience today have degenerated into serious societal crisis, and the outcome is now corruption. The only solution is to throw out some ‘greedy-piggy’ politicians whose second name is looting.