• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Corruption has made Nigeria ungovernable

Corruption has made Nigeria ungovernable

Corruption, like a stealthy predator, has long lurked within the corridors of power in Nigeria, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. Despite numerous efforts to combat it, corruption remains deeply entrenched, rendering Nigeria’s governance system ineffective and the nation ungovernable. We cannot say that during the colonial era, the British showed no evidence of corruption.

At least, we could remember ‘tipping’ usually given to British police, yet the effects were not felt in governance. We talk about poverty, inequality, and weak institutions today because of corruption. Many people weep not for corruption but because they have never gotten the opportunity to practice corruption.

“Public funds were diverted into private pockets, hampering infrastructure development and social welfare programs. In fact, the only language those leaders understood was bribery and corruption.”

Surreptitiously, a lot of people imagine vain things by thinking that Nigeria will get better someday. Some are even praying for their leaders to be honest, serve with integrity, and lead the nation towards a noble path. Such things are what human minds can conceive, but the earlier we realise the truth, the better for us. One of the former presidents, Muhammadu Buhari, hypnotised many Nigerians with the axiom that corruption will kill Nigeria if he doesn’t take up leadership to kill corruption. Some freedom fighters, like Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, have repeatedly hinted that something is wrong with a black man.

Incidentally, most of the political leaders in Nigeria had governed with ruined senses. Due to endemic corruption during their tenure and disregard for the rule of law, citizens’ trust in governance was eroded. Public funds were diverted into private pockets, hampering infrastructure development and social welfare programs. In fact, the only language those leaders understood was bribery and corruption. At the time Naira and Kobo were introduced in the 1980s, ₦1:00 was equivalent to $1:00. Then, every person with a school certificate. had a job, and all graduates obtained house and car allowances with a profitable job.

Obviously, we could infer that Nigeria was far better under colonial rule and during the early days when the colonial template prevailed. The military struck in 1966 and took over power, citing corruption and inefficiency, but did the military end corruption in Nigeria? Many civilian presidents were military men who changed to civilians, but did they fight corruption? Presently, the president, vice president, senate president, and most of the governors have corruption charges and allegations hanging on their necks even through their political careers. It is a vicious circle in the country whereby a corrupt leader hands over power to the more corrupt leader.

Nigerians are wishing for relief in 2027, unaware of the collapse of the system. After the fuel subsidy was removed, the Federal Allocation Accounts Commission increased allocations to different states and shared billions of naira as palliative. The PDP’s maxim “share the money” has taken on a new form, with citizens paying heavy taxes for utilities like electricity, security, water, and sewage disposal. The national grid often collapses, leaving Nigerians in darkness with high fuel costs.

AFCON 2024 saw no Nigerian referee due to corruption, leading to certificate forgery, violence, loss of life, killings, terrorism, and banditry. Students graduate without jobs and lack values and models. Nigeria’s young generation lacks good examples and values, and the judiciary and courts have become rotten due to corruption. To find five righteous Nigerians, we need biblical examples and a focus on promoting good examples.

Corruption in Nigeria has led to the circulation of two different denominations of the same currency, with 80 percent of Nigerian students being fraudsters and deep in cybercrime and occultism. Despite efforts to combat corruption, there has been no sincere effort, and trade unions, labour unions, and civil society organisations are unable to checkmate or call the government to order due to the power of corrupt leaders and the influence of EFCC and ICPC.

Bemusedly, everyone gives an analysis of the poverty index in Nigeria, the reasons for the oil crisis, and the GDP per capita that made Nigeria a very poor country. Everyone agrees that the government is following the instructions of the World Bank and IMF. To fight corruption in Nigeria is to endanger your life, and writing about corruption in offices, the judiciary, and politics, even to expose it, is a grave danger and a risk to one’s life. Some who came out to fight corruption were consumed by corruption. The culture of impunity reigns supreme in Nigeria because of corruption.

In conclusion, corruption’s pervasive grip on Nigeria has rendered the nation ungovernable, undermining democracy, stifling economic progress, and exacerbating social inequalities. However, with concerted efforts to strengthen institutions, foster political will, and engage civil society, Nigeria can break free from the shackles of corruption and pave the way for a more prosperous and equitable future.

Obiotika Wilfred Toochukwu; St. Anthony’s Catholic Comprehensive Institute (SACCIA): Agulu – Anambra State