Corruption, the greatest single bane of our society today – Obasanjo. This essay seeks to appraise the corruption challenge in the polity...

Corruption and I



Corruption, the greatest single bane of our society today – Obasanjo. This essay seeks to appraise the corruption challenge in the polity, and forward suggestions with a view to finding lasting solutions to this problem in the Nigerian context.


INTRODUCTION: HISTORICS, DEFINITION, INDICES.
Corruption, the abuse of entrusted power for private gain, is a global trend that traverses the private and public sectors. The scourge, alongside indiscipline, has plagued the nation since she attained independence. With the guerilla efforts being dispensed by the current government Nigeria currently ranks bad in transparency matters as evidenced by relevant bodies.


WHAT MAKES THE ISSUE MOST CHALLENGING?
The evils of corruption are highly destructive for any economy. The lamentable implications transcend the sudden whisking away of cash, but extend to the collapse of societal fabrics. For instance, the consummate effects of the $15m Private Jet Arms Scandal, the illegal Iweala-diversion of $322m, the latest Dasukigate-Ekitigate, the N195 billion Maina Pension Scam, $6bn Fuel Subsidy scam, the Stephen Oronsaye N123bn fraud, Police Pension Fund Fraud, the NNPC missing $20bn, the Stella Oduah car purchase scandal, the Abacha N446bn palava,  and other high-profile cases indirectly dovetail into infrastructural decay, unemployment, poverty, commercial inertia, low healthcare-delivery, and democracy-dividend-delivery shortfall. Catan has rightly noted: ‘corruption is...greatest obstacle to national social and economic development as it decreases public revenue and increases public spending’.


WHAT DO I DO TO STEM THE TIDE?
The world would not be destroyed by those who do evil but those who watch them without doing anything – Einstein.
First, self-discipline must be coupled with integrity! Like Gandhi, I would not allow anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet. Greed that springs up excesses would be eliminated. As I savvy that money answers all things would I also that its love, if not moderated, is the root of all evils.
Essentially, with the pen, there is much power. The abandonment of this truth was Christopher Okigbo’s undoing. On 3rd July 1985, at the famous Institute of Economic Affairs’ (IEA) 30th anniversary, Fisher, the founder, stated that it was his follow-up on Hayek’s advice not to join politics that IEA continues to thrive on when he indicated interest after digesting Hayek’s Road to Serfdom because it is the intellectuals’ influence on society which will prevail, and the politicians will follow (Blundell, 1999).


Adopting this Hayek-thinking, conscious intellectual attitude would be posed to a well-guided address of important matters such as ensuring just punishment for offenders, actualizing the Uwais-led Electoral Reform principles, employment opportunities, extradition treaties, emulation of workable international models like the US, the People’s Republic of China, the Front Action Task Force (FATF), the proper deployment of the Freedom of Information Act, etc.

Furthermore, running a whistle-blowing group that would provoke citizenry push for good governance and wake up extra-political institutions like the family, the media, and religious entities to duty would likewise suffice. Starting from grassroot formations like correctional centres, colleges, civil-public service set-ups to top-notched politicians themselves, enlightenment campaigns, akin to Akunyili’s Nigeria-Rebrand that sensitizes about the possibility of a transparency-driven country would prove effectual in the corruption-cleansing project.


Finally, it would be strongly suggested that corruption be labelled as one crime-against-humanity in order to evoke substantial international outrage. Nonetheless, not only human rights activists are stakeholders in this matter, but all Nigerians. Everyone must act as Myerson observes that the accomplice to the corruption crime is oftentimes our own indifference.


CONCLUSION
Capturing elite corrupt officials will help increase the level of confidence in the authorities - Harvard Professor and TI chairperson, Jose-Ugaz. The recent trial of former Guatemalan’s Otto and vice-president Baldetti lends credence to this proposition.  Societies governed by rule of law would rapidly attenuate the corruption bogeyman. The new Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 impact is being felt in the ongoing high-profile case trials. It is emphasized however that only a holistic approach to the corruption phenomenon would do. A writer-activist strategic coupling would adequately nip impunity which is beguiling Nigeria’s nascent democracy in the bud.


REFERENCES
Chukwuemeka et al, Curbing-Corruption-in-Nigeria: The-Imperatives-of-Good-Leadership’ 6 (3) African Research Review SN. 26, July-2012, 348 in Etomi, Introduction-to-Commercial-Law-in-Nigeria.
TransparencyInternational, Corruption-Perception-Index-of-Nigeria, www.transparencyinternational.org/corruption-perception-index-for-2015-in-Nigeria.
Top-20-corruption-cases-in-Nigeria-2011-15, www.Reuters.com
Ojogbo, Making-the-Third-Party-Liable-in-Corruption-Cases: The-Trust-Remedy-as-an-Alternative, Essays-in-Honour-of-Jst.-Ayo-Salami.
www.goodreads.com/quotes-on-corruption
Blundell, (1999) Introduction:-Hayek-Fisher-The-Road-to-Serfdom, The-Reader’s-Digest-Condensed-Version-of-the-Road-to-Serfdom, www.networkforafreesociety/backgroundmaterials. Adesomoju, (2016) Corruption:-A-Glimmer-of-Hope-from-the-ACJ-Act. Punch Newspapers. Thurs, March 17, 2016,11.
I Tim 6:10, the Holy Bible, NKJV.

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