Political Corruption in Nigeria responsible for current political crisis

Political Corruption in Nigeria behind the current political crisis

By Sani Danaudi Mohammed

Political corruption in Nigeria is parasite that is especially influenced by a complex Societies like ours that have religion, ethnicity and tribes as determining factors for policy direction. Particularly, we  don’t want “ours” to be prosecuted for corruption, a phenomenon that makes it easier for this menace to continue thriving. Eventually, Nigerians are gradually becoming dependent on this corruption as a means for income. Corruption paves way for a non transparent functioning of social, political and economic sectors limiting Government to function effectively.

Politicians has forced it on Nigerians to be a norm,thus forming a symbiosis between the people who benefit from it, and the elites that regulate it. People sometimes ignore the corruption surrounding them,feeling that as long as the politicians do their jobs well, their comprised practices that is related cannot hurt.The wound of corruption has eaten deep down the flesh and melted in veins of both the followers and leaders in Nigeria. This satanic norm has made it difficult and almost impossible for successive Governments to fight corruption in Nigeria as the language of witch-hunt has become an order of the day.

Nigerian leaders and followers have become conspirators in the theory of corruption by given it an ethno religious a interpretation whenever efforts are made to confront this menace. Lack of proper reorientation has made Nigerians to limit the definition of corruption only to those in the position of authority even when they are more corrupt than the Political office holders. It usually starts from home between husband and wife, mother and children, down to entire society. It generates a lack of transparency and a lack of control by supervisory institutions.

Corruption is the dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in position of power or followers which typically involves bribery. Morris (1991) sees corruption as the illegitimate use of power to benefit a private interest. It also entails offering of bribe to an officials so that the truth of a situation will be hidden. Since inception, Political elites in Nigeria has embezzled and diverted public funds to the tune of trillions of Naira at the detriment of the Governed. The definition of corruption by Morris signified that all Nigerians are stakeholders in the fight in the fight against corruption if the country is to win this war.

In 2001, Nigeria was ranked the second most corrupt nation in the world out of 91 countries, second only to Bangladesh. Recently in 2019, Transparency International ranked Nigeria as 146th out of 180 countries surveyed on corruption with 26% corruption index.This reveals that level of corruption has mercilessly stabbed Nigeria deep to a state of unending stupor. Government authorities has continue to deny those ranking and labelled it as the work of the enemies of Nigeria. The country moving down to 146th our of 180th is a step in a right direction towards ending corruption menace in Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari regime that campaign under this very templates in 2015 and in 2019.

It is unarguably true that the problem of corruption in Nigeria is as old as the country itself. Many attempts by successive governments to eradicate corruption in the country proved abortive. Corruption has retarded our economic growth, slowed down business operation, blocked employment opportunities and stopped investors from foreign countries in investing in Nigeria as they grip in fear of loosing their funds.The Nigeria today is persuaded when the gravity of corruption is high. The executive arm of government tends to not bring policies and programmes for development,the judicial arm has been chocked with angry and money egocentric judges which make citizens to loose hope in the organ.The legislative arm are passive by not passing bills that could reduce burdens and dilapidated infrastructures due to high level of corruption.

The level of corruption in Nigeria hurts a lot of people as money which supposed to be used in purveying developmental projects to better lives is channeled in to pockets of selected few. Today , Nigeria is gradually sliding into anarchy due to increasing tensions and growing rate of crimes against the Nigerian State.Jumbo budgets that are tilted towards improving our internal Security and protection of our territorial integrity has been unaccounted for while Security votes in most States in Nigeria are left in the minds of its narrators. Unemployment is on the increase and that makes it easy for conflict entrepreneurs to recruits young energetic Nigerians into Boko Harams, Banditry, kidnapping, yahoo and all sorts of crimes as it is now a multi-billion Naira industry.

The first factor identified as the cause of corruption includes greediness which has led to major crisis in Nigeria and Leaders that garnered too much wealth with a consistent quest to remain on power.
Youth that are the strength of nation are unemployed, the hike of idleness triggers many into internet fraud (cybercrime), Banditry,kidnapping,Boko Haram, sexual harassment.

Thirdly, Poverty, According to international standard states that a person is said to be poor when he or she lives under $410.14 (which is equivalent to N820.28) per day.Poverty has pushed many in to thuggery, cybercrime, and other heinous acts in order to better their lives.

President Muhammadu Buhari lived a life that earned him the trust and confidence of Nigerians. The masses hold the opinion that among the high placed Nigerians who are privileged to served in different capacities of Government, it is only Buhari that is not corrupt. This believe paved the way for him to be elected President of Nigeria in 2015 after the Government of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was accused of tolerating corruption by then opposition All Progressive Congress now the rulling party. He has campaign on corruption and has repeatedly stood by his words that in his regime corruption has been drastically reduced though it is left for Nigerians to judge.

The sad story of this narration is that ,The rulling party has been accused of turning to a redemption camp as those who were in then People Democratic Party returned to the rulling All Progressive Congress in search of shade.This has been the events and it didnt start today , when the rulling People Democratic Party was in control of power some Politicians that were accused of high profile corruption cases negotiated their decamping. If what we read on the pages of newspapers that charges of some Politicians are been dropped then fighting corruption may be an illusion. The stain of corruption did not spare anti-graft agencies that are saddled with the responsibilities of antagonizing corruption, as the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, Ibrahim Lamurde was accused of fraudulently diverting one trillion naira recovered from corrupt convicts by the commission (Adeyemi, 2016). Recently, the Former chairman of the commission Ibrahim Magu was also accused of corruption, diversion of recovered loot, insubordination and abuse of office which led to his untimely sack as the chairman of the commission.

This is unimaginable as those appointed to fight corruption in the country are also found to be guilty of the same problem they fight for. The appointment of the young Abdulrashid Bawa has set the ball rolling as he is the first to be appointed outside the Nigerian Police force as recommended by Justice Ayo Salami led panel. Leadership is the key ,my wishes are that my brother in the Economic and Financial Crime Commission will give a dog fight in ensuring that the narrative is changed. He should be a lion king that will lead the sheep to eradicate completely corruption in Nigeria as we ready at the Youth level to support him to achieve a free corrupt Nigeria.

As a young Nigerian, I subscribe to the believe that corruption will be eradicated completely if there is Political will though both the followers and leaders must be actors in this battle to win the war against corruption in Nigeria. It has been said that no society can spring up to the developmental level without the Commitment of leadership. It implies that for Nigeria to win corruption then leaders must urgently employ Political will and lead in action in winning this war. Followers who protest the arrest of corrupt politicians must rethink and give necessary supports to Government as when due because our own syndrome remain an obstacle to this fight. Leaders can help in fighting corruption by serving as good example to citizens, This can be achieved by judiciously applying stipulated punishment to anyone irrespective of whoever he or she is without regards to his tribes nor religion.Making anti-graft agencies or commissions independent from government control, by giving them the wherewithal to charge all whether in ruling or opposition parties. Citizens should be allowed to have access to information concerning country’s finance to enhance accountability.

Let me concludes by saying that , Nigerians must be ready to live inconveniently by making outstanding sacrifices today so that our children and grand children will be born to celebrate the emergence of a free corrupt Nigeria. It is unarguable that the current State of affairs today is a product of long tolerated Political Corruption.

Sani Danaudi Mohammed
National President,
Arewa Youth Advocate for Peace and Unity Initiative,
Writes from Bauchi State, Nigeria.
[email protected]

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