CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA: A Nation’s Albatross Part 1



Corruption is a canker worm that has eaten deep into the nations moral and socio-political structure. If corruption were to be personalised, it would be either of the sexes of any age, possessing a certain charm that would endear any gullible one easily just as an erotically stirred male to a willing female in heat.

This analogy has been applied simply to describe the susceptibility of ‘man’ to the infectiousness of corruption.

According to the advanced leaners dictionary, corruption has been defined as “dishonest or illegal behaviour especially of people in authority”.

Another definition describes corruption as “the act or effect of making somebody change from moral to immoral standard of behaviour.”

The above description is aptly associated with this discourse and strongly applies to the thematic content of the text. Corruption therefore as a concept can be said to be ambiguous.

It has been variously applied in parlances that has manifested to a common and univeral meaning viz, corruption is meant to be negative and unnacceptable to the virtuous minded, if within this text there is such a one indeed.

Corruption has permeated deeply into the mainstream of societal life and it is an issue that has over the course of time been more or less inter-related mostly with the political and corporate structure of nations.

The world over, corruption is no stranger and is thus not peculiar to under developed {or is it developing?} nations in their various socio-political and economic strata cum status. Further still it is as old as man and had even played out in the biblical ‘garden of Eden’ the beginning of time.

As defined before, it is an act that transforms the morality in one into immorality.

A lot of historical antecedents has revealed the existence of corruption since ancient times viz; Babylon the great that was so frought with corruption and many other vices which inevitably served as a catalyst for its eventual fall.

Prophet Mohammed’s (SAS) religious resurgence in 600 CE against the ‘infidel’ authorities in Arabia,similar to Uthman Dan Fodio’s 19th century jihad, had a historical relationship with the Hebrew zealotry of 33 BCE in Palestine against the Romans. This was prompted by the flagrant exhibition of corruption by the citizens and authorities of Arabia and more recently, Northern Nigeria as it were with Uthman Dan Fodios jihad of the 19th century.

Gratifications in monetary form were demanded by the royal court officials in ancient China, from people who sought audience with the emperor for whatsoever reasons.

The afore attempts to establish the ‘omnipresence’ of corruption globally as it is both yesterday and today.

In pre-colonial Nigeria, when the ‘white man’ did trading with the local and tribal chiefs, “dash” was given to the local middlemen by the Europeans.

This ‘dash’ was meant to commit them in certain sharp practices which were against the principles of free and legitimate trade then. This is what the so called abolitionists and advocates of free trade did to compromise their sincerity.

By bribing the local middle men to facilitate their interests through their commercial fronts, the British colonial government compromised their principles of legitimacy. This any way is a discourse for another day.

It is pertinent therefore to appraise the gains and pains of the struggle so far in stamping out curruption nationally and globally.

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