One problem forever hindering the general progress of the Nigerian society is no other than corruption. Since the procurement of independence to this present day,  the people of Nigeria have seen corruption in our land grow from a minutiae  nature to a full blown cancerous growth threatening to ruin the general progress of the Nigerian nation.

President-Jonathan

Corruption is indeed Nigeria’s biggest social malaise, stretching  its vast empire  via its agents from the cradle to the grave. Corruption in Nigeria has taken everybody hostage and is likely to remain as such except we do something serious to stem the tide.

Hostage, in the sense that by and large a generality of Nigerians are bound to pay for the excesses of one’s corrupt act , an act we neither partook of or gave our blessings .

For example, Nigerians now throng private hospitals because the public hospitals are basically not functional, ill equipped and understaffed a critical look at what should have been there would give a marked difference between the ideal and the present state of such a hospital.

The same situation is revealed in all sectors of life, since none is corruption free.

As it stands now, there is no doubt that corruption is quickly killing the development of our  national institutions  and coupled with the fact that corruption breeds inequality which in turn breeds widespread and the ‘unfair type of poverty’. If stringent measures are not taken, then the case of Somalia and Liberia may not be any different from what we seem to be brewing presently.

 

Therefore , this piece should be seen as a challenge  to the leadership of Nigeria to get its acts together and marshal out a war against  the  vice.

Excepting for the likes of Generals  Aguiyi Ironsi , Murtala Muhammed  and Muhammadu Buhari respectively , men whose tenure were unfortunately cut short, the average Nigerian leader has failed to address whole heartedly the issue of corruption in Nigeria. Each of course promised to tackle it, set up a number of programs and institutions to champion such a cause, sadly each successive program only succeeded in disappointing the cheering crowd.

The Nigerian leadership has failed in every sense to rein in the monster, owing largely to their own insincerity; they paid anti corruption programs lip service while they worshipped the monster in all their doings. Yes, a few, very few persons were dealt, but these cases sounded more like persecutions rather than as determined efforts to fight it. Even at that the punishments rendered were even appalling, many largely got away with slaps on their wrists, receiving sentences that drew more public outcry than the knowledge of the crime itself. When this is not the case, our leadership has sought to cast a protective shield against many who have been found wanting. These persons largely their cronies get away even with the most dastardly of offences, because someone in high places is simply pushing the buttons.

Leadership in this regards does not only include the, federal government, the party in power, or the executive alone, no, the ring encircles all arms of government, tiers and heads of institutions. It also transcends political parties.  A majority of the opposition parties in Nigeria have failed to show what makes them different from the ruling PDP; whereas they ought to promote a different culture entirely in order to make Nigerians see them as the better alternative.

Even our latest craze or penchant for probes have only competed briefly with some of our lousy soap operas for a TV audience but despite the glamour and dramatized intrigues, Nigerians have more and more been treated to a stalemate and nothing further is heard of the matter.

Globaly, Nigeria has featured poorly in various corruption indexes, doing no better than countries more disadvantaged than us, if we will not heed the warning within what of that freely given outside?

Thus, there is great need for the Nigerian leadership to fashion a coherent plan for tackling corruption, I hereby aggressiveness and stiffer penalties, though i do not subscribe to the death penalty, heavier jail terms and a stripping of every ill gotten wealth ought to do the trick and put our officials in line.

Failing to do otherwise sooner than later may prove disastrous and spell grave consequences for us, we must begin now .
Igboeli Arinze writes from Anambra