SOMETHING we all cannot deny is the fact that corruption has become a widely recited lyrical poem. To a large extent, it also has shaped the narrative of the Nigerian state. Albeit, negatively. It has ‘steadily’ metamorphosed into a hydra-headed monster that seems to be omnipotent, and ruthless.
There are handfuls of people who ascribe varying connotations to ‘Corruption’, as a nomenclature. They say “it is stealing money from government or public coffers; it is giving undue favoritism to ones’ family, cronies and relatives; it is when people are extra-judicially killed by trigger-happy cops, and then, when government officials inflate or over-bloat contracts for their own selfish gain”, among others.
Corruption, to a section of people, is limited to only public office holders and perpetrated by members of the executives, legislators, lawyers and judges. It need be said that the misconceptions about corruption has made it difficult to conclude that it is a terrifying cankerworm, which then makes it to be perceived as a non-entity or inconsequential. Hence, the corruption scourge has permeated our schools, critical institutions, centres of worship, various arms of government, and our homes.
These aforementioned institutions, however, are truly the bedrock of attaining national development in any given society. But their gradual decay, over the years, have stagnated the socio-economic growth of many third world and developing nations.
It is pertinent to assert that the root of corruption is our homes, and of course parents are to be blamed. Corruption has made vital assessment factors like merit, intellectual capacity, competence, and integrity to be thrown to the dogs in exchange of filthy lucre. This we glaringly see during leadership or job recruitment exercises.
Persons who are corrupt, or are, perhaps, embodiment of corruption lack a modicum of integrity, dignity and honour. Of course, the woe besetting us as a people is due to the fact that a staggering magnitude of corruption has ravaged the moral fabric of our society. To fight this cantankerous malady demands first, sound child moral upbringing by parents at their homes. Then others, such as capital punishment, maybe for those who pilfer our treasury, and a long jail-term sentence, may also follow. If we truly desire to build a corruption-free Nigeria, then, now is the time to wage a mortal war against this malaise which President Buhari said will kill us, if we don’t kill it.
Henry Fechi, Lagos.