Corruption on the Next Level Train.

Just like yesterday when president Mohammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola
Tinuba, Atiku Abubakar among others presented the All Progressive Congress
(APC)’s agenda on economic, security and corruption to Nigerians in 2014.
This presentation led to the exist of People Democratic Party (PDP) from
the corridor of power with a landslide victory of APC at the 2015 general
election. However, despite this victory, the menace still remain unabated
as corruption continues to grow more wings.

On 23rd January, 2020, the International Transparency ranked Nigeria as one
of the most corrupt countries in the world. Based on this report, Nigeria
scored 26 out of 100 points making the country the 34th most corrupt
country out of 180 countries assessed by the global anti-corruption
watchdog in 2019. Though, the report continues to witness serious
criticisms from the government and its apostles, despite being the true
picture of corruption in Nigeria.

For instance, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences
Commission (ICPC) on 24th January, described the report as unfair,
untenable and a pointer to the failure of the Transparency International to
take into consideration the efforts of the government to tame corruption
especially, in the light of the increasing number of cases filed in court
and jail terms secured in several convictions against corrupt persons
across all levels of the society.

In the same manner, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
faulted the ranking and described it as a jaundiced and illogical rating
particularly considering the year under review by TI, where the EFCC
secured a remarkable record of 1,268 convictions, including that of a
former state governor and a serving senator who was convicted for
defrauding his state to the tune of N7.65billion.

While this account seems to be true, the level of multi-dimensional
corruption in Nigeria shows that the report of the global anti-corruption
watchdog is nothing but the truth. Infact, the only error that might have
occurred if any, could have been an under reportage of corruption and not
the other way round. This is because corruption in Nigeria is visible to
the blind not to talk of those with two eyes opened.

Not too long ago, the news of how two bullon vans entered the residential
building of one of the founding fathers of APC in Lagos State on the eve of
the 2019 general election was reported all over the media platforms.
Though, the amount of the money in the vans and their mission were not
disclosed up till date but it is of general knowledge that money is
election and election is money in Nigeria.

In Nigeria, the more money spent by a candidate most times in an election
determines the victory. This has been the bane of the nation’s development
and one of the reasons corruption and poverty continue to grow more wings
in the land.

As a matter of fact, where there is massive poverty automatically there
will be corruption. In August 2019, the World Poverty Clock reported that
the numbers of people living in an extreme poverty in Nigeria have jumped
to 91.16 million. Similarly, the last data released by the National Bureau
Statistics (NBS) in 2018 shows that 23.2 percent Nigerians are unemployed.
Even, most of those employed are struggling to cope with the #18,000
minimum wage.

No wonder the level of corruption continue to change method despite the
chorus of those who claimed to be anti-corruption crusader. Because, how
can a government successfully fight corruption in a situation where the
minimum wage introduced when a dollar to Naira was 150 still being used now
when a dollar to Naira is 360. This is not to talk of the hike in the
prices of goods and services, cost of living, school fees among others.

Apart from poverty which seems to be the propelling force for corruption in
Nigeria, the lack of political will to extend the war against corruption
across all the classes of the society plays a crucial role in sustaining
the monster. This is complemented by the issue of ethnicity and religion
revolving around the nation’s political space.

Most people have accused the current government of appointing more people
from a section of the country to juicy and important positions especially,
the security sector which is another form of corruption itself because it
negates the principal of Federal Character designed to encourage even

President Buhari in 2015 seems to have agreed to this term when he said
that he cannot leave those that gave him 97 percent votes to attend to
those that gave him 5 percent which based on African mentality is correct
but totally negate the democratic principles and the oath that brought him
to the office.

In an heterogeneous country like Nigeria, appointing people from a
particular section to fill the important positions at the detriment of the
principle of Federal Character is another form of corruption which is not
only inimical to the so called war against corruption and poverty but also
to the unity of the country itself because it creates countries out of

Femi Oluwasanmi,
Ogun State.

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