Corruption is dishonesty for personal gain, it is moral depravity and it is an undesirable change in the state of affairs of a person, nation, or any entity at all. Corruption, many agree, is cancer that eats away at the fabric of human development, at personal growth, and destroys the whole. Corruption everywhere accounts for poor species of leaders and weakens leadership, be it in the individual, home, organization, or nation. But more exceptionally, corruption has been the bane of leadership, not only in Africa but the world at large; however, this evil has explicitly expressed itself in Nigeria, the most populous black nation on earth and first in Africa.
Nigerians are reveling in the festival of corruption like no other nation on earth today. Both elites and commoners are in full gear celebration of corruption; the commoners drink in the corruption of the elites like they gulp a mixture of herbs sold at the motor parks; the elites dance to corruption from the drum beats of tribal kinsmen and subordinates who applaud their bravery in taking their share of the ‘national pie’, all in the weird festival of corruption that has ceased to have seasons but has become an everyday experience and the very nature and life of this God-forsaken country.
A country where the leaders are the prime movers and inventors of mind-blowing corrupt acts that open the eyes of the blind and unstopped the ears of the deaf. Were the citizens’ wallow in everyday complaints of lack, and lack of the good that ends in the pockets and bank vaults of their leaders. It’s a country where corruption has a name, friends, and address and socializes with the strong and the weak. From the birth of Nigeria, we saw corruption intrude into the nation like an imposter and when nobody resisted him, and when he saw the reception accorded him, he took roots and spread his wings and tentacles over the welcoming nation and today talk of corruption is talk of the town, as even babies nowadays in Nigeria talk corruption because it has denied them the right to a good life, to a well-rounded education, nutrition, health, recreation and the simple good things of life that a nation like Nigeria can more than offer.
Corruption in Nigeria is a pastime indulged by the rich and poor, the leader and the led, the boss and the staff, employer and employee; it occurs in every sphere of Nigeria’s life, the business community, education, healthcare, private and public sectors, entertainment and most egregiously in the almighty government of Nigeria, at the federal, state and local levels of Nigeria’s governing institutions, corruption is the order of the day. Thanks to the multimedia channels that now grace the landscape and the ubiquitous social media that the elite wishes will one day disappear from the social scene of information dissemination, as heinous deeds of corruption committed by the agents of the Nigeria government past and present, are daily uncovered by the ever-vigilant media organs and revealed to a perplexed public.
Ordinary Nigerians, a good 80% of the population, are dump-founded by the daily revelations of the corruption perpetrated by Nigerian government agents in all the strata of government. The mindless corruption perpetrated through money laundry, embezzlement, and looting of public funds, defrauding of government agencies, contract inflation, misappropriation of funds and sheer thieving of Nigeria’s public money for private use rather than the intended public use is shamefully welcome and celebrated by a majority of Nigerians who precariously hang their hopes on the belief that one day their turn shall inevitably come in a ‘turn by turn’ country like ours. Corruption has got Nigerians like fishes cut in an inescapable net, a specter of surreal reality playing live in a 3-D sort.
Nigeria’s corruption isn’t a new thing to Nigerians or the world, everybody knows corruption exists in the world, in other countries corruption is experienced, but nowhere is corruption celebrated as it is in Nigeria. In other nations of the world, the government and peoples make every effort to eliminate corruption, fight and reduce it to the barest minimum to allow for national and individual progress. But in Nigeria corruption is encouraged and padded for the benefits of the privilege few to have been in government or are connected to those in government and the majority who are unconnected to the corridors of power, unprivileged and have committed the crime of just been Nigerians are doomed to bear the pains, the sufferings, and poverty that corruption brings to a nation neck-deep in corruption.
After twenty years of uninterrupted democratic practice, Nigerians are the worse for it due to the unbridled corruption of Nigerians leaders, the politicians, and government appointees who are public officeholders. The so-called dividends of democracy is a theory sung by democratic governments in place since 1999, because practically if they are any such dividends accruing from the practice of democratic governance, none existed for Nigerians to savor, if indeed such existed, it has all ended in the pockets of our leaders and the wicked set of politicians plying their tricks on Nigerians and not the political trade as it is obtainable elsewhere.
Nigeria and Nigerians have experienced the most brazen acts of wickedness by those entrusted with the leadership of the nation since independence and more so, after the end of military rule and the era of civilian rule ushered in, corruption has waxed bolder, fearless and daring. It’s only in Nigeria you see former corrupt leaders, politicians, or government appointees, who ordinarily should be rotting in jail or in hiding as it is in other climes, make the most noises on the media and accuse existing leadership of corruption. It’s only Nigeria corruption is bold enough to boast of its exploits in the courts with judges and we all applaud the strong. It’s only in Nigeria corruption is celebrated and a festival of sorts. What a country!