Corruption in Nigeria has become rampant as well as the daily nagging about it. It is a poison that has diffused into almost every mind. It is also the spine of all the impediments that hinder the development and progress of Nigeria, thereby walking the nation down to the path of retrogression. Yet the society has its arms folded bare-chested. Having seen the absurdity of having our hands folded, I cannot imagine any prospect of curbing the corruption that has Nigeria by the neck shaking it vigorously to its very root.
It is quite factual that there are pretty few people with the inclination to change in praxis than in theory. Whereas, curbing corruption would take more than the efforts of the few individuals with the propensity to stamp it out of existence. Our society is such a mysterious one where people are bound to apportion blames from one shoulder to another, instead of taking a prompt stride towards figuring out and bringing about solutions to their gnawing problems.
We have conceptualized government as the threshold of corruption, which is wrong in the perspective that we are all playing our role one way or the other. It is often due to our corrupt minds that we vote those in power into offices in anticipation of personal gains under their tables in spite of our knowledge of their corrupt tendencies.
It is paramount in this case to take cognizance of our government and who we are as the subjects; we would certainly come to realise that we are the government, which means we have been misusing the efforts we should have used in defining our problems and blaming ourselves. Albert Einstein has his word fixed perfectly on this point, "Insanity is the repeating of the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results".
To cure a disease is an exigency to know its causes, ditto for corruption. We must take its causes into radical consideration, where we would find corruption in Nigeria and the world at large very complex due to the conspiracies of various factors that triggered it.
Poverty is conceptually the ground that tightly grasps corruption. Albeit, it is quite a fact that poverty can never be obliterated but rather alleviated. At this juncture it is very fair to hang a blame on the neck of government, having failed its responsibility of alleviating poverty by furnishing employments to its subjects. And the citizens consequently develop a voracious appetite for money by hook or crook.
Another factor that encourages corruption is the peanuts of salaries being paid, especially to servants of government, which is pretty insufficient for them to cater for their families and themselves. Such is one of the temptations stirring them up to accept bribery in order to meet their expenses.
However, the inadequacy of employees in public offices must also be mentioned as one of the sources of corruption in Nigeria. The workload bound to be vast for the employees to do. Consequently, these tempt them to resort to accepting bribe for faster delivery of work.
Lack of education can be said to be another factor for making corruption seem as a norm in the society. Unfortunately, it is one of the luxuries a second-class citizen can afford for his children (in a country where the second-class citizens are the absolute majority) who are what the future of the nation hinges upon. It takes education for one to see beyond pricks and fathom what the great damage corruption can make no matter how minor it seems. Now that education is expensive with meagre quality, what do we see as the prospect of change?
Having corruption diffused into almost everything, including our minds, to stamp it out we must have to prepare for a battle; a great one. The hands we fold must be straightened out for working tirelessly.
We must instigate a strong disposition to bring change through praxis not theory, and obliterate diversity to pursue change via exercising the power of collective actions and unity.
More so, by increasing the number of employees in public offices to lessen the workload on the public servants, nobody would be tempted to give or receive bribery in return to fast track delivery of work.
Better salary should be paid for workers to work with alacrity, attain their expenses and get rid of the act of corruption by either accepting bribe or rendering services unwillingly. Employees must work hard and be loyal in order to reciprocate such gesture.
Equally, the expensive nature of education and its poor quality must change into cheap but with great quality for every citizen especially the youths to afford. This would give them a clearer view of the damage corruption has been making, thereby triggering them to salvage Nigeria from being capsized by the wave of corruption.
Hisham is an essayist, poet and story writer from Gombe State