Corruption is alive, well and flourishing in Nigeria. This is in spite of our President Buhari’s vow to fight it vigorously having warned that it is either we kill corruption or corruption will kill us. There is so much noise being made with corrupt pot-bellied government officials daily lecturing us on corruption on television to the extent that one is tired of hearing that word! The television and daily papers bombard us with the sight of various people trooping in and out of courts on charges levelled against them by the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission. They keep talking about how many billions have been recovered from treasury looters. But till today, over two years after this government assumed office, we have not been told who and who have been found guilty of looting the national treasury, what punishment has been meted out. Even if looters have resorted to plea bargaining we have not been told who and who were involved and how much has been paid back. All this is in spite of a court ruling obtained by a non-governmental organisation ordering the government to publish such information for the benefit of the citizens. But it is not really surprising. It is the nature of this government not to tell the citizens the truth about anything. After all, our President stayed abroad for several months on medical treatment and the citizens were never told what his illness was.
I was one of the most ardent supporters of Buhari and voted for him. I believed in his incorruptibility. Indeed in my earlier posts, Buhari – The Leader Nigeria Needs Now – I canvassed support for him. In his first coming as President during the military era I saw him as somebody disciplined who would not mess with government money. And there is currently no evidence that he has messed with government money. But I have since realised that I was myopic. Stealing money is not all that corruption is about. There are many facets to it. If you are the President and your appointees are proved to be thieves and you do nothing then you cannot escape accusation of corruption. The Secretary to the Government was exposed by the Senate over one year ago for awarding contracts to himself. Till today he is on suspension, nothing more. Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, was accused of acquiring choice properties in Dubai. His excuse was that he bought them with his savings. Obviously the president believes him. Most people do not.
Favouritism is corruption. If most of his kitchen cabinet are his relatives it cannot be anything else than corruption. If appointments are sectional it is corruption. If in a multi religious country Islam is favoured that is corruption. If you refuse to extend development and appointments to areas that did not vote for you during the elections that is corruption. If you diligently put mainly political opponents, members of PDP, on trial for treasury looting while members of your Party including corrupt politicians who crossed over to your Party from the same PDP are not touched, that is corruption. If the EFCC is trying members of the Electoral Commission for collecting money to influence election results because the crime was committed in a state won by the PDP and is not bothering to charge those in states won by the ruling Party, that is corruption. If you turn a blind eye to the Siemens and Halliburton scandals in which high profile Nigerians were mentioned in court cases in the United States of America and European countries in which many people have ended up in jail while their Nigerian accomplices are roaming free, that is corruption. Of course the most blatant case is that if because you are the patron of the Nigerian cattle breeders association, otherwise called the Fulani herdsmen whom the United Nations have declared the fourth most deadly terrorists in the world and who have killed hundreds of Nigerians, you have called them armed robbers but declared flag waving, stone throwing Indigenous People of Biafra demonstrators demanding for independence but have not killed a single soul, terrorists, that is corruption!
Corruption is endemic in Nigeria. It is in the judiciary, in the national assembly, and in government. It is in private companies, in the banks, where chief executives and high ranking officials award all sorts of supply contracts to themselves and their proxies, and in the consulting firms where executives divert jobs to competitors and share the profits or fees. It is in the press where publishers have inducement to suppress vital news items.
Some of the reasons why corruption is flourishing are, lack of education, ignorance, greed, ostentation, complete disregard for the rights of others, poor governance from independence. What is a living wage in Nigeria? How can the minimum wage of a government worker be eighteen thousand naira monthly, that is, forty eight dollars sixty cents or one dollar sixty cents daily. What does the government expect a worker to do with it? Of course the worker will find other ways to supplement his income, like asking for bribe at every stage, pilfering office material and so on. There is no serious work being done by government workers because at all levels they are busy looking for ways to make additional income. Juxtapose this with the ostentatious living being exhibited by the top echelon. The governor of a state controlled by the ruling Party recently had an extra lavish 55th birthday party. But workers in his state are currently being owed some month’s salary despite the fact that his state was one of those that accepted federal government bailout. Yes, he was rich before becoming a governor but it is the height of insensitivity in these desperate times to display such extravagance. 
We are all busy robbing ourselves blind. The policeman on the road collects bribe, the mechanic cheats, so does the driver, the customs official. The cashier steals millions from his hotel to donate to his church to assure a safe passage to heaven. The churches rip off the congregation with innumerable thanksgivings. The lawyer dupes his client. So does the estate agent. Judges collude with lawyers to keep adjourning cases. Judges collect bribe.

We have just had thanks giving services all over the place to celebrate fifty seven years of independence. But it has been fifty seven years of misrule in this mal-functioning republic. This is a country in which nobody is really sure how many we are and how many tribes. It is a country built on faulty foundation being controlled by the Fulani who are against re-jigging the federation to function better. They prefer the status quo. Until we re-engineer this society and reduce the major monetary attractions of high office we will continue to lurch from one crisis to the other. This is a country that depends on its petroleum products export. But oil is losing importance in the world to renewable energy and with massive unemployment and hunger and poverty ravaging it, corruption will continue to thrive.      

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