Corruption by as defined by the former President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan, does not involve stealing in the public sector. In fact according to his words “ Stealing in the public sector is not corruption” this he said while fielding questions from Aman Pour of CNN.
Surprising? Yeah. I was shocked myself to hear of it. Anyway that’s what we have when we decide to make our choice of selection sentimentally. Nigeria in the eyes of the outside world is corruption personified that is how bad the situation have become. In Nigeria, corruption have eaten into the fabrics of every sector. Be it public or the private sector. Whatever the case maybe, Nigeria have already become a place where anything can happen so long you can wet the ground (Bribery). According to a Nigerian Comedian “ Nigeria copied 419 from the western world but as at today, if they from which we copied corruption sees us, they stand at attention and salute us” Funny as it may sound. But that’s the extent to which it has gotten.naija-flag
Much appreciation will be giving to the present president for his fight against corruption. Despite the said success to combat corruption, the country is still hitched to the nemesis of her failures in the past to combat the excesses of corruption. Various regimes have showcased their vigor to fight the excesses of corruption that have for been crippling the economy of the country. Examples can be drawn from the regime of Obasanjo who introduce The ICPC ( Independent corrupt practice commission) and EFCC (Economic Financial Crime Commission).
The question to ask now, How have these institutions fare in curtailing corruption both in the public and private sector? Though these institutions have done their bit, but we still can’t ascertain the true effectiveness of these institutions. There are still some areas where we can see their effectiveness. The likes of Tafawa Balogun the former IG of police who was arrested for stealing 1b naira by EFCC. For Bayelsa state governor Alameiseagha who was also arrested and jailed till he was released by his former employee President Jonathan on a presidential Pardon.
These are just few of the persons who were charged to court and arrested. When a thief is caught on the road side, he is either burnt to death or jailed for 20 years. But for those who steals public money, they only jailed for maximum 3 years.
There are some cases that have kept us awed. That’s the James Ibori case. The former governor of Delta state who was accused of stealing Billions of dollars, built private refineries in other countries, was declared free of all charges labeled against him to the surprise of the entire country. All thanks to the court of England who extradited him from UAE, arrested him, charged him to court and prosecuted him for the same offenses the Nigeria court have initially freed him for. That’s to tell you that, these financial institutions have top political appointees who do influence their decisions. The Ibori case was a show of shame to the Nigeria Judicial system.
During the first year of President Muhamed Buhari, Dasuki Gates was charged for stealing money meant for military officials who were putting their lives on the line daily for the territorial integrity of the Nation. At times, when one hears of the nature of stealing we witness in Nigeria, you begin to ask yourself if these people are truly humans? How can you steal money meant for those army officials who are fighting book haram on a daily basis. Weapons were not bought, rather you sat down and ate the money? How did the case end? He started calling names of persons who shared from the money. Later we started hearing that some granted themselves amnesty and started returning stolen cash. We heard that Ahmed Tinubu returned N900m. Can you imagine? Yet these men still walk the streets of the country being celebrated as heroes.
Corruption is Nigeria as far as some people know. In every sector of the country, you get to see corruption being practiced. Some years back, during the 2007 Presidential election that brought late Yaradua to power, this is what he said and I quote” I know that the system that brought me to power was free from fraud”. If this statement is true and it is true, that means he ought not to have accepted the result but he did and later said he was going to fight corruption. Are you going to fight the very system that brought you in? In Nigeria, whatever brings you in, same thing will keep you in. That last phrase is true of the former late president. Because while he was sick and could not discharge his duties, he did not for once do the right thing by handing over power to his deputy. He rather died than do it. That was the same man who wanted to fight corruption.
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