Corruption A La Carte

by A Adejumo

“What is the problem with us Nigerians? We have started printing our own tickets for the Kaduna-Abuja rail services. I learnt ticketing officials hoard tickets so they can sell at triple the normal price. Are we cursed? We kill everything then blame the government. We need to execute by hanging infrastructural saboteurs”- Olu Alakija.

The following are private ruminations from several contributors:

But maybe you wanted to say ‘Which country is this oo?’ Anyway it is still NIGERIA where police do just about anything they feel like doing, judges give judgement without justice, lecturers demand sex for marks, so-called Men of God do human rituals to gather congregations, vacancies occur for just the children of elites when brilliant graduates ride “okada” for their daily survival, able-bodied adults still live under their parents, and Yahoo boys terrorise innocent citizens, while ritual killings, kidnappings, armed robbery go unabated; the list of our vices is endless.

A new social order is highly necessary otherwise the country is doomed.

I just don’t understand it! I just don’t! I’m no longer surprised at how corrupt everybody is here. It does not matter what tribe, what religion, how highly or poorly educated, what strata of the society, young or old, male or female. It is a disease that’s very infectious and endemic. No cure in sight, and even the afflicted don’t want to be cured.

Just a few days ago, it came to the open, officials of Lagos Ministry of Education gave a list of items a private school owner seeking government approval should provide, which included among other things household consumables aside specific amount of cash gift running to hundreds of thousands of Naira. At a point it seems like a wedding /engagement list, that’s how low some Nigerians have sunk in the pursuits of filthy lucre.

Yes. And we continue to blame government and politicians. What about us, the people?

We are simply lazy with a very negative orientation!! We keep praying to God to help us, but I doubt if God is going to help those who are not even helping themselves.

Or do we blame Government for a lax and loose system that allows such heinous and unbridled corruption to happen everywhere?

Who are the government? No be me and you? It still boils down to orientation. Our level of corruption is deeply rooted and so systemic. We need to start re-educating the next generation coming, of the need to have the right mindset. I guess it’s too late for ours.

It has always been a deliberate attempt by those in power to create loopholes for exploitation. Corruption was built into our system of governance, military or democratic, and Constitution. How much will it take them to enable online ticket purchase by passengers in the case of rail tickets, for example? Make it electronic and opportunity for fraud will be greatly reduced.

Very sad indeed! When are we going to do the right thing for our country? Rotten nation in all ramifications. Sad, very sad.

It is very unfortunate. Too bad. Is this nation a cursed nation? These evil doers try to sabotage government effort and they will be the first to cry out and blame the government. Too bad and to even see a woman among the people paraded it beats my imagination.

I will blame the government because any form of corruption without capital punishment is deceit.

How do they spend the money accrued from their illegal dealings? I know someone who even stole a ticket machine from the toll gate office of Lagos-Ibadan Express way when it was commissioned in 1978. He is worse than a beggar presently.

And the saboteurs are the ones that make the loudest noises after killing the project.

Look beyond officials in the ministry and agencies involved in running that business, there are Judases in every arm of government in this country.

Our value system has turned 360 degrees. We are in a country now that a generation honestly don’t understand what honesty is. To lie and cheat and steal now is very normal as long as you get something out of it and these are legitimised by donating to the religious centres and in some instances, do an act of benevolence that will bag you a chieftain year title.

So abnormal are now unashamedly normal.

How many Nigerians died from tapping gasoline from the pipelines? How many of our guys died trying to steal high voltage cables? Many will try to print non-deadly train tickets. Our leaders created monsters; they must find ways to take care of them.

A lot of Nigerians have corruption tendency. Everything they do is corruption. If they have job and they can steal, they quit the job and prefer to be unemployed.

Some however still blame the government for their unthinking and unreasonable ways of handling things. People would take advantage of loopholes. I have written several times that our rulers and governments built corruption into the system, and embedded a weak criminal justice system….

Another problem is that Nigerians don’t believe in Nigeria. Hence everyone putting personal interest above all else. Same goes with ruling class. Or how do you describe the legislature that ascribe uncontrolled renumeration for themselves? Ministers stealing allocated funds. Corporation executives over invoicing contracts. The Nation, the People and the people all rotten from top to bottom. The present political system demoralises everyone. Quite sickening.

People do it because it is easy and there are no consequences. For there to be consequences, the government must act, so the government is to blame for inaction.

We need to force the pace of development if we are to get out of this rut. Give ourselves impossible targets and make sure we meet them come what may.

The Vikings set the precedence for this. Whenever they invaded any land, they sunk their long ships at the coast, so they could not escape.

For them the choice was simple – Victory or death!

We need like minds and understanding.

We are seeing this in Ethiopia at the moments.  The Ethiopians made up their minds that they will no longer accept bribes. (I was told this by the minister of trade a few years ago at the UN).

As a result of that they have been building their country for the last 6 years or so. And as such, the whole country, Ethiopia, has been turned into a massive building site. They have succeeded in building an industrial hub, rail links etc in the name of development.

As long as we have the kind of mindsets of corruption, religion and ethnicity before our common good, we will be wasting time with all our good intentions.

We need to begin the process of re-orientation of our people and enlightening them about the impact and results of good governance.

That is the simple Truth!!!!

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