The Case Against Corruption: A Cupric Engagement

by Sylvester Fadal

There seem to be an intensity of energy as it relates to voicing concerns about corruption in Nigeria. These alignment towards a cause however seem to yield nothing over the years but a cumbersome engagement on the part of the writers.

True, there have been various recommendations over the past weeks by varied writers on how to address corruption issues in Nigeria. These apple-to-apple strategies coupled with some reasonable or intentionally flawed fallacious analysis shows the gap in understanding of the prevailing culture in Nigeria. No matter how much we sometimes think we understand the system, one (those resident in other countries) could be gone so long that yearly or bi-yearly visits, daily doses of Nigeria-related internet news and frequent calls does not suffice for a clear knowledge of popular happenings. Some of these articles show a gap in understanding that there is no set quality portal to measuring or tracking Nigerian’s corruption level.

The commonality of thoughts among these considerate writers is that corruption is the norm in Nigeria though embraced more by the most-corrupt -prone individuals. The call for a custom solution is perhaps a waste of time. The call for outright resignation seem reasonable but won’t happen. These dream weaver concepts, alongside seeking proof or waiting for the system to wear itself out before a resolution or meaningful action can be taken, does not apply to third world countries and most likely, never will in the next few generations. I empathize with Paul Adujie because he is quite passionate about his messages and recommendations. Though objective and reasonable, they are just very abstract from how the Nigerian system works. Some people hate the truth and would crucify those that seek or speak it.

The consoling caveat is the agreement from most people that corruption should be stopped. The process of espousing corruptive individuals and the ethnic cries of some people who view ethnicity as the underlying cornerstone to any action is what creates the perceived divergent reactions and resistance to establishing agendas or boundaries on curtailing this evil act. It is obvious that the unification of voices as it relates to corruption is not enough. Sometimes, the approach simply leads to a conspiracy that trickles into selective acts and could be used as a process of elimination of those who stand as obstacles to the growth of others. A clear example of this act s the recent call by Buba Marwa on VP Atiku to resign. This conspiracy approach, if used selfishly, as part of a united voice against corruption, will definitely benefit Marwa who has a clear vested interest in the presidency in 2007.

What Nigerians should seek is collaboration and expediency on the part of OBJ as we could be divided from a broad-based perspective but yet willing to collaborate in fighting corruption if some ethnic groups are not segmented, isolated and treated differently. There is no cemented appropriate faculty of process as it relates to corruption analysis and the crusade against it. It may be best to focus on an effective and immediate resolution rather than attempting to explore the minds of corrupt criminals, as this is virtually impossible.

Belief Systems

Belief systems are developed or built from the physical, experiential, and knowledge windows. To shift a belief system, regardless of the intended direction of the change, requires extensive efforts. The consequences or benefits of the change must be well pronounced. Those championing the change must build a strong sense of volitional devotion to succeed. Are Nigerians ready for a shift in their belief systems?

The Enablers

There is a subtle or sometimes obvious, but highly powerful driver that enables people to adopt a style. The enablers of corruption in Nigeria are (a) Poverty, (b) Poor Leadership, (c) Integrity and (d) Indiscipline.

The level of poverty is directly proportional to the level to which, individuals are willing to compromise their integrity in most cases.

The level of leadership or non-thereof from an evaluative standpoint is directly proportional to the level of poverty and the level to which, citizens are willing to compromise their integrity for basic survival.

The level of indiscipline on the part of parents that continue to have multiple progeny in the face of (a) abject poverty knowing they can’t afford to feed these children, (b) bad or horrible leaders, knowing that these doomed leaders will continue to create regressive programs, and (c) weak integrity and values options, knowing the situations they are bringing these children into.

Recognizing these enablers, it is clear that the problem of corruption will remain unless these issues are addressed. The citizens of the nation must be positioned to say “no” to temptation to commit corruption. The environment at this time does not allow that.

Who Isn’t Corrupt?

Reality is, who isn’t corrupt in a system that encourages corruption as a get-rich-quick means? Is it the spare part dealers at Mile 2, the money seeking church pastors, the check-point police officers, the bank cashier or manager, the relative assisting with a project while you are sending them the money from Japan, the USA or Britain?

Once again, tell me who isn’t corrupt? If these elements are all prone to compromis

ing their integrity, what do we expect from politicians that view their positions as a multi-faceted opportunity for wealth?

Who isn’t corrupt in a system that doesn’t reward honesty? Politicians don’t load money into their pockets or suitcases when they travel. They use devious bank officials, accomplices and other officers to drain off the allocations of their states into foreign bank accounts. They have supporters in their games. Some of them live right next to you in the USA. Their job is to help launder money while running conjured businesses.

Are passengers turned armed robbers on expressways or college lecturers that design selfish driven curriculums for easy wealth and sexual immorality less corrupt than our politicians? From the cause and effect standpoint, our politicians are the most corrupt.

Governors and Presidential Teams

Politicians represent the people. They have absolute control of the money that is meant for the development of the state and people. State governors have to be watched closely as we do the presidential office. What is killing the nation’s citizens right now is the actions of the state governors. They are corrupt beyond redemption. We don’t need any proof to outline these claims. Their level of greed grows as they get closer to the end of their tenure in office.

They are horrible in their goal of creating as much wealth as they can without any regards for the people they represent. They are innately competitive among themselves and they are amoral to the core. They compete to outwit the wealth of each other. When one steals a $1M the other seek to steal $10M, upping their level of greed each time. They are devilish and orchestrates cultism in colleges by using these gullible students to intimidate or eliminate those that question their actions.

Our state governors need to be ringed in by OBJ quickly and fiercely. They are off the tip of the corruption chart in their actions. They are eclipsing the most unimaginable level of corruption ever seen in Nigeria. The arrest of Alamieyeseigha is a wash. He will walk and return to his ways. His arrest only created bubbles that will not last long. We have seen this happen before and nothing came out of it. The London Metropolitan Police needs to straighten its act and detain these individuals without bail if they want to make a true statement. These propaganda arrests are getting old and sickening. They have tried this sort of press misinformation arrest in the past with several governors and elected officials and nothing tangible ever happened.

I have over the past few months spoken in support of OBJ’s corruption drive. I am fully against corruption but if consequences are not commensurate to the crime committed when people are caught, then, I am no longer interested in wasting my precious evenings writing about these snail pace actions. I am very disappointed to say the least. I resisted writing about VP Atiku despite all the information I gathered and read about his fraudulent acts because it is again, a battle that will lead to no change. It is a cupric engagement. We can vent all we want. It will make no difference unless OBJ is willing to clean his acts and take swift, strong actions against official and unofficial (Chris Uba) governors.

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prince kennedy Iyoha September 24, 2005 - 9:17 am

For sometime now we ve read about the corrupt activities of leaders like the VP. and even the son of obj. There seems to be consensus as to the fact that corruption is an enemy of a growing democracy like our own.

As you rightly pointed out many Nigerians have this culture in the blood. However do not want to acknowledge it. Rather we point our fingers at our neighbours while we do the very same. Nigeria is a country with enormous resources and developed manpower. Most of us are working outside the country contributing our talent to the growth of another economy because our leaders failed to implement policies of growth.

Many political candidates are sponsored by corrupt godfathers who in retune will want favour from this governors in forms of contracts that will never be executed. Government will do much to discourage this attitude if a fund is set-aside for every candidate contesting for position. This will encourage healthy governess that will not be compelled to satisfy the needs and ego of the vampires that will never control their greeds.

If this economy is properly managed Nigerians will have no business with poverty and our expatriate will remain to help improve it.

The most important achievement of this administration is the recognition for the first time that corruption is in the higher places and the need to combate. In addition i am pleased that the said fight has been institutionalized. Previous government had centralized their fight against the policemen that takes bribes in the street.

Let us not make mistake to think that this administration will end this war; she has just set up an instrument for the coming generations of leaders. I am not a prophet but i will venture to say that by the next ten to fifteen years from today Nigerian will be enjoying a healthy poltica atmosphere.

Reply September 24, 2005 - 12:16 am

Dr Sylvester Fadal I cannot thank you enough for this brilliant and constructive analysis and especially for the models. Baba Iyabo (President Olusegun Obasanjo) can only shut the gatei.e. deter he cannot eliminate corruption.Recall he set up Public Complaints Commission and Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau at his first coming (1975-1979). As soon as he leftothers came and simply starved the bodies of funds to operate so that no investigation of complaints took place under Shehu Shagari.(N.B. Shehu Shagari made last minute effort by establishing Minister of National Guidance (Maitama Sule) and appointed credible people like Chief Kehinde Sofola Att-Gen) Then Buhari came and fought corruption headlong by applying Military Justice (supported by Gani Fawehinmi) and largely succeeded.

Culprits were jailed and loot recovered by the Recovery of Public Property Tribunals headed by soldiers. But when he (as we say in Yoruba) passed his space by carrying the war into his constituency -the military he was quickly toppled and made to serve a three year jail term! The coup plotters reversed the sentences returned or auctioned the loot back to the looters and compensated the looters and Buhari's "enemies" with offices including Governorships!Then the term "settlement" entered our vocab.The probing of Governors became forbidden; and when Ogun State Governor (Muhammed Lawal) was accused of massive corruption by his commissioner Augustus Aikomu was quickly dispatched to go and publicly clear him.So to date only two set of Governors have been probed – Gowon's Governors and Shehu Shagari's Governors. All others escaped with their loot! Nobody remembers today that some Military Governors chopped the ecological disaster funds disbursed to their states by the Federal govt.Our eyes will also be forcibly closed to the Gulf Oil Windfall (12 Billion) as well as the ECOMOG Funds which V.P. Atiku says ran into Billions(As of today 1910 U.S. troops killed in Iraq but our own Govt owes nobody any obligations to disclose or account)Ahhh and the foreign loans are a no-go area. So what we do is close the gate.We ignore those who chopped under the Military and jail the Politicians either at home or abroad. Butapart from the ethnic people now accusing Baba Iyabo of planting hard currency on and in the residences of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DSP)/Governor-General as well as V.P. Atiku you listen and hear what the Nigerian Governors Forum will say on the current matter in Britain.By the way another "no-go area" is corruption in the private sector.So I agree with you that we have not been consistent and those sanctioned rightly feel victimised.we may never recover what was looted by previous rulers.It does not avail the current cuprits however to point to another corrupt person nor should we condone them. By the time DSP returns home it will dawn on Nigerians that what we really need is a dose of Military Justice as was the case under Buhari (at least for the corrupt civilians while we pray to God relief from corrupt military oppressors who never probe themselves and are never probed) In the alternative Sharia Administrative Law may after all be what will avail for now. I also recommend that all top public servants be made to undergo compulsory money laundering workshop as they take oath of office and legislation should impose higher sanction for any crime that has foreign element.Finally NGOs like Niyi Oniororos Anti-Corruption Society should be funded by Govt to empower them to assist in the war.


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