In my quest for greener pastures and better opportunities, I often wondered why some countries amidst the chaos had order, whereas some others are engulfed in it. Why do some country’s cause her inhabitants to flee from her, to reside in far distant lands. Why is there a remarkable increase annually in the number of Nigerian youths that flee their country in search of opportunities and livelihood in a place far from home. I then realized that our problem was born, when we created favorable conditions in which corruption thrives. Laws that has made the led have no say on how they are being led, only to follow. A country where the needs of the few, outweighs that of the many.
Nigeria is a country in West Africa on the gulf of Guinea, bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east and Benin in the West. Under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, it is a country with a population of over 200 million, blessed with numerous natural resources from crude oil and natural gas, to gold, tin and silver but to name a few. She is ranked as the country with the largest oil production in Africa, and the sixth largest oil producing country in the world. Endowed with favorable weather conditions, rich soil that yields crops of all manner of shapes, sizes and taste. The birth place of some of the worlds great minds such as Bennet Ifeakandu Omalu. A physician, forensic pathologist and neuropathologist, the man who discovered and published findings on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in American footballers. It is undisputable that this country is endowed with so much of natures gifts. So why then is this beauty plagued with hunger, poverty and all forms of vices. To a point that she is identified as one of the poorest countries in the world. A country where a greater part of the citizens earn less than a hundred USD monthly.
Nigeria is one of many countries facing the challenges of corruption. Ever since General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida assumed the position as the Ex president of Nigeria in the year 1983, a position he occupied for eight years, the county has never found her footing, series of looting and theft by those of political position and leadership. An administration recorded as the most corrupt according to Wikipedia, giving birth to a trail of problems plaguing the country till this day.
According to the global corruption index, Nigeria is ranked 146 out of 180 most corrupt countries in the world. Last year she was 144, a two step increase in the rank of most corrupt in the world, she is also ranked fourth most corrupt country in West Africa and the second most corrupt in ECOWAS on TI corruption index. As though this was not enough, there have been shades of conflicts amongst the various tribes, conspicuous levels of increase in the country’s economic instability, absence of formidable government healthcare facilities, and an unimaginable increase in the level of unemployment. All these, accompanied with the fear, that things could only get worse. A nation full of green, now drives her young, off into lands far from home in search of greener pastures.
I have researched and come to a conclusion that absolute power, corrupts absolutely. That the best way to ensure a viable government centered on the needs of the people, free of the strings of corruption, is by making positions of leadership less enticing, stripped of absolute power, having active laws that encourage indictment and impeachment of defaulters. A country in which the led have no say on how they are being led, is a failed state. If one observes the government of countries we term as developed, one would notice that their government have been reformed to a point in which the only difference between a Mayor, a Governor or Senator and the common citizen, is only the position they occupy. No immunity or Impunity with regards to political position.
As stated by the Transparency International (TI), in the year 2019 the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) reveals that corruption is more pervasive in countries where huge sums of money flows freely into electoral campaigns. Also where governments heed only to the call of wealthy and well connected individuals.
The Nigerian government policy and constitution is in dire need of reformation. One that will strip those of political positions of the immunity they possess. A government that is more of dictatorship than leadership, favors only the wealthy and well-connected, enriches the lives of those in power and authority, is like a minefield, all it needs is a trigger.
Corruption is like a weed, ignore or overlook it, and it thrives, it grows a firm root, yielding seeds to ensure its longevity. Every country has suffered or has some level of corruption embed within them, even the heavens suffered such at some point in time. The smart countries devise means to curb and control it, whereas some others wallow in the instability and impending doom it is bound to bring.
A new day has dawned, and with it another day of Independence. Unfortunately, it came with a lesser cause for celebration as it has done in times past. Today we are reminded of our many flaws, yet offered time to reform and truly change the system that powers our dear nation, so the labor of our hero’s past, doesn’t be in vain.
Happy Independence Nigeria.