CORRUPTION practically has this nation on its knees. It has an avowed desperation to kill this country. It has demonstrated a monstrous epiphany in every sector of the economy, a destructive hurricane looking to sweep the country away. It will ensure this country remains a pseudo giant in Africa until our principal mainstay (oil) is depleted, it ensures the majority of common men are hopelessly poor while the ruling class minority are mindlessly rich. Blatant corruption keeps pummeling the less fortunate by the gale force of shrinking hope. The transcendence of corruption was under-estimated, it is swallowing us in its crater-like jaws, ultimately keeping the common man in perpetual suffering and squalor.
Our past leaders at all levels except few have attributive perpetual infamy for crass profligacy, they in practice fail to genuinely frown at financial criminality. They revel in kleptomania and brazen diversion of the commonwealth in millions, billions and trillions (of Naira) for sheer partisan motives. The sleaze partying went on for so long. They flout the principles of fiscal responsibility, with utter disregard for impending retributions of graft practices. The public till was virtually devoured to the last kobo by a rapacious few with insatiable appetite for looting public funds.
In the last decade, politicians committed the most blatant grand heist on the ordinary Nigerian taxpayers, with an unrivaled avaricious lust and unmatched greed for wealth, they overshot their worth, they inflated contracts to unimaginable proportions, awarded mouth-watering contracts to their cronies, dipped hands into the treasury in their giddy drunkenness to spend our hard-earned money frivolously, jet out to foreign countries for jamboree at the expense of tax payers, while our local and foreign reserves plummeted with avowed predilection
The advent of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in May last year brought a renewed hope and a more realistic expectation among ordinary Nigerians that the greed-driven, thieving cabals that have for over a long period of time have been dipping their filthy, itchy fingers into our national common treasury. Feeding fat on our collective wealth with a repulsive gusto while depleting and plummeting cash reserves with irritable relish, they will, hopefully soon, have their day of reckoning in which all their nefarious activities will be brought to the limelight and adequate court sentences meted out.
In the last decade, politicians committed the most blatant grand heist on the ordinary Nigerian taxpayers, with an unrivaled avaricious lust and unmatched greed for wealth, they overshot their worth, they inflated contracts to unimaginable proportions, awarded mouth-watering contracts to their cronies, dipped hands into the treasury in their giddy drunkenness to spend our hard-earned money frivolously, jet out to foreign countries for jamboree at the expense of tax payers, while our local and foreign reserves plummeted with avowed predilection.
These crop of leaders meet at public events to clink glasses in celebration of a successful heist; neck-deep in corruption they grin from side to side sharing banters and with hearty laughter, spend their loot on beautiful women, concubines and girlfriends. They offer exorbitant prices in exchange for needless chieftaincy titles. Choice properties are acquired in the most luxurious, expensive destinations of the world. Of course, they drive the costliest of bullet proof cars.
While our money is being diverted to private pockets by these quintessential hedonists, scores of people are dying of hunger in the north, internally displaced persons (IDPs) are growing up in numbers, workers’ salary which actually was never commensurate with present day economic realities is yet to be paid even after several months. Hospitals are ill-equipped, young people are unemployed, electricity and fuel are still scarce commodities, universities can’t embark on purposeful researches because of poor funding, the roads are a death trap while insecurity and lawlessness keep course on the rise.
During the presidential electioneering campaign, President Buhari could not hide his disdain for the level of corruption that has pervaded the entire country. His avowed determination to fight corruption was known to all and he made it one of the cardinal points in his change mantra. It is therefore really surprising and disappointing when some elderly Nigerians and some senior citizens fight tooth and nail to stop Buhari, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) in the war against corruption, which they label as a “witchhunt of perceived opposition” and “a figment of imagination of Buhari” when EFCC swung into action.
I am more worried at the precedents set and legacy these crop of leaders is inadvertently bequeathing to the younger generation. Are these leaders who are unsettled, irritated and irked by the anti- corruption war indirectly schooling the youths that greediness and fiscal irresponsibility should be rewarded? Do these leaders want to prove to us that accountability in public office and financial prudence aren’t virtues? Do these set of senior citizens not know that corruption is our biggest threat in the comity of nations?
It is with utter astonishment and sheer consternation young Nigerians see people they call leaders maintain an antagonistic public gait against the cleanup of our land from the evil of corruption, ranting bitterly against the relentless effort of the crimes commission to recoup looted funds back into the nation’s coffers just because their friends, cohorts, partners, party members and political associates are being detained and questioned for financial misappropriations. It is really disappointing, but I’ll be quick to add that anyone who comes out to rubbish these anti corruption war failing to see its positives and benefits has chosen to dance naked shamelessly in the market square and will be ultimately regarded as an enemy of the state.
I will like to state categorically that any leader in this country that publicly takes a stand against this administration’s anti corruption war is “dancing nakedly in public” and will be disrespected as such. In saner climes, leaders and public officials that have a thick cloud of corrupt allegations hovering over them would have their head buried in shame and if found guilty of these allegations, would tender an unreserved apology and a resignation letter while being remorseful. Any of our past or present leaders that being investigated and questioned for financial misappropriations while in office should be primarily concerned about how to prove his or her innocence rather than channeling their indignation at the whole anti corruption crusade which is destined to yield positive results.
It is with utter astonishment and sheer consternation young Nigerians see people they call leaders maintain an antagonistic public gait against the cleanup of our land from the evil of corruption, ranting bitterly against the relentless effort of the crimes commission to recoup looted funds back into the nation’s coffers just because their friends, cohorts, partners, party members and political associates are being detained and questioned for financial misappropriations
The downtrodden, the less privileged, the hoi-polloi and the unemployed youth of this country are greatly disappointed by leaders and elders whose public disposition in this matter suggest they are pro-corruption as they do all they can to scuttle this war. Suffice to say the youth are in agreement with the anti-corruption war this administration is waging against the thieving elite. As young people, we expect that our elders and statesmen should maintain a public conduct and stance that always underscore the importance attached to probity and transparency in public office. Our elders ought not to be seen encouraging financial recklessness and thievery.
Olufemi Olofinmuagun is a public affairs analyst and a Youth Corps Member serving in Lagos State. (email@example.com) 08067391565