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Nigeria’s Corruption Bind: Role Of Youth in Changing The Narrative – T Abolo

The Oasis Reporters

November 22, 2017

Prospective University of Ibadan students perfect their required credentials before going in for the Post – UTME screening recently.

Corruption for many is about hearing a governor stole N2.5 billion or Diezani Allison Madueke is accused of embezzling N75 million dollars.
But what about the President of Nigeria, Buhari, whose cousins and nephews have key positions in this government?
Is that fairness or corruption?
What about secret and unadvertised employments in the Federal Public Service?
Is that fairness or corruption?

The President goes outside the country for 102 days treatment, leaving his countrymen and women in Hospitals that are run by striking or poorly equipped doctors.
Is that fairness or corruption?
You apply for a document in the Ministry and to push your file, you give the gateman or the clerk N500 to push your case.
Is that help for the gateman or clerk or corruption?
You have a case with the police and you do not want the police to investigate and indict you, as you want to have your freedom.
Your relation does a favour to the police but makes it seem it has nothing to do with your case.
Are you corrupt or you are a nice person?
Bail is free, but you tell the officer as you are seeking to perfect your papers with the police – Do take this N5,000 for your fuel.
Are you perverting justice or you are corrupt?
Your pastor comes to pray for you and you give him a bottle of choice wine as a “thank you” offer.
Are you exhibiting corruption or showing appreciation?
Your marks are low in class and you are heading for a pass and not even a lower credit. And you offer sex, or money or wine to a lecturer.
You call that showing warmth or friendliness with your lecturer?
Are you being a decent student or a corrupt student?
And if your Governor comes and doles out N500,000:00 to the students for an end of year party, is that a decent Governor, a moral Governor or a corrupt Governor?

Fellows, we are in a moral dilemma. Our old cultures are gone and we are in new days of mixed up values. Individuals are now setting the standards and no longer religion or the society. We have difficulties setting standards, hence we are in a quagmire.
Who should set the norms?
The Political class? The Traditional rulers? The Pastors? The Adults? Lecturers?
That is the challenge we have now. We have a moral and social crisis.
Until we understand the context better, we will not be able to address it.

To situate the problem better, a well run economy that has its population fully engaged and in productive engagement, an economy with the youth fully mobilized around nation building goals, the youth fully availed of every opportunity to express their God given talents and to excel academically and in productive ventures is an economy that the youth will not think of corruption as a net effect of a badly run country so as to engage in Badoo, cultism, political gangsterism or in any act of corruption. Every leadership in the country has failed you. Every institution has failed. They are weak and do not have any strong moral fibre. Religion that could have helped, preaches miracles and prosperity. Seeing poor people who are in urgent need of economic emancipation, they the Pastors now have “Mugus” as church members. Many pastors are in business and not in any religious or spiritual enterprise. They are even as corrupt as other members of society. Academia that should speak, are too afraid to raise their voices to speak truth to power. Traditional rulers now honor fraudsters and yahoo boys as Chiefs. Degrees are now acquired falsely. They are even issued and typed out from business centres. We are in deep shit!

Corruption has eaten into every fabric of the nation’s fabric. Young girls as low as 12 to 14, are into prostitution and even young boys as low as 10, tell lies.

Corruption is largely responsible for our failed political system. It accounts for our slow economic growth and ineffective institutions, low academic and educational attainments as even failed entry students are even admitted into institutions where they fail woefully but are helped to pass out with honours.
The consequence of all these, corrupted manpower that cannot redeem and recover Nigeria, our deteriorating living conditions, utter poverty, very rural poor villagers, penury, abject deprivation everywhere.

The Feudal system in the North is itself corruption. It is that same system that has infested Nigeria, since the North has dominated the political space for too long that corruption and greed drives the Nigerian system. We are in a bind. We are in a catch 22.

But you the youth, having seen all the negative consequences, are the hope, that we can recover our values, by doing a few things. The values of honesty, integrity and truth which your parents gave you, insist on not departing from them, no matter the temptation. It is those who gave in, they are the ones misleading you now. So if you do not like the effect of a badly run country, then stick to the words of wisdom of your parents.

Two, you came to school to study and to pass. But get one thing clear, a certificate is nothing. What you should take away from school is education and knowledge. It is those who want certificates that have nothing to prove. They are the ones who fall by the wayside and easily give in to corruption. An educated person is one who uses knowledge for action. They are the ones who go to create things and make changes in the world.

How would you be celebrated in 50 years time?
As a thief or one who became Mike Zuckerberg , a Tony Elemelu, a Dangote, a Bill Gates, a Richard Branson?
Graduates from a University or a polytechnic and become a worthy and celebrated Alumnus?

Learn to be creative and use your brain for big things, through hard work, discipline and integrity. This is what has made Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore famous. This is what made Deng Xiaoping of China to create modern China. This is what made Japan a powerful nation. This is what made Donald Trump, a billionaire. Not one of these persons became famous because of corruption.

Never celebrate or follow a corrupt person. Avoid them like plague. Tell them off if they are your elders. They would be so ashamed. That is how our forefathers cleansed the system by ostracizing evil and negative persons.

Find a mentor, someone who can show you the ropes of success, not quick success. A coach or a mentor would lead you on a right path. Fame and wealth are never by shortcuts. Anything fast may land you in the prison and your life and career ruined.

Let me see you being celebrated in ten years time for the right reasons.

Start today.

Form anti-corruption clubs, clubs where good morals are explained, where excellence is celebrated, where ideals of a big future are explained; anti-corruption clubs made up of persons who would later lead the nation out of its moral morass.
Make no mistake. Years from now, Nigerians will realize the errors of corruption. They would be looking for honest men to lead in politics, in educational institutions and in the professions. Would you be available to be recruited? That is when today’s youth would reclaim Nigeria. That is when on the global corruption index, we would have moved from No 142 to be among the squeaky clean list in the Transparency International Annual Index. I want to see that the youth made the difference in Nigeria, by becoming the Nigerians of our dreams!!

Written by Tony Abolo.
He’s a veteran broadcaster, Broadcasting trainer, University lecturer, Public Relations Consultant and one time BBC producer and Correspondent in Brussels.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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