By Charity Odoh
Corruption in Nigeria has become a daily phenomenon that has taken every sector captive and has rendered the governed powerless and voiceless.
Corruption never struck the country suddenly like a thunderstorm; neither did it develop wings overnight. Its weight has so much overwhelmed us and we have come to the conclusion that only the government is to be blamed for the cankerworm that has eaten deep into our system.
It is apparent that corruption has its root and can be found virtually in everyone, only the levels of its maturity in individuals differ.
If we are of the opinion that only the government is to be blamed and held responsible for being the architect of corruption, then we’re yet to identify the remote cause of our dilemma.
Or what do we make of parents bribing examination supervisors so as to let their wards have access to answer materials?
How about an electorate who collects #2000 just to sell their votes in favour of an aspirant who evidently can’t perform up to expectations? A meagre amount which can barely last a week?
Shall we also talk about the youths who vow to embezzle funds if he or she happens to find him or herself in any governmental position?
It is high time we stopped shifting blame and take responsibility for our actions. The government and citizens are equal perpetrators in the puzzle and deserve an equal share of the blame in the level of corruption the country has risen to.
While engaging in an intellectual discussion with a colleague, he stated that no one can hold any governmental position without being corrupt.
Shall we accept our fate and agree that corruption is a societal norm?!
If this is the opinion everyone holds about corruption, then battling it is of no use!
People become corrupt when given governmental positions because they already have a high tendency of being corrupt. No one steals with the excuse that he or she was forced to do so.
If we must change our society, then we must first be changed. Our focus must be shifted from the government to our individual selves. If we can’t be transparent and truthful in our de die in diem activities and also in our dealings with people, what becomes of us when we are given leadership positions?
Core values like truthfulness, honesty, selflessness and transparency must be revived if we must make our country corruption free as well as a better place to live.