ne. Meanwhile,the perfidious influence of the fading halo of the evening sun was stealing through the shutters on the parapet where a metal spike had perforated the wall.
This breezes were strong this early evening as I watched the lone stork discreetly, trembling from the cold and the shocking
news I have just received
that some unknown persons have built structures on my parcel of land. I screamed holy Moses! as I dropped the call.
I feel stitched up as I considered the veracity of the news;how on earth will a
tenant to who I leased the parcel of Land in Akowonjo-Agege stealthily steal a march on me, by illegally applying for and getting a “Certificate of Occupancy”;
(“C of O”,for short),in spite of a valid proof and extent legal documents in my favour. Exquisitely painful, isn’t!
A stink bomb!But under my steam, I will resolutely fight this unfair treatment to its logical conclusions. My wife’s voice echoed in my ear.” Calm down- it’s nothing to get steamed up about.” A note of subdued excitement in her voice. I got the subliminal message. Of course, when a water-pipe bursts,the next thing to do is, turn off the stopcock.
I can feel and see trouble in store for people who’ve set much store by material possessions.
There is a storm brewing. However, there is a subconscious thought and feelings in the mind,which one is not fully aware of but which influence one’s actions-memories buried deep in the subconscious. I suppose that, subconsciously, I was reacting against my strict upbringing that often preached calmness-the majesty of calmness. But I am unable to subdue a mounting sense of excitement, of writing on and about corruption in the land.
Now from the ridiculous to the sublime. Corruption in the land has become a serial film that creates an atmosphere of menace. A menace to the society,its environments,and threatening the nation’s ménage. It is a scourge that
has turned our great nation into a house built on stilts at the edge of a lake.
A sad but beaming visage that has bred great incompetence, ineptitude, inefficiency, negligence and all known vices for which the country is an expert. A sad commentary on the part of government officials and politicians on one hand and the stupefying ignorance of the beneficiaries.
I uttered several vigorous but unprintable expletives,at the avaricious look of public service that has bred a whole generation of brilliant
employees and flamboyant
politicians who could not tell a racehorse from a cart-horse, nor see the cracks not only in the structure of the public service but also in the skewed structure of the nation;its get-rich quick
methods and its little Czars slowly crushing it and its political system out of existence.
The leaves glistened wetly in the rain as I stretched forward,found my laptop, talk about this
menace I must. Talk about corruption that has come to characterized our national life, corruption in high places and all over.
A scourge whose influence is all pervasive and often viewed through the warped sense and lens of our today’s debased moral standards.
This menace is ubiquitous, yet no one knew who it is, where it lived or what it looked like as it keeps changing shape and growing; but its small pieces build into larger pieces and the larger pieces complete the charade of a jig-saw,and a puzzle in which all of us at one time or the other benefited, and our nation now have a nice fire on its hands.
Corruption, especially, of people with authority or power willing to act dishonestly in return for personal gain, not following accepted standards,and in some cases, not following laid down rules and or regulations. Behaviours that
despicable and steadily
building in the nation’s cortex a corrupt leisure
Our society is successfully
breeding young people whose morals have been corrupted in an environment whose corrupting influence is so pervasive and widespread; go to our schools today
either for admissions purposes or sitting for an examination, go to public offices for
employment,they are filled with officials who are open to corruption.
The pervasive widespread damage has left the war against corruption and the new sheriff (seen,as a wet
blanket,who spoils other people’s fun by disapproving of it and refusing to join) zero-tolerance for corruption and the concomitant reforms he’s trying so hard to institute purely cosmetic and ineffective.
Thus,leaving a nation cosseted by ineptitude, weak perceptions and good value judgement owing to the poor reading of the situations,ever wonder why the nation’s anti-graft agencies are blinding the nation with science and not
making one successful conviction,which otherwise would have served as a deterrent to would-be looters and offenders.
The scourge as I have pointed out elsewhere is truly and indeed widespread and runs contrary to the norms and traditions which are the cornerstone of the nation’s civilization. Transparency International noted that “corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gains.” It hurts everyone whose life,livelihood or happiness depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority.
The scourge has triggered a nation whose outlook is bleak, its nets are empty, who’ve tried everything it knows and its people are yearning and sincerely ready to give up. One can’t blame the people. It happens in life; you get to the place where you simply stop expecting anything good.
You’ve experienced too many disappointments and you’re afraid to dream, reach, stretch or broaden your horizons; because you are conjoined and intertwined with a nation and a government battling with recession which left you wrestling with depression and tormenting memories, unemployment, underemployment, addiction, financial failure, stresses, problems at work and at home, times of change;change here I must place in parenthesis is as in change, not as in the ‘APC change’ that has no gold standards.
The concept and blueprints to fight the evils of corruption apparently are in the mind of only Mister president; yes, PMB alone
while the rest of us are merely defined by feelings.The funny thing
about this war and its
execution is that the war commander himself has a starry-eyed notion
about reforming society and a scourge that has remained a complete enigma.
In all ages,well-intentioned people, like PMB,who have tried to establish a more just society and moderating revolution and sociopolitical engineering were constantly foiled by greed and corruption.His lieutenants, the dinosaurs and politicians, and their coterie of advisers are merely acting on their own
preferences,and it appears,
they do not seriously, share PMB’s passion and enthusiasm in fighting the menace. Some of them have amassed possessions,thinking the more they have the safer they are.
The same insecurity that motivated the builders of the “Tower of Babel”. Stockpiling possessions and property,accumulated and stacked until their tower of belongings in Dubai, UK and elsewhere in the world’s tax-havens grew so tall it reached heaven.
Thinking and believing riches bring security. But No! It doesn’t. The more you have, the more you have to lose! Its ironic; the more you accumulate the more protective you become and the greater your concern that it could all be swept away by events you can’t control.
Those that are rich in the present age and who
think it is a soothing syrup on their ergo,better, beware!
The nation’s thieving
‘politricians’ and public officials do not realise that
almost half the world- more than a billion people- lives on less than £2 a day. If your income is more than that, there is every possibility of entering the booby trap set by pride and arrogance.
For analysis sake,do you know that between 1948 and 2001 the US economy endured ten recessions, each averaging one year, and resulting in the lost of billions of dollars. That means every five years or so,the economy drops its suitors and starts all over again.
The moral here is,riches are like Monopoly money, if you’re better than your competitor, you end up with the deeds to the most expensive property. But guess what? At the end of the day when the game is over, as it would sure do, the participants leave the table and all the stuff goes back in the box. Humbling! Isn’t?
Many believed that success can only be measured at the end of one’s life, but that’s not true; one has discovered that success can be measured at different stages in life and that, if the nation is conscious of success at the level where we are today, that consciousness will take us to a higher level of success tomorrow; with a reinvented culture of excellence, the primordial instincts and innate sense of style which were intrinsic features for which our forbears prospered and for which they were widely acknowledged, the fruits of which today, we have left to rotten, while treading the primrose paths.
Today,necessity has laid it upon the PMB administration to reinvent the wheel, but with a template, blueprint and approach that should lead to a pragmatic ideology
who’s content must be included in the nation’s citizenship and civics education curriculum planning, development and implementation. Even as it starts a campaign drive in all the wards in the
federation for the teeming mass of its impressionable youths, a people crushed, who couldn’t make sense of living in a nation stifling their hopes of a “better life”;one where people live for each day’s pleasures.
It is sad,so sad, that the country is breeding a generation plagued-with drug and alcohol abuse, crime and prostitution, heading to jail or grave, worse yet,so many have joined the bandwagon of get-rich quick and by any means possible, with kidnapping for ransom and or ritual killings in tow. The youths should strive to make a case for themselves, nobody will do it,neither will demonstrating the absence of honesty, trust, truth,perseverance
In the ensuing scenario and
rat-race,it is interestingly becoming unpleasant and difficult for the youths to listen to adults; to the advice of those who are older and experienced, as they now find it more easy to assume that older one’s do not really understand the challenges and problems the young face. I fart!
The nation’s social welfare
development must (i) reinforced its capacity-building and organized workshops, talkshow that is aimed at disabusing the nation from illegitimate ambition, the dastard and brazen acts of killings, stealing and yahooz.
ii)that they shouldn’t be impressed with those who get rich and pile up fame and fortune illegally;that if they managed to escape jail, they can’t take the
fortune with them, fame and fortune all get left behind. It is a truism that when they
think they’ve arrived and people praise them,musicians eulogized
them because they are
perceived to have done well for themselves, they enter the vault where they’ll never see sunshine again.
The nation can resist corruptive influences,however,individual efforts will never completely eliminate or root out corruption, because the causes go deep-far too deep and one’s fear is that corruption is inevitable and will never be completely eliminated, because it has a way of fighting back.
You are all corrupt ,yes!even me! Basically,because,our nation is characterised by craftiness, greed and selfishness. In such an environment, most people find it difficult to be different. Driven by selfish ambition, we become power hungry.
We,all of us,also develop a strong desire for money,more money and possessions-more than we really need,with the devil craftily exploiting our natural desire for material comfort and financial well-being to the point that we act deceitfully because of the irresistible pressure exerted.
Sadly,we are willing to behave in a dishonest way to achieve those goals. Rather than resisting unwholesome influences, we “follow after the crowd for evil ends”. Admittedly, it is not easy to be honest,and I’m being honest here, because of the pressure to meet goals and aspirations; to survive in a competitive world; a world in which most people regard giving and receiving bribes as normal practice.
When you are saddled with heavy financial responsibility, in a permissive environment and with no strong moral value and fibre, it is a challenge to be honest. But our lives will be more
meaningful if it can be reduced from the present height.
Have you ever been a victim of corruption? Perhaps not of the kind I recounted in the opening paragraph, but almost certainly you have suffered the effects of corruption because of its pervasive reality; and no one is immune to the perils of corruption.
To define the future, the nation must decide its fate during this trying times. The PMB’s administration appears to be trying hard to recover the proceeds of graft, one hopes he would not be encumbered by forces which he is unwilling or unable to control in a nation trembling like an Aspen leaf,one that is living a lie and with a body politics in turmoil. One, where,allegedly,public/civil servants stole approximately $9 billion;and another $2billion doled out as political patronage and oil blocs to the bargain. The urge to clear the Augean stable and the urgency to do it should give him the 00mph to keep going, having in mind the conservative feelings of a traumatized people.
Nigerians are placated by the president’s zero-tolerance for corruption and are filled up with expectations that if he can winkle the political will those staggering amount of ill-gotten monies recovered from corrupt officials would be deployed to act as a stimulus to jump start the nation’s ailing economy.#
Jimi Bickersteth is a blogger and a writer.
He can be reached on Twitter