CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA: A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE: BY BLESSING OYANIMIGHA


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BLESSING OYANIMIGHA, (Ddirector of finance) BAYELSA MEW MEDIA TEAM, RECEIVES HER CERTIFICATE OF MERIT FROM THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR OF BAYELSA STATE, REAR ADMIRAL GBORIBIOGHA JOHN JONAH

 

The rise of public administration and the discovery of petroleum and natural gas are two major events seen to have led to a litany of ignoble corrupt practices in the country. Over the years

The country has seen its wealth withered with little to show in living conditions of the average human being. A Nigerian political leader in the person of Obafemi Awolowo raised a salient issue when he said, since independence…..our governments have been a matter of few holding the cow for the strongest and most cunning to milk…..Food for Thought…Under those circumstances everybody runs over everybody to make good at the expense of others and the pervasive corruption has been blamed on colonialism

According to this view the nation’s colonial history may have restricted any early influence in an ethical revolution. Throughout the colonial period….most Nigerians were stuck in ignorance and poverty….The trappings of flashy cars, houses and success of the colonists may influence the poor to see the colonist as symbols of success and to emulate the colonists in different political ways……Involvement in the agenda of colonial rule may also inhibit idealism in the early stage of the nascent nation’s development

A view commonly held during the colonial days was that the colonists property such as, cars, houses, farms etc. is not “our” property.True Story….Thus, vandalism and looting of public property was not seen as a crime against the society……Its Views like These that has Crippled and degenerated into the more recent disregard for public property and lack of public trust and concern for public goods as a collective national property.

Some of the Root Causes to the Brahaha Affecting Nigerians and Nigeria as a Country

Some writers have posited about the different potential causes of flagrant and Pecunious graft that exists in the country While many blame greed and ostentatious lifestyle as a potential root cause of corruption…….To some….societies in love with ostentatious lifestyle may delve into corrupt practices to feed the lifestyle and also embrace a style of public sleaze and lack of decorum…The customs and attitudes of a society may also be a contributing factor and Gift giving as expressions of loyalty or tributes to traditional rulers may be fabrics of the society. Also any political environment that excludes favors towards elites or wealthy citizens may also be influenced by corruption. Wealthy elites may resort to sleaze in order to gain power and protect their interest. Be That as it may. the bottom line surmised from the views of most Nigerians is that corruption is a problem that has to be rooted out. in Nigeria. One of the major causes of corruption is ethnicity called tribalism in Nigeria. Friends and kinsmen seeking favour from officials may impose difficult strains on the ethical disposition of the official Thus Many kinsmen seeing government officials as holding necessary avenues for their personal survival or gain. A culmination of use of official resources for private gain may lead to further pressures on incoming officials from other kinsmen and the fact is the importation of modern rules on inter-ethnic political relationships is a recent colonial and western initiative that may take time to become the Norm. deep allegiance to other ethnic groups for administrative decisions early on was sometimes viewed suspiciously and an early institutionalization of a unitary system in the country may also have led to a further familiar groupings induced corruption.

Haven said that. a modern practical approach to leadership and relationships has gradually taken a prominent role in the political process. as necessity for practical inter-dependence and cooperation is at the forefront of yearnings for good governance in the country. HISTORY AND CASES CONCERNING PRE-INDEPENDENCE AND THE FIRST REPUBLIC.

Corruption though prevalent was kept at manageable levels during the First Republic But However the cases of corruption during these periods were sometimes clouded by political infighting.

Lets Start with Azikiwe.

He was the first major political figure investigated for questionable practices….In 1944, a firm belonging to Azikiwe and family bought a Bank in Lagos. the said bank was procured to strengthen local control of the financial industry but Albeit……a report about transactions carried out by the bank showed though Azikiwe had resigned as chairman of the bank, the current chairman was an agent of his.

the report wrote that most of the paid-up capital of the African Continental Bank were from the Eastern Regional Financial Corporation…….Mean while In western Nigeria. Politician Adegoke Adelabu was investigated following charges of political corruption leveled against him by the opposition……the report led to demand for his resignation as district council head. DRAMA. In 1962.

Chief Obafemi Awolowo was indicted and the Coker commission of inquiry was set-up…..Findings Revealed that a substantial amount of money was misappropriated from the coffers of the Western regional government. NO MAN IS A SAINT. In the Northern region against the backdrop of corruption allegations leveled against some native authority officials in Bornu State. the Northern Government enacted the Customary Presents order to forestall any further breach of regulations. as that was taking shape. the British administration was accused of corrupt practices in the results of elections which enthroned a Fulani political leadership in Kano, reports later linking the British authorities to electoral irregularities were discovered.

Truth be Told…..lets Briefly Examine the Administration of some of our Leaders PAST.

GOWON ADMINISTRATION:-
Corruption for the most part of Gowon’s administration was kept away from public view until 1975. However, some informed officials voiced concerns, Gowon critics labeled his governors as misguided individuals acting like lords overseeing their personal fiefdom. He was viewed as timid, in terms of being decisive against corrupt elements in his government.
In 1975, a corruption scandal surrounding the importation of cement engulfed his administration. Many officials of the defense ministry and the central bank of Nigeria where involved in the scandal as Officials were later accused of falsifying ships manifest and inflating the amount of cement to be purchased During the administration.

two major individuals from the middle belt of the country were also accused of corruption.The Nigeria government controlled newspapers as at then….The Daily Times and the New Nigerian gave great publicity to denunciations of the administration of Gomwalk and Federal Commissioner Joseph Tarka by the two critics

A situation which may signal a cause for exigent action on corruption

In 1975……the administration of Murtala Mohammed later went on and made reformist changes After which a coup putsch brought him into power and the government Proceeded to sack a large number of government officials and civil servants many of whom had been criticized for the misuse of power they wielded under the largely uneducated military Era of Gowon.

SHAGARIS ADMINISTRATION:-
Corruption was deemed pervasive during the administration of Shagari as a few federal buildings mysteriously went on fire after investigators started probe on the finances of the officials working in the said buildings……In Late 1985….investigations into the collapse of the defunct Johnson Mathey Bank of London shed some light on some of the abuses carried on during the second republic.

the said bank acted as a conduit to transfer hard currency for some party members in Nigeria as a Handful of leading officials and politicians had amassed large amounts of money.  they sought to transfer the money out of the country with the help of Asian importers by issuing import licenses as Coverups

In 1981….a shortage in RICE led to accusations of corruption against the NPN government as the shortages and subsequent allegations were precipitated by protectionism…..After his election…..the Nigerian government decided to protect the local rice farmer from imported commodities as a licensing system was created to limit the amount of rice import. However accusations of favouritism and government supported speculation was leveled against many officials.

BUHARIS ADMINISTRATION:-
Shagari’s regime Between (1979-1983) incurred Buhari’s wrath when it decided to investigate the US$2.8 billion that disappeared from the Midland Bank, London account of the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC). during General Obasanjo’s era as military head of state that preceded Shagari’s…Dr.Olusola Saraki the Turaki of Ilorin was the majority party leader of the Senate at the time and he headed the Senate Committee set up to trace the stolen money after some three years of clamour for such an investigation by members of the civil society….the money was traced to the Midland Bank London branch fixed account of Obasanjo’s appointee (Buhari) as military head of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company..The Committee’s report was presented to the Senate during the tail end of Shagari’s regime in 1983 and the House decided to deal with the matter and expose the rogue military head of the NNPC (Buhari)soon after the 1983 general elections.  a cross section of political gladiators were convicted of different corrupt practices under the government of General Buhari…..However.  the administration itself was involved in a few instances of lapsed ethical judgment. It is on record that the General himself was on his way to removing a Nigerian colonel from the army before his exit from power…….Thankfully.

BABANGIDAS ADMINISTRATION:-
The regime of general Babangida is seen as the body that legalized corruption.  So True.  His administration refused to give account of the gulf war windfall which is estimated to be $12.4 billion.  He annulled a democratic election in the history of Nigeria on June 12 1993 and lives in a very exquisite mansion in his home state (Niger-state) in the Northern part of the country.

ABACHA ADMINISTRATION:-
The death of the general Sani Abacha revealed the global nature of graft. French investigations of bribes paid to government officials to ease the award of a gas plant construction in Nigeria revealed the global level of official graft in the country. The investigations led to the freezing of accounts containing about $100 million United States dollars.  In 2000,  two years after his death, a Swiss banking commission report indicted Swiss banks for failing to follow compliance process in allowing family and friends of Abacha access to accounts and depositing amounts totaling $600 million US dollars into the accounts. The same year, a total of more than $1 billion US dollars were found in various accounts throughout Europe.

Here are some Public institutions perceived as corrupt:-

The following list contains the institutions perceived as the most corrupt. It is culled from the Nigeria Survey and Corruption Survey Study, Final Report (June 2003) Institute for Development Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (IDR, ABU Zaria)
Nigeria (as of 2003) Rating Institution

1 Nigerian Police
2 Political Parties
3 National and State Assemblies
4 Local and Municipal Governments
5 Federal and State Executive Councils
6 Traffic police and FRSC
7 PHCN
Haven read through this Article,  you will agree with me that PGEJ Inherited one of the most Hideous and Corrupt System whose Decay was Initiated by our Leaders PAST.  in view of this. This Present administration will need our patience and Understanding.  in order to Succeed and re-write the History of our beloved Country called NIGERIA. Thank you

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8 thoughts on “CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA: A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE: BY BLESSING OYANIMIGHA

  1. This article is an eye opener to many who are ignorant of the level of endemic corruption in Nigeria. A well researched article tracing the genesis of what we witness today.
    A few decades ago it is on record that Chief Ovie Whisky ( FEDECO Chairman) said he would faint if he sees N1 million! Just before his proclamation, the N2.8 billion oil money was in the hands of the Yar aduas and Buharis with the Lord of Manor OBJ enjoying Ota OFTN.
    Pres. GEJ and our Governor are faced with the hideous task of unveiling the village masquerade and the villagers are up in arms.

  2. Corruption defined is simply doing things in an unnatural way. It stands against natural laws instituted by God. But that is if the Laws themselves are near natural or approximate the will of God. Where the laws are suspect every thing done to subvert them may not be defined as corruption for they merely corrupt a corrupt society in which case the actions cancel out in their effect making our anti corruption moves fur tile. So as we fight corruption we must also strive to approximate our laws to the will of God so that they may be sustainable and workable against the corruption malady!

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