A CITIZEN’S CONCERNS SERIES : ” VARIETIES OF CORRUPTION “.
By Daniel Henacho Eluke ( Ezeoha)
PREAMBLE : In Nigeria today , irrespective of our socioeconomic , political , religious, educational and cultural leanings or affiliations , there seems to be a unified front or common national consensus that the bane to our GREATNESS ,UNITY ,and PROSPERITY as a country , is CORRUPTION. This ,now, birthed other leprous children such as bad leadership, unemployment, youth restiveness , nepotism, marginalisation , political thuggery and other vices that inflicted us as a people ( all that you can imagine or think about). However, there is also ,this feeling that a greater percentage of our population ( including the educated elite) still grapple with the proper understanding of what that word means or stands for. It was this assumption that gave rise to this Series. Now, WHAT IS IT?
ETYMOLOGICALLY , the word ,” Corruption ” has its origin traceable to the era of MIDDLE ENGLISH via Old French from LATIN : ” Corruptio” ( n) , from ” Corrumpere ” which means ‘ mar ‘, ‘ bribe ‘ , ‘ destroy ‘. However, its adjectival form ; ” Corrupt ” also has its roots traced to MIDDLE ENGLISH : from LATIN ; “Corruptus “, past participle of ” Corrumpere ” ( formed from ‘ cor ‘- ” altogether ” + ‘ rumpere ‘ – ” to break “).
ACCORDINGLY ,the OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY ( Online Version ) defines Corruption in the following ways :
- dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power , typically involving bribery.
b. The action or effect of making someone or something morally depraved.
- The process by which a word or expression is changed from its original state to one regarded as erroneous or debased…
b. The process by which a computer data base or programme becomes debased by alteration or the introduction of errors.
- ( archaic )- the process of decay ; putrefaction.
Interestingly , however , for the purposes of this discourse on the Series , we shall make all efforts to weave our understanding of the meanings or denotations of the HEADWORD in the discussion of our VARIETIES OF CORRUPTION here :
ECONOMIC CORRUPTION :
This brand of Corruption takes the form or guise of all economic sabotages , economic and industrial activities in Nigeria that jeopardise our national gains or profits. These acts are rife in our delta regions and other places. In the Niger Delta , for instance , there are growing activities of pipeline vandals and Vandalism , oil “bunkerers ” and bunkering , Illegal refineries and refiners of petroleum products ( christened ” Kpoo Fire” ). It is worthy of note that these illicit acts or activities have claimed multitude of lives and destroyed our ecosystem or environments. The atmospheric space is not spared in this life- threatening venture. In Rivers State, for instance , and its environs, BLACK SOOT is still a prowling monster to deal with. However , in other areas where Forests and other Solid Minerals abound and found ,there exist such unhealthy acts of indiscriminate bush burnings, mindless deforestation, illegal mining ,and much more,which had decreased their outputs for the general wellbeing and good of our people.
Furthermore ,another leg to this form of Corruption is Financial Crimes. In the recent past in Nigeria , various governments had attempted to minimise it. Those who leverage in this crime are mainly political office holders or appointees and their collaborators in the public service. This unholy romance leads to sucking the coffers dry. Over the years , some agencies of government empowered by legislation and law , as the EFCC and ICPC , to investigate and prosecute financial crimes have merely succeeded in carrying out Media Trials and inconclusive investigations and non diligent prosecutions of high- profile cases involving the sacred cows or the ” Untouchables “. Here , instances abound. There are Cases of a missing 20 billion dollars unaccounted oil revenue by the NNPC into the CBN controlled FG accounts , the infamous and highly controversial 16 billion dollars power project , “Dasukigate” , ” Oduahgate ” , ” Badehgate “and so many other mind blowing financial infractions linked to a former Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources and a former First Lady too. It would also interest you to know that both serving and former State Chief Executives are are drowned in all this mess too. More worrisome to note and dishearteningly too, is the fact that the anti grafts agencies are yet to diligently prosecute these high profile cases to a logical end. We shall delve more into this when we open our chapter on Judicial Corruption in a later time, space and date. Other forms of Economic Corruption include all shoddy deals and transactions that political office holders and public servants indulge in, which are detrimental to the economic wellbeing of the society. Moreover , the activities of big Oil Multinationals are worthy of mention here. The level of environmental pollution and degradation has actually increased mortality rate in our local areas , which serve as operation bases of the Multinationals. Aquatic ,terrestrial and aerial lives are mindlessly or ungodly threatened. The locals lose their lives and that of their beloved ones on daily basis as the government seems to do little or nothing about it. The Case of Ogoni Clean Up is still ever green in our minds. In spite of the huge local ,national ,and international outcries , the FG still drags its feet in the full implementation of the UNEP report which recommended this exercise. It is on record that the Ogoni Struggle or the Niger Delta agitation had claimed the lives of late literary icon and Environmentalist, Ken Saro- Wiwa and the eight other Ogoni Kinsmen. A background check of events shows that this gave rise to a more volatile and violent militia uprising in the region. Today, militancy , kidnapping , cultism and so many other vices rear their ugly heads and thrive or flourish in the region to the discomfiture of everyone.
( PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL VIEWS EXPRESSED HERE ARE PERSONAL) …Stay tuned and watch out for more… Enjoy your reading.