Nigeria News

Can Corruption Ever Be Tamed In Nigeria?

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ElevateNews takes a look at the level of corruption in the lower ebb of the society while the government has concentrated on fighting corruption in high places.

In what has now become a jingle on Sam Omatseye’s programme on TVC, the constitutional lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s method of fighting corruption.

Ozekhome said, ‘This is not how to fight corruption. This administration is only recovering loots while the real corruption is still there unscathed.

The lawyer may be right but this government to a larger extent has exposed corruption among the elites and blocked some leakages to stabilise the economy of this country.

True, like other past administration, it is not sure that the present government will be able to eradicate this epidemic but Buhari’s efforts in prosecuting corrupt persons in many of our economic and social sectors is noticed.

Some former governors are in the cell at present over their corrupt lives while serving the public. Hundreds of former and current public office holders are under investigation.

But yet, there is a high level of corruption at the lower ebb of the society, among public and private stakeholders.

Low ranking police officers now carry POS to demand bribe from motorists, junior staff in ministries, agencies and parastatals demand tips before performing their official duties.

They tighten bureaucracy and make life difficult for members of the public to access service. Government contractors have to pay their ways from the bottom of the civil service to the top cadre to get approval for any project.

Between Ibadan and Ile-Ife on Thursday, the commercial driver of the bus I boarded bribed his way through the various roadblocks by the police and Federal Road Safety Corps.

The bus is not roadworthy. It moves as if it will crash. The seats are worn out, its rare lights and headlamps had broken, yet it took off from the popular motor park at Iwo Road, Ibadan.

I had boarded the bus because of its clean outward appearance but regretted travelling in this moving carcass. I had wanted the road safety corps to stop him but the driver knew his ways as he parted with N100 at every roadblock.

The corruption at this level is alarming and dangerous not to only the prosperity of this nation but to the life of the citizen. The most annoying part of the journey was the roaring of the passengers once the driver refused to bribe a group of policemen.

Having seen them afar, the driver increased the speed to beat the policemen but had his mirror smashed by the cops. The passengers shouted, “Haa you want to kill us because you cannot pay N200 to the police.”

An average passenger now sees bribery to the police as normal. Passengers, instead of challenging the corrupt practices, they aid and hail the drivers and cops for giving and taking bribes.

Back to the assertion of Ozekhome, this government can only recover loots, it cannot fight the real corruption in our society.

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