by Olusegun Dada

 Dada-Olusegun

We all cry foul when an IG, a ‘legislooter’, a Minister or a Governor is named in a corruption racket, but we have come to accept the messenger who asked for a “kola” before he can pass our file to the boss as a normal thing.

Everyday we are bombarded with news about corruption in high places. We all cry foul when an IG, a ‘legislooter’, a Minister or a Governor is named in a corruption racket, but we have come to accept the messenger who asked for a “kola” before he can pass our file to the boss as a normal thing. We believe he does this because he is not well paid. Truly speaking he may not be well paid when compared to his counterparts in some other countries, but tell me, how many of us are truly well paid in its true sense? And do you know what will happen to a nation that has all its junior workers receiving bribe just because they are not well paid? You should know because Nigeria is a veritable example of such.

We keep harping on how our leaders keep stealing and enriching themselves with states’ resources, but we fail to realize that they didn’t become thieves over-night. They have always been thieves, scammers, smugglers, bandits and all sorts since the time they were young workers, and we encouraged them then with our justifications that they do it because they were not well paid. We forgot that the Bible knows what it means when it said “he who cannot be trusted with little should never be trusted with much.

For sometime now, the country has been awashed with the news of the Haliburton scam, the Siemens scam and the misappropriation of funds in our power, petroleum and health sectors. Names of government officials and big men were mentioned, fingers were pointed and some culprits are even already found guilty and convicted in the people’s courts. Civil right groups, opposition parties and other well meaning Nigerians have all cried foul as usual. Accusing the government of trying to subvert justice. Curiously, we have conveniently forgotten that giving and taking of bribe here {NIGERIA} is a way of life. It is part of us and it has been encoded into our DNA. Or how did our government officials get around to convince the Americans {against their better judgement} to do things our way?

The corruption spirit begins right form our homes , where we learnt that ‘bribe’ is the pass code that unlocks tightly closed doors and vaults. When we were little and want to run errands for an uncle, we have to take sweets from him before we do what we were asked to do. Our parents are even part of the chain because they don’t see nothing wrong in ‘seeing’ someone so we can be admitted to the federal government college. After-wards they still brag to their friends that Olusegun is now in Government College Odogbolu, which they very well know I didn’t earn. They didn’t stop at that, they have to talk to the Principal and some teachers and see the invigilators during our WASC, because they couldn’t trust us to get the required five credits on our own. When JAMB comes the story continues. They either buy question papers for us, or make sure we sit for our papers in a special centre where like Nigeria “everything is permitted especially that which is prohibited”. After JAMB our score is still too low for the 1st class University we desire. Dad and mum need only to go ‘see’ someone again and bam! We are in school. Batch A list.

Now we are in school but we cant read because school is not like home. There is no A/C, no video games and the library environment is too stuffy for us, so we decided on using our time on clubbing, dating scores of partners in a semester or getting initiated into cults, and when exam comes we settle our lecturers who are mostly product of the same system so they understand our plights and their christian conscience will judge them if they failed to help us just as they were helped in their own time too. They give us marks we don’t deserve and our colleagues who are bookworms, who burnt the midnight candles only to score average grades see us getting better grades and decide to join us in our smartness before they lag too behind. We want to run for a position in the SUG or Departmental Association and we are competing against better candidates. Bribe ensures the clerks misplace the files of our competitors in the departments and faculties and their disqualification is assured. We win the election and proclaim it is God’s doing. “I didn’t even expect to win. I only just gave it a shot”. We squander the funds that we are trusted with without a prick of our conscience, after all , we are only reaping from where we sowed.

It is time for the NYSC and we don’t like the place of our primary assignment; it is in the bush and the place is so local. We ‘bribe’ our zonal inspector who ordinarily should be ashamed to collect money from us, but unfortunately, as a Nigerian, shame is not in his DNA like most of us.

When we are through with service and searching for jobs; then comes the biggest irony of our miserable situation. Workers who are already working have to be ‘bribed’ by graduates who have never worked, to ensure that they get employment forms, process the forms and get the jobs. By the time we are now employed, do we fare any better? No, we have already been trained that the end justifies the means. No matter what you do, you are on course so far you achieve your goal. When we are stock-brokers, we manipulate the stock market and cheat investors out of their money. When we are bankers we give loans without collateral to our friends and families, we give bank informations to hackers, ATM fraud perpetrators, and armed robbers so far they have ‘seen’ us. We are only reaping back all the seeds we have sown into other people’s lives.

Now are we still wondering why our leaders are so corrupt and morally bankrupt? They grew up the same way like us, they are like you, you and you, yes you. They are simply a product of their society.

In Nigeria, Corruption like charity begins at home! The need to start up a new generation of Nigerians is come, the time is Now!

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Dada Olusegun is a registered member of Congress for Political Change (CPC), he is a writer cum social change advocate. He is a political columnist on #EkekeeeDotCom and contributor on numerous online blogs and newspapers. He is a motivational speaker who is also involved in youth empowerment and enlightenment programs nationwide. He tweets from @Dolusegun.

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.