Fighting Bribery and Corruption in Nigeria: Mission Impossible? (4) —The Sun Nigeria Reports

Written by Newton Jibunoh, Columnist, The Sun

Congratulations to my fellow Nigerians on the ‘successful’ completion of the presidential, gubernatorial and house of assembly elections that have ushered in new leaders for the next four years in the country. Leaders that we hope would perform better than the last set and, in the cases of re-election, we hope they would greatly improve on previous performance. The elections were not without many flaws, yet I could not help but be impressed with the level of political participation that was displayed during the entire election period. Despite the many recurring challenges that affected voters’ turnout in some regions and encouraged apathy in some others, it is becoming obvious that Nigerians are beginning to seriously pay attention to the governance of Nigeria. This is highly imperative now more than ever because we must admit that Nigeria, with its many potentialities and impressive human resource, is a failed state. This is not a derogatory statement, but one based on factual evidence, many of which I provided in my previous articles. If we are seeking solutions to our problems, we need to first and foremost understand what our problems are. Secondly, we need to recognise that our leaders have no clue on how to proceed. Therefore, how do we proceed to correct our bearings?

You cannot fight a modern war with medieval implements. If we are truly Nigerians that are known to be proud people of Africa, if we still recoil at the thought of being second best, these two statements above ought to be the rallying cry to action; to rise up and fight the scourge of bribery and corruption. It has consumed this nation. What is left is for it to break the nation into pieces. Some people might say: “all well and good, let’s go our separate ways; we will then be better off.” But that cannot be achieved, unless it is a coordinated break-up. And if we can coordinate a controlled break-up, then we are capable of modifying a restructuring of the political, economic, and social fabric of our dear nation.

A country with strong democratic institutions will have good governance. Such a nation will also forge a strong economy. Good governance is not unattainable. It is simply doing things the right way, following due process, with transparency of actions for the public good. It is the ultimate practice in excellence that has its roots in patriotism and civics. It ensures that everyone accepts accountability for his or her actions. Good governance ensures that checks, fraud alerts, and robust audits of our financial systems, fiscal policies, and the economy are deployed at all levels. Consumer protection watchdogs will be needed to protect the public from unethical practices and price gauging by the private sector. The good news is that these institutions are largely in place in this country. However, the bad news is that they are completely emasculated by incompetence and poor funding by those intent on their failures to advance their hideous plans.

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