Let’s Call It Religious Corruption Syndrome (RCS)
President Jonathan, in a recent special interview with Jonathan Power, a Swedish journalist viewed Nigerians as among the highly religious-minded human beings on earth, and stated that it remains a marked contradiction to see the pervasive level of corruption that exist in many Nigerians.
In theory, the understanding of what could be termed Religious Corruption Syndrome (RCS) should be seen as a function of both the chronic abuses of religious practices and the impact of pervasive dishonesty in individuals and across various faith communities in Nigeria.
The toxic aspects of Nigerian-oriented religions appear to have deep impact on the psychological connection to the deep sense of dishonesty.
With further attachment to one's religion, some Nigerians appear to see enormous personal conforming behaviors which could include cycles of dishonesty, being defensive and blaming of others for one's confusion.
There appears to be emotional/spiritual satisfaction from being religious and committing oneself to a corrupt lifestyle and living. The spirit, rationalization and acts of bribery are seemingly cherished. Not emotionally letting go of religious beliefs and the deep-seated need to remain corrupt tend to create a personal world of inner peace and moment-to-moment paradoxical view of one's self as both special and moral.
The double conditioning from religious and immoral beliefs creates symbols of responsibility and a mindset of obligation to do more dishonesty.
Given the contradictions between being so religious, and being so dishonest as pointed out by President Jonathan; the issue of Religious Corruption Syndrome deserve an extensive study by scholars in order to find possible ways to reduce it as it is quite an unusual condition in many Nigerians.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D., is a Forensic/Clinical Psychologist and the Secretary-General of the Nigeria Psychological Association (NPA), Abuja. [email protected] 08126909839