NIGERIANS ARE NOT CORRUPT; THEY ARE JUST MISUNDERSTOOD
This week, I decided to give my weekly column to my readers, here on this wonderful media and off course on social media.
I looked at an issue that would form the basis of evaluation if eventually this new CHANGE administration succeeds or otherwise, and that issue is corruption.
Let me quickly state that I believe that as a people, we have an adverse governance structure which in itself promotes corruption. For example it is so simple to assume that we operate federalism…but really the truth is that our system of governance is anchored on corruption and since the inception, rather than kill it, it is killing us.
Corruption has and will continue to thrive because we have power concentrated in the hand of few people who are not practically accountable to the people. So each time we fight corruption, it fights back, and it does real hard.
Despite the entire baby crawling efforts at posturing, our anatomy of corruption has continues to be further enshrined into the system because of an illiterate, apathetic and ignorant populace, without adequate public discernment of political choices. So, one minute Saraki is good, until he aspires to the post of Senate President, we recall his crimes, Tinubu is as good as godfather, but his Chicago-gate wont go. Atiku is leader and ambassador plenipotentiary, but won't go to United States for reasons XYZ.
So I decided to find out what Nigerians felt about corruption, throwing it open with this true experience as narrated by my friend Ojedimi.
“A Road Safety Officer stopped me, collected bribe of N2, 000 and forgot his Blackberry Q10 inside my car. He has been calling and begging me to return his phone. He said he used his last cash to buy it and I also begged him then that the N2, 000 was my last cash but he refused vehemently.
Should I return it?
In typical Nigerian fashion, Eluemunor said that God has just blessed my N2000, while Mickeylaw called it a trade by barter.
Ifeanyi insisted that our Road safety officer should return the N2000 and pick his phone. Max added, “As a man of God, it should be returned”
For Kamal, as long as it was not mine, he asked that I return it. Banire counseled that as long as he returns my N2000, I should return his phone.
Tony felt I should make the officer suffer, allow him to beg, but ultimately return it to him.
Matt says that, as a Christian he will return it, after preaching to him and asking him to sin no more.
Tinuke counseled that I please give him the phone and let his conscience and God avenge for you. Am sure he bought the phone with all the #2000 he has been collecting from people
For Jude Owuamanam “Just give it back to him and let his conscience continue to prick him. I think he will be ashamed all through his life and if he did not pull off that uniform another disgrace awaits him and his ilk.”
Saviour Akpan believed that I give it back to him but let him understand that you are a better person than him even without the so called training and uniform. Be a good person than him.
Ikechukwu Attah reminded me that two wrongs would never make a right. Please give him back the phone and allow him to do what ever he likes. His punishment is awaiting him unless he repents
Senator Umar asked that I show him that I am a better Nigerian by returning it, and deserve to be on his job.
Ahmad expressed fury, “How on earth would he dare think of calling you after the incident.” Ruth blatantly asked that I keep the phone…in the same vein that Teddy asked, “Return what?
Phoebe Kaburuk begged that I return the phone to the ungrateful man, but ensure Boboye (the road safety boos) is there to witness the presentation.
Kuku captures it in local parlance, “No give am jare”. Rabe is even bitter, No! Tell him that he does not deserve human favor
Elyger Agwu reminded me that it was my dividend of a corrupt system. And a response by a man called Light of faith even threatened me, “If you return it, I will 'unfriend' you and beg amadioha to strike you.”
And Asiwaju Lanre told me I had paid for the phone now, except he wants to rebuy, and then he buys at my price
In a twist, Joe Nwankwo stated that I ask for my money with interest.
Ibrahim Hamza He should submit himself to nearest EFCC office while you submit yourself to ICPC…and near the same thought, is that of Salisu Abdullah, “You shouldn’t have given him the bribe in the first place sir.”
Hir Joseph was of the opinion that I bought the law with N2000, and had it on my side. “There is no refund. The personnel forgot his phone in your car; you have got to return it to him.”
And finally Yunusa Ya’u asked that I drop the handset at the PMB office and that he can use the N2000 to go to villa to collect it!
And this is my take, I have looked at the responses across faith, creed, and with a few exceptions, we really refuse to see the fact that I gave the Road Safety a bribe…whatever the reasons are, it is a bribe!
How many of us will report ourselves to ICPC, and take up the Road Safety Officer with the appropriate agency, Maybe Nigerians are not corrupt; they are just misunderstood—We have a fight on our hands, are we ready—Only time will tell.
Written by Prince Charles Dickson.