DUKOR: CORRUPTION, THE NATION AND SNC (1)
HISTORY has started throwing up hidden challenges, critical issues and unanswered questions in the British project called Nigeria, and when these phenomena would be understood is something not decipherable in this political wilderness and economic doldrums characterised by Boko Haramism and oil subsidy fraud.
Historically, extremist and sectarian violence as political corruption and oil subsidy removal as economic sabotage have stymied, castrated and diminished the Nigeria State; things are no longer at ease or is it that things have fallen apart? Social scientific interrogations of the present condition of politics, power, poverty and humanitarian crises may confirm the great prediction that Nigeria will break by 2015 or so, but a phenomenological conversation of a select few would seek for the restoration of reason, civil consciousnesses and discipline in the public sphere above all worldly ethnic and religious considerations.
Corruption, whether political or economic, is sending Nigeria to the gallows simply because of the failure of reason and statesmanship. Nigerian problem is not created by the mind of the Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba or Efik in the main and downstream galaxies of the society but rather is the creation of corruption, military cabals, corrupt politicians who are the owners of the means of production and violence. The elite are the enemies of Nigeria and unfortunately, the Presidency or Aso Rock has in recent history become their coven.
Nigeria is on a tortuous journey to an 'existential suicide' simply because of successive mindless leadership that is ignorant of the categories of understanding such as unity, plurality, reality, negation, imitation, cause, community, substance, possibility, existence and necessity, etc within and without the empty jargon, 'transformation' devoid of reason's application to synthetic and historical challenges of multi-ethnic society and human nature. It is only reason's phenomenological preoccupation to ask why Nigerian state is flattered by corruption to self-destitution, self-destruction and self-annihilation and why the world of yesterday is world of social and economic difference from the world of today. Every intelligence gathering not accompanied by close phenomenological examination is bound to be empty. The main pillars of the death of Nigeria namely, political and economic corruptions are less the concern of the international corporations and imperialists, but the minefield of Nigerian elite. The imperialists are always concerned with intelligence gathering that remains relevant to western interest but cared less with the phenomenology and otology of African predicament which is neutral, human and universal. These local cohorts, the elite in power, wallow in hollow contentment as agents of conduit machine for national and international corruption.
Religion and oil are both international commodities in inter state affairs; religion has good leverage above ethnicism in international politics as instrument of violence and balance of power and oil is the defining principle of the Nigerian nation state and citizenship. Both are vehicles and agents of change in modern politics and economy. Arab Spring is both the effect and the consequence of the engine of universal history propelled by religion and oil. Head or tail, it is corruption in action. In addition, removal of oil subsidy which is the only reason for remaining a Nigerian and the only means of the survival of the poor man in the nation state results to a double effect. First it is a de-jure regime of deregulation where privileged individuals take over what defines a Nigerian hitherto controlled by the state. Secondly, it is a forceful alienation of the Nigerian from his product and his personality pari-pasu other nationals in the world. This amounts to a conscious and rapid drift into worst world or all together the state of rapture? A phenomenological action would hanker on a phalanx of a mangled and fangled manipulation in history. Yet man and history are autonomous intelligent agents of change for better for worse.
Nigerian corporate existence cannot but be threatened in this world of information communication technology, economic recession, epidemic corruption, western imperialism and Islamic neo-colonialism. January 2012 strikes and protests by the organised labour and civil society organisations in Nigeria, much as it was not as sophisticated as the previous in history like the oil workers' strike in 1994, was a disappointed prelude to a Nigerian Spring, courtesy of information technology which is the ordinary first certificate of a man in this post-modern era. Simple scientific induction from Arab Spring would, therefore, substantiate the thesis that corruption has no hiding place in the world today and ostensibly, democracy and decentralisation of powers would create unimaginable freedom for the individuals who would be capable of exposing corrupt elite and bring down governments. Phenomenological and logical implications of these reflections would not only appreciate, as Dr. Junaid Mohammed pointed out that the Nigerian economic policy is dictated by International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank but also added that Boko Haramism is the ideological fulcrum for an Islamic political order opposed to western civilisation and imperialism. The former controls the political and economic structure with the unintended consequence of economic and cultural corruption; the other reacts with the intended consequence of human and environmental corruption and casualties.
Indeed in phenomenological term, it is pretty observable how economic and religious phenomena condition the people's psyche, reflexes to morbid docility, acquiesced and subservient to self-destruction pari-pasu Nigeria's drive to the point of nothingness. This is a goal which the western imperialism in the removal of oil subsidy and the Islamic imperialism in the insurgency of Boko Haram share in common, advertently and inadvertently, save their opposed and dialectical self-interests but which the Nigeria project and concerned philosophers have failed to articulate. Unless they are for the common good, western imperialism and Islamic neo-colonialism would be the highest and final stage in the process of disintegrating Nigeria.
Removal of oil subsidy where eight per cent of Nigeria wallow in abject poverty and 20 per cent revels in stolen national wealth is a negation of Nigerianess. There is theoretical and practical link between poverty and citizenship, and citizenship and corruption in a syllogistic frame. Yet the relationship is phenomenological.
Corruption is the backbone of oil subsidy. In spite of billions of naira budgeted for and lost in all subsidy, such a budget on the average Nigerian head is more qualitatively important than similar budget on other sectors of the economy. It is ethical to invest on every Nigerian and it is human to ire in this through permissible leakages than a situation where billions of naira are lost to fraudulent government officials annually, where presidents and governors security votes put together is in trillions, where salaries and personal allowances of office holders are in billions, where the banks are holding forth for fraudsters and independent oil markets to the tune of billions, yet the Nigerian State cannot budget for the poor through welfare transportation, employment and medical care. If the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria cannot continue to fund N240 billion oil subsidy because of corruption then its ineptitude is raised to the moral sphere where questions must be asked about its independent and moral will to govern. When welfarism is thrown to the dustbin the poor suffers the burden of independent marketers and foreign investors who transfer the pains of deregulation to the downstream population. While this economic engineering for which Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is an agent serves the strength of the dollar, pounds and the euro, the Boko Haram phenomenon or the Islamic renaissance serves an order that subsumes economic value to religious faith which in the end does not benefit the poor and average Nigerian. It is a truism that when two elephants fight, it is the grass that mourns. Westernisation and Islamism are the non-material most potent forms of corruption upstaging the state. That Nigerian State is fragile to the breaking point is a historical necessity arising from unreasoning and non-wisdom of the leaders. That is what the phenomenology of politics and power in Nigeria since independence ex-rays.
•To be concluded.
•Dukor is the Executive Director of Essence Library and Professor of Philosophy at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.