THE NIGERIA’S 56TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY
By: Ejioffor, Ikechukwu
Corruption in a plane language can be seen as the immoral, deprive and dishonest practice of individuals. In administrative parlance, it can be seen as using a public office by elected or appointed official to deprive and appropriate public resources, that is to say That, corruption is the use of one’s office to divert what is meant for the general public for selfish gains.
Nigeria got her independence on the first of October, nineteen sixty (1/10/1960) and today is 56th independence anniversary of this great nation. Nigeria has faced many turmoil, civil unrest that even threatens to divide this nation as a result of some lingering problems. Questions have been asked as to the causes of this problem and many scholars, experts, students have come up with their individual answers but like a theory it is just an assumption, partial, indeterminate and inconclusive.
Nevertheless, the Nigeria’s worst enemy since independence is corruption, Any attempt to expunge corruption is like an attempt to erode the society of its 'typical values'. The history of corruption in Nigeria is traceable to the colonial era where our colonial masters inflate the costs of project, their salaries and allowances. All this are in attempt to move this money in their millions to their native land, this went on for decades until the successful ‘transfer’ of power to those they deemed fit- those the French called interlocoteurs valables (negotiators worth talking to) and Karl Marx refer to the comprador bourgeoisie, these classes of people continue in the perpetration of the activities of their erstwhile masters, a notable figure among them is Francis Okotie-Eboh. Today, corruption is almost inevitable in any institution-be it traditional, religious or formal institutions. Our society today celebrates corrupt officials or personalities more than the pope; for one to be able to have a say in the society one has to be financially buoyant. Just like the Igbo adage says, ‘nwata kwoo aka o soro ogaranya rie nri', a child that washes his hands will eat with the elders, this just shows how materialistic our society is structured.
Having traced the factor that is seen as Nigeria’s worst enemy, is about time we suggested the way forward. Corruption is undoubtedly in every society of the world but the difference is its management. While most countries have been able to manage the rate of corruption to its lowest ebb Nigeria is yet to achieve that feat. There is need for institutionalization of anti-corruption measures in every institution this would deter individuals from engaging in such practice. Also an effect legal framework need to be in place, in Nigeria today, the judiciary is charged with melting out penalties for corrupt officials but their practice has faced many challenges relating to the independence of the judiciary. With a zero rate of dependency, the judiciary wold be able to execute its functions free from any encumbrances. Finally, there is need for the adoption of e-governance in carrying out government processes, when the transactionary and processing functions of government agencies are computerized there would be little or no chance for the siphoning of government/public resources.