One of the persisting question many ask but have not come to a realistic answer is How did corruption began? or more appropriately, why did it begin? This question is pertinent because if we do not look at the mistakes of our past, we may not find a lasting solution to the problems of recent.
The mind of man may refer to the psychological part of human existence and it is both difficult as well as easy to corrupt depending on the personality of such individual. We could liken the human mind to a computer software which is susceptible of being infected with a virus if there is no active and well-functioning anti-virus to clear or wipe off such unwanted interference.
Corruption therefore may start from an individual but its spread could lead to danger or problem for such society or community. Corruption as earlier likened to virus, spreads fast and this is why we find ourselves in such society whereby a reckless driver will have the audacity to bribe a law enforcement official. This menace could be traced tothe higher authorities, the government as we so call them. In R v. Ibori for instance, James Ibori, while serving Governor of Delta State in Nigeria between 1999 and 2007 defrauded the public purse of over $250 million, giving rise to a number of highly published trials in the UK. The honourable court sentenced him to 13 years imprisonment.
Our religious observations are not left behind. Galileo Galilei said that the Bible shows the way to heaven not the way the heavens go. Furthermore, Jesus himself has told us to follow the teachings of our religious leaders but not to do what they do. Therefore, religious practices have derailed the human mind negatively through false teachings and doctrines. A Muslim may see a Christian as fallacious in its mode of practice of religion while it goes vice versa with the Christians also. This causes a form of marginalisation between or among the diverse religions and doctrines.
The ethnicity difference is also a factor causing corruption in our country today. A particular ethnic group is ready to give everything up to make sure the son of the soil rises to the position of power. This has generated the spirit of nepotism in a country that claims to be united in diversity.
Ignorance is said to cause crisis, but how about the educated, what solution have they preferred. This depends on what we regard education to be or mean. According to Theodore Roosevelt “A man who has never gone to school may steal a freight car, but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad”. How do we utilise the education we have gained? Is it for productivity or destruction and mismanagement?
Our mode of thought and reasoning is of the essence. The change we seek starts from remoulding the structures of our mind. We all desire change but we do not want to go with change. We want to remain stagnant to how things usually are and not how they are meant to be.
Until that young man follows and obey strictly the law or that man stop receiving bribe, nothing can change, not even the President has a power or control of it. Let us unite and embrace change, let us do away with tribalism, let us embrace equality in spite of our religions or regions. Let us embrace love and be virtuous and this world will become a better place to live in.
Mahatma Gandhi said and I quote to conclude, “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
About the AUTHOR
Ikalume Ernest is a law student of Ambrose Ali University, a social commentator and analyst.
For knowledge and Justice