By Godwin Etakibuebu
AS it was in the beginning so it is and so shall it be, a world without end – amen.”
Above is a quote l heard of, somewhere in the past, except that if l am put under pressure to authenticate the source, l would surely fail the test because l cannot actually remember where l heard, or read, about it again but l am fully convinced that most of us have heard of it at one time or the other.
The quote however stands to justify the topic we are dealing with today, to wit: smoke of corruption everywhere in Nigeria. Corruption, either at its connotation in academic interpretation or definition in practice, is well known to all. We therefore would not need help from anyone to tell us what it is, either from former President Goodluck Jonathan’s interpretation of “corruption and thief [Ole – Yoruba language for thief]” or President Muhammadu Buhari understanding of it.
Let us touch briefly on the meaning of corruption as we all understand it as such will help in simplifying the task of this exercise.
*Inducement by improper means – like bribery – as of public official, both in public or private sectors.
*To violate duty as by committing a felony [like saying that ‘he was held on charges of corruption and racketeering’]
*Destroying someone’s [or some group’s] honesty or loyalty; undermining moral integrity.
*Moral perversion, impairment of virtue and moral principles, degeneracy, depravation, depravity or putrefaction.
*Lack of integrity or honesty [especially susceptibility to bribery] use of a position of trust for dishonest gain, corruptness – which is opposite of incorruptness or incorruption -.
*Decay of matter [as by rot or oxidation].
*In a state of progressive putrefaction, putrescence, putridness or rottenness [like compensating the dismissed Secretary to the Government of the Federation; David Lawal Babachir, by appointing his cousin; Boss Mustapha, as the SGF, according to a very strong voice from the North]
In addition to the above, there are more ways of defining corruption, more so if we understand and accept the fact that the word [corruption] itself is taken from the word corrupt. What does it mean to be corrupt?
*Lacking in integrity [like now that the integrity of the Attorney General of the Federation is called to question in the dubious role he allegedly played in the recall of Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina – a man dismissed from the Civil Service in 2013 and was brought back to Service on promotion]
*To be touched by rot or decay or to be tainted.
*Containing errors or alterations or corrupted.
*Not straight, dishonest or immoral or evasive, crooked.
*Alter from the original, spoil [like budget padding, either from the ministries through the presidency or at the National Assembly]
*Place under suspicion or cast doubt upon, defile, sully, taint, cloud.
*Make illegal payments to in exchange for favours or influence, bribe, buy, grease one’s Palms [like the allegation making the round that the President’s Chief of Staff; Abba Kyari, collected inducement from MTN for reduction of the latter’s fine].
*Corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality, pervert, subvert, demoralise, debauch, debase, profane, vitiate or deprave.
Like the thick cloud of a very bad harmattan hangs everywhere in Africa during winter, nearly all the definitions above are all over the Nigerian landscape, even in a frightening proportion, though the ruling Political Party, APC, President Buhari and the Federal Government would antagonise this fact. It is for this reason that a few illustrations might help in establishing the reality of this assertion.
A few months ago, President Buhari astutely defended the late Head of State; General Sani Abacha, saying that he [Abacha] was not a thief and he did not loot Nigeria’s money. But just last two weeks, the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister for Justice; an appointee of PMB, admitted the return of $86 million dollars, “being part of the Abacha loots”, to Nigeria through the Federal Executive Council’s “ratification” [PMB presided over the council on the day in question].
What that translates to is the fact that Sani Abacha, unlike the testament of PMB, was a thief who looted Nigeria’s wealth silly while he presided as Head of State. For the records, another $300 million dollars, part of his [Abacha] loots is being processed for repatriation to Nigeria from Switzerland. Is aiding and abetting corruption, or the act of defending a thief falsely that he/she did not steal, against all proven evidences of stealing, not itself an act of corruption?
To be concluded next week.