I find it really disturbing that Nigerians are among the most religious people in the world, yet, at the same time, they are the most corrupt. I keep asking myself, who are these corrupt Nigerians?
Churches and mosques litter every nook, cranny, bend and curve of every street in all Nigerian cities. Friday afternoons are dreaded by all, as a result of traffic jams caused by droves of Nigerian Muslims going to worship in mosques. Our eyes are constantly assaulted by the peacock display of flamboyantly dressed Christians in their Sunday best on their way to worship. Nigerians are prayer warriors whose solution to every human problem is “pray about it” or “God will help us”. These all point to the fact that Nigerians are undoubtedly very religious, in fact, many may view this as being borderline fanaticism. This is however a matter to be discussed for another day.
Isn’t it ironic and out rightly sickening then, that Nigerians are the first to kill a thief or a kidnapper without hesitation or proper investigation to ascertain how innocent the accused is? The case of the killing of the Aluu four boys is still fresh in my memory. Sadly, no lessons have been learnt from that incident. Many are still killed daily around the country, without being given a chance to prove their innocence. The policemen who are also Nigerians, are supposed to protect lives and property, but they fund and aid thugs and rogues and at the same time harass and kill defenseless civilians. Citizens die daily as a result of fake/substandard drugs that flood the shelves of our pharmacies. These drugs are imported by Nigerians, the customs officers who collect bribes and turn a blind eye to the importation of such harmful commodities into the country are also Nigerians.
Yearly, our higher institutions churn out half-baked graduates who can barely string two sentences of English together. Who were the teachers of these graduates and why were they promoted to higher classes even when they did not meet the requirements? Your guess is as good as mine. These graduates were taught and promoted to various classes by Nigerian lecturers! Daily, we teach our young that they need “expo” to pass WAEC, and encourage our friends and relatives to work their NYSC service to favorable parts of the country. We have been soaked to the bones by the tides of corruption for so long, that we have convinced ourselves that it is the norm and that there is nothing wrong in enjoying the fruits of things we did not labor for. If that is not hypocrisy, then I don’t know what is.
Since Nigerians are so godly, righteous, holy and everything pure, then who are these corrupt people that reside among us? If you have ever bribed a police man or ran a traffic light when the light was red, worked your service to a state of your choice, bribed a lecturer in one way or the other to pass an exam you didn’t bother studying for, stolen from your boss/office, cheated on exams, cheated on your taxes or evaded it completely, then do not bother looking any further for these corrupt Nigerians who are tarnishing the country’s image (assuming it had one to begin with), because, you are corrupt with a capital C! If our leaders are corrupt, it is simply because they are a reflection of who we are as a people. So folks, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this is who we are in a nutshell. We are selfish, corrupt, clueless, thieving cowards!
But maybe we aren’t as bad as I make us out to be. Perhaps a lot of us have adopted this lifestyle because we must join the system if we cannot beat it. What do you expect when trying to live with virtues and principles puts you at a disadvantage in a society that praises crime and calls you a mumu for trying to form ‘goody goody’. The whole thing tire me. What do you guys think?
Article By Lynda Binos