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Published On: Mon, Aug 10th, 2020

The painful tale of corruption in Nigeria

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By Ajeigbe Tunmise Joseph

Nigeria is located in western Africa on the Gulf of Guinea.The country’s size is comparable to that of Venezuela, or twice the size of the US state of California. But unlike either of these comparisons, Nigeria’s population level is many times higher.
With about 200 million people, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous in the world. However, not all Nigerians speak the same language or share the same ethnicity.
An important thing to understand about Nigeria is that it is a multicultural state. There are about 400 different ethnic groups from several distinct cultural groups, with the largest being the Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, and the Fulani ethnic groups.
Nigerian politics has traditionally been managed by these four. Considering its large population, economy, and industrial output, the country is frequently referred to as the ‘Giant of Africa’.
Nigeria’s external power project is evident in its economic influence throughout the continent, as Nigerian businessmen are active all over the region including black-market sectors like arms trade, drug trade, human trafficking, business scams, etc.
Furthermore, the government in Abuja uses several pan-African organizations to bolster its international image as a reliable state and the gateway to Africa, yet, despite the country’s economic and demographic influence, Nigeria’s foreign policy is significantly restricted due to the country’s domestic politics.
Nigeria is a black nation that gained her independence from Britain since the first day of October, 1960 and became a republican nation subsequently in an absolute time frame of three years after its independence on the 1st of October 1963.
The nation started as a democratic nation after having her first national electoral activity in 1959, until after the military started its usual autocratic ruling as it is glaring in every corner of the world.
Late Agunyi Ironsi expressed that the mismanagement and maladministration of the democratic reigns were the chemistry behind the January 15th, 1966 – a cold-blooded coup d’état that favoured to be in power.
A six months after, another successful counter cold-blooded coup d’état occurred involved mostly northerner military personnels like Yakubu Gowon. The administration welcomed the longest intertribal war in the nation.
Nine years later, the administration was challenged by a bloodless coup d’état in favour of Muritala Mohammed and he was eliminated a year after in a fruitless coup d’état by GEN. Dimka and GEN. Bisila and other revealed military personnels. His death favoured GEN. Olusegun Obasanjo to uphold power throughout his regime.
In 1979, chief Olusegun Obasanjo decided to hand the power to a democratic era of government trying to put an absolute end to any form of autocratic rule by a military government. 1979 election favoured Sheiu Shagari.
Sheiu Shagari’s democratic administration lasted for 4 years, before another bloodless successful coup d’état in favour of Muhammadu Buhari military administration, he also said ineffectiveness of the democratic government led to the December 31st, 1983 successful coup d’état.
Less than two years the administration was challenged in favour of Ibrahim Babangida with a successful bloodless coup d’état, he ruled the nation for over seven years, he held a democratic election and later cancelled it in accordance of electoral misconduct of some concerned politicians. In 1993, he handed the power to an interim president.
Coup d’état as it was a usual means of power resolution in the nation by previous successive governmental administrations, three months later, the interim administration was disposed off with the last coup d’état on the nation favouring Sani Abacha. In 1998, Sani Abacha died and his death gave a chance to Abdusallam Abubarka before the military finally considered to anchor the power back to a democratic reign in 1999.
1999-2020, twenty-one years of serviceable lessons for Nigerians to realize that no government had favoured them yet. Democracy indeed for Nigerians, democratic rulers like Olusegun Obasanjo, Musa Yar’adua, Goodluck Jonathan and the present Muhammadu Buhari cannot put an uttermost end to corruption in the nation. Although ICPC and EFCC have been trying to reduce the spread but no satisfying result yet for Nigerians.
Is corruption the only pest that alters the expected development in Nigeria? No! Nigeria can give an answer to that.
Nigerians themselves view their country as one of the world’s most corrupt; it perennially ranks in the bottom quartile of Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index.
Every institution in Nigeria’s corruption must find its way to reign, not even in the political realm, common Nigerians don’t find it easy not to trust themselves as a result of general winning of corrupt practices.
The government also has roles to play in total rejection of corrupt practices in the nation, as many politicians tend to uphold its spread, only a few of them has been victimized, some of them have been charged to the court of law while waiting for judgment.
Now everyone sees corruption as the only pest that tends never to move Nigeria forward to the realm of development and every noble citizen of Nigeria can’t just have their mouth being shut seeing the elite flaunting wealth all around in the guise of corruption.
Ajeigbe Tunmise Joseph is a Public Affairs Analyst.

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