Where We Lost It


Nigeria is a foremost corrupt nation; this needs no proof, the world takes notice of it. However, several attempts have been exercised to abate corruption, still, my over-two- decade stay on earth has never seen a nation so diligent in its verve to remain unrepentantly corrupt. President Buhari like some other leaders of Nigeria has embarked on a voyage to sanitize Nigeria by ensuring that corruption is reduced to the nadir. Sadly, this President and many others who treaded this path have not broken a leg. In my opinion, this is where they have always missed it…

It must be emphasized in parenthesis that corruption stems greatly from poverty. Corruption as we see in public offices these days is a conscious effort never to return to the initial state of things – poverty. Yes, I agree that many political thieves are from wealthy backgrounds but the indices of unpardonable plundering of the nation’s treasury gravitates towards those who had no silver spoons in their mouths. Thus, the peripeteia of  having the opportunity to be reflected in any of the political offices after decades of being on the breadline, carries alongside, a morbid intention to earn much more than can be given. 

 Corruption as it pervades Nigeria is simply a product of poverty. Those who have siphoned the nation’s wealth decided to do so with reckless abandon. The question we should ask ourselves is, why do these people steal the nation’s wealth without compunction? Sometimes, I resist condemning all of these political “wolves” not because I am corrupt but because I do not know what would become of me in the nearest future should this country continue in this light. Many youths who engage in online criticisms and censures are no better. In the presence of same opportunities, many if not all of them will do the same. Only gravity may separate the bad from the incurably bad.

There is a great conspiracy by the rich to make sure they enrich themselves and impoverish the poor. When these poor persons get a chance eventually at the helm of affairs, the harm done is irreparable. Come to think of it, the dichotomy between the opulent and the poor is like a stretched band; too wide to accommodate reason. You hear of the water closets for the rich and then you hear of pit toilets. You hear they have big cars, the amount of which is incalculable and then you see the poor, they’re ceaselessly peripatetic. This inequality puts one thought in the mind of all and sundry – “How do I secure myself and my family financially?” This question is the very crux of corruption, in my candid opinion. The rich amass wealth, play ducks and drakes with the nation’s wealth even when they are from wealthy backgrounds. Sometimes you wonder why on earth they are given to such moral turpitude but the answer is simple: Even the rich are scared of being poor. Amassing billions and eons of millions is just in a bid to make sure they eternally escape the unfeeling grips of lack. 

Also, when those who have really had a feel of poverty fight their way into hefty positions, they steal with reckless abandon. They don’t even care whose ox is gored. Do you blame them? Because they know where they came from and how humbling their beginnings were, they seek by all means, to secure their future and of those unsheathed from their loins. What a vicious cycle! Sometimes, we are quick to blame these people but we should all ask ourselves, “When we get there, are we sure we wouldn’t have our hands in murky waters?” Yes, it is disreputable and ignominious to bathe and soil oneself in the pool of corruption but don’t forget also that reputation is of utmost relevance when you can live comfortably. I thank God for the few poor ones who still extol dignity and reputation but then, I still am tempted to believe they haven’t suffered deep enough to flout rationality. Those who really have suffered heavily get to a point where they lose regard for good name or reputation. I mean, every man has his level of elasticity and evidently, poverty is the direst pound that pushes us to break our limits of conscience, good will, even ‘sanity’ sometimes. 

In a nutshell, corruption is dire. It is worth a good fight. I commend any leader who has or had seen it as a problem deserving hands on the deck. However, as Albert Einstein once said, it is foolishness to keep doing a thing using the same methods and expecting a different result. We have lost it several times because we haven’t adopted a different method. You’ll agree with me that corruption isn’t going to be obliterated as a pastime. Gradually, it can be abated but only with the right mechanism. Corruption is largely owed to the increased degeneration by the people into deep depths of poverty. When the standard of living is reasonably comfortable, the mind is relieved. Relief palliates the mind, hustle hardens it. The consequence of the current youths with hardened minds owing to years of insufferable poverty and suffering, is unbridled thievery in the eventuality of being stakeholders at the helm of affairs. To avert the sword of Damocles, the government must ensure that poverty is alleviated. 

Comparatively, countries in the western world cannot boast of the sophisticated heights we have climbed in corruption because they guarantee their citizens social security. An average American considers it pointless to steal the nation’s treasury for the sake of buying cars and building houses in different states of the nation. This is only because from his very birth, he has enjoyed the security of shelter, food and other basics which, on the contrary, even a wealthy man in Nigeria is not thoroughly convinced of such security until he is sure he has 60% of the nation’s wealth at his behest.

I have not said conclusively that only the poor turn out to be corrupt in public offices. I hold boldly that the absence of social and financial security coupled with the omen of becoming poor, spurs our leaders to steal and embezzle. Given the current level of hardship, it can only be imagined, how rife we will experience looming corruption especially by those who have had the experiences with the indices of abject penury. To curb corruption is to first nip the problem in the bud. A budding evil as such must be trimmed from the roots. While any government militates against the office holders who aggrandize corruption, they must never turn a blind eye to the pathetic condition of the teeming population. The indiscretion of dereliction in this sense will not only mean another phase of corruption, but a phase with the obvious impossibilities of being quelled. 

If our government continues tilting at windmills, leaving the very crux unattended to, she will only lose on the swings what ought to be gained on the roundabouts. Then, we will no longer pray for a change, we would pray for equal opportunities to perpetuate the evil, after all, perpetuity in this sense is change in itself – change from lack to lacking nothing.

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My name is Destiny Osayi Ogedegbe. I'm a promising lawyer in training, a perspiring teacher and a despairing optimist. I have a knack for art, music and writing. I'm a deep writer and I believe in reaching the world through my pen. I believe in the fundamental interconnectedness of things; that True Love exists, that words control ultimately everything, that we are way better than people would have us believe; that people deserve to be enlightened.. I'm the Scribbler!
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3 Responses to Where We Lost It

  1. Ksoloc says:

    I never knew it pains you the way it does me. The only problem we have is that this country was colonised by corruption, by the very ones known as kings and Queens of corruption. The way I see it, this will linger for countless decades until someone dedicated and disgusted with acute corruption emerges as ruler. But it’s a journey ; with this being just the beginning. One day we’ll arrive at nation free from corruption and free from its plague. Nice of you to write immensely on this topic, Mr Possible.


  2. Jon Doe says:

    Interesting read. I enjoyed the take you had on corruption, aside from the western world part.

    My Thoughts; Nigerians are too focused on corruption. We behave like corruption is absent in other countries. This is far from the truth. Even in first world countries, U.S., South Korea, Russia, England, corruption abounds. South Korea is currently going through a presidential scandal at the moment. Take for example Illinois, I’m pretty sure at least 3 of the governors they’ve had in the past couple decades have been to jail on corruption charges. You might say that shows they are catching them. Hardly, others have had cases that they beat or nothing was able to stick. There’s also the whole lobbying system which is just legal bribery with a fancy name. Not to talk of the billions of dollars spent on campaigns and what that entails. What I’m trying to hammer on is corruption is in these places that we feel their shit don’t stink. They just don’t air their dirty laundry. Incompetence is what these countries are more on the lookout for.

    In our country, we use corruption as an excuse to not get things done. Turn the public eye to the corruption of the previous administration or opposing party and you can laze around doing zilch. The problem isn’t the corruption, the problem is while being corrupt things are not getting done. We have zero checks and balances. I believe our government is a reflection of the people as you pointed out. Nigerians; we want others to fix our problems which is why we pray heavily for whatever deity to come change our country. We don’t even realize the true nature of our problem. As long as we think solving corruption is the magical bullet that will murder what is holding us back, we will continue to lag behind even with the abundant potential we possess as a nation. This is more than a comment now, my bad, will end rant here

    Liked by 2 people

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