So, this particular talk was not inspired in a beer parlour but it is one to be talked over a bottle or two.
While in a commercial bus in Lagos going from Mile 2 to Iyana Iba (the state of the roads is a story for another day), while stuck in traffic, our driver noticed some cars were following a supposedly blocked road, before he could maneuver his way there, some men were able to block the road and redirect cars away from there, I noticed a black Toyota that refused to turn back, it kept moving steadily & on reaching the guys at the block, he just flashed his ID card and they cleared him and let bum pass. I asked why the man was allowed to pass the guys at the block said he’s a military officer, what got to me was the responses from everyone else, while some were saying “ok” others were saying “understandable” “no wahala”.
Not up-to 200 meters from there, police men were seizing commercial motorbikes & arresting the riders, I noticed that not some riders were allowed to ride without harassment & when I asked why, someone replied “na only the abokis dem dey arrest, na dem police target comot”.
Do I need to say anything about the police officers who do ‘stop n search’ on the road? Officers who you can bypass with a corpse in your backseat by paying a token of N200.
As Nigerians, we tend to always lament the rate of corruption being perpetuated by our leaders at various levels, but what about the followers? I have always said the next set of leaders will always be more corrupt than the previous, why do I say so? Well, we are bred in an atmosphere of corruption, such that corruption is institutionalized & those who refuse to perpetrate the act are castigated and at times even targeted and harmed.
Corruption is woven so deep into the Nation’s fabric that it is practically impossible to go a whole day without experiencing these acts of corruption, so much so that we feel it is the norm and we see no crime in it unless it is to our detriment.
Saying Nigeria might not overcome corruption is not me being pessimistic, but rather me being realistic. In Nigerian terms, corruption means something other than the general dictionary meaning, and it is very sad that corruption is practiced every minute of the day in the country.
It speaks volumes of the state of values of this country that the rich are glorified, doesn’t matter how they get their income.
So when next you are in a beer parlour or just chilling with friends, ask yourselves “if we are put in charge of Nigeria, would we honestly not be corrupt? Would we fight corruption even though it favours us?”. Get the answers to that question and you know the direction this country is headed.
I remain Luqman Adamu aka Swaaguu aka Malo aka any other non-offensive name you decide to call me & I’m off to get you another topic for next week. Till then, STAY SAFE