Each time people talk of corruption, we are quick to point fingers to the direction of the government and public office holders. Unfortunately, the entire social space is inherently corrupt and we are not addressing it. This is not a Nigerian thing alone but a global menace.

I once travelled for a conference in New York and a driver took me in an unpainted taxi from the airport to my hotel. Unknown to me, he had manipulated the meter. He also took the longest route for me to believe it was a long journey. I paid $100 as the meter showed.

When I got to the conference venue, I found that I was the least scammed. Someone paid $350. Some $200.The only one that took the yellow cab paid $50. It was lamentations galore. We were then advised to use the yellow cabs or call a reputable cab company when going back.

Back home, let us look at some examples. In the family unit, the father gives the son N10,000 and the mother matches it with another 10k with an instruction not to tell the dad or sister. To secure admission, get a job, you need to call on an official in the corridors of power. Some even virtually pay teachers for marks. Many market men and women stuff paper underneath the mudu or heating up the bottom of the mudu, to raise it from the under, thereby selling lesser quantities of tomatoes or garri to the buyer. The Vulcanizer deliberately gives a wrong pressure reading to make you pay for service not rendered. Some would size you and jerk up the price. The bus conductor collects money from 10 passengers and accounts for 7 to the driver. The agbero that contributes nothing to the maintenance of the car or fuel purchase takes the full tariff of one passenger out of four. This happens with each loading daily), etc., These are taking tolls on the poor.

What of other societal behaviours that are antiethical to ideal norms of responsible society like jumping a queue, pay to facilitate movement, taking short cuts to circumvent official protocols, etc. Are these not acts of corruption that should worry us? What are the reasons for this endemic corruption? How can we begin to interrogate this phenomenon?

Just concerned.

Grace and peace!!!


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