“Our politicians are corrupt” is a widely accepted and endorsed belief by majority of the Nigerian populace.
I believe differently; Our politicians are not corrupt, we as a people are corrupt.
How? Let me explain with some scenarios;
1. If you’ve ever “rounded-up” figures in a bid to get extra change, you’re no different from the politicians who do the same in a bid to get extra change
2. If you’ve ever lied to save your neck, you’re no different from the politicians who do the same.
3. If you’ve ever shunted in traffic or jumped the queue, you’re no different from the politicians who bend or circumvent the laws already laid down.
4. If you’ve ever stolen something, you’re no different from the politicians who steal in the millions and billions
5. If you’ve ever performed less than you were assigned on a project or taken a longer break than was allowed for no cogent reason, you’re no different from the politicians who do the same at the expense of national matters.
6. If you’ve ever promised something you were not certain of fulfilling, you’re no different from the politicians who tell us beautiful tales whenever they’re vying for a position.
7. If you’ve ever kept silent about a wrong done in your organization or around you, you’re no different from some politicians who keep quiet when their counterparts wreck havoc.
8. If you’ve ever given a friend or family a job or contract whose ability you could not fully ascertain, you’re no different from politicians who give out contracts based on favor and not ability.
Finally, if you’ve ever done any wrong in your life, you’re no different from some of our politicians.The only thing that separates you and the thieving and corrupt politician is OPPORTUNITY. Those stealing billions now once stole little thousands; a gradual process.
This piece is not meant to justify the wrongs of the politicians. Rather it is a challenge for us to rise up and do the best we can with all honesty, discipline and integrity.
If we want a change, we must look at our mirrors and begin from the image we see there. Our present crop of politicians cannot rule foreverand in due time some of us would get the opportunity to also lead.
I reiterate; Nigeria doesn’t have corrupt politicians, Nigeria has corrupt people. And until we change, the vicious cycle of corruption would forever hold sway.