When Nigerians should be wary of covetous and untrustworthy politicians (1)
By Bode Durojaiye.
Corruption is the ‘’act or effect of making somebody change from moral to immoral behaviour in order to get an advantage or in return for money . It is the lack of integrity or honesty and use of a position of trust for dishonest gain especially of people in authority’’.
The act of corruption is Satanic and is energized by the spirits of pride, ingratitude and covetousness. Pride is unreasonable and inordinate self esteem, personified as one of the deadly sins. It seeks unjust, illegal and godless exaltation, while ingratitude speaks of lack of appreciation or discontentment with who we are or what we have.
Covetousness is extreme greed for material wealth; reprehensive acquisitiveness and insatiable desire for wealth. It is avarice, cupidity or rapacity. Covetousness seeks unjust or dishonest gain in order to exalt self and dethrone another. It is an envious eagerness to possess something. The spirit of covetousness blinds man to God’s workings in his life.
Corruption originated in heaven, through the pride, ingratitude and covetousness of Lucifer, an arch angel, now Satan, who wanted possessions, independence and worship and coveted the throne of God.
He was cast out and down to the earth, but through subtlety and chicanery, he deceived and corrupted the federal head of mankind; first, Adam- female (Eve), who later co-opted Adam-male, and their corruption was imputed into the generality of mankind.
Proud, ungrateful and covetous people have a greater proclivity to steal. Anything, material or spiritual, acquired through illegal means amount to stealing. And God abhors stealing. He would rather we beg than steal.
Corrupt acts are manifests in all nations, but some nations are more corrupt than others. Recently, the Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron, in a gossip, qualified Nigeria as a ‘’fantastically corrupt country’’, and President Muhammadu Buhari readily agreed, later, in an interview with SkyNews, though some analysts criticised him for his simplicity.
The truth about corruption in Nigeria is bare. Corruption is pervasive and walks on all fours and in all forms. Our institutions, structures, systems and processes have been bastardized and steeped in corruption, even as the ruling class seem to have lost the moral rectitude.
Recently, the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption, Professor Itse Sagay, in an interview berated Nigerian legislators thus: ‘’the moral burden they are carrying is just too heavy. I am surprised we have a group of legislators who don’t have shame. Going to buy cars that costs as much as N38 million per unit of cars for themselves in a country where people are finding it difficult to enjoy a meal a day is unacceptable. It is a total shameless abuse of power. It is a lack of restraint in self promotion and self exaltation at the expense of the whole country.’’
Similarly, Dr Olapade Agoro, Founder, National Action Council said, ‘’the leadership of the National Assembly is a corrupt evil. If not, how will a lawmaker be clamouring to buy a jeep worth N66 million.’’
The reasons for pervasive corruption in Nigeria are spiritual, sociological and political.
In his book’’ Survey of Biblical Geography’’, the late erudite and internationally acclaimed Bible Teacher and Founding Rector, Faith Theological Seminary, Sango Ota, Ogun State, Reverend Ige Olumide, noted that ‘’through the spirit-directed eyes of Scriptures especially the book of Daniel, we see behind nations and cultural groups, powerful spirit being, demonic principalities, who shape and guide national destinies, traits and characteristics. Their influence is exerted through national idolatries’’.
It is evident that a greater segment of the ruling class in Nigeria is under the influence of a malevolent principality which promotes covetousness and stealing. And covetousness pollutes a nation; it retards growth and development, devastates and despoils the poor.
One of God’s conditions to be a leader is to hate covetousness. ‘’Moreover thou shall provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating COVETOUSNESS (emphasis is mine) and place such over them to be rulers of thousands and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties and rulers of tens.’’ (Exodus 18 vs 21).
God want leaders to be responsible and cater for the poor. He said, ‘’when the poor and needy seek water and there is none and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places and fountains in the midst of the valleys, I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.’’ That points to the faithfulness and compassion of God.
But, it is through human beings, especially those in positions of authority that God cater for the poor, the reason leaders in wise nations regard and support the poor for God’s sake and for country’s prosperity, while foolish nations, especially in Africa steal from the poor.
Sociologically, corruption is pervasive in Nigeria because of the values upheld by the leadership. Leadership is value-based and influences the followership. A leader is one to show the way, a guide to direct, persuade or precede. The values upheld by leaders permeate the followership.
The concept of leadership relates to the alternative concept of the flag, which is that if you have to lead a people, you need to raise ‘’something’’ above them.
For example, Jesus, as it were, raised a ‘’flag’’ of Blue, White and Red colours with many stripes (the colours and pattern adopted for the US flag). In Christian theology, Blue colour symbolize Heaven (where He came from); White, His Purity or Righteousness and Red, Power (in His Blood).
His flag has stripes of Love, peace, compassion, faithfulness, humility, obedience, righteousness, Grace, sacrifice, Salvation, integrity, power, riches, wisdom, blessings, honour, glory, empowerment and more.
Jesus raised virtues above mankind and excellently fulfilled His earthly mandate as a leader and made Christians of His followers for a peaceful and better society. But the values raised by the leadership in Nigeria are materialistic and immoral.
The leadership in Nigeria is wealth-crazy; they defiantly and brazenly flaunt unjustly acquired wealth, thereby inciting and planting the seed of corruption in the mind of the followership.
Politically, the foundational structure of the country aggravates corruption. Too much power and resources are concentrated at the centre.
Moreover, corruption festered in Nigeria because of the transgressions of some of our founding fathers in their quest for power, recognition and domination.
Through words and deeds, some of them encouraged tribalism and inequity, and ignited an evil consciousness, which corrupted the polity in all ramifications.
But, remarkably, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe was the most broad-minded and detribalized founding father. And this is with a sense of responsibility. Zik was not ethnocentric; he was holistic.
Based on his exposure, he had a finer mindset of what nation building entail, and genuinely desired and worked for a ‘rainbow coalition’ for Nigeria.
The remedy to corruption in Nigeria is in a vibrant civil activism, determined and sustained value re-orientation and effective enforcement of existing laws. Democracy is a model of governance evolved to checkmate the excesses and stealing propensity of rulers, as God revealed in the Bible (See 1 Samuel Chapter 8 vs 10-18).
‘People power’ is central to democracy; without it, rulers can steal unrestrained and ride roughshod on the followership.
To be continued………