Terrorism is generally considered to mean the unlawful use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of a cause. In other words terrorism is an illegal exercise of power. Like terrorism corruption is the bane of Nigeria and indeed any society that wishes to destroy itself. Corruption destroys not only a group of people or region, it annihilates the system. Corruption is like the illness of the heart and the heart being the engine room of the body if affected the entire human system ceases to function normally. Dysfunction sets in and when care is not taken death becomes inevitable; that is the situation of a society immersed in corruption. It thus suffices to say that corruption is a form of terrorism sublimely carried out on the innocent citizenry by the political class; a group of opportunists drunk with the wine of avarice. Corruption is a unique kind of terrorism because it is often executed with a certain professional dexterity that leaves no physical injuries on the victim as such but it affliction outweighs those of the violent form of terrorism, because it eats off the fabric of humanity and destroys society.
Nigeria serves as a significant specimen for the catastrophe that is the result of the terrorism of corruption. The stream of poverty and hunger in the country as well as the frightening level of moral degeneration in our society are testaments to the gains of the terrorism of corruption. This modern weapon and evil against humanity is part of an elitist disease that transcends geographical, religious and ethnic configuration. It has become the surname of political executhieves and Bureaucrats alike. Many observers particularly political scientists have opined that, in Nigeria every government invent new ways by which to effect corruption; that it is the one thing our politicians excel in doing.
Although corruption has become synonymous with the embezzlement of public fund but in truth, corruption is actually a very wide concept that could also be used to infer the dearth of sanity and morality in a people or society. Corruption is therefore the dearth of character and principle, a renunciation of integrity. What this means is that for corruption to manifest in an individual his conscience which is the immune system that wades of negative impulses is attacked and destroyed, this then leads to a gradual decay in the value system and consciousness of the individual who eventually becomes prune to corrupt indulgences. The Oxford advance Learner’s Dictionary (new 8th edition) defines corruption “dishonest or illegal behaviour, especially of people in authority.” another definition says that corruption is “the act or effect of making somebody change from moral to immoral standards of Behaviour.”
The essence of stating the above is to concretise the supposition that a dearth in principle is in itself an act of corruption. In other words, when an individual establishes a standard he does not adhere to in principle and not necessary in practice such a person could be said to be corrupt. The APC government for example has failed in living up to its expectation and has succeeded in leading the nation and its people into strife and poverty yet it does not recognise that it has no moral ground to preach and tag other people as corrupt because the foundation upon which the government stands is equally corrupt.
The APC government is highly technical in its manipulative and subjective principles. This government is a paradox; although the lords in power chants songs of altruism and commitment to honesty and good governance their attitudes and body language does not support their proclamations.
For one, the emergence of President Buhari was a dishonest imposition on the people whose gullibility was taken advantage off. Even the president himself knew he could not manage the affairs of the country due to old age and ill health but the greed for power beclouded his and his apostles sense of reason and today here we are in a fix with an ailing president taking residence in a foreign land. A president of one country residing in another for over 100 days yet some people think there is nothing wrong with such wanton advertisement of lack of principle? What could be more dishonourable than this anomaly brazenly being applauded by political merchants in power?
The economy is in a state of no return and suffering is spread upon the land like wildfire yet those enjoying the warmness of the government’s burning wood do not believe that there is killing cold in the land. The worst of the evils of any government is the justification of an evil committed against the helpless masses. Even the body language of the APC government buttresses a certain contempt of the generality of the masses of this country. It appears only the APC government does not see that the nation has rather retrogressed instead of progressing.
Very recently a group of protesters in Abuja attempted to protest the continued incapacitation of President Buhari and called on him to resign if he could no longer return to the country to lead her to the promised land he promised, but those unfortunate protesters were met with a violent reprisal by the policed while a senile group successfully held a pro-Buhari protest in the same capital peacefully. What a just society! One is tempted to say. Let us be frank with one another. Can such a glaring depiction of myopia be rationalised by any honest and sane individual who confess to the tenets of Democracy?
The one question begging for answer is, what is honourable in Buhari’s continuous stay in power even though he is incapacitated or appears to be beyond redemption as his elongated medical stay in the UK suggests to Nigerians? And what is dishonourable in his resignation? We are all witnesses to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua’s health dilemma which necessitated the invocation of the so called “doctrine of necessity” which resulted to the swearing in of Jonathan as Acting President and then substantive president? One then wonders why those who eagerly called for Yar’adua’s head have become deaf and dumb and even maybe blind today to the injustice of a political configuration of conniving cabals holding the country hostage.
The APC government has unleashed a kind of terrorism on the land where citizens are not expected to criticise the government or even make reference to the president. There have been series of arrests in this administration of people because they expressed critical views of the governments. The only significant difference between Buhari’s and Jonathan’s government is perhaps Buhari. While Jonathan was unclever in his malpractices Buhari is more clever in his malpractice, but both are guilty of running a dysfunctional system. An elder statesman in Minna described the situation thus;
“Nigeria is experiencing the worst form of capitalism; Nepotism, is the worst kind of capitalism and it is the benchmark of corruption. Niger state is experiencing maximum Nepotism-Capitalism.”
The statesman further submitted in a conversation that the APC government is hiding under Buhari’s slogan of anti-corruption to perpetuate a more distasteful form of corruption ever witnessed since the advent of democracy in Nigeria. He opined;
“People are using Buhari’s anti-corruption slogan to perpetuate an unprecedented level of corruption everywhere. They claim there is no money but they are busy embezzelling public funds with their families, friends and associates. All the contracts are awarded to their cronies yet they claim to be fighting corruption.”
Corruption is a brand of terrorism in Nigeria. It is a kind of terrorism perpetuated by the rich against the poor by the political elites. Corruption is terrorism because all terrorist acts lead to one thing and that is the wanton destruction of life and properties. But above all corruption is terrorism because it is an unlawful acquisition of public wealth and. The misapplication of principles leading to strife and hopelessness in the land. The APC government has not clearly taken a different path from that of the PDP, instead they appear to be outsourcing PDP in their display of brazen insensitivity to the plight of the people.
As the poor masses continue to suffer this terrorism of change, one can only hope that things will get better for the common good of all. The APC government must live up to its expectations by repositioning itself and by delivering on the promises it made prior to the 2015 general elections otherwise anarchy is inevitable and it will be catastrophic when it comes.
by Paul Liam