Sometimes, I wonder what went wrong with black Africans, especially Nigerians. It cannot be the root, because, from every indication, our ancestors had very sound moral values. Could it be the influence of the white man? But the white man is not as corrupt as we have become. Could it be a religion (Christianity) then? I doubt so.
Maybe the influence of each of these factors: our ancestors, the white man and religion (Christianity) are good on their own, but they don't blend well when they come together. Otherwise, what really went wrong? Anyway, I promised to write more about the fact that our leaders are corrupt precisely because our society is corrupt. This is it.
I will give three more instances using a story a friend once narrated to me, he said and I quote' But please, it is not to blow my trumpet, it is to show that the decadence in Nigeria society is real, and then, that you can be free from its stains if you sincerely wish so but only when you adhere to what I am going to hit therein in this article . There's no excuse, whatsoever.
The story narrates as follows, During my NYSC in Kogi State, my batch (batch B, 2011) conducted the Kogi State gubernatorial election. I served in Okene, in Okehi LGA. As an electoral officer, my polling boot was in Ihima, also in Okehi LGA. I was the chief electoral officer in my polling boot. And I was assisted by 2 people: another electoral officer, who was my actual assistant, and a policeman who was our security personnel. I don't want to talk about other local governments (there are 21 local governments in Kogi State)... But in Okehi Local Government alone, there were about 50 polling boots, and as far as I know, each of the electoral officers (corpers) in these polling boots accepted a bribe from PDP "errand boys," and allowed them to rig the votes in their polling boots. I was the only person that refused to accept the bribe of N35,000 offered to me. The story of our Nigeria.
Now come to think of it, each of these corpers, as they were, who abused this rare opportunity to serve the country in a most degrading way, are somewhere now condemning Buhari's administration, and are probably yearning for a good government. Is that not the height of hypocrisy? I mean, how on earth, with what they did, do they want that to come about? And this is the story of most Nigerians. Nigerians are drinking corruption like water, but they are always quick to condemn corruption in government.
My assistant and the policeman (a law enforcement officer for that matter) tried all they could to convince me to accept the bribe that was offered to me because it was only if I accept it that they would be given theirs, as I am the authority. Inside me, I laughed; hohoho. They met the wrong person. When the whole thing was over, my assistant stopped talking to me, and the policeman didn't stop staring at me. In their mind, I was a fool and an enemy of progress. Well, when it was time for us to go our separate ways, my assistant said to me, "You just blew this opportunity for me." I smiled and said within me, "How I wish you know what I did for you today by not letting you collect that bribe." But how would he know? He was blind and myopic just like the rest of them (most Nigerians)...sick minds!

I repeat: our society cannot be corrupt and we expect our leaders not to be corrupt. That is absurd. It is the effort the society makes to say "NO" to corruption, which will issue in our leaders. When the entire nation is not making serious effort to be free from corruption, it affects the leaders. (To be Continued)

Editor Published By Udeagha Obasi
For Umuchiukwu Writers)
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