Anti-corruption is not a simple task to handle and it is not always straightforward. There are practical exhaustive steps to fighting corruption if properly executed (even with mistakes) that could certainly lead to massive reductions in the incidence and scale of the phenomenon. Currently, there is nothing of substance either straightforward, indirect or practical about the mission of anti-corruption in Nigeria that swept the current government of President Muhammadu Buhari into power. Corruption has at best become a “spiritual exercise” in the sense that the President and his Anti-Corruption Czar are behaving more like minor biblical prophets sent to warn their people than kings and administrators who ruled people with effective direct instructions. It’s time to pray.
Spirituality is primarily based on the connection of human beings with “the spirit”, whatever it is ascertained to be. This connection is only a ‘potentiality’ and not a tangible nor clearly defined object or emotion. How the potentiality is used by people is what is important; in the hands of some actors, it goes to waste while others achieve piety, major character transformations and ‘miracles’ through it. This is the preferred approach of the government in dealing with the practicalities of corruption in the country, spiritual guidance and backup.
Things spiritual are naturally pro-esoteric and pro-ethereal; rituals, commandments and intentions, since they are not of the material world. The theologies, cosmologies, ablutions, libations, song, dances, prayers, incantations, invocations, sacrifices, austerities and so on are all practised by human beings in the hope the god, spirits and ancestors will accept the sentiments with which they are offered; the connection ‘piously’ sought.
Ceremonial approaches are good for spiritual encounters but not handling complex practical problems found in the governance of a nation all by themselves. The concrete way to tackle corruption and other intractable governance challenges is to adopt instrumental approaches complete with conscientious volition, techniques, methods, schedules, strategy and equipment. There are no short cuts to solving major or long-standing governance problems.
The government of President Buhari in a cost-avoidance bid has reduced anti-corruption to a non-worldly ‘potentiality’ and nothing more. The government has also reduced corruption to a ‘sentiment of virtue’ better preached but not as an actionable practice that produces expected results with some failures occurring. Verily, the government is “in spirit” when it comes to dealing with corruption, a trance that strictly produces revelations, prophecies and warnings only. The shrine called Nigeria and pulpit we know as the presidency is where the trance is singularly triumphant, not in the corporeal courts of law instituted to persecute and convict criminals guilty of corruption with concrete, not potential evidence. Amen?
Corruption continues to rage its ugly head in devouring the present and future of Nigeria but men and women of faith see a different reality, Nigeria is getting better and less corrupt, well only if you believe. Titi meme koko!
It is no secret that Christian pastors, Muslim imams and Animist native doctors have been offered massive material gifts and bounties out of government purses to solve the problems of Nigeria including corruption, spiritually. James Randi should visit Nigeria and test the efficacy of this religious personnel in guiding the government aright. Imagine a country where prophecies are obtained or oracles are consulted before proceeding with a prosecution against a given person who is alleged to have committed grand corruption. If the oracle says No to arrest or prosecution, it does not happen. This may sound so irrational to highly rational and practical persons. Yet in the 21st Century, the Nigerian government stills depend on ‘direct’ answers from God, the Gods or the Spirits for governance counsel and their intervention for practical solutions to societal problems.
The same clergy give ‘personal’ political advice to politicians. Imagine a politician who goes to his spiritual master to inquire via the spirit if he can get away with stealing the $5.6 million allocated to his agency. The answer is invariably, Yes, but for a large “spiritual fee”. The same clergy sought by the government for advice on how to deal with corruption are the ones using their “spiritual gifts” to perpetuate corruption. Remember the government for national purposes and the politicians contact only the most gifted and most reputable clergy for spiritual matters. They are not that many.
Senate President Bukola Saraki think that his recent Code of Conduct Tribunal trial victory was down to the thousands of imams he gave goats and money to call on Allah to deliver him justice. He is wrong. If we sincerely consider the nature of hyper-corruption in Nigeria, even an atheist who would never seek spiritual assistance for anything would have won the CCT trial by means further corrupt practices.
How interesting it is to know that the government of Buhari is waiting for Judgement Day, Yawmuddin or Ede Erivwin for officials in the public and private sector guilty of corruption to face justice crimes. Justice for the corrupt in this world, not in Nigeria.
Maybe if every Nigerian prayed sincerely against corruption God himself will abolish it in the land. It is well?