Corruption trends in Nigeria

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misappropriating the wrong remedies -Grucho Marx.

Corruption appears to be a never-ending national stigma read about on daily basis in our newspapers. This should not be a surprise to us all because we seem to have laid the national fabric deeply in it. Therefore, it is necessary to appreciate the concept of corruption and why it has become firmly rooted in our scheme of operation.

Aristotle once linked the corruption of kingship to tyranny but Earl J. Friedrich called corruption a deviant behaviour associated with selfish gains at the public expense. At the same time, he further expressed the view that: ‘‘The moral depravity which power is believed to cause in men – they no longer think about the right action or conduct but only the expedient action or conduct.’’ John Mukun Mbaku and Osden argued that ‘‘Corruption is probably the most significant constraint to both socio-political and economic developments in the African continent.’’ He reiterated further that corruption of different kinds existed from the time immemorial and acted as ‘Samper et unique’ (i.e., existed for long and in everywhere).

In the past, all efforts to eradicate corruption all over the world appeared ineffective because its root causes have not been seriously examined and at best, they have been addressed on the surface.

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