Severing Corruption from Everyday Life: Some Reflections from Nigerian Political Space

Severing Corruption from Everyday Life: Some Reflections from Nigerian Political Space

Babatunde Joshua Omotosho (Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/ijcesc.2014070102
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Abstract

One of the challenging scenarios regarding political landscape in developing countries has to do with corruption and Nigeria is not an exception. Politicians often tow the paths of corrupt practices (while preparing for election and upon assumption of political offices) due to a number of social and economic factors. Attempts have been made by different administrations in this country to severe these twin brothers (corruption and politics) in order to ensure a lasting democracy in Nigeria. In spite of these efforts, the success story is nothing to write home about. The questions therefore are: is there any tie between corruption and culture? At what point did corruption become an identifiable feature of Nigerian politics? What are the steps taken so far to address this menace and what are the achievements over time? All these issues and others become critical as this paper examines the place of culture in corruption in Nigeria.
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Corruption In Nigeria: Its Growth And Spread

Corruption, often described as anti-social behaviour conferring improper benefits that are against the legal and moral norms of the land (Osoba, 1996 in Dike 2000) on people; it is a situation whereby an individual or group of people misuse public power (financially or otherwise) for personal purpose, usually carried out in secret and the act may not be discovered immediately (Obasanjo 1994). Obasanjo’s (1994) definition may not aptly fit in to Nigeria situation. Corruption in Nigeria seems to have become a way of life that is practiced openly and without restraints. Nye (1967) opined that people engage in corrupt practices without blinking their eyes and other people around see it as normal. This was corroborated by Jubril (2010) in his paper on corruption and he argued that the menace calls for concern based on the ‘degree to which they are practiced by Nigerians and our openness and discretion in doing so’. Lipset and Lenz (2000) see corruption as efforts to ‘secure wealth or power through illegal means, private gain at public expense, or a misuse of public power for private benefit’. Transparent International defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain whether in the private or public sector (Transparency International, 2011). The ones put forward by T.I and Lipset and Lenz (2000) appear broad and capture different sides of corruption, yet it in spite of its limitations, the definitions have thrown some light regarding corruption; it is an act against the accepted rules and regulations of the land and people engage in it in order to enrich or put themselves in advantage positions.

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