Culture of Corruption in Nigeria: Admonishing the Citizens in the Light of 2 Peter 1:3-11

Culture of Corruption in Nigeria: Admonishing the Citizens in the Light of 2 Peter 1:3-11

Enobong Lot (University of Calabar, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2574-6.ch025
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The work examines the culture of corruption in Nigeria: admonishing the citizens in the light of 2Peter 1:3-11. It sees corruption as improper and unlawful conduct intended to secure a benefit for oneself or another and a degradation of human life through the power of sin. It examines the notion that corruption has deeply soaked the fiber of Nigerian people, and as well threatens its nationhood in all ramifications even in religious circle. Apostle Peter in his second Epistle (2Peter 1:3-11) admonishes Christians in particular and the Nigerian citizens as a whole against the culture of corruption, and further recommends the utilisation of the divine resources and cultivation of the basic ethical virtues provided by God as the sure way of escape from corruption.
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In contemporary trendy discourse around the world, corruption as a phenomenon is not only seen as a global issue, but has become a consumable with intensity, sophistication and forms varying from one country to another. The inference therefore from extant literature, development actors, public commentaries, and the media seem to suggest that corruption is the largest industry in the world but with many practitioners from Nigeria. This nevertheless, has a lot of implications for development, good governance and wellbeing in the country. This however, explains why Transparency International (Fukuyama, 2005) identifies the serious nature of the global phenomenon of corruption from the perspective of an index of 178 countries. In 2010 approximately one third of the countries on a scale from zero (0) (no corruption) to ten (10) (total corruption) did not achieve a score of 5. Similarly, according to Van Vuuren (2009) by 2004 the extent of corruption in Africa alone had amounted to 106 billion USD, while the global level bribery single-handedly within corporations had reached 160 billion USD. Corruption has characterised the lives of the citizens, the politicians, elites, clergies which ordinarily, should have sanitised society; unfortunately, they have become a hazard on the life-line of the people. The culture of corruption has taken over the Nigerian nation of today, and it is shameful that in the democratic dispensation, the standard of living in all ramifications has continue to dose dive despite the vast wealth of resources and income accruing daily. This wealth which was meant for the betterment of the citizenry has been wasted by corrupt means in the hand of the politicians and other political office holders in diverse unprofitable areas to the detriment of the Nigerian citizenry.

Obviously, corruption is a growing problem which has become a wide-spread phenomenon, threatening the Nigerian nationhood, co-existence and stability both economically, socially, religiously, politically, and otherwise. Achebe (1983) when perusing ‘the problem with Nigeria’ as at early 1980s quoted a comment from Weekly Star of May 15, 1983 that “keeping an average Nigerian from being corrupt is like keeping a goat from eating yam” (38). This indicates that “canker worm” called corruption has eaten deep into the fabric of everyday life of average Nigerian. The point here is that no business ever gets done in Nigeria without an iota of some form of corruption taking place. This reveals that though, the Nigerians are aware that corruption in all its forms is against the law and unwelcome yet, it seems to have a hold on them everywhere they go.

Obviously, in Africa as a whole, and Nigeria in particular, corruption is a feature of social, political and even religious life, with disastrous consequences (Kunhiyop, 2008). It has not only impedes economic development but also increases poverty level of many individuals while enriching fewer persons in the society. Hence, the Nigerian society is presently in the state of jeopardy, because corruption has generated conflict in so many areas of social life such as armed robbery, oil bunkering, militancy, poverty, under-development and so on. Consequently, the nation is being characterized by hunger, moral degeneration, theft, succession crisis, unethical behaviours, and a lack of accountability by those in position of authority, as well as other forms of social vices. Against this decadence that we have being encultured, Peter admonishes and beacons on us to acquaint ourselves with the divine qualities such as faith, virtue, fortitude, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. These when giving all diligence to develop and integrate them into our beings, would help us escaped the corruption that is prevalence in the Nigerian society. On this scenario, this chapter seeks to evaluate the culture of corruption in Nigeria: admonishing the citizens in the light of 2 Peter 3:3-11. The work evaluates types of corruption and its effects in the present day Nigerian society. It furthers presents an exegetical study of 2 Peter 1: 3-11, and uses it to proffer solution by way of admonition against corruption in Nigeria.

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