Reconnoitering the Fight Against Political Corruption and the Way Forward in Nigeria

Reconnoitering the Fight Against Political Corruption and the Way Forward in Nigeria

Babatunde Joshua Omotosho (Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4197-4.ch012
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This chapter describes how one of the challenges developing countries face in their quest for effective service delivery and national development relates to the corrupt practices of political office holders. While there has been a continued effort among stakeholders to address this challenge, corruption has continued to fight back. This scenario has implications on the well-being of citizens and the development of the given country. This chapter investigates the challenges of addressing corruption and suggests how it can be addressed using Nigeria as a case.
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Defining Corruption

Generally speaking, corruption is referred to as an antisocial behavior placing inappropriate aids that are societally unacceptable to the individual concerned (Osoba, 1996 in Dike 2000). This was further buttressed by Obasanjo when he sees it as the misappropriation of public influence for personal gains. He went further to argue that this act is often done in secret and in some situation, may go undiscovered (Obasanjo, 1994). Ngwakwe (2009) went further to point out that corruption is a non-violent act, but a criminal activity that seeks to make gains individually or collectively thereby violating existing laws surrounding government economic activities. Akinyemi (2004) on the other hand describes corruption as acquiring what one as member of the society is not entitled to. What becomes clear about corruption is that it is the utilization of state, community or individual resources (as the case may be) dishonestly for the attainment of personal or other people’s benefits; whether through subtle means or otherwise, what the actor(s) has set for itself is the use of human or material resources for the attainment of selfish goals at the expense of other people, the existing norms and values of the society concerned.

Corruption has become so enmeshed into the fabrics of the society such that it is becoming abnormal to be incorrupt. It has become a lifestyle, an approach utilized by smart people to get what they want without stress. Nye (1967) submitted that corruption may no longer make any meaning to the people as they 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…”

Key Terms in this Chapter

Culture: The social behavior of individuals or people. In the context of this discussion, it is a shared pattern of behavior and interaction by the people concerned. One unique feature of culture is that it is learned and individuals who share the same culture maintain an identity in relations to their shared beliefs.

Politicians: Individuals occupying or seeking to occupy a position in government. It also captures individuals who have one form of influence or the other having held political positions in government before.

Political Corruption: The utilization of office privileges and powers by the occupant of such office for the benefit of such office holder. When benefits and privileges meant for a specific group are diverted or circumvented to benefit other groups for personal and selfish reasons, political corruption is said to have occurred. In most instances, these actions contravenes the laws of the land and affect the overall existence of the society.

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