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Corruption and Ethical deficit as Challenges of building a New Nigeria : ‎Comr. Omaga E. Daniel‎

Any society that is devoid of morals and strong code of ethics is a society without a soul and such a society obviously is without identity and can never take her pride of place in the comity of nations.
One can argue that a society may survive without laws but there will certainly be no society without well-defined morals and ethics for these are the fibers that connect social conscience and cohesion. That is the reason one should despair about the fate of Nigeria. Nigeria has become a nation where corruption is the norm while decency and sound moral principles, are exceptions. Corruption has literally brought our nation to her knees. It has become so infectious that the nation's apex anti-corruption agency has been plagued with corruption allegations which when verified to be true, will put a black spot on the integrity of our anti-corruption crusaders. If this hydra-headed epidemic is however, left unchecked, it will certainly capitulate our collective aspirations for a better Nigeria. 
Our moral and ethical values are more often than not, rooted in our belief systems. Some of them however, have taken wrong dimensions since our contact with the Western civilization. Our modern laws are for the most part enacted to promote morality and ethical conduct but most of them are atypical of our aspirations as a people. Some of the laws enacted by our Legislative Houses are routinely borne out of a desire to further personal interests and to herd the masses in line with these interests. On the other hand, Nigerians turned their backs on acceptable levels of moral and ethical conduct and thus we lost our collective soul. Other nations grow in experience, physical development and enlightenment but our Country seem to regress towards the state of nature; a conscienceless, morally bankrupt island of chromatic citizens where nepotism, struggles for secession, wanton destruction of properties, armed robbery, maiming of innocent souls for rituals and terrorism, homosexuality, child abuse, human trafficking, prostitution and other nefarious activities have become the order of the day.
Nigeria has become a nation of people in a race to the finish line but it appears not to matter how one gets there as the end would literally justify the means. In our mundane dash to scandalous wealth, we pervert the truth, skew tradition, mortgage conscience and murder the hopes and aspirations of our children. What we now impart to our younger generation is a culture of rebellion, greed, lasciviousness, primitive accumulation of wealth and inhumanness. The result is that we are raising a generation of Nigerians that are blind to the difference between right and wrong. The clear demarcation between right and wrong has not only become blurred, it has become obliterated. The new generation of young Nigerians kidnap, rape and defraud with impunity, believing for the most part that these are legitimate economic and social pursuits, since there are no gainful employment opportunities to cater for their needs. This state of affairs did not creep up on us. Our generation and those before us lay the foundation and we have continued to entrench these perversities.
Religious and Traditional leaders, have ceded their moral authority to bagmen and seedy characters. Being a clergy or a traditional title-holder used to command reverence but these institutions have been greatly abused because it is money that talks now not humans. Our local chiefs and elders lie, cheat, mortgage their conscience with bribes from criminals and corrupt politicians; they clothe seedy characters with respectability by showering them with honorary titles and statuses.
Nigeria has become a nation of Pastors and self-proclaimed "Overseers" who binge on the spoils generated by tasking desperate and poor members of their congregation. They build exotic Universities that parents of children in their congregation cannot afford. Never mind that the edifices were constructed at the expense of tithes paid by these same members of their congregation. They reside in lavish mansions and dress up in thousand dollar suits justifying their excesses on the declaration that they are serving a "God of Prosperity". They advertise and dispense salvation with the sanctimonious dexterity of a seller of designer perfumes. Their logic presupposes that members of their congregation worships a God of poverty and desperation rather than a God of wealth and hope; hence, they jet around in sleek private jets whilst members of the congregation whose tithes bought the jets are condemned to life on Okadas, Kekes and Danfo buses.
Parents have ceded their natural duties to guide and mould their children to become good citizens. In deference to peer pressures, parents will not inquire how their children come about money to buy expensive cellular-phones, designer clothing and shoes. Children, who are full-time students without any jobs, pay their own school fees and even pay rent for their parents and parents are not troubled by that picture.
Ours is a nation of Professors and school teachers who extort sexual favours and bribes from their students for hand outs and unmerited grades. Our citadels of learning have turned into havens for gangsters, kidnappers and sexual deviants. Our students have more experience trading sex, pledging to cults and participating in sundry criminal activities than in attending to their studies. The result is that each year we are producing a class of University graduates that are dysfunctional illiterates whose certificates are not worth the paper they are printed on and with more and more professional groups and guilds rejecting products of our institutions of higher learning from access into their ranks. Rather than fix our educational system, the corrupt political class and the money elite exercise the option of sending their children and wards overseas for studies. The religious leaders are busy founding Universities that average Nigerian families cannot afford. The vast majority of Nigerian kids are left to their own devices and fate.
Our politicians have obliterated the lines between their personal and public property. They perceive funds in their charge as a personal slush fund which they are entitled to spend as they deem fit. Public funds are freely donated to spurious causes and un-appropriated mandates. Public funds are used to build lavish personal mansions, purchase luxury automobiles and gifts for paramours and private jets that their states do not need and their travel demands cannot justify, while the plights of their constituents are of no consequence to them. It is their turn to eat of the national cake and nothing can get in their way, not even their constitutional obligation to serve the masses!
Finally, given the badly skewed sense of socio-cultural awareness, a perverted sense of moral discipline and ethical conduct, a self-serving political class, growing and emasculated youth population, apathetic parents, a broken down economic and social order, Nigeria is at the throes of anarchy unless we take a bold step to stem this tide of the erosion of our moral values and reinvigorate our code of ethical conduct. The solution lies with everyone of us because we are the change we need. Neither the APC nor PDP can truly bring us change as a people. It is a collective effort!How we conduct our daily lives rubs off on our children and others who look up to us for leadership, example and strength. That is the sure way to build a new Nigeria‎. 

Comr. Omaga E. Daniel, 
Chairman/Executive Director,
Beyond Boundaries Legacy Leadership Initiative.

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