A lot of people are getting President Buhari’s supposed fight against corruption in Nigeria quite wrong.
I have studied the structures of corruption in Nigeria for some weeks now and read a lot about it and my conclusions are startling but quite realistic viz a viz the political and present realities on ground.
Corruption in Nigeria is an institution and is endemic. It’s a sabre – toothed animal which wounds and kills with no mercy. Anyone who tries to decimate it will be destroyed by its anger. The animal is in all our institutions; the Police, Military, Civil Service, Private Sector, Public Life and Family Life. It’s pervasive and destructive with tap roots from fifty years since independence.
What President Buhari can fight and perhaps win to an extent is the Junior Brother of Corruption; a deadly contraption called IMPUNITY.
Because the lines are blurred, the average Nigerian believes impunity and corruption are the same. No. Not true.
Corruption sits in its lair; quiet and effective. Corruption evokes fear and loathing but gives riches and power. Corruption is powerful. So powerful. Anyone who tries to stem it gets taken out in this country.
Impunity on the other hand, is boastful and fearless. It slaps you in the face with such venom and asks you ; ‘What the hell can you do?’. And because the apparatus to fight back is not within your power, you accept the slap in good faith. And impunity has its way.
What President Buhari can fight and well too, is impunity. The impunity of someone stealing billions and thinking nothing will happen because he’s protected. The impunity of taking the citizenry for granted. The present battle Buhari is fighting is the Impunity in the land. Not corruption .
When he finishes fighting impunity, then corruption would yawn and watch. But if he goes further in an all out war on corruption, that’s when corruption fights back in an all out war.
And it’s likely to be a victory for only one in that battle.
This is not being partial; this is being realistic. A battle is fought in stages. The stage we are seeing now is the battle against impunity. And it drains energy so much.
Let the reader understand.
Charles Novia is an award-winning filmmaker. He is founder of November Productions and November Records. He shared this piece on his Facebook.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.