A proverb in eastern Nigeria goes thus: when one finger brings palm oil, it soils the rest fingers. This is the way with corruption. Defined by the Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary as ‘dishonest or illegal behavior, especially of people in authority’, corruption starts from leadership.

The reason is that, power rests with leadership, and a leader can choose to kill or lessen corruption through the power vested on him or her, depending on their sincerity or insincerity. Every problem Nigeria faces now, is the harvest from the seeds of corruption we allowed at first…

For better illustration, I will be using what I call the tree of corruption, to hit the nail on the head. A mango tree bears fruit because a seed was planted. When the seed of corruption is planted in any nation, they must wait for the harvest coming in front.

The five problems Nigeria faces are: CORRUPTION. CORRUPTION. CORRUPTION. CORRUPTION and CORRUPTION! The reason is that it has taken root too deep, that it’s hard to dig it out in one day. Be it economic, political, educational, social and security challenges, they are the products of a negative compromise we tolerated before now. So, what we are seeing now is the harvest!

Some people argue that corruption comes from the masses, but let them know that if you want to poison a bottle of water, you don’t put the poison from the bottom of the bottle. The poison is put into the bottle from the mouth, then, it goes down until the bottle is saturated with that poison. This is how corruption comes from the top (leadership), until it goes down to the bottom(masses).

The food of corruption is avarice. When people lack character or virtue, they will produce vices. And, one of those, is corruption. When people are not contented with what they have, they feed their insatiable-self with greed. The madness of getting excess pushes them to amass wealth, until they lose conscience.

And when conscience is gone, a man becomes a tool in the hands of the spirit of vices. He will lose his or her sensitivity to follow kindness and what is just. This is why many leaders loot without being sensitive! They take the first step by allowing greed, then that greed does the rest of the damages we witness.

Again, many leaders are not trained to understand what to do with power, so it’s misused! When the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable. If a leader loses conscience, and becomes insensitive to the plight of the masses, it takes only GOD’s intervention to create a change. The best thing that can happen to a nation with insensitive leaders, is for leadership institutions to train young aspiring leaders who are ready to listen.

More so, the tree of corruption has not been dug out in Nigeria. That is why as one terrorist group is leaving, one worse than the previous one  raises its ugly head, like an,untamed dragon.

The Bible makes it clear that there is hope for a tree that is cut down, not dug out… Because a tree cut down can still survive through the elements and nutrients in the soil, but a tree dug out cannot tap nutrients, but will be left to die.

Finally, if we must move Nigeria, corruption must be dug out from the roots… And, if we are to remove the poison in the bottle, the process will not come from the bottom. We will cease to eat the poison of the corrupt fruits, after we have uprooted the tree that grows the poison of corruption, and has stayed with us for too long like the depth of the Iroko tree!

(c) DykeWilliams. 2014



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