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“Democracy, democracy, we welcome you! Corruption, no more! Cruel killing, no more! Injustice, no more!” This is the song in our mouth at the dawn of our democracy. Democracy has since the come to stay. It is nevertheless without the ‘Brave hearts’ who paid darely for it with their lives and blood. They are those who suffered the brutality and injustice of military dictators. These are Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Dele Giwa, Professor Wole Soyinka, Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) and our national martyrs like Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, Chief M.K.O. Abiola, Ken Saro Wiwa and the five Ogbonis. But now, Nigeria is about 100 years old as a nation, 48 years old as a republic and 12 years of national democracy in a modern world. What has our democracy achieved for us? We didn’t allow the dividends of democracy and our education to bring about purposeful development and true liberation from primitivism and backwardness. What we have is corruption. The crown that is on our head which we have received as a nation today is corruption- the most corrupt country in the world.(37th most corrupt country ranking 2010 2011; score:2.4 www.bazics.net). Yet we say we are ‘giant of Africa ’. It is an old and weak giant. We are not proud of that anymore. Corruption has taken deep root into our fabric- nepotism, tribalism, segregation discrimination, hatred, prejudices, greed and lust for power. Our education system is corrupt. Lecturers, professors and other university staffs collect bribe for admission into university. They directly or indirectly encourage examination malpractices. The immediate past vice chancellor of the supposed first indigenous university in Nigeria played nepotism and favouritism, initiated cruel policy and abused university autonomy to the detriment of the teeming Nigerian students. Furthermore, our leaders, our modern politicians have played to the gallery. Our socio-political system is in a mess, starting from the then prevailing political assassination, God Fatherism, political money laundry/embezzlement, and to the present prevailing kidnapping and bomb blast all over the country. In Nigeria today, there is no safety, no security. We should now sleep with one eye opened. Also, the church who supposed to be the country’s watchman is sleeping. Nigeria leaders are very religious. The more religious they go, the more corrupt they become. They pack themselves in churches on Sundays to fulfill all righteousness. It has never changed them. Moreover, housing is poor. There is epileptic electricity generation. The price of gas and kerosene is exorbitant. Inflation and unemployment is on the increase. We cannot pay approved minimum wage of #18,000 in our states. It is impossible for an average Nigerian to eat three square meal a day. Our economy in the 60s, 70s and early 80s cannot be compared with our present economy. In the modern Nigeria that we have discovered many resources, we are ten times economically backward. Nigeria , the 12th largest oil producing nation in the world (www.huffingtonpost.com) is not developing. The more civilized we are, the poorer we become and the harder we live. However, corruption scan be eradicated in our nation. Development is a process and not a situation. Corruption is a learned evil. It can be unlearned. Therefore, to eliminate corruption among us, we have to change our psychology. We have to re-orientate and re-educate ourselves. This is possible when we join all efforts together to make our nation great.
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