CORRUPTION IS AN ATTITUDINAL PROBLEM IN AFRICA.
Aside war, another devastating thing that stampedes development is corruption. It is the main reason aside political instability that is behind the struggle of Africa over the years to capturing commanding height in global economic development. It is not too ambitious a dream to controlling and dictating the pace of economic development in the developed economies since Africa contributes significantly in the world market in terms of raw materials. We get chunk of money from our exports but our national coffers continue to leak hence our inability to experience a significant growth in our lives. We keep on envisaging all sorts of lofty economic policies in our quest to bring about progress and prosperity but one issue we fail to fight against as a people is corruption. In my piece today, I consider corruption, only as a crystal manifestation of a society that is characterized by moral degringolade.
In my view, corruption in Africa has grown to a sophisticated stage that it is quite problematic to understand. Yes we have come to know of the tendencies of individuals to use national resources for their selfish gains though we have all developed a lackadaisical attitude to nibbling the bud. It is not as though we lack the wherewithal to fight but the approach we often adopt is absolutely hypocritical, discriminatory and purely pretentious. You cannot fight such a dangerous canker with such approaches. We are only creating a breeding ground for this canker to escalate. In fact, it has escalated to the extent that no methodology has been invented yet to measure the amount of resources we continue to lose as a continent. Not even the corruption perception index reports have been able to give accurate reports on the effects of this silent enemy called corruption. It is high time we developed new approaches to tackle it. Any canker that is largely attitudinal requires a long term approach in fighting against it. Let’s all agree that we have all been wrong and create a new path again through a positive attitudinal approach.
The worse I fear about corruption has started manifesting in those who are supposed to lead us to wage a continental war against this canker. It would be very hazardous and perilous, should that development is not curbed with urgency. I am talking about mental corruption, a situation that is affecting our reasoning abilities to the extend we take joy in thinking negatively and producing negative results. We lack the sense of logical reasoning and sense of fair judgement. In my view, this is caused by our political history that was largely shredded with intimidation and force to the extent that people had to speak to satisfy their political masters. The African culture is older than western democracy and we should not swallow democracy hook line and sinker. This is what the late KOBINA SAKYI of Ghana warned us about, decades ago. No wonder people just say anything today even when they know it is not the truth. That is the mental corruption which is rather precipitating famine, poverty and sometimes war in our continent. We can fight corruption better through culture and tradition. We have a rich culture that used to churn out honest citizenry.
Politicians have largely been blamed for the growing levels of the canker. Though I share the view that most African politicians are corrupt, they cannot be solely blamed. Politicians are the direct product of society and if they are corrupt as we see it, then the canker has really engulfed the whole society. Always pointing fingers at politicians cannot be the ideal way to go. Over the years, the top button approach has failed to produce any positive results. We must begin to think of the button top approach where growing a more honestly patriotic citizen right from school going age, should be a long term priority.
I say this because, many of we the ordinary citizenry have equally engaged in the act either consciously or unconsciously. To me, the civil servant is the worst offender of this act. They have the technical long hands to professionally perpetuate the act. Ironically, we concentrate too much on the vulnerable politician, creating a comfortable room for the old experienced civil servants to orchestrate the act with impunity. In Africa, you hear of so many accusations and counter accusations from incumbent and previous governments but that never minimize corruption. The fact is that government goes and government comes, but the civil servant remains in the office. They are so experienced in the field that any government who fails to endorse their diabolic plans would be sabotaged. They easily incite the public against the government. This is enough a demonstration that, we need to be fair to ourselves and at least, adopt a holistic long term approach in our quest to combating the situation.
The holier than thou attitude over the years has been a catalyst to the canker and the earlier we adopt the long term attitudinal change approach, the better. We are all at fault. The most annoying thing is that, though there is a seeming proliferation of churches all over the corners of Africa, so called men of God preach little about attitude. They preach prosperity and demand humongous offers. That in itself is fuelling corruption. Pastors do not care where their congregants get their wealth from. Rather they are interested in gargantuan donations from members and in some cases, those who donate more are considered more religious and often received all sort of positive prophesies from their pastors. Men of God in most cases are not even accountable to their church members. The congregants see nothing wrong with that and that is a recipe for others to consider corruptions as normal.
I hope you have seen where we have all gone wrong? Let’s agree that we have all gone wrong and rejuvenate the whole society by ensuring discipline, real citizenship that has Africa at heart. Building a very ideally principled society cannot always be a night day wonder, as has always been the method adopted by our leaders. We need a long term approach.
Shall be back soon…………………………