Nigeria, a nation which is not exempted from the pandemic outbreak of Corona Virus, the global health challenge that recently knockdown the countries of the world, also battles with the virus of corruption and the result of these is certainly yet uncertain.
Samuel O. Ogunyinka writes….
It is obvious that the whole wide world is in a perilous time, as the entire people of her space suffer one sickness, irrespective of the differences in their colour, tongue, flag, culture, or whatsoever that separates humans from being alike. Coronavirus which develops into COVID19 in humans first broke out in late 2019 in a laboratory at Wuhan, China, and the rate at which this pandemic travels to nations and causes pandemonium in all sectors made the people break the silence that this is not the kind of 2020 they prayed for.
In lieu of this, while countries of the world are on the mission to find a lasting cure for the virus that is shutting down the globe; palliative measures are also being observed in other to curb the widespread of it. Many countries bought to the World Health Organisation’s idea of social distancing, the policy which lifts ban on social gatherings, religious gathering or any other forms of gathering that may involve some certain numbers of people, restraining the attitude of exchanging hands in greetings and enforces proper and consecutive use of face mask and hand sanitizer.
As the situation warrants that the majority of offices pause their businesses, all hands leaving the desk could not help but be placed on their heads in a bid to defend themselves from the trending disease. On the basis of individualism, one can say of his safety to some extent as long as he stays safe at home, abide by the rules laid down by the health workers, but on a basis of nationhood, if Nigeria would survive as a country, it is based on looking at curing two, not just one disease.
The virus called corruption has eaten dearly enough to take out the word ‘dear’ behind our country Nigeria, leaving it with no impressive adjective to qualify it with. Just the way Corona Virus is the big tent in which diseases like MERS, SARS, and COVID source from, one can also call corruption to be the umbrella to be reckoned with when it comes to its offspring like; robbery, kidnapping, nepotism, bribery and so on, most particularly embezzlement from the part of our leaders.
Although, skins have been peeled for beating and songs have been sung, but it seems the feet of corruption is so stiff on this land to trace lyrics out of its confinement. The rate at which ridiculous scenes are being shot, disgusting occurrences occur and incredible matters arise in those places we hold in high esteem in Nigeria keeps a whole lot of Nigerian asking if here is rather a zoo or a human abode like we call it because now even snakes and monkeys are on the run of the blame for crimes they never committed.
In times like this, a responsible government of a country is expected to keenly see into the wellbeing of her citizens, but what shall one name the case of Nigeria to be when all governs sticks for hours to their radio and television to hear from the presidential address is another lockdown upon the elapsing two weeks lockdown, even when the voice from the federal house of assembly is too weak to be head by the president to settle a two months electricity bill through the bill they passed?
Meanwhile, an average Nigeria family cannot count a thousand naira without going to the street, hustling to make ends meet and ever since lockdown started, they’ll rather sob at the corner of their room, not for the sake of hunger that has become part of them, but they rather cry because they are tired of counting billions of donations from philanthropists and cooperate organizations into the purse of the federal government who doesn’t care if they make it till breakfast or not. If you are able to take your three square meals during this false honeymoon, do not dare attempt blaming those who under the sun stands on a long queue for a cup of rice from a neighboring politician; they need to feed their belly with something at least to fight their own brothers who hunger has to turn robbers when they come at night, you should be wise enough to know that your security in Nigeria is in your own hand.
Truthfully, no nation is totally free of corruption, but corruption in Nigeria is multifaceted as bigger shocks are always being issued out to quench the fire from the tongue of citizens reacting to any trending issue that seems unfair. Nigerian were busy questioning how the National Centre For Disease Control reportedly spending one billion Naira in updating the citizens about the virus, when fire caught the treasury room in the accountant office in Abuja just a day after the National Assembly asked them to submit the record of the money spent so far, shortly the chief of staff to the president died of coronavirus, and we trade our mouth so wide for eyes in front of the television, seeing how the presidency gave him a befitting burial ceremony and later apologized for violating the social distancing policy and the rule of not leaving the body of anyone who dies of the pandemic to his family but rather is left for the government to bury them in the grave they claimed to dig for two hundred million Naira, the apology which could not save the Nollywood actress who was arrested for having a parlor party on her birthday.
However, the goal is not just to poke at the errs from the part of the government but to state it clearly that what the nation is battling with recently is not just one virus and if Nigeria would indeed be free alongside others countries when the time comes, there is a need to look critically into the system and make an amendment, because mismanagement of funds and jogging hanky panky route most especially during the lockdown when nothing is working perfectly will lead nowhere but a calamitous end for a country like this.
Conclusively, Nigerian are better warned to keep being safe, not to lose guard and come to the understanding that the federal government easing lockdown does not mark the end of the pandemic virus, it is rather an indirect way of them saying; “we shall allow you work like you ever wanted, stop expecting anything from the government, go and take care of yourself and if you perish… You perish!”