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Retroactive Effect Of Corrupt Practices In Nigeria


Written By Mannixs Paul, PhD


Fears and uncertainties persist as the untamed force of corruption soars in the Nigerian society. The efforts directed at nation building face a myriad of hurdles, and the betrayal of trust has become commonplace. Nigeria's government is urged to implement citizens’ empowerment programs for the fight against corruption. The providence and freedom of citizens now depend on the people’s ability to provoke a backlash against the seemingly uncontrollable epidemic of corruption, whilst deflecting the consequences of retroactive unethical practices, and intensifying transformation from the grassroots. Obasanjo (2000) stated that corruption was identified as the foremost enemy of development and progress. Before signing the anti-corruption bill, he stated that corruption is a cankerworm that has eaten into the fabric of the society at all levels. He added that most of the "pills to cure corruption were worse than sickness."  The Corrupt Practices and other Related Offices Act 2000 was signed into law 13th, June 2000. Nigerians were quite optimistic and believed that such a progress would ensure the collective responsibility of government that promotes accountability, reliability, and predictability. Presently, it is quite obvious that the Act hasn’t salvaged the nation from the epidemic of get-rich-quick syndrome that has eroded those values that promote decency and patriotism. Therefore, in the fight against a synchronized system of corruption in a depraved society, Nigeria's government and media houses are encouraged to provide reliable and accurate information to citizens. The act of empowering citizens will allow people to make well-informed decisions that strengthen the electoral process and compel change. Failure to provide honest feedback management allow leaders of organizations and government agencies to defraud their people by depriving citizens of the information needed to improve the society. The pathways to corruption have increased alarmingly, and the retroactive consequences of corruption have led to dialogue, and provide programs that work and serve the purpose of growth for the targeted population. This implies that providing training programs to reinforce the idea that ethically and socially responsible behaviour is a better means of encouraging institutional and cultural changes. However, the relationship between government and media organisations is always contentious. Regardless, both are considered as agents to revolutionise the political and social landscapes of the society. Therefore, despite the friction, the people need both for the fight against corruption. The concept is to reinforce the drive for pride and honesty in public service, which ultimately will boost the nation’s integrity for transformation and to provide an enabling environment. The complexity of Nigeria's society requires a strong commitment between the federal and local levels to institute grassroots re-enforcement for social change against institutionalized corrupt practices. This is supported by the notion that every political process begins from the grassroots level, but are eventually abandoned. Therefore, the practice of leaving behind the underprivileged is a norm, mostly at the local government level in our societies and such practices are probable causes of the intensified corruption and the escalation of insecurity. Furthermore, the consequences cannot be undermined as citizens in rural areas situated in local governments across the nation seem to be easily forgotten, experience slow development, are distant from the federal transformation agenda and are at the bottom in the ranking system that constitutes poverty, bitterness and grief against government authorities. Those at the top always seek to be at the top at the expense of the helpless poor and the needy who become greatly dissatisfied. The consequences of that dissatisfaction are various threats to the whole population of Nigeria. The writer suggests that government must revolutionise the approach to fighting corruption by using a reverse method-from the bottom to the top. This puts into consideration the fact that most of the violence and insecurity in the nation is bred from the grassroots level, which security specialists ascribe to an attribute of defiant behaviour resulting from pain and suffering from long subjugation. A thorough review may indicate that there is chance that some elected representatives in both the state and federal levels of government sometimes do not maintain offices at the local districts they represent after they are elected into power. As a result of this, a majority of the locals may not have access to those that represent them in government. The use of violence seems to have become a new method of getting attention. Security and anti-corruption analysts advise that creating intentional awareness in the local level would play a better role in the fight against corruption and help to reshape other related social issues in the nation. Anti-corruption agencies should pay closer attention to local governments nationally to ensure transparency and accountability in local governments. A recent report indicates that an ideal governor should seek more transparency and accountability among the appointed agent(s) of local governments at the state level, which is an effective technique that can be used to reach a greater number of the state’s indigenes. This should be supported by the federal authorities as a successful implementation of anti-corruption awareness programs at the local level will potentially benefit he general populace, since municipal governments are far reaching than the federal and state levels. Regarding the slow rate of development in municipal government areas, providing effective and efficient services at the local level will speedily cause changes and have a more direct impact on local indigenes than the federal and state levels. Assessing the issue based on comparison between Nigeria and other countries, especially the West, municipal governments are potential employers of citizens, promote key development working in partnership with federal and states government, and are able to generate local revenue and provide essential services for citizen. Pragmatic views indicate that change is eminent in society and the crippling bane of corruption, and this awareness helps citizens to make well-informed decisions during elections. The recent election in Edo State is an illustration of the sovereignty of people. The idea of empowerment goes beyond electing an official for public office but requesting that lawmakers enact laws that empower citizens to have a legal standing to address issues of corruption and violation of the rule of law in the face of political and judicial lapses in our system. The effectiveness of any legal system is only sustained if the rule of law is jealously protected by citizens. The outcome of a case that was tried at a Federal High Court, petitioned by an Abuja-based lawyer against the Central Bank governor and the AG of the Federation is a typical example of the need for a citizen empowerment program through legislation. According to the judgment passed, the license would have been nullified, if only the petitioner does not lack the locus standi to Institute the action. In conclusion, it is clear that the citizen’s empowerment program is a potential tool for reshaping the landscape of the political and judiciary system in order to achieve a shared sacrifice that fosters transparency and accountability in government, which in turn promotes an ethics-soriented culture that improves the well-being of citizens.


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