The unfortunate thing about corruption is that once you join the ‘clique of the corrupt’, it becomes very difficult to get out or break the corruption chain. The best decision is not to join at all. It was like when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, their eyes got opened and things never remained the same again for them. ‘Corruption’ is a forbidden fruit we should morally run away from regardless of temptation. ‘Corruption’ most times is because of greed, selfishness and cutting corners for self-gain. Some give excuse that the intention is never to be corrupt, but they are too busy to follow due process. They want faster ways of getting things done and as such, ‘they must do what they must do’. Well, that’s where it starts from!
In my country Nigeria, corruption seems like a norm and seen in all aspects, from the church, to mosque, to private sectors and very well rooted in public sector. I know it is difficult to be upright because there is always temptation to choose corruption. In Nigeria, corruption is the air majority breathe. When you consciously choose not to be corrupt, you hear things like ‘you no get sense, the bolt don loose’ (you are senseless). ‘You too dey do like dodoyo, you no sharp at all’ (you’re too dull). ‘Na Jesus go come down from heaven feed you’ (Will Jesus come down from heaven to feed you). ‘You come count bridge for Lagos’ (Are you in Lagos to count the bridge and not make money). ‘Na honesty you go give your family chop, I say you too dull’ (Will your family feed on honesty)
No Middle Ground
Just for clarity, there are no middle ground in ‘corruption’, you are either corrupt or not, no fence sitting. Own your decision with ‘your full or flat chest’ (take responsibility for your choice) as the case may be. At first, it may seem as though things are not working for your good, everyone and everything are against you and results seem far away. All that is needed is to stand firm on your principles against ‘corruption’ and trust me, people will know with time. When they know your stand, they will try corruption with every other person but not with you. This is because they know what you stand for and no matter what, they know you won’t bulge. In the long run, it pays to choose not to be corrupt.
Do you know that the opposite of corruption is honesty? Which is why you cannot choose to be dishonest (corrupt) and at the same time choose to be honest. Honesty encourages responsibility, credibility, initiative, promotes truthfulness, openness, realness, and transparency. It sees and applauds efforts, productivity, consistency, and moral uprightness. Organizations that do not give in to corruption always do exploit. Collecting and giving bribe is never ever okay, not now or ever, no justification can make it okay. Some gifts are never meant to be collected; most times, we know the reason is not ‘for nothing’, there are strings attached, so why pretend? Dishonesty makes you lie and once you begin with lies, you need more lies all the time to cover up previous lie. Honesty is ethical and recommended for all, for better living, better environment, a better Nigeria, and world at large.
The Building isn’t Corrupt, The People are…
‘Corruption’ in public sector is massive but the truth is, human beings make up all sectors both public and private. If only we can consciously choose honesty and due process as a principle, ‘corruption’ can be drastically reduced, and it begins with you. Stand for something good, be ethically upright, be firm on your principles, everybody can/will never like you after all, why not stand against ‘corruption’ and apply wisdom in all that you do. When you stand for nothing, you fall for anything. Stand with rightness, stand against ‘corruption’, it is ethically right and noble. Say no to bribery, no to not following due process, no to making selfish decisions, no to paying for votes… The building is not corrupt, the humans in it are, choose not to be one of those human, dare to be different, dare to be right. Together, let’s curb the ‘maggot’ called corruption!