By Evans Ufeli
RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE MOBILIZATION AGAINST CORRUPTION
The civil society group must agitate for tougher laws with grave punitive measures so corruption should be made a capital offence with penalties like death sentence or life imprisonment.
The citizens should ask for better education and proper up-bringing of children, and that the socio-economic rights of Nigerians enshrined in chapter two of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended be made justiceable and the fundamental objectives and derivative principles of state policy can become the true philosophical threshold that upholds the dignity of the Nigerian citizen. This way, the civil society groups can engage the government on fundamental issues that will improve the quality of life of Nigerians.
The family circle needs reforms as well. The influence or pressure of “polygamous households” and extended family system and pressure to meet family obligations which are less in developed countries, need to be paid attention to.
Citizens must also clamour for an effective tax system because an ineffective tax system makes it difficult for societies to track down peoples’ financial activities.
Poor reward system is another serious factor that should be addressed, because the wages system in Nigeria is probably among the poorest in the world. It is no longer news that workers in this society are not paid regularly. Therefore to check bureaucratic corruption, workers should be paid living wages and when due because without getting paid they would devise ways to meet their family obligation even if it involves breaking the law. Thus lack of economic opportunity is a serious problem in societies whose citizen are achievement-oriented, but have relatively low access to economic opportunities. This alone could explain the reason for the upsurge of corrupt behaviors in society. Therefore, lipset and lenze (2000) noted that the cultures of societies “that stress economic success as an important goal but nevertheless strongly restrict access to opportunities will have higher levels of corruption”. This is the Nigerian case and it is detrimental to the socio-political and economic development of the nation.
The citizens should protest against the lukewarm attitude of some public officers charged with enforcing the laws – judges, police and other public officials need to be addressed. The fight against corruption must however move from evangelism and miracle phase to institutional building phase and Nigerians should be able to protest against corrupt court judgments, ungodly bureaucracies in public institutions, bribery and settlement, kickbacks, medical tourism by the political elite etc. Public protest and mobilization against corruption should not be restricted to government policies that are unreasonable; it should extend to individual and institutional recklessness and corrupt practices carried out in the course of official assignmenst.
The average Nigerian most change his/her attitude and say no to illegal behaviour which actually is regarded as corruption. We must raise our moral margin and eschew animosity of any kind so that the moral justification to mobilise against corruption can be bore by us without any fear or favour.
Conclusively, Section 15 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 provides that the state shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power. Even when we think this part of the constitution is not justiceable, it has laid down the empirical nuances upon which individual and citizen’s agitation for the abolishment of corruption around our political, economic and social orbit can trail.
The civil society groups are hereby urged to mobilise themselves against this continuous trend of corrupt practices in our political economy which has weakened our institutions and the psyche of the citizen’s domination. It is when we fight corruption this way that it can be said that the civil society has taken to enforce it’s fundamental right of self determination to leave Nigeria a better place where wealth and social prosperity will become the hallmark of our glorious habitation. Economic justice will be enthroned. And like Prophet Amos from the Holy Writ wrote “Let justice run down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream”.