There is no doubt that our country, Nigeria is passing through a lot of social challenges. One of the challenges is the issue of security brought about by Boko Haram insurgents. But the most pressing and persistent challenge which this country faces is the challenge of corruption in the society.
Admittedly, corruption as a subject of national discourse has dominated national media. These media channels and outlets have devoted more time to the issue of corruption than other single issue in our society.
This is so because, whether we are talking of politics, it has its own version of corruption; is it education, it has its own version of corruption; is it transportation, electricity supply, business, commerce, relationship with our fellow men and women? There is already corruption in any of them. In short, there is no aspect of our social, political or even religious life that is not punctuated with different aspect of corruption. This means that corruption has eaten deep into the fabrics of our national life. Unfortunately, the more we write against it, speak against it or condemn it, the more widespread it becomes. Why, why and why?
Painfully, everybody occupying any type of public office virtually may be involved in penetration of one kind of corruption or the other. In fact, only just a Nigerian, indeed, just few Nigerians could be found to be corruption free in official functions. And indeed, it will be very difficult to find that few.
Many people have come to believe that the reason why corruption is rampant and persistent is because of the people’s love for mundane things. That is to say, materialism has taken over our national psych and we have a way of corruption.
The most disturbing thing is that armed robbery which was unheard-of many years ago has become almost our way of life. Today, armed robbery is so prevalent that in any given day one may witness more than two or three armed robbery incidents.
In fortified places like banks known to be robbed, but today in the last few years or so over three hundred bank robberies must have been recorded. Car-snatching has become a regular occurrence on daily basis as people are dispossessed of their cars at gun-points. Similarly, fully equipped high super market and other expensive stores are often robbed by armed robbers.
In fact, robbery incidents on our roads and in our streets are too frequent that the only vehicle that is safe on the road could be an ambulance.
Secondly, there are those who rob, not with guns. But, with pens. Pen -robbery is very quite silent and unnoticed. But by every stretch of consideration, it is more devastating and wholesome.
Pen-robbery is wide-spread in offices, institutions and other places where bureaucracy and administration go on. In public offices, Ministries, parastatals, local governments, banks themselves, hospitals, courts etc.
Pen robbery in one fell swoop can net millions of naira or even billions without being dictated. That is why pen robbery can go on for a long time while millions of naira are either stolen by one action or gradually taken without other people in the office or company knowing about it.
Pen robbers include political office holders of every description, police officers, members of the judiciary, senior and junior officers in various public and private sectors.
Some state governors who indulge in asking their officials to inflate the cost of contract for his approval, divert money meant for capital development of his institutions or inflate contract costs is a pen robber.
Unfortunately, there are too many pen robbers today than armed robbers. Because, today, it is difficult to see any employee in any government office, no matter his level that is not or has not been exposed to one form of pen robbery or the other. And in fact, there are many of them. And one of the principal reasons why pen robbery is both widespread and damaging is that they are done in secret, undictated until some type of auditing is done in such an office.
Of course, painfully enough, today’s auditors and accountants who are supposed to monitor financial activities and to control money in offices, due to avarice, greed and insatiability, have themselves joined in the spree of pen robbery.
Furthermore, pen robbery has been extended to 419 connections and activities. Using the internet to dupe, steal and defraud people of their hard-won money is a classical example of pen robbery. And this type of pen robbery is expanding and assuming dangerous dimension across the world. Be that as it may, the third and perhaps the dangerous robbery is that done with the Bible or any other Holy Book.
Incontestably, both Christians and Muslims have the strong belief that it is through the observance of those religious principles enunciated in their Holy Books that can help us to attain “life ever-lasting.” In this regard therefore, Christians and Muslims alike are expected to be the shining example of Godly life.
In the past, Christians did things in accordance with the written, word of scripture particularly within the ambit of ten commandments, Christians as well as Muslims exhibited high moral tones in all their behaviours hoping that at last they inherit a comfortable position in the kingdom of God.
Today, it appears that all those beliefs have been thrown overboard because of our mundane behaviours to inherit both the earthly and heavenly kingdom.
Today, shockingly, many of those who are appointed and Ordained to shepherd the Lord’s flock have in the main turned themselves into clerical merchants with unstoppable mundane thirst. They no longer practice what they preach. They have turned round to tell us that “Christ was not a poor person”
Today in very big cities, towns and villages nationwide, there are so many Churches as well as Mosque established in many parts of the country. These are aimed at the propagation of Christian and Islamic doctrines. If we listen and obey, our country would be peaceful, orderly and corruption-free. But that is not the case today. Many clerics including those at the apex of it all have condescended to the level of tactfully “robbing with the Holy Book in their hands.”
They tell members of the congregations wherever they may be found all kinds of lies, fabricate all kinds of stories, performing miracles and predicting lamentable dooms for the most credulous members of their congregation. Their numerous victims who have become too credulous include, barren women looking for the fruit of the womb, young men and women who are anxious to get the right man or the right lady, unemployed youths who need employment so badly, workers who want immediate promotion, boys and girls who want to get visa to travel out of “this earthly hell” called Nigeria and businessmen and women who want to make it fast, faster and fastest.
In short, all the three types of robbers are dangerous but robbing with the Bible is most dangerous.