FEATURE ARTICLE

Monday, May 28, 2018
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ERADICATION OF CORRUPTION: THE ROLE OF NIGERIAN YOUTH

rowing up, I was always inspired by the spirit of hard work and belief in self-drive. But do we keep to this or we tried to but institutionally, we are not chanced? It is no doubt that corruption has become our cancer, left for so long, it has grown like a tumor spreading through the body of our society and tearing it and eating away the muscle and tissue of the nation. Left unattended to, it has spread directly and indirectly, affecting many sectors of the society, regardless of age, religion, social status or gender. Whether one is involved directly or in its machinations or merely victimized by its effects, it has become a blight on us all.

Nigeria is a country drenched in the blood of corruption ceasing the production of productive youths. This has contributed immensely to our own slow development which earned us the remark of underdeveloped country. Moreover, the reluctance of the old folks to release power, share expertise or reveal secrets or ingredients of modern governance to the younger generation has been a major problem. The impact of corruption has been negatively felt by the country and its inmates.

Corruption is a form of dishonest or unethical conduct by a person entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire personal benefit. Government or "political" corruption occurs when an office holder or other governmental employee acts in an official capacity for personal gain. The word was first used by Aristotle and later by Cicero who added the terms bribe and abandonment of good habits.

Youth is an experience that may shape an individual's level of dependency, which can be marked in various ways according to different cultural perspectives. A youth's level of dependency means the extent to which they still rely on their family emotionally and economically Youth is a time of life when one is young, but often means the time between childhood and adulthood (maturity).

Corruption is a crime. The two factors that significantly discourage a crime are: the certainty of being caught and the stiff penalty attached to the crime. One of the things that is fuelling corruption is that many people are afraid and discourage to do what they know to be right as they have been too afraid to avoid doing what they knew to be wrong. In the present day Nigeria, it is not uncommon to hear of our collective wealth being referred to as yam while the corrupt officials are referred to as goat in anticipation that such officials will face the goat treatment when caught. Although the term is still relatively limited to the government circles in Nigeria.

Whichever way you look at it, corruption has crowded Nigeria's shining star. Threatening the possibility of a better life for the young generation and the future ones. It is one of the greatest evils that shale the backbone of any society. More than a matter of need, corruption has become a subculture, a common practice and a necessary evil, at least to some people. Faced with this trouble, people have grown used to it, it is (mundane) part of everyday life. That is the reality but it has to change. If this evil is eradicated from the society, the greatest threat to development is over.

The question that begs for answer nowadays is what Nigerians needs to fight corruption to a standstill. Strong institution or strong personality (men)? While it will forever be a subject of debate as to what Nigerians really need; I will rather choose to belong to the new and emerging third school of thought that strongly opined that Nigeria I particular need strong men backed with strong institutions to fight corruption. As youths, we have roles to play in fighting corruption. We can take the lead by blacklisting. We can set up or partner with reputable organizations commuted to fighting corruption like Transparency International (TI) to report corrupt cases on a wider scale.

For the country to progress, the youths are needed. Take a look at the last presidential election, I will say they are the life blood of every country. Today's activists are indeed tomorrow's leader. The new generation is the Nation's voice and must step up the fight against the biggest enemy which is corruption.

Youth participation is vital. Engaging youth is essential for the success in curbing corruption. This is because the youth represent a significant portion of the population and are generally more open to social change and political transformation, since they may have less interest in maintaining the status quo. The nation belongs to the youth. They are the maker of tomorrow. What they do today will reflect in the society tomorrow. To live in a society that is corruption free, we need people with high quality mind and thoughts, which rest on the shoulder of the youths as they are more productive and highly initiative.

The ultimate question of building national/federal character which is nothing but the collective awareness combined with braveness. The youth has to contribute in a greater way in building national character through personal integrity. It is said that integrity requires three steps: discerning what is right and what is wrong; acting in what you have discerned, even at personal cost; and saying openly that you are acting o your understanding of right and wrong ". In fact, integrity is being regarded as distinct from honesty. The right mindset (Transparency, Justice) needed to move the country forward should be instilled in the youth.

However, the youths which are regarded as the leader of tomorrow have been sidelined by the country system. We have youths with successful business who can employ the use of certain medium/media of communication to air their views on matters or set a public agenda for discussion to imbibe in their target audience (mostly the youth), the norms in the society. Also, youths should always stand up with one voice on their opinions through rallies against policies that seems dubious.


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