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POLITICAL CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA; CAUSES AND PREVENTION, USING THE WORK OF SELECTED ACTIVISTS AND WRITERS IN NIGERIA

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POLITICAL CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA; CAUSES AND PREVENTION, USING THE WORK OF SELECTED ACTIVISTS AND WRITERS IN NIGERIA

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1  Background of the Study

Nigeria’s political problems sprang from the carefree manner in which the British took over, administered, and abandoned the government and people of Nigeria. British administrators did not make an effort to weld the country together and unite the heterogeneous groups of people. Though, many things we have today is due to their enlightenment, they still left us hanging. According to Adewele Ademoyega in his book Why We Struck 1981, he said that when the British came, they forcibly rubber-stamped the political state of the ethnic groups of Nigeria, and maintained that status quo until the left. According to him upon their departure nearly a hundred years later, the people resumed fighting for their political rights.

When the British came to Nigeria as an imperial nation to take over the rulership of the country from 1861 (with the cession of Lagos), they met the people of the south totally free, only observing and regulating their own monarchies and institutions (Adewele Ademoyega: Why We Struck). Chinua Achebe in his work or novel Things Fall Apart, 1958, tries to portray the life Africans lived before and during the arrival of the Europeans in Nigeria.

        Things Fall Apart tells the tragic story of the rise and fall of Okonkwo and the equally tragic story of the disintegration of Igbo culture, symbolized by the agrarian society of Umofia, under the relentless encroachments of British Christian imperialism.

        For Achebe, Mister Johnson represents the worst kind of portrayal of Africans by Europeans. To him, the portrayal was all the more disheartening because John Cary was working hard to achieve and accurate depiction, unlike many British authors during the imperial colonial period who deliberately, often cynically, exploited stereotyped of Africans and African society. It was precisely because John Cary was a liberal-minded and sympathetic writer, as well as a colonial administrator that Achebe felt the record had to be set straight. Achebe’s purpose then is to write about and for his own people. His first novels form a continuum over one hundred years of Igbo civilization. The Europeans have not yet penetrated Umuofia, the setting of the first novel, when Things Fall Apart beings. When the novel ends colonial rule has been established. His other novels talk about the different changes that took place before independence and after it.

        The British governed Nigerian indirectly through their traditional rulers, as a result, the true leader of the masses hamstrung and held down. Just because Africans were given authority to rule over her own people, they saw it as a means to maltreat those that have wronged them, extort from those that have more than them and sell his/her own brother and sister for favours from the superior leaders - The British. (Adewele Ademoyega: Why We Struck).

        These actions by the local and foreign leaders made the people to sort for independence. Many of them were not thinking straight any more. Many people now saw the need to transfer their faults to others using others as an excuse. The present leader blame the colonial masters and fore runners-for-independence for their actions for not doing what is expected of them well and also for the embezzlement and stealing of public funds. They claim that the colonial masters taught them to do so. The political elites in other to become rich and influencial in the society, steal and blame it on the economy and leaders. No one takes responsibility for his own crime and faults.

Between the politicians and the military they blame one another for a bad government no one agrees that the other is better than himself. In the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, people do all type of things just to steal from the petroleum companies they believe that it is their own right and bunkering which is a common business there is not stealing. That is why Tanure Ojaide uses his novel The Activist to enlighten the people of what is happening in the Niger Delta areas. He says those that claim to be literate in the society are the Chief Criminals sabotaging one another. Everybody in the country is in one way or the other suffering from the harms political corruption brought, we are psychosocial disordered.

Kole Omotoso in his fictions focuses on identifying the problems in Nigerian society and proposing solution. He lived his childhood and adolescence, sharing the nationalist dreams of peace, progress, and prosperity, as an adult and as a writer, he was forced to watch the systematic deferment of these dreams after independence for decades after freedom from colonial rule, Nigeria was cursed by civil strife, including a civil war (1967 – 1970) and incessant military coups d’etat. These events, together with undemocratic rule political chicanery and bureaucratic cynicism resulted in a steady decline in the quality of life in a nation that, because it is the most populous black nation on earth is often looked upon as representative of the black race. Omotoso tries to use fiction to talk about the decay and chaos in the society but he tries to make it less real like Armah did in his The Beautyful Ones are not yet Born.

Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality is also considered political corruption.

Forms of corruption vary, it include: bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft and embezzlement. While corruption may facilitate criminal enterprises such as drug trafficking, money laundering and trafficking, it is not restricted to these activities. While political corruption is an illegal abuse of power, psychosocial disorder is the mental reaction one gets from it.

Psychosocial disorder is a mental illness caused or influenced by maladjusted cognitive and behavioural processes.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

Due to the political dictatorship and the high rate of starvation and poverty in the country, many of the people are suffering from problems caused by the many ways they are treated and controlled.

        Their manner of thinking have been blurred with the idea that if they steal or kill to survive, it is not a crime because their leader are also thieves who loot the national treasure and put is in their foreign accounts.

        Again due to this, the citizens are psychosocially disordered and their minds corrupt. The key problem is the government. Because of the corrupt nature of the society, the government sells her pride and glory to foreign companies and enterprise. This people now treat the natural inhabitants of the areas where the companies are located like animals without dignity. Example is the Niger Delta area of Nigeria which is the oil producing state.

The major problem is between the people and her government. Both are psychologically and socially sick. The pain of poverty and starvation in abundant money have destroyed the peoples mind that they no longer think or reason straight.

1.3   Aim and Objectives

        The objectives of this research are;

To identify the problems caused by political corruption and

To provide suggestion to the prevention of political corruption and psychosocial disorder and find a way to eliminate it completely from the society in general.

1.4      Significance of the study

Political corruption and psychosocial disorder using The Activist by Tanure Ojaide and Arrow of Rain by Oke Ndibe, will serve as a good material to student’s researchers.

        This work will show how the government and the citizens and foreign companies helped in the corruption of the society and her environment and how the act of corruption has disordered everything.

1.5   Scope of Research

        This project is restricted to the study of the political corruption and psychosocial disorder, using Tanure Ojaide’s The Activist and Okey Ndibe’s Arrow of Rain and other relevant literary work of some other Nigerian and African prose writers and commentaries on corruption.The research is divided into five chapters, chapter one consist of the introduction, definition of term, statement of the problem, aims and objectives, significance of the study, scope of research and research methodology. Chapter two is the review of related literature, chapter three is textual analysis of the novel The Activist by Tanure Ojaide, Chapter four is textual analysis of the novel Arrows of Rain Arrow of Rain by Okey Ndibe and chapter five is the summary and conclusion.

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