What I really want to be in this life is a whistle blower.
There was a time James Patterson was my favourite author and Alex Cross was my favourite fictional character. I told my brother I wanted to be a detective and he told me it wasn’t marketable in Nigeria, I’m sure he will say otherwise now. That dream died.
While passing checkpoints, sometimes. I wish I have a hidden camera that I could use to record police officers taking bribe, this would ensure that the practice is reduced or eradicated, I would think, but this is just a fantasy, this is the reality. News like this are discouraging especially in a country where the Federal Government says it is determined to fight corruption (every Nigerian government says it is determined to fight corruption anyway)
Everyone complains about Nigeria, we blame the system, the corrupt system but we are almost always complacent towards corruption- the lecturer that complains about the change administration is the same one that collects ‘blocking’ from students; the imam that preaches against lying and stealing is the same one that bestows a title on a corrupt politician; the civil servant that laments about how difficult it is for his child to get admission into tertiary institution is the same one that requests for a bribe before doing his job…
We all agree that Nigeria is in shambles, this isn’t the country we want, like necrotizing bacteria, Nigeria is being eaten away by corruption. What do we do about it? As much as I dislike APC and Nigerian politicians, I agree that change truly begins with me, with us.
Whistle blowing is not an easy business, forget the possibility of getting lump sum of money, they have to stay in hiding, their lives and that of their loved ones are at risk, even those trying to report police bribery get into trouble. The news of loots recovered through whistle blowing is usually interesting news for the average Nigerian, it get some head shakes, some lamentations, some articles (like this one), it gets parodies and the government uses it as a propaganda to project that it is working really hard and fulfilling its promise to tackle corruption. But corruption is not just that which is associated with money stolen by top government officials or monies found in Ikoyi houses.
It includes having to bribe your way through school, forging census results, selling votes for favours, a less qualified person getting a job because you don’t know ‘anybody’… the list is long. Corruption is a deep rooted Nigerian tree that many of us treat with normalcy.
Maybe this idea is far fetched, but we cannot continue to lament about the condition we are in while being unwilling to make it better. We should all be whistle blowers.