Academic journal article International Journal on World Peace

Corruption and Sustainable Peace in Nigeria: Equipping Youth for Reconstruction

Academic journal article International Journal on World Peace

Corruption and Sustainable Peace in Nigeria: Equipping Youth for Reconstruction

Article excerpt

Systemic corruption is now a euphemism for Nigeria. Its devastating effects on the socio-political structures of the society are endemic and perpetual. Efforts have been made to address this intractable ill to little or no avail. President Olusegun Obasanjo's anti-corruption structures, EFCC, ICPC, and Due Process, are gradually fizzling out like the WAI of yore, while the country suffers socio-economic retrogression. The majority of Nigerian youth are unemployed, schools are poorly funded, the health sector keeps deteriorating, transportation is inefficient, poverty is endemic, and there is a general breakdown of order. Peace is elusive as armed criminals are on the prowl.

This article looks at ways that morality could be infused in Nigerian youth consciousness and reverse the decadence endemic in the Nigerian polity.

INTRODUCTION

Systemic Corruption and sustainable peace are two antithetical concepts which hardly prevail concurrently in any given political circumstance. The prevalence of corruption in a given system is automatically the vacuity of peace. The relationship could be best situated in a cause -effect alliance, as the absence of one of the variables is the cause of the existence of the other.

But the common trend especially in the world south is the existence of corrupt leaderships which have turned the entire polity into war theatres. The irresponsible tendency of the rulership to misappropriate funds and use their governmental powers for illegitimate and private gain to the neglect of the masses has plunged the world, especially the south, into political chaos. The Transparency International Corruption Index (2006) revealed that the world's most corrupt countries are Haiti, Indonesia, Myanmar, Iraq, Guinea, DR Congo, Chad and Bangladesh. On the other hand, the world's least corrupt countries are Finland, Iceland, New Zealand, Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Australia and The Netherlands.

If the index quoted above is anything to go by, it follows that most of the corrupt countries that fall within the score range often (squeaky clean) and five (slightly corrupt) are those that enjoy a reasonably stable polity. It is regrettable to note that only two African countries were able to make this highly coveted group. The two countries, which coveted Botswana and South Africa, have similar Political nistorY of governance by the minority white whose oriSin is from the world north. Would it therefore be appropriate to infer that there is a relationship between the corruption index and the measure of peace a country enjoys? Susan Rose-Ackerman (1999) maintains:

Cross country research on corruption and governance is part of a growing body of research that looks for the institutional basis of economic growth. Measures of corruption and poor governance are correlated with per capita income and with the United Nations Human Development index (HDI). Richer countries, on average, have less reported corruption and better functioning governments. The same holds true for countries with high levels of the HDI, a measure that includes measures of health and educational attainment as well as a logarithmic measure of income.

Good governance is sine qua non to both physical and human development of a nation. Corruption however is a major impediment to meaningful development. Very high levels of human development are associated with low level of corruption. A corrupt society can hardly lay claim to good governance or anything close to it and therefore cannot boast of peace within its members. This paper would for the purpose of clarity define the two variables of discourse which are corruption and sustainable peace.

DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS

Corruption

There is no rigid definition of corruption. The nature of the word itself has a subjective tinge which makes it amenable to various interpretations depending on the perception and the generally accepted norms and behavioural aggregates of the particular set-up against which it is being denned. …

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