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Pragmatic, reserved and a deep thinker who loves family, sports especially football where am married to two wives: the first, AC Milan who has my loyalty and the second wife, Manchester United who has all my undying love and pampering, lifestyle and society parties. Need I say the law is more than a profession but a lifestyle for me.

Adekanye Adeyinka Olajide.

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You are here: Home / OUR WHITE ATTIRES ARE NOT SOILED, THEY ARE PATTERENED.

OUR WHITE ATTIRES ARE NOT SOILED, THEY ARE PATTERENED.

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That Nigeria is the most corrupt nation in the world is not news. What is evident however is that corruption is no longer a vice to Nigerians; indeed, it is a culture. Nigerians consider corruption as a routine. It is so genetic that many now see it as unavoidable, peculiar to Nigeria; one considered a blessing in disguise. Let us call a spade a spade and not a farm tool, many see corruption as a way to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. We assume because certain people carry proceeds from the black gold, which is supposed to be our commonwealth, we also should find ways to exploit other people. What we fail to realise is that the malaise corruption is baring us naked like the lunatic in the market square.

It is because it has become a culture that even a child who can speak in Nigeria knows that it is glorious to celebrate financial crimes. Therefore, it is not shocking when we have educated Nigerians giving credence to this fact. Many believe there is no crime in finding ways to beat protocols to get ones desire. It is characteristic of the average Nigerian to find short cuts to getting things done just to avoid the due process; that is why a Nigerian cannot stay in line on a queue. They would rather find a friend who can help speed things up. I remember when I used to visit banks before the advent of the online banking and ATM usage, when on queue; an impatient customer will find someone in line to give his teller.

It is not difficult to justify that corruption is an inherited trait of every Nigerian child. After all, their parents travel abroad to give birth to them so they can enjoy the privilege of dual citizenship and then bring them here back home; yet still receiving the rights of those kids as if they are resided in their birth country. The children are already a part of it constructively. They work them into schools not on merits and get their youth service corp. scheme fixed up so that while they are serving, it is in absentia so they can travel abroad for their masters. These kids grow up to be our politicians and Bank managers who forge documents and siphon funds abroad. The only way they consider a norm is the surrogate life in their identity.

We find corruption in the tiniest events such as market women adding a little more than required on goods, when we deliberately purchase goods at night so that we can spend fake or torn condemned moneys, when we forge documents so that we can find favours, when we doctor fuel pumps and dispense less quantity than paid for. It occurs when we pay a little extra to avoid transfers or instigate our own transfers to better places at our work places, when we swap files of rightful people for promotion for that of our own people or ourselves.

In Nigeria, we do not deem our white attires soiled with palm oil. For us the stain is only a pattern, a way of life. That is why regardless of Anti money laundering policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria money laundering goes on every second. All that needs done is a little tip for the manager so he can ignore that the transaction took place. It is all merely a matter of documented policy for the auditors. After all the CBN itself is chief in the acts – you will not find mints in the bank; even bankers consider mint notes a miracle. Whereas, at every party in Nigeria, there is a ceaseless rain of new notes sprayed by the big wigs and readily available to the moneychangers because those pay commission to the apex banks to get them.

Nigerians do not loathe corruption or corrupt practices. Only what is condemned can be a crime not what is a culture! All we know as Nigerians is ‘chop make I chop, God no go vex.’ We all want a bite of the cherry in every form. That is who we are; a culturally displaced people with misplaced values and rights. How can we be corrupt when as children, our parents paid for us to have the best Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination? That is not a malpractice. After all, the invigilator will reel out answers to us or pretend to sleep while another one solves the questions. Can it be malpractice, when there are special Joint Admission Matriculation Board centres for us to have our exams written and pass once we can pay the ‘special’ fees? Yet the same parents lament on the dwindling standard of education.

Why do we need to believe in hard work when our parents already have a job waiting for us in one of the companies they are the board chairperson? It is a waste of time to go through the due process when in the blink of an eye, a contract can be signed for a non existing company ones the chief executive officer has interest in helping his friend.

In our country, we are not corrupt, we just have interest in certain things and use our weight to influence, and we disregard competence and merits for personal gains. Once the lot of one is better, it begins to reflect on the community so why let the community benefit directly rather than remotely. We are not corrupt but we are impatient to do things because we cannot define right from wrong. Even our government aids us to skip tax and when we eventually pay, they carry it in their Ghana must go bags to Switzerland.

We are not corrupt because even when the law catches up with us, all that matters is whom we know, and not what they know or the gravity of the crime. The best they recover from us is trickles of the converted commonwealth.

ADEKANYE ADEYINKA OLAJIDE.