In the usual high pitch I said, “Corruption must stop…” and they all replied, “…starting from you.”
Rewinding to a few months before this time…
It was the third month of my service year. Despite putting in for the Red Cross group in camp (as my to-be CDS group), I finally found myself in a town where Red is a trance, and Cross, a dream. Such simply doesn’t exist there.
Good got better when I was posted to the ICPC CDS group just upon my arrival. The acronym stands for Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (sure you know that already). The CDS group’s principal objective being the sensitization of all on corruption; preaching the 3Rs of ICPC — Reject, Resist and Report corruption.
Fast forward to the immediate past…
It was another sensitization programme. A secondary school in the LGA was the location. I had just finished a speech on corruption and I decided to conclude it with a catchy note using the slogan. I got the response I expected and the applaud was nice. I felt good, but as I approached my seat I felt something more.
“Corruption must stop, starting from you.”
The words echoed deep within me. It mysteriously dawned on me that I’ve just been saying it like another mantra; well articulated in the mouth involuntarily, but with meagre meaning in the heart.
The question I asked myself was if the move to stop corruption had actually started from me, because any answer apart from a YES would only mean I’m preaching what I don’t practice.
In reality, the answer to that question is a NO, at least to a large extent. A few times we’ve done things not really in line with the acceptable ways that conforms with ethics and societal code of conduct; my simple definition of corruption.
A number of times I’ve answered NO to the “Four-Way Test” (fellow members of the Paul P. Harris family will get this faster #Rotaract). Society abuses and curses dirty leaders in power (I think they deserve worse things…no apologies), forgetting that corrupt leaders of today are often times, evolved privileged corrupt youths of yesterday.
A fraudster, scammer or yahoo boy can conveniently open many tabs on his laptop, begin “business” with his “clients” on some tabs while simultaneously reading about political scandals and embezzlements on another tab, writing comments like; “Wxgwrtyh should be hanged. Blaawdy thief!” “Phtydxzyns is kleptomaniac. Shameless pig!” “Preposterous! We need a change.” Really nice and apt comments, they sound like fair justice. A better justice, however, is to hang that “Blaawdy” reader as well for that change to come to fruition. [What do you think?]
Several role reversals. Haven’t we seen upholders of justice who bribed their way to the top? Haven’t we seen school counsellors who impregnate students? Executives who embezzle? Nepotic employers? Crooked jurors? Policemen who commit, aid, and abet? Bankers who falsify? Law-makers who manipulate? Reprobate religious leaders? The list is infinite.
It is high time the pot took some quality time to bleach before reproaching the kettle with blackness. Neither pot nor kettle has the right to melanophobia; except they change to those in standard 21st century kitchens — the desired transformation. Be and practice what you preach.
Relax. Self-examine. Before you point fingers and complain about rampant poverty, unemployment, injustice, insecurity of life and property, and decaying infrastructure which are the common features largely attributable to the high incidence of corruption, understand that several rivulets make a river. We have individual roles to play. Reflecting the ideal individually, and daily corrupt-free living is a sure-fire purge the society needs.
If I don’t dishonestly pay to get favour and there’s no one at the receiving end, will there be BRIBERY? If you are empathetic with others, will EMBEZZLEMENT exist? If he treats others the same way he wants to be treated, will CRIMINAL ACT and INJUSTICE survive? If she desires equality and quality, will NEPOTISM be a topic? If we all strive individually but in oneness, we definitely won’t have to discuss CORRUPTION.
I’m not painting myself a saint, I only have what some lack; conscious and continuous effort against the aberration. I can’t hoard it, there’s plenty to go round.
I did I’m doing my part. Be contented with what you have. Shun immoral and illegal acts. Love all as you love yourself. Do your part and spread the news.
Reject, Resist and Report Corruption.
Corruption will stop, if it starts from you.
Be social. Please share.
Adewoyin Joseph || @Jossef69