Preamble: I thought when corruption is mentioned, it simply means the money being embezzled by politician and the extortion by Security personnel.
The town hall meeting I attended, which was organized by Kebetkache Women Developing Resource Centre on the 14th June, 2019 in Port Harcourt Tag Gender, Accountability and Open Government Partnership (OGP) opened my ears and eyes to know the different faces of corruption.
I will continue to feel incomplete if I don’t share the different faces of corruption that I took home that day. Some faces resemble masquerade, while some have human faces. I hope you will patiently read the many faces of corruption, even if any resembles what you have done in the past or what you do from time to time.
I perceive corruption to be an action that destroys the society. Apart from the many faces of corruption which I want to share, the name or word corruption was also perceived as virus, leprosy, stealing by tricks, abnormal life, fraudulent act etc.
I want to begin mentioning the faces of corruption from home, since the 1st teacher that a child has is his /her parent. There was a mother who took her little son to a private school for an enrollment. The mother was very fond of her son and wanted him to be promoted always by the proprietress of the school. The mother formed the habit of giving all sorts of gifts to the proprietress from time to time. The child was popularly known as an excellent boy because that was a nick name given to him by the proprietress. Something happened which I won’t tell you now. The excellent child was taken to another school for admission. He gain admission alright but his performance dropped.
The Excellency title dropped as well. Corruption face one has thought us that a good free hand foundation is the best, not through bribery and corruption.
The second face of it is in Educational Sector (Schools), which it face looks like that of Masquerade. This one happens mostly during WAEC and NECO Examinations. Many students will leave the urban schools to rural schools, which are kilometers away from the urban, sometime the road to these schools are dreadful which prevent examiners from going for supervision.
The students do this because their Parents are aware that there are a lot of examination malpractices in the rural areas. The teachers that supervise the examinations collect or extort money from the students, so as to allow them cheat as they want. English and Mathematic cost more than other subjects. Some teachers sell examination papers to the students before the examination is taken. The face looks like masquerades because some Principals of the schools do not have a good idea of what goes on during the examination periods. This practice has prevented the students from studying hard, bearing in mind that they will also run to the rural area schools during the examination periods.
I call face three Public Service Sector. This refers to public offices or ministries where you have Head of service, Permanent secretaries and Commissioners, Directors or Ministers as the case may be. Most of the named prominent men and women have their letter-headed papers. They supply stationeries and other items through their different companies, some of which have not been registered by Co-operate Affairs Commission. They award contracts to themselves and submit their letter-headed filled receipts to themselves. The third face of corruption compels people going to offices for findings to buy files and plain sheets of papers to enable them photocopy documents. Sometime you have to pay to enable them find your file for you as a civil servant. It is becoming worst in the public sector because of those who have God-fathers have denied their involvement. They instead accused Snakes and Gorilla for missing funds.
I feel like going on and on but something in me is asking me to stop and face recommendation in order to see if there will be a future with no face of corruption.
Parents should give their children free hand to learn, and encourage them to study at home.
Owners of private schools should not promote pupils, students because of the incentives from the parents.
The organizers of school Set must make sure that competent supervisors are sent to schools during examination.
The supervisors’ job should not be assigned to ordinary teachers in the schools.
The Open Government Partnership should be introduced in the three tiers of Government. This will reduce the corruption in the public sector.
Awareness creation of the OGP should be taken to the grass root, even though the top is known to be more corrupt than the bottom.
Compiled by Vincent Umoh