Why is Nigeria so corrupt?

I was on a bus coming to Yenagoa, the Bayelsa statecapital. The bus was filled with fellow travelers of every age and sex. The driver for some reasons, I’m sure due to his rickety vehicle engine was driving way slow.

I was pissed off already because it was getting dark but I kept my cool and a young man who apparently was in a dire hurry and couldn’t take it anymore protested …oga drive fast na, Ok overtake, over take now no worry no fear the trailer… Some old ladies on the bus overheard this and scolded him, shut up, why are you telling the driver what to do, are you mad, do you want us to have an accident? then it turned into shouting and eventually an uproar and more profane tantrums were thrown inside the bus… youdisrespectful boyyourmother didn‘t raise you well, I saidshut up shut up, criminal you shall die like fowl.

This ladies threw all manner of insults on this young man and he retaliated again, trying to return the swearing he was being baptized of… Back to sender, na you e go happen to, your mother too.
 This continued until we eventually got to a police check point in a deserted part of the road. This ladies didn’t waste time in reporting their perceived cultists… He is a cultist, he wants to beat us, he has being threating to beat us, kill us.

He is so disrespectful handle him for us… A Nigerian police standing in this cold rainy evening, wearing a black uniform carrying a black gun didn’t have time to socialize. Get down now, what happen? before he could say jack, one of the police men said to him turn around raise your shirt, the next thing I saw was inhuman, I don’t even have word’s to explain it. One of the police men slapped him, while another hit him with the butt of his gun, then another kicked him by his ankle which sent him down instantaneously, he landed on the floor with his bare head while the rest of his body slapped thunderously against the earth, it is a pitiful sight.

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I think they saw a scratch on his back, which does not require a college degree to figure out that it could come from anywhere but the police obviously like to think it was indeed a cult marking… Shut up, raise your hands, close your eyes, then they bestowed on him more slap, more beating. His white shirt was now a little brown from dirt and blood stains. His eyes, his entire face was now more swollen and obviously more ripe like an Apple, his steps were zigzag, his body is shaking, a full grown healthy young man within a few minutes has being reduced to the likes of a drunk old man who fell of the stairs.

We drove off, we did as we were told; leave him here with us, make ona go, enter make ona leave here, we will deal with him. We drove off and none of the other passengers said a word, I didn’t speak up because I was a little scared, I wasn’t ready to be beaten up, they may accuse me of been in the same click with him…na him fellow cult member, I wasn’t ready to deal with men who had shallow horizon with so much power. Perhaps I was being a coward as always, I chose to keep shut when I was supposed to defend a brother. I could have said the boy might be disrespectful but this ladies are overly exaggerating. I could have said according to our Constitution, there is nothing wrong in two persons quarreling and being settled amicably and not one party being beaten up by the police… Or I could have said the almighty sentence, the sentence of doom… “the police can’t beat citizens up no matter the offence” which would have landed me in a hotter spot than even the guy in question.

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The ladies were more than happy, they thank God and promised to share a testimony in church on Sunday. Didn’t you see the mark one asked the other, the police knew what they were doing. He is a confirm cultists, he was in a hurry because he was on a mission said another contemporary, we have saved his would be victims. oh God thank you, thank you. The driver was more than happy because this drama has saved him from parting with his hard earned N100 naira which he was supposed to use in tipping the police as usual. And I was sad, I don’t know why but I was sad and everything in my system was angry, I like to think they were mad at me for not speaking up, for being a coward just like yesterday when I paid my light bill because my neighbor and my neighbors neighbor paid theirs too.

The whole neighborhood has paid I said to myself, so just pay and avoid trouble but we haven’t had light for two weeks now, oh it’s already a month, so why are people paying? No, why are you paying Victor… you know why, don’t you? I didn’t want to appear as the number one broke ass nigga in this fancy neighborhood even though I’m actually broke, besides they will cut my line, reconnection is far more expensive.

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This is part of the Nigerian story, we don’t want to speak up, we are afraid to speak up for what is right or wrong due to fear, due to prolonged military rule that has affected our mentality.

Every single person who protested and fought hard to end corruption in this country has and is met with a iron fist, some wished they were never born, while a few like Fela, Dele Giwa, Isaac Jasper Adakaboro, Chris Abani Etcetera, was happy to have stood for the truth despite the horror and terror they went through to make their case even though it brought some of them early departure into the great beyond. But why would a man want to live for nothing and be scared to die for something.

Nigeria and Nigerians when you see something say something, change begins with you. The society we help them to abuse will take a heavy toll on us.

If we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us

First they came for the Communists
 And I did not speak out
 Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
 And I did not speak out
 Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
 And I did not speak out
 Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
 And I did not speak out
 Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
 And there was no one left
 To speak out for me

A poem by Martin niemoller

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria

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