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NIGERIAN CONUNDRUM: DEMOCRACY AND THE HEGEMONY OF CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA (1999-2017)
Official corruption which manifests in the brazen looting and unprecedented hijack of the national resources has not only become epiphenomenal in the Nigerian democratic dispensation but a basic feature of Nigerian nationhood. We contend in this paper that this sordid phenomenon does not only reflect the nature of Nigerian socio-economic formation, but a consequence of the over arching dictatorship of a tiny minority who by virtue of the July 1966 coup have presided over the consumptive pseudo-capitalist Nigerian social formation in the last five decades. We espoused the trajectory of official corruption in the past six decades and empirically shown that it has not only been increasing in dimension and complexities with different governments but has become hegemonic in the last two decades of democratic governance. The hijack of socio-economic and political resources of the Nigerian state and the creation of powerful cult of leadership has made connection to the cult in ways that are often corrupt laden a basis for the acquisition of and/or membership of economic and political ruling class. This has become a major Nigerian conundrum. Consequently, despite measures deployed to fight corruption, the phenomenon has not only subsisted but become hegemonic. The paper concludes that attempts at the mitigation of official corruption must start with the dismantling of the Nigerian conundrum.
Keywords: Conundrum, Democracy, Hegemony, Corruption.