Corruption in Nigeria, Who’s Really to Blame?


Although almost every citizen agrees that there is endemic corruption in various forms in Nigeria, opinions differ on who is really to blame for the negative trend, which has hindered national development for years. Is it the greedy elites who seek to enrich themselves at the expense of the collective; or the masses who applaud looters and remain docile against corrupt leaders; or is it foreign powers who selfishly allow local rulers to steal and stash the loot in foreign accounts; or a combination of above factors, or something entirely different?


* We are all guilty.
– Mr. Jeje Adeyemi, Lagos State

* The blame is two-fold. One is our greedy elites who will not hide their depravity and want to live large and treat others like the poor cousins from the village. Two are the stupefied commoners who with a mess of potage will stand by the corrupt by carrying placards in support. We need more sensitisation. That is where the NOA has failed woefully.
– Prof. Kate Nwufo, mni, Abuja

* All have sinned and are found guilty of corruption, failing to obey traffic light, jumping of queue in the banking hall, e.t.c. All is corruption, but the most offensive type commonly found is the professional looters.
– Miss Janet Adeyemi, Calabar, Cross River State

* No matter how one looks at it, our ruling elites are to blame. Corruption is so rampant in our society because we haven’t moved to put a stop to it, and we can’t put a stop to it until all of us are obsessed about stopping it.
– Mr. John Ogunsemore, Lagos State

* We’re all guilty, and deserve nothing but total reform of our values. Across the country, citizens don’t feel remorse about corrupt acts.
– Mr. Chineme Okafor, Abuja FCT

* Every Nigerian is guilty for entrenching corruption. Low moral standard, lack of education and extravagant life styles, as manifested in the aiding and abetting of corrupt elites are largely responsible. Apart from the fact that we are docile as a people, we also celebrate mediocrity. Lack of patriotism among Nigerians is largely responsible and the main cause of corruption. May God help us.
– Mr. Taiwo Akinpelumi, Apapa, Lagos

* All Nigerians are to blame for corruption in this country because we don’t condemn acts of corruption by corrupt individuals.
– Mr. Feyisetan Akeeb Kareem, Change Makers Forum & CDHR, Ogwasi-Ukwu, Delta State

* We don’t have to put all the blame on our leaders. As citizens, we have roles to play. How can someone just wake up, carry a gun and start killing people, and at the end he wants the President to give him amnesty? Most elders in those states know who these killers are but they want to form a group of terrorists from the ranks of the killers.
– Mr. Joshua Peter Amba, Sabon Tasha, Kaduna State

* Leadership reflects followership, and stealing is not just in the high places; it happens in the markets too, where rice sellers dupe unsuspecting buyers by tampering with the bags. So it’s a reflection of the society we are in.
– Miss Dammy Oyedele, Abuja

* In our value system has corruption found a fertile ground on which to thrive. Nigerians generally give a high regard to persons of immense wealth, irrespective of how the said wealth was acquired. It is only when we regard corruption with so much disdain that the evil will die a natural death.
– Mr. Neville Kikpoye-Jonathan, President, Abua National Associates, Amalem-Abua, Rivers State

* Whereas most of our woes are attributable to corruption, all political crooks are the main culprits. The fight against corruption requires the cooperation of the three arms of government.
– Mr. John Adebisi, Abuja

*The blame is largely on government, due to outdated legislative laws, greedy elites, masses and foreign powers. The war against corruption is a tedious task for all, and not easy.
– Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna

* The elites popularised corruption but our collective attitude upheld its power over us. It will also take our collective commitment to eliminate this vice.
– Miss Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos State

* We are all to blame, most especially the masses who celebrate the looters and encourage them to do what is not right. If you pass by the homes of these looters, you will see their houses being besieged as early as 6am by sycophant masses. The foreign countries are simply greedy.
– Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna State

* Honestly, foreign powers are to blame. Africa and even Nigeria were social, democratic environments until colonial masters and their allies forced their strange loveless culture on us. Today, we are confused. Corruption was injected selfishly into our system by the foreigners, and today it has grown viral.
– Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos

* There is no administration both in the past and present that is not corrupt, but the degree of corruption differs. The present leader is actually fighting corruption but closes its eyes to people from his fold. By the time another administration comes in, it will be a revenge mission.
– Pst. Obinna Osagu, Akure, Ondo state

* Our leaders’ failure to borrow a leaf from advanced countries and expand our policies locally to better our lives is actually why we are still in pains right now. The elites stole our commonwealth and ignored developing our citizens. We need truth and patriotism to liberate Nigeria. We must act now and fast.
– Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos State

* President Buhari cannot fight corruption successfully on his own; he must get the masses behind him first. The fuel queues and pipeline vandalism may not stop because it is corruption fighting back. Turn this country into one giant job-creating construction site, put food on the tables of Nigerians and within a short time the masses will be the ones demanding for corrupt persons to be brought to trial.
– Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

* The masses are at fault because a lot of us are apathetic to the governance process and the elites and foreign powers take advantage of this vacuum to steal the country blind and get away with impunity. The same sleeping masses are the ones who will decide that enough is enough to corruption, when the time is ripe.
– Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State

* Although the foreigners exploited Nigeria variously, our ignorance and refusal to change has brought all the pains befalling us this far. Aside corruption, lack of strategy and poor leadership and governance remain our most puzzling challenges. We must revert to honesty, loyalty, truth, patriotism and unblemished love for one another to avoid any further pains. For not taking our chances, we cannot blame anyone but ourselves.
– Ms. Saiki Ometere Tina, Gboko, Benue State

All are to blame: 6
Blame the elites: 5
Blame the masses: 1
Foreign nations: 1
Others: 7
Radical tip: Masses hold the key!
Total no of respondents: 20
Male: 14
Female: 6
Highest location: Lagos (7)

Next Week: What is Your Devt Priority for Nigeria?

Although the Federal Government has prioritised the issues of agriculture, war against corruption, and employment generation to ensure development in 2016, there are a lot of other priorities Nigeria needs to feed her booming population and take her place on the continental and global states. To get to this lofty height, what is your own development priority for this country, and why your particular choice?

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (April 21 & Monday, April 25) to,, AND Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, April 28