CHANGING SOCIAL NORMS AND BEHAVIOURS THAT PROMOTE CORRUPTION

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I seek refuge in Allah from the torment of Shaeton in the Name of Almighty Allah the most Gracious the most Merciful. The peace and the blessings of Almighty Allah should be upon prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) his companion, his wives, his children, and those who follow his steps till the day of accreditation aamin.

All protocol duly observed


A paper presented by His Eminence Fadhilaush-Sheikh Jamiu Kewulere Bello (The President General League of Imams and Alfas Southwestern Nigeria Edo and Delta States at a town hall meeting for religious and traditional institutions which organized by Africa Network for Environmental and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) in conjunction with the New Initiative for Social Development, on the topic which says: "Changing Social Norms and Behaviors that promote corruption in Nigeria: Using Religious and Traditional Institutions as vehicles" Tuesday 3rd December, 2019. At Delight Hotels and Suites, along Ilawe Road, Ado Ekiti.

INTRODUCTION
Corruption is one of the most important issues facing the world today, Corruption is a form of dishonesty or criminal activity undertaken by a person or organization entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire illicit benefit, or, abuse of entrusted power for one's private gain. Corruption may include many activities including bribery and embezzlement, though it may also involve practices that are legal in many countries. Political corruption occurs when an officeholder or other governmental employee acts in an official capacity for personal gain.

corruption is a destructive and complex practice is openly acknowledged
in Nigeria, yet it remains ubiquitous in the functioning of society and economic
life. The consequences of corruption for the country and its people are, moreover, indisputable. Acts of diversion of federal and state revenue, business and investment capital, and foreign aid, as well as the personal incomes of Nigerian citizens, contribute to a hollowing out of the country’s public institutions and the degradation of basic services. All the same, corruption is perhaps the least well understood of the country’s challenges.

Corruption tends to foster more corruption, perpetuating and entrenching social injustice in daily life. Such an environment weakens societal values of fairness, honesty, integrity and common citizenship, as the impunity of dishonest practices and abuses of power or position steadily erode citizens’ sense of moral responsibility to follow the rules in the interests of wider society

Meaning of corruption according to Islamic perspective
Fasad is an Arabic word meaning rottenness and corruption in an Islamic context or an organization, community, local area, state and a nation. It can be referred to as spreading mischief in a country, moral corruption against God or disturbance of the public peace.

The spread of corruption is a major theme in the Quran, and the notion is often contrasted with setting things aright. Classical Quran commentators  commonly interpreted "corruption in the land" as open disobedience against God or its result. In certain contexts, classical jurists took it to refer to the legal category of piracy or unlawful warfare, comprising arm end assault, rape and murder.

Some contemporary Muslims views destruction of the natural environment to be among the central meanings of verses referring to corruption.

Allah says in the Glorious Quran:
"When it is said to them: make not mischief on the earth they says: why, we only want to make peace of a surely, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realise not" (Qur'an 2:11)

"The punishment of those who wage war against Allah  and His Messenger, and strive to spread corruption through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feed from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the hereafter" (Quran 5:33)

The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said Allah created the creatures, and when He finished from His  creations, the womb said, "(O Allah) at this place I seek refuge with you from all those who sever the ties of kith and kin. Allah said,won't you be pleased that I will keep good relations with one who will keep good relations with you, Allah's apostle added. "Read (in the Qur'an) if you wish, the statement of Allah, would you then if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land and sever your ties of kinship.

Forms of corruption

Forms of corruption vary but include:
Bribery
Extortion
Cronyism
Nepotism
Parochialism
Patronage
Influence peddling
Graft
Embezzlement
Corruption
Crime enterprise
Drug trafficking
Money laundering
Human trafficking

Though it is not restricted to these activities. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as depression of political opponents and general police brutality is also consider as political corruption.

Bribery: could be seen as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official, or other person, in charge of a public or legal duty.

Extortion: also called shakedown and, in a legal sense in correctly, exaction is obtaining benefit through coercion.

Cronyism: is the practice of partiality. Awarding jobs and other advantages to friends or trusted colleagues, especially in politics and between politicians and supportive organization. For instance, this include appointing "cronies" to positions of authority regardless of their qualification.

Nepotism: is the act if using one's power to secure better jobs unfair advantages for a family member when they may not have the right skills.

Parochialism: is the state of mind, whereby of focuses on small section of an issue rather than considering its wider contact.

Patronage: is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows to another.

Influence peddling: is the illegal practice of using one's influence in government or connection With persons in authority to obtain favour or preferential treatment for another, usually in return for payment.

Graft: as understood in American English, is a form of political corruption, been the unscrupulous use of a politician's authority for personal gain. Similarly, political graft occurs when fund intended for public project are intentionally misdirected in order to maximize the benefits to private interest.

Embezzlement: is the act of withholding assets for the purpose of conversion (theft) of such assets by one or more persons to whom the assets were entrusted, either to be held or to be used for specific purposes.

Criminal enterprise: is a category of transnational, national, or local grouping of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals to engage in illegal activities, most commonly for profit.

Drug trafficking: is a global black market dedicated to the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of drugs that are subjected to drug prohibition laws.

Money laundering: is the illegal process of concealing the origin of money obtained illegally by passing it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transaction. The overall scheme of this process returns the money to the launderer in an obscure and indirect way.

Human trafficking: is the trade of humans for purpose of force labour, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others.

All forms and causes of corruption mentioned above are also problems facing Nigerians presently which emanated from individual home.

According to the topic that says: changing the social norms and behaviors that promoting corruption: using religious and traditional institutions as vehicle.

If I may understand the request of this topic
With clear picture it requesting for Islamic solutions to the problems confronting us here in Nigeria.

Base on Islamic perspective, the solution has to begin from our various homes . many homes have moved away from the moral education in Nigeria. Moral education has the yardstick to control and change the social norms and behaviors that promote corruption in this country.

The way Arabic and Islamic studies is being handling in our educational settings is not encouraging. If we want corruption to vacate our blood in this country, we need to make all religious subjects compulsory not optional. Arabic and Islamic studies have to be compulsory for all Muslim students while Christian religion knowledge should be also compulsory for the Christians. The Nigeria government should make it compulsory from Primary School to Tertiary institution.

Arabic and Islamic studies is one of the important vehicles that would change all these evil habits through the inculcation of these subjects into our children. Because, the word of God will be impacting into them.

Another yardstick for changing behavior and attitude that are promoting corruption is the inclusion of religious leaders in the Nigeria system of government without compulsory or forcing them to join any political party. They would also allow to be the leader of the three tiers of government at the Federal and States levels.

the Federal government should also create seminary or missionary schools in each of the state across the Federation to promote moral education among Nigerians. It should be done in two ways Muslims and Christians.

One of the great solutions towards the attitude of promoting corruption in Nigeria, it may be difficult but if we can adopt it, I am sure Nigerians will change for good within the next two years. Let our legislative harm of government unanimously agree to change our constitution from the
1999 constitution  to Al-Quran and Bible both old and new testament. The highest constitution on the earth are both books mentioned above.

Dignity of Human Beings
The Quran places great emphasis on the dignity of human beings regardless of their gender or race or even status. It says: "We have bestowed dignity on the children of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favors, above a great part of our creation." (Quran 17:70) 

The dignity comprises rights and duties. It means that all human beings are created equal by the One Creator, and no one is superior to another on the basis of his or her birth or family or tribe. It is only the divine that alone is the judge to decide who lived up to his/her dignified status accepting the dignity of the other.

The dignity also means that human beings have a right to life, right to freedom of religion, right to freedom of lifestyle, right to labor, right to security and right to family are secured, even if that means that human beings do not accept divine guidance.

The Quran does not want people to deprive others of these rights because of their color, gender or even religion. The Quran does not give preference to one over the other. The Quran does not say that only Muslims or who have faith in God deserve dignity or rights that are associated with dignity. It talks in a broader term and declares that no one has a right to deny humans their dignity that is a God given right.

The world has begun to realize and implement the Quranic message of the dignity of humankind. This message is relevant in our time more than ever before, regardless whether Muslims practice it or not because it certainly can inspire people of all faith to stand with each other in defense of human dignity of all.

In view of the above evidences from the Glorious Quran towards the changing of social norms and behaviors that promote corruption in Nigeria. It is now clear to us that if we could make Quran as the rules and regulations to guide our day in day out activities, it sure that within the shortest period of time the Nigerians would overcome the issue of corruption here and there.

Based on the facts that have been earlier said I hereby recommend as follows:
1- the government should be sincere and fear Almighty God in their dealings with the citizens. Through the sincerity and fear of Allah corruption would be vanished.

2- all the religion subjects that teaches moral education should be considered compulsory at all levels of Nigeria system of education I mean in the
6-3-3-4 system of education.

3- Inclusion of religion leaders in the Nigeria system of government without forcing any political party on them.

4- Important should  be attached to moral education. Most especially for those who are seeking for political office.

5- The legislative harm of government should allow the constitution of Almighty Allah to spell out the human right for them and let it be workable.

6- frequent seminars should be organizing base on geo political zones and each state of the federation. The seminars souls be handled by the religious leaders.

7- Religion subjects should be made compulsory for all students who want to sit for  WAEC, NECO and NABTEB as English and Mathematics.

8- Religion leaders should be considered on Nigeria payroll:

9- A special bill on human right should be sent to National Assembly for proper review and consideration for Nigeria citizens.

10-  There should be provision  for moral education campaign in Nigeria budget.

Thanks for listening.