In Nigeria, the issue of corruption among politicians is a grave concern, but one often overlooked aspect is the influence that wives can wield to discourage their husbands from indulging in corrupt practices. In this article, I intend to explores the roles and responsibilities of politicians’ wives in curbing corruption and promoting good governance in the country.
Research and investigations have shown that many wives of politicians are not immune to the allure of affluence that comes with their husbands’ political positions. Instead of discouraging corrupt practices, some of these women embrace the sudden change in their status and living standards.
This transformation often manifests in their wardrobes, choice of vehicles, and the number of aides they employ.
A notable example is that of a former Nigerian First Lady who, upon moving into the Presidential Villa, surrounded herself with a team of beauticians catering to her nails, hair, and skin. She even established a large spa within the villa, funded with public money. This extravagant lifestyle only contributes to the perception of corruption within the political elite.
Corruption among politicians’ wives is not exclusive to those whose husbands are in office. Some women who are appointed to government positions directly have also been implicated in corrupt activities and have faced legal consequences.
It is imperative for women in Nigeria to stand against corruption and use their influence to encourage ethical practices among their husbands. The story of a former governor’s wife who reprimanded her husband for mistreating a staff member and compelled him to apologize illustrates the potential power of women in shaping political behavior.
To combat corruption effectively, Nigerian women should come together and form a coalition dedicated to educating and monitoring the behavior of women and wives of men in public office. Such initiatives can play a pivotal role in fostering a more ethical and accountable political environment.
Women in influential positions, like Senator Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu, who has a history of service to the public, can lead by example. Her Renewed Hope Initiative offers an opportunity to campaign against corruption and promote transparency in governance.
The economic challenges facing Nigeria demand that wives of state governors, senators, ministers and other public office holders adopt a modest lifestyle and redirect their resources toward programmes that benefit the less privileged rather than indulging in extravagance.
The time has come for Nigerian women to rise against corruption and advocate for good governance. By actively participating in efforts to hold politicians accountable for their actions and by setting examples of ethical behavior, politicians’ wives can contribute significantly to building a more just and equitable society.
(Aare Olaseni O. Egbeyemi , a Public Affairs Analyst and Social Reformist writes from Lagos)Follow us on social media