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A Lot To Clean Up

Posted by Vanguard (Lagos) on 2006/10/02 | Views: 328 |

A Lot To Clean Up

THE latest exposes on the depth of corruption in Nigeria are a great embarrassment to the trumpeted gains of transparency and zero corruption tolerance policy of this administration.

THE latest exposes on the depth of corruption in Nigeria are a great embarrassment to the trumpeted gains of transparency and zero corruption tolerance policy of this administration. Where would a clean up start, assuming there is a conviction to do it? We have before us an evolving drama that is capable of tearing apart every fabric on which the country has existed since 1999, and reducing to immediate rubbles, a structure that we are building with eyes on the future.

The tragedy of the effusive and permeating corruption that has taken place overshadows whatever happened in the past. More revenue has come into government coffers in the last seven years, just as Nigerians can see that their conditions do not reflect this official truth. Reports of the number of governors under investigations and those indicted mirror the situation partially. Corruption among local government councils, government parastatals, private businesses and the political parties are becoming a national way of life, a culture. Everyone tends to have a good reason for plundering the public till -- the claim that he is working for the people - and a ready explanation when indicted: political victimisation.

The public is the loser.

Nigerians are wallowing in poverty and disease while trillions of Naira that would have ameliorated these situations is stolen for private enterprises that enhance the poverty of the Nigerian. Whether the accused ones are ever brought to justice or not is not as important as the fact that their alleged conduct has smeared vital ingredients of leadership, trust and personal examples. When we have leaders who can be freely accused of corruption, and their major defence is to accuse their accusers, the critical issue of keeping thieving fingers away from public resources would remain a charade.

Too much compromise went into building today's Nigeria. Compromise has resulted in the collapse of party politics, parties cannot discipline their members, and every party has factions that undermine it, establish their own spheres of influence and lead Nigerians by rhetoric. There is no alternative to leaders with clean morals, integrity and respect for the laws of the land.

The politics we preach makes a song of transparency while the practice extols corruption. Corruption thrives because it is not punished and where the likes of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, tries to do so, it sometimes enmeshes itself in standards that tilt the scales of justice. The clean up has started and should be pursued fairly, firmly, judicially and conclusively.

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