Executive Director, Centre for Social Justice, Barr. Eze Onyekpere Wednesday led in the call on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to refresh their mechanism, processes and procedures in the fight against corruption.
Onyekpere who was speaking against the backdrop of the 2020 International Anti-Corruption day, made the call during a radio program, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG.
He noted the Anti-corruption day was very essential and will help to reawaken the consciousness of the government and Nigerians that the fight against corruption is not over.
He criticized federal government’s reluctance in tackling officials indicted by corruption investigations, and emphasized that President Buhari remains the only person who could sanction corrupt officials where Permanent Secretaries, Ministers and anti-corruption agencies (EFCC, ICPC) all failed to do so.
Onyekpere advised that rather than the government being reactive, they should be proactive in the fight against corruption. “Through education, prosecution, investing in technology to detect those involved in fraudulent transaction and through taking all necessary steps like the judicial, legislative and administrative step will take Nigeria very close to eradicating corruption in the Nigeria society,” he stressed.
Similarly, Editor at International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Ajibola Hamzat identified the lack of strategy by the President Buhari-led government as one of the main reason the country is not making expected progress in the fight against corruption.
His words: “I still think that this government does not have the power to fighting corruption, the President may have a very good intention but the strategy doesn’t look like this government has a very clear strategy on how to fight corruption.
“It is not a rocket science because there are laws this government can actually use to ensure that corruption is fought. You don’t need to be so reactive but if the government is very serious about transparency, just make sure that every transaction of the government is kept open,” Hamzat said.
Hamzat also stated that the media in Nigeria have lived up to its responsibility of keeping the government accountable according provisions in the Nigerian constitution.
While, Investigative Editor at Daily Trust, Fidelis Macleva lamented the prevalence of corruption and the abuse of power in the three tiers of government. He noted that lack of political will to punish perpetrators of corruption by the government was deterring Nigeria in the fight against corruption.
He also called on citizens to reduce their demands and pressure mounted on political appointees and high ranking public office holders which also encourages corruption.
Macleva said: “If you ask me, politics comes to play here, the fight against corruption is selective. So, long as you allow impunity to thrive instead of frontally attacking the issues of corruption, we will continue to run in circles,” he stated.
Earlier, an investigative journalist with The Cable, Chinedu Asadu lamented citizens’ apathy in participating in governance. He stressed that citizen’s attitude was contributing to corruption.
Asadu called for a strong system to be built against corruption. He said, “the attention is usually on the heads of government agencies, but we need to have a strong system when talking about sustainability. Most often the fight against corruption is on the heads and the key leaders but the system is just very fragile,” Asadu stated.