As Nigeria commemorates the 2017 Anti-corruption Day, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) condemns in totality, the recent malicious developments which manifest in selective approach and procedure, and deliberate political reluctance permeating the fight against corruption in the country.
While we are aware of the various commitments including the 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit in London and campaign promise by the Present administration to combat corruption in all ramifications without fear or favour, we find it disturbing that official corruption is deeply embedded and fast becoming a permanent fixture whose subculture melts seamlessly into the public servants’ daily life.
We are worried over the administration’s continued unwillingness to exert appropriate sanction against erring officials found wanting in cases of silent but illegitimate re-engagement of the former Chairman of the Presidential Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, who was disengaged from service by the previous administration over N2.7b Pension Fraud; non-investigated N120bn security scam attributed to the serving Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Kpotum Idris; the hypocritically unresolved alleged breach of due process in the award of $25 billion contract involving the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru.
We are concerned over the administration’s emerging dwindling capability in handling high profile corruption cases, giving chances to culprits to walk freely on the street and positive signal to potential culprits to freely engage in corruption.
We observed that the manner in which systemic corrupt practices are encouraged and celebrated, especially in the public sector, if not rapidly addressed will ultimately erode citizens’ trust and confidence in governance and eventually backpedal the gains and recorded progress from anti-corruption in the country.
We find the persistently apparent disregard for relevant anti-corruption bills and the needless legislative time and resources dedicated in pushing for passage of NGO Bill by the National Assembly, as a potential setback to anti-corruption efforts and mechanisms in the country.
We are bothered that, despite various administrative promises and commitments to combat corruption, corruption remains a menace crippling Nigeria’s socio-economic development including the fast-falling educational standard, dilapidating health care, bad roads, rising unemployment that precariously breeds social vices like vandalism, armed robbery, kidnapping, youth agitation, poorly motivated security personnel, youth under-development, bad governance, and the eroded public services.
We, therefore, demand immediate action by President Muhammadu Buhari to honour promises and commitments and fully implement various policies instituted against corruption without fear or favour.
We call on the National Assembly to descend from potential activities that could sabotage anti-corruption effort and support legislative processes and activities that aid anti-corruption.
We demand adequate protection and encouragement for whistle-blowers, and call for intensified media and public consciousness in demanding transparency and accountability in governance.
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Executive Director, CISLAC