News, Politics

Lawyers, activists still support Buhari’s anti corruption war

President Muhammadu Buhari

Many Nigerians are still beclouded as to whether the ship of anti-corruption crusade being captained by President Muhammadu Buhari is really moving or will even get to its destination before it capsizes as no outstanding success has been made so far apart from recovery of looted funds. But human right lawyers and activists ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke to on this maintained that there’s progress in the struggle.

However, they also enjoined the President to be steadfast and ensure that those found culpable be probed and sent to jail.

 

‘Buhari appears to be winning the war’ – Kayode Salako

In my own assessment, President Muhammadu Buhari has done well in fighting corruption. And he is winning the war, fighting corruption in his government. And he’s trying to use this fight to prevent corruption in the subsequent governments.

And that’s if the political system would not reverse to the statuesque after he might have left. On this note, Buhari appears to be winning the war, but that of yesterday has been difficult to fight because he emerged through a partisan political system. That’s why it has been difficult to jail anybody yet.

But to be sincere, the best way to fight the war holistically is never to be the president of any political party. To me, he appears to be fighting the war, but there’s no victory yet. The best he has achieved so far is that he has been recovering looted funds. That’s it. And with our peculiar kind of criminal justice system, judicial system of insincere rule of law we’re practicing, the best the president can achieve is to keep fighting it by recovering the loots and prosecuting the offenders, but to achieve conviction is what I know will be difficult.

 

‘It is not enough to be afraid of one individual…’ John Itodo

Slow and steady, they say wins the race. I think the Buhari led government has made very significant progress in the war against corruption, particularly in stemming the tide of corruption and corrupt practices in high places, but we are still far from getting there.

If we, however, keep at the progress made so far and if the next administration and the next after that can sustain and build on the progress so far, then we are surely going to get out of the woods.

Let’s not make any mistake about it, corruption is not exclusive to Nigeria. It is everywhere all over the world, but the difference between our way of curbing the menace and those over there is orientation and approach.

A lot of Nigerians can no longer decipher between genuine prosperity and corruption. That is why someone who is made a minister or commissioner will stage a big thanksgiving in his church or place of religious practice. In other words, as we say colloquially here – God don butter him bread. The news media will also be awashed with congratulatory messages to this man. For goodness sake, heavy responsibility has just been placed on the man. Rather than the fanfare, he craves your prayer, but alas, reverse is the case in Nigeria.

I would urge the government to strive towards making corruption and corrupt practices unattractive. Let’s fortify our institutions to make it impossible to engage in corruption.  I can assure you that it is much easier to nip corruption in the bud than to fight it.

As long as we have dilapidated infrastructure, the housing needs of the populace is not addressed, public institutions are in comatose, inflation is not stemmed, basic necessities and amenities such as power, potable water, infrastructure, etc are not addressed, we would return to where we were before now.

It is not enough to be afraid of one individual; what happens if that individual is no longer in power?

I believe that, if our education sector is well polished and made competitive like any Ivy League College, there will be no need for parents to steal and abuse their positions to get their kids qualitative education in private institutions which run into millions of naira for a kid and here you have a parent with three kids.

Same with power, same with housing. A lot of people, especially civil servants don’t live within their means, they have properties worth millions of naira in choice areas way above their means and rather than chastised, they are celebrated and given prominent positions in the society. This menace can be curbed, if we have mortgage institutions that are up and doing, without middlemen? Can government build houses and offer them genuinely to people at affordable prices? This will go a long way to eliminate crass quest to make money through illegitimate means to shelter oneself and family.

Also, the government can set up a verification committee to go from state to state and verify who or in whose name is or are certain classes of properties registered. That in my opinion will go a long way to discourage unjust enrichment.

In conclusion, I am persuaded that the Buhari led administration is making tremendous progress in its quest to kill corruption in Nigeria, but there is still more to be done to get us to a corrupt free Nigeria. I’m not sure that his administration can and will achieve that, but we can get there if the administration that will take over from him at the end of his 4 or 8 year tenure continue to build on where he left off.

 

‘We need more action from him’ – Toyin Bamgbose

Honestly, I am beginning to lose touch with the current government. There’s so much news about anti corruption crusade but the noise about it seems to be louder than its implementation. The current government seems to forget that ‘action speaks louder’. We only experience mild drama of people accused of corruption who eventually returned some money to government coffers. After a while, there is a profound silence. Even the little that they claim to have recovered cannot be justified.

Those accused of corruption are yet to be on the way to prison. In as much as there are laws and processes, there should also be at least peculiar cases that should produce fast result. The crusade, to me, is rather too slow and leaves too many questions unanswered.

 

‘Nigerians should support Buhari’ – Barr. Mohammed Fawehinmi

Yes, the president is winning the war against corruption and it’s not slow. Nigerians should support him.

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