Nigerian Diaspora groups in the United States have berated former President Olusegun Obasanjo over his comments, that the current administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan lacks the will and consistency to fight corruption.
In a statement made available to LEADERSHIP WEEKEND, Comrade Femi Soneye, director of Projects and Planning of the Alliance of Nigerians In Diaspora, said that the comments attributed to Chief Obasanjo, where he stated that the government of President Goodluck Jonathan lacked the zeal to fight corruption, was very unfortunate, stressing that it is very premature at this time and makes no sense.
His words: “We can as well ask the former president what he did to stop corruption. During his own regime,” icons of corruption” were created; despite his anti-corruption campaign his tenure witnessed a resurgent culture of sycophancy and an orchestrated mockery of the so- called anti-corruption efforts. During his time the menace of money launderers were all- time higher than ever witnessed in Nigeria. You could see the carnivals of corruption everywhere at that time.”
Soneye, a United States- based media practitioner added that the fight against corruption is a fight for every Nigerian, noting that it involves genuine interest from the government, anti-corruption agencies, law-enforcement agencies, the judiciary and Nigerians all over the world.
He pressed further that the Nigerian leaders should begin to live exemplary lifestyles and strive to meet the needs of the burgeoning youth population. “We want a government that would break the status quo, lead with accountability, treat Nigerians with dignity, respect our rights and deliver economic opportunities. And we believe this present government can deliver,” he concluded.
Also, Mr. Franklin Ekechukwu, a principal director of the Nigeria in the Diaspora Organisation (NIDOA), said that the comment of the two- time president, although regrettable, was a direct challenge to the present administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
He said that Obasanjo had his reasons to make such a statement, stressing that it was regrettable that the former president, whose daughter is a former senator and a strong stakeholder in the affairs of the country, could use the phrase, “lack of will” to describe his successors, a statement, which to a certain extent, undermines the integrity of the present administration.
The director of Region/Treasurer Board of Directors of NIDOA further said that the onus was on the present government to prove to the world that it has the will and all the authority to correct the wrong.
Mr. Ekechukwu concluded that fighting corruption was not the job of the president alone, but the responsibility of all Nigerians and stakeholders of the country, including former presidents.
It would be recalled that the former president said in his speech on Wednesday during a debate organised by the Club de Madrid on ‘Meeting Sustainable Societies and Social Justice’ in the ongoing 100th Session of the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland, that the current regime in Nigeria lacked the will and consistency to fight corruption because corrupt people were deeply entrenched in the system, adding that he had not seen the will and consistency required in the present government to tackle graft.