As corruption continues to eat deep into the Nigerian ethos, a stakeholder of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC and the National Chairman of the APC Broom Platform, the foremost media crunchers of the APC, Dr. Tom Ohikere has described corruption as the greatest obstacle preventing Nigeria from achieving its enormous potentials.
He made this assertion at the APC Broom Platform, national secretariat, Abuja while responding to trending issues of corruption in the country.
Ohikere said that corruption in Nigeria is seen as the vestige of a colonial legacy that has become an acceptable norm in the society, its tentacles permeate from the highest echelons of government to the lowest level of the Civil Service, both national and local “The APC led administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari came on-board like a born-again democrat, vowing to root out corruption, revive the economy and defeat the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency, and over the years significant progress has been recorded, although there still remain some bad eggs within his cabinet that are not living up to expectations regarding their respective offices.
And the victims of the corrupt practices are the Nigerian public who have been adversely affected by the deprivation which has resulted in underdevelopment and perpetual economic slavery. The countless numbers of corruption control measures adopted have failed essentially because of the protection of vested interests compounded with corruption in the judiciary, quangos and law enforcement agencies, the proceeds of crimes are handled by fences.
He however asked President Muhammadu Buhari as a matter of urgency to intervain and safe the country from the hands of these bad elements and reshuffle the cabinet, put likeminds who can complement his efforts in steming out corruption from the Nigerian society.
Adding that Buhari’s personal reputation for incorruptibility endeared over 60% of Nigerians to vote him to office for the second term , with the hope that atleast Nigeria will be free from the deadly shackles of corruption which has crippled development for decades owing to his high moral rectitude and discipline. But as it is known, corruption war requires a corporate efforts and commitments, the efforts of the President still remains seemingly invisible because of the deviant behaviours of some people around him.
In Nigeria, abuse of power by officials has become a culture, from the legislators who refuse to pass a budget unless they receive a kickback or a police officer who will not allow a motorist to pass through a checkpoint unless bribed. Oversight abuse by Legislators, financial auditors, procurement monitors, and anticorruption agents has on many occasions found demanding bribes in exchange for issuing approvals or turning a blind eye to misconduct. Unscrupulous senators and representatives especially those assigned to juicy committees that oversee high-budget ministries―routinely abuse their important oversight function, threatening to deny budget/appropriation approvals in exchange for kickbacks or contracts for their cronies thereby delaying or denying
Like the recent exposure of the NDDC lootings are evidence of
corruption killing development in the region and the country at large,
They didn’t only steal ‘NDDC money’, they stole the development of the
region, they stole the future of a people. By their corruption, they
stole education and made countless Niger Deltans illiterate, they
stole healthcare and killed countless children, they stole money meant
for generating employment and made millions jobless. They stole money
for road construction and caused the death of Nigerians through
NDDC has 12,000 abandoned projects in the Niger Delta, one
project been awarded for over 55 times and other corrupt practices,
according to the Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godswill Akpabio.
Corruption is rife across the country’s economic sectors: petroleum,
trade, industrial, agricultural, infrastructure, power sector,
banking, and environmental. Together, these forms of corruption erase
billions of dollars from Nigeria’s bottom line and prevent it from
realizing its great human and economic potential.
Evident as the federal and state governments have spent billions on
roads, railways, ports, electrical power, schools, hospitals,
universities, and other economic enablers, but yet have realized few
gains. By inflating contracts, soliciting kickbacks, and mismanaging
budgets, venal officials have derailed countless such projects.
There is need for the President to have a second look at his cabinet,
directors of agencies and parastatals and ensure that the right people
are in the helm of the affairs of the country to win back the
confidence of the public again. Otherwise if these lacklustre and
deviants behaviours of some of the appointees of this administration
continues, the political integrity of the APC is in serious danger and
2023 general elections is questionable for the party if the inherent
anomalies are not addressed.
The APC led interim NWC should put up an internal mechanism to help
the administration in this situation for the betterment of all.