Civil rights groups and the Action Congress of Nigeria on Sunday berated the President Goodluck Jonathan administration over the rating of Nigeria as the 35th most corrupt country in the world.
The groups, in their separate reactions, said the rating of the Transparency International clearly showed that the administration was not fighting corruption.
The ACN, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the rating had exposed the falsehood in the Jonathan presidency’s claim that corruption had gone down under its watch.
The party said the “harvest of corruption scandals’’ that had dogged the Jonathan administration was probably unprecedented in the country’s history.
This, the party said, had been attested to
by the global anti-corruption body in its latest Corruption Perception Index.
ACN said, “Sadly, despite the Presidency’s self-delusion, Nigeria remains among the most corrupt nations on earth.’’
It blamed Nigeria’s position on the fact that the Jonathan administration had not only become scandal-prone, it had also allowed impunity to
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thrive by paying a lip service to probing the scandals and bringing perpetrators to book.
The party stated, “The massive oil subsidy scam, the Malabu oil scandal, the pension scam, and now the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting N2.1bn scam are just a few of the corruption scandals that have dogged the Jonathan administration.
“In all of these and more, the administration has show an amazing lack of political will in investigating the scams and prosecuting perpetrators.’’
The ACN said in some climes, Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, would
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have been sacked for failing to ensure corruption-free oil sector.
The party said, “President Jonathan must wake from his slumber and face the reality that corruption is fast eating deep into the soul of Nigeria, having already decimated the body.
“He must stop playing the ostrich and lead the way in the fight against corruption before it consumes the country.”
Also, Chairman of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, Debo Adeniran, said the TI’s verdict was a reflection of the fact that the nation’s leadership was not committed to the fight against corruption.
Adeniran said the President lied during his media chat when he said Nigeria had improved on its anti-corruption rating by the same TI.
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“Those ministries, departments and agencies and public servants claiming to be championing the crusade against corruption in Nigeria are a
bunch of unserious lot; people who are merely paying lip service to the fight.”
Adeniran berated the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku,
for casting aspersion on the media, his primary constituency, just because they refused to cover up atrocities of corrupt elements.
He said, “What TI revealed about Nigeria is nothing but the gospel truths that are verifiable. Every Nigerian knows that only less
than one per cent of those convicted of corruption offences are punished and the penalty leaves room for the offenders to enjoy the proceeds of their crimes.”
Adeniran noted that anti-corruption agencies were rendered prostrate for lack of or inadequate funding and working incentives.
According to him, the TI’s rating is an indication that the leadership and agencies concerned with the crusade are not making progress in the fight against corruption.
He said, “It exposes the lie our leaders are telling us as their commitment to the fight against the menace.
“It is also an indication that there is no hiding place for corrupt leaders despite their well-oiled propaganda machines the government spend billions of dollars to oil.”
President of the Campaign for Democracy, Joe Okei-Odumakin, said Nigerians did not need anybody to tell them that corruption had eaten up the soul of the country.
She said, “In the last two years, an estimated N5trn has been stolen by our government officials. Corruption is the grand commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The non-implementation of the Farouk Lawan report as well as the Nuhu Ribadu Presidential Task Force findings has completely killed the fight against corruption in Nigeria.”
But the Executive Director of Anti-Corruption Network, Dino Melaye, said the TI rating was not
a true reflection of the magnitude of corruption in Nigeria.
He said, “Under this government, corruption has graduated from the stealing of millions to trillions. There is no check, talk less of fighting corruption; corrupt people now exhibit ill gotten wealth with impunity; no prosecution or trial of corrupt public officials.
“Democracy in Nigeria is now government of the greedy, by the greedy and for the greedy. In an unjust society, silence is a crime; Nigerians, arise against corruption.”