Saturday, 25 May 2013 00:00
Written by Gboyega Adeoye
CORRUPTION is the bane of Nigeria’s development and unless the virus is killed, the nation will never succeed.”
These were the words of former Minister of Petroleum, Professor Tam David West at an award ceremony put together by Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) in Lagos.
CACOL also took a swipe at the government of Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State, which it accused of being anti-masses.
According to the group, the Fashola administration has left the state worse than it met it, claiming that 80 per cent of roads in Lagos are in terrible conditions.
Meanwhile, Prof. David-West who received CACOL’s award for integrity alongside a former governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande and the late erudite lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi said he had his happiest moment standing in the same podium with his late friend, Fawehinmi who was represented by his wife, Ganiat and Alhaji Jakande to be so honoured.
Noting that corruption is hard to tackle in Nigeria, the professor said that the cankerworm of corruption has eaten deep into every facets of the nation, making it an uphill task for an upright Nigerian to attempt ameliorating the situation.
“It is not easy to fight corruption in Nigeria. It is not only that officials in the system are corrupt but corruption itself is official,” he said.
Professor West said even though he at a time sat on top of over 90 per cent of the national wealth, he disciplined himself not to allow the system to corrupt him even as he said that he paid dearly for his uprightness.
“In Nigeria, if you are not corrupt and you work with a president that is corrupt, you are in trouble. I am happy that God gave me the courage to stand tall in the midst of temptation,” he noted.
While he enjoined Nigerians to stand up and fight their corrupt leaders, he noted that the days of those plunging Nigeria into avoidable abyss was numbered; stressing that Nigeria would stand once again.
“Evil will not succeed forever. The life of evil is short. If evil people don’t go on their own, they will be forced to go,” he said.
Corroborating his points, Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of CACOL took a swipe on the Lagos State governor Raji Fashola, saying he was a non achiever running a anti-masses government.
Adeniran bemoaned the poor road network in Lagos, the poor drainage system and the attendant anti-masses laws being put in place by the incumbent governor, noting that the masses have benefitted nothing other than suppression and intimidations from the government.
He stressed that even though Lagos State has been under the leadership of same party since the Lateef Jakande era, subsequent government after him have not borrowed a leaf from his style of government but rather they have chose to plunge the people deeper into abject poverty.
He noted that the administration of Fashola has been depriving the masses since inception without bothering to compensate them.
Adeniran cited the ban on Okada and the recent ban on tricycle as government policies that are deliberately put in place to strip the masses and send them out of Lagos.