The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has condemned the statement credited to President Goodluck Jonathan that Nigerians, through their actions encourage graft.
The President had said both the public and private sectors are involved in corruption but stated that he would not give out their names to avoid attacks.
Jonathan said this while declaring open the 54th annual conference of the Nigerian Economic Society in Abuja.
Reacting to the statement, the Executive Chairman of CACOL, Debo Adeniran, rued that it is highly undignifying for the number one citizen of the country to make such a statement.
He said: “It is very disheartening that a president who was elected to solve the country’s woes could be afraid to wield his authority. If the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is afraid to mention the names of corrupt people, who else will?
“What hope does an average Nigerian have if the Commander of the Armed Forces is scared of telling the truth simply because he doesn’t want to be attacked? It is either he is an accessory, or a co-conspirator, which is what encourages corruption not the hapless Nigerians who gave President Jonathan their mandate to act on their behalf.”
Adeniran averred that the President has not been above board in his fight against corruption and even encourages corruption by some of his actions.
He added: “Fight against corruption must be championed by a leader who in himself is not corrupt. What moral authority does President Jonathan have when he is a principal actor? Up till present, Jonathan has not declared his assets. As if that was not enough, the President also granted amnesty to ex-convict Diepreye Alamieyeseigha. Is that not rewarding corruption?
“He should not be afraid of fighting a just war, after all, a man who doesn’t know what to die for is not worthy of living. The buck starts with him as the head of state. Leadership by example will reduce corruption in this country Nigeria. However, the National Assembly should summon the President to name the names of the corrupt people he said he knows.”
Meanwhile, CACOL has thrown its weight behind the call for the resignation of the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala due to the non-compliance with the Appropriation Act 2013 and the mismanagement of the country’s economy.
Adeniran said that the minister has done more harm to the economy in recent time.
He said: “The Minister seems not to be in control of her duties of late. First she claimed Nigeria was not broke, after some time she said the country’s budget could not accommodate ASUU’s demands; after then, the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku claimed that Nigeria would shut down, should government accede to ASUU’s demands.
“The Minister has been contradicting herself quite lately and has run the country’s economy aground; she should be relieved of her position.”