The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders says it is the turn of the number three citizen in the country, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President Senator Ekweremadu, the Speaker of the House of Reps, Yakubu Dogara and all public exposed persons (PEPs) including governors, ministers and those who work directly with the President such as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the President’s Chief of Staff should declare their assets and make it public to lead by example.
The declaration of assets is what we have described as non-prosecutorial way of fighting corruption; it is leading by example. There cannot be accountability, transparency and probity if we do not have a baseline with which we can determine how right or wrong the public officials have performed their duties while in office and how to measure their net-worth at the point of exit. “It is only through this process that we would be able to determine if their hands are clean; otherwise, they could easily become conduit pipes through which money will be siphoned from the public purse.
The current anti-corruption drive of the All Progressives Congress-led government would not be complete unless those occupying public offices can prove that they have not illegally enriched themselves. Once the leader has taken up the gullet, the followers need not be persuaded to do the same if they have not done so.
We expect every public exposed person (PEP) to publicly declare his assets including his spouses and even his children because they naturally are going to be beneficiaries of whatever their principal makes while in public office. This will enable Nigerians to compare and contrast their net-worth at the point of entering with that at the point of exit.
We see that Shehu Sani has taken the queue after the President and the VP; an action we believe has thrown a challenge of integrity at the likes of the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasiru El-Rufai, who is currently contending with allegations of corrupt accumulation of assets. He should come out in the open to let us know if he has as much as has been ascribed to him.
We are also using this opportunity to ask the regime to amend the laws that set up the CCB to henceforth make public declaration of assets compelling as applicable. Unless it is made public, information contained in the forms submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau may not be easily accessible to every member of the public wishing to verify its authenticity since not everybody has the resources to go to court to challenge the CCB if the latter refuses or fails to oblige.
“He who cannot stand the heat should not go into the kitchen, if you don’t want to get wet, don’t jump into the water”. So basically once they have decided to serve in public office, they should ensure that everything about them, their spouses, their children, their sibling and other dependants are made totally open to all so that we have a baseline with which we can measure their accumulations while their period in office lasts”.
Democracy presupposes that public officers are employees of the people; their allegiance to their employers is not negotiable. It’s therefore incumbent upon them to give account of their stewardship to the same people that employed them ad this include, public declaration of what they had when coming in and what they have when going out.
Acting Media Officer, CACOL
8th September, 2015
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