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‘Why presidency shouldn’t dismiss corruption index report’

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President Mohammadu Buhari/ AFP PHOTO / Sunday AGHAEZE

The Presidency has been advised to take a closer look at the indicators used in arriving at Nigeria’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), and examine ways to fix the gaps.

The Executive Director, Centre for Social Studies and Development, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Ken Henshaw, said continued denial of the failure of the government’s current anti-corruption strategy amounts to living a lie.

“We strongly recommend that the federal government takes a closer look at the indicators used in arriving at the Corruption Perceptions Index and examine ways it can fix the gaps that so urgently need fixing. This effort must necessarily involve measures that will take the fight against corruption away from campaign rostrums and the pages of newspaper; to arrests and prosecutions. Continuing to deny the failure of the government’s current anti-corruption strategy amounts to denying the truth” said Henshaw.

He observed that the recently released 2017 CPI by Transparency International (TI), has expectedly sparked renewed debates on the successes and shortcomings of Nigeria’s fight against corruption.

He pointed out that while President Mohammad Buhari, and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), were voted into office on the promise of fighting the endemic scourge of corruption; there are concerns that it is not committed to doing so.

He argued that while the Presidency has strongly condemned the Transparency International 2017 report, the government’s fight against corruption in the last two and half years has failed to produce any high profile conviction of any politically exposed person.

“Indeed, the majority of Nigerians perceive that while making a show of prosecuting cases of corruption involving members of the opposition political parties, the government is shielding members of its own party from prosecution, even when there are widespread complaints about corruption involving officials as high up as the Presidency,” he said.

Henshaw argued that perhaps nothing demonstrates the failure of the government in its fight against corruption than the fact that it is still unable to curb endemic corruption in the Police Force.

He added that despite the many promises, government has been utterly powerless in sanitising the Police Force of corruption, or bringing corrupt officers to justice.

According to him, the frustrations of Nigerians recently manifested in a series of actions under the banner #endsars, aimed at forcing reforms of the Nigerian Police, and as is typical with the government, that citizens’ campaign was dismissed as ‘politically motivated’.

According to Transparency International, Nigeria now ranks 148th position (together with Comoros and Guinea) among 180 countries surveyed. Previous ranking for 2016 placed Nigeria at the 136th position with a score of 28% over 100%.


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