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Ohanaeze, Umahi disagree with TI on corruption rating


Aborisade says graft will persist, unless…
Transparency International (TI)’s rating of Nigeria as one of the most corrupt countries is not true, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC) and Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi have argued.

While Umahi noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had done a lot in the fight against corruption, Ohanaeze youths described the rating as biased and not a reflection of reality.

In a statement in Abakaliki yesterday, the national president of OYC, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, noted that TI omitted Buhari’s achievements so far in the fight against corruption before coming with the rating.

While receiving members of the Southern Governors Wives Forum led by Mrs. Betsy Obaseki (Edo State) in Abakaliki, Umahi said that the president had done quite a lot in real fight against corruption.

He, however, stressed the need for a change of tactics in the fight against corruption in the country.

“The challenges we face is not peculiar to Nigeria. When Transparency International rated Nigeria very low in fighting corruption, it is not because we are as corrupt as they said; it is because our handlers need to change the tactics of fighting corruption, and this is what Transparency International is talking,” he asserted.

Isiguzoro urged Nigerians to accept TI’s indictment as a blessing in disguise, and pleaded that the presidency should advance to the next level of the anti-corruption war, without perceived being selective as a way to prove that the TI report was not a true reflection of what is on the ground.

But human right lawyer, Femi Aborisade, said that corruption would continue to thrive in Nigeria as long as the government fails to provide basic needs for the citizens.

Aborisade was reacting to Nigeria’s position as the 146th among 180 countries by TI.

In an interview with The Guardian in Ibadan over the weekend, the former lecturer and governorship candidate said: “We should learn to define corruption from our own point of view, not the definition given by those in government. If we do so, we’ll realise that what needs to be done in fighting corruption fundamentally has not been done.

“The basic issue to address is, how is society organised to allow corrupt practices to prevail? Another question is, why do people engage in corruption?

“You can never expect to fight corruption effectively in a situation where the auditor is appointed by the executive. Our auditor-general does not enjoy independence. In that situation, you can’t fight corruption. The auditor ought to be independent.”

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