Buhari’s Crusade Against Corruption, Other Vices
THE unfortunate result of the unprecedented graft perpetuated by a number of shameless leaders in the last few decades are visible in the abject poverty of the masses and in the lack of access to basic facilities of life as well as insecurity of lives and properties.
The monumental corruption, which in the past had led to the categorisation of our unfortunate country as one of the two most corrupt countries in the world, a situation that has earned us disdain and pity world-wide, must be frontally tackled by the President.
The world has also noted the highly distressing fact that our country, despite its huge human, natural and financial resources has virtually become a Failed State.
The Movement for Nigeria’s Total transformation is saddened by the confirmed reports of the crippling amount of Nigeria’s commonwealth already snatched away by the cabal of excessively greedy and callous exploiters.
We advise that everything must be done, not only to return the looted commonwealth to Nigeria, but also to bring the looters to book urgently and without undue sentiments.
It is disheartening to recall that Nigeria, which was one of the richest countries in terms of natural resources right from independence in 1960 to the early 1970s, has become one of the 25 poorest nations of the world according to the United Nations Development Programme’s recent report.
While China’s abject poverty shrank from 56 per cent of its population in the last thirty years that of Nigeria rose from 20 per cent to more than 70 per cent within the same period.
When Nigerians applaud the spectacular progress and total transformation in a giant country like China, they should not be ignorant of the drastic measures taken by that country to make corruption unattractive to the leaders and the led.
For example, when the wife of the legendary founder of modern China, Chairman Mao Si Tung, was tried and found guilty of corruption and other wrong-doings, she was convicted and publicly disgraced.
Also, a few years ago, a public official in China who stole five hundred thousand US Dollars ($500,000) was publicly executed, while his deputy who passionately pleaded that he was ignorant of the fraud was sentenced to life imprisonment.
We appeal to the Nigerian middle class to do away with its proverbial selfishness and cowardice and rise up to support the President in his crusade against endemic and all-pervading corruption in Nigeria.
We also appeal to professional bodies like the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Nigerian Bar Association, Nigerian Union of Teachers, Nigerian Medical Association, Nigerian Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, students in tertiary institutions and all human rights groups to fight like wounded lions those who are bent on stopping the anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Another unacceptable development is the outrageous poverty-inducing salaries and allowances being earned by all categories of public office holders, a sad situation where these emoluments are many times higher than that earned by public men in the richer countries of Europe, Asia and America.
It is also an unbelievable absurdity that Legislators in Nigeria earn far more than their counterparts in Ghana, a neighbouring country with free and high standard of education, far more regular supply of electricity and portable water supply and high standard of living for its citizens.
Strangely enough, the conservative and lethargic middle class have remained unconcerned with the recent and most ridiculous uproar in the National Assembly where members were protesting against any reduction in their emoluments, which is four and a half times the salary of President Barrack Obama, the President of the richest country on earth.
Meanwhile, we salute the courage of a few national assembly members who have openly indicated that they will fight for the reduction of their outrageous salaries and allowances.
What manner of country is Nigeria, where professional bodies and human rights groups have refused to openly join the few but courageous National Assembly members and Governors who are spear-heading the crusade of untenable emoluments?. • Chief Areoye Oyebola, Initiator in 1993 and Chairman, Movement for Nigeria’s Total Transformation (MNTT)