‘Fight Against Corruption Should Begin With State Governors’
With a new government coming into office come May 29, religious leaders, stakeholders, academics and public analysts in Cross River have called on the incoming administration to fine-tune ways of eradicating corruption and other vices that have eaten deep into the system.
According to them, for the incoming All Progressive Congress (APC) government to manage its success during the 2015 general elections, policies should be formulated and implemented to the benefit of Nigerians.
In separate interviews, a Public Analyst, Barrister Utum Etem and Pastor Ndoma Akpet, a religious leader, described corruption as a social malaise in Nigeria and represents a false economy.
Etem noted that what actually motivated most Nigerians to vote for the APC is the change slogan which is founded on the premise of eradicating corruption in the country, saying that the system has been deeply corrupted by top government functionaries.
He said: “Corruption is a social malaise and like the APC said during its campaigns that they would eradicate corruption, they should go about it in such a manner that people will have hope it could be eradicated.
“I think that without saying much, if they really mean business with their campaign promise of eradicating corruption in the system, they should start with the governors because some of our governors are armed robbers in government house. They should have their travelling document impounded; investigate the local government money they have been collecting and also overhaul the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
On his part, Akpet said, “we expect that we have answers to some of those problems that have continue to nag our national society. For instance we have shouted, discussed, dissected corruption, set up several agencies with hope that corruption could be eradicated. It is either the government does not have the political will to execute it or something along the line stop working. We are so bitter about corruption because corruptions present a false economy.
Commenting on security and what makes people to take to crime, Akpet said that in Calabar now, children, boys and girls, who are less than 10 years are growing up in the streets. There is no authority over them and they are growing up by learning to survive on human instinct which is destructive by eliminating whatever that stands on their way.
“These children sleep on the street and they are watching people advance in different levels in the same society they leave in. At a point, they will also want those needs when they become adults, the question is where they would get the money; so, they start petty crimes and advance to big time crimes. We have these categories of people, even graduates that cannot get a job to settle down,” he stated.
According to him, lack of policies implementation by the incumbent leadership is responsible, stressing that more needs to be done by the incoming administration through setting of objectives to attain a positive goal.
“We have policies that are never implemented, and this as a result of the kind of leadership we have. Sometimes government say, look we can no longer sustain subsidy of petrol that trillions of Naira has been spent on, but the same government has often time turn around and subsidise the same petroleum products even at higher cost.
“Take a look at electricity, government cannot manage it and they decided to hand it over to private companies, yet we are still having the same problems. Those problems have not been address since the time of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration till date. There is confusion in the whole process; there is no objectivity in the policies, so I think that we must begin to set policy objectives and attain them at a particular time, and if they cannot be attain, we should know the reason why and then try to fix the problems.
A lecturer in the Department of Physiology, University of Calabar, Dr Charles Mfem, said: “The fact that President Jonathan is handing over to Buhari simply means that the man wants peace, and Buhari is starting with peace. Buhari should concentrate in the areas he can make impact quickly. Today we are having fuel scarcity; the incoming government should look at that area and strengthen it. As Nigerians we should not continue to suffer the way we are suffering because we have the resources that can better our lives.
“Though he has been President before, but it was under a military regime and they had their way. Right now it is a different ball game all together; it is democracy, and he needs to work with the National Assembly- Senate and House of Representatives for things to move. It is not a situation where he will take over and begin to take decisions from his bedroom but such decision has to be taken with others. He should ensure that every arm of government plays its role. I expect him to be more firm in terms of tackling corruptions in Nigeria,” Mfem said.