CORRUPTION IS NOT PECULIAR/INDIGENOUS TO NIGERIA - SENATOR IKE EKEREMADU

20/04/2017

The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekeremadu has asserted that corruption, though prevalent in Nigeria, is not indigenous to, or peculiar to the country, but is experienced in every part of the world, with the difference being the level of corruption and the people’s attitude to the menace. This assertion about corruption, which he defined simply as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain, was made at the 4th National Public Service Lecture of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association. Tracing the history of corruption in Nigeria to as far back as 1947, Dr. Ekeremadu states that corruption has been entrenched in the Nigerian system from its inception. He however admits that the menace has assumed a greater/higher dimension in the recent past, alluding it to the fact that the perpetrators of such fraudulent acts were never really prosecuted nor convicted in the past, giving an impression that one could get away with it. The law maker disputes that corruption was in the DNA of the Nigerian people or in the Nigerian culture. In fact, according to him, the reverse was the case as he states: “our inherent value system is consisted with integrity and uprightness”. Remaining optimistic that the ugly monster of corruption could still be eradicated from our Nation, he identified the triggers for corruption to include: 1. Decentralisation of federal anti-corruption agencies 2. Establishment of State anti-corruption agencies 3. Domestication of anti-graft laws 4. Fiscal Federalism 5. Decentralised Policing 6. State Orientation agencies 7. State Social Intervention/Security Schemes 8. State Prisons 9. Economic reforms 10. Public participation in the anti-corruption war. While affirming that successive governments have made efforts to contain corruption in Nigeria, the Deputy Senate President readily admits that corruption still remains prevalent in Nigeria due to the nature of the Nigerian society which is plagued with apotheosis of wealth, growing acceptance of moral laxity and the collapse of social disapproval as a regulator of conduct conflate. He also alluded that the lack of honest leadership, defective anti-corruption mechanism and the palpable lack of true Federalism also contributed to the prevalence of corruption in the country. Though admitting that dealing with corruption in Nigeria could be difficult and challenging, he suggested the ways forward to fighting corruption in the Nigerian Society. While it is easy to point accusing fingers at others in public and private sectors, the Deputy Senate President enjoins all to embark on individual soul searching from the highest to the lowest range of the society. Senator Ekeremadu concludes by recommending strong, decentralized and impartial anti-corruption agencies, a conscientious anti-corruption model and system changes that will place anti-corruption agencies on the bedrock of the law and not the ever changing words of powers that be. The lecture, which was under the chairmanship of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. A.I. Olayinka, represented by the DVC (Admin) Prof. E.A. Aiyelari had other dignitaries in attendance, including Senator Teslim Balogun, Registrar, Mr. O.I. Olukoya U.I. ably represented by Dr. F.I. Etadon and other UIAA Chieftains.