Posted by Mayowa Okekale | 20 February 2016 | 2,809 times
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has declared that Nigeria must kill corruption before corruption kills the country.
He made the declaration yesterday during the 7th Gani Fawehinmi Students’ Chamber Symposium (GFSC), with the theme, ‘Human rights and the fight against corruption in Nigeria’. Alhaji Mohammed noted that “each society has used methods expedient to it to fight corruption at different times in their own history.”
Giving and example, he said: “Singapore, at one time in its history, fought corruption by suspending rule of law and fundamental rights. Some developed countries today ignore rule of law and fundamental rights in their fight against terrorism.”
The minister lamented that corruption “has cost Nigeria security, lives, territories, the displacement of millions, led to many children being out of school, infrastructure destroyed, institutions of government compromised, etc.”
He emphasised that the current Nigerian government has not requested for emergency powers to tackle corruption, “even though some school of thought unequivocally believes that Nigeria is in an emergency, with high unemployment, unpaid salaries, reduced income, insurgency, reduced oil income and primitive looting of the treasury by the immediate past administration.”
“The Buhari administration, since its inauguration, has left no one in doubt regarding its commitment to ridding Nigeria of corruption, as captured poignantly in President Buhari’s statement that Nigeria must kill corruption before corruption kills her,” the minister said.
Alhaji Mohammed noted that the idea of fighting corruption is a constitutional imperative, quoting Section 15 (5) of the Constitution that gives a cardinal reason for statehood: “The State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of office.” “So, President Buhari was only giving life to this very important provision, with all his targeted actions against corruption and his rallying cry to all Nigerian patriots in the forefront of the war. Nigeria must kill corruption before corruption kills her,” the minister said.
He lamented that corruption has started fighting back fast and furious and in an unexpected manner, saying that one of the platforms being used in this regard is the media. He alleged that “their paid agents are everywhere, everyday, in virtually all media, talking and writing about the Rule of Law. But I am glad to say that the media has availed itself creditably and refused to be manipulated.”
Alhaji Mohammed enjoined Nigerians to join to fight the epic battle, because it is not Buhari’s war, adding that “it is not APC’s war. It is Nigeria’s war of survival.”
Head of the Chamber, Mr Akinrinwa Festus, speaking during the event, stressed that the Gani Fawehinmi Students’ Chamber, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, is a foremost undergraduate law students’ association founded on the ideals of a just society, and aimed at grooming law students into responsible social engineers. “As a body named after a human rights icon, our interests are; anti-corruption crusade, human rights advocacy, social justice and good governance,” he said.
Mr. Festus added: “This year’s symposium marks the 7th in a series since the demise of our grand patron and role model, Chief Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi (SAM, SAN), on the 5th of September, 2009. It is an annual event set aside by our chamber to honour the values of a rare Nigerian, one-man army who fought relentlessly for the enthronement of democratic rule in Nigeria.”
•Photo shows Lai Mohammed.
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