Posted by News Express | 23 December 2014 | 3,121 times
A veteran journalist and rights activist, Mr. Tunji Lardner, has said that stealing is a form of corruption. His position directly contradicts that of President Goodluck Jonathan, who has been insisting that stealing is different from corruption.
Speaking at the weekly tweet chat session (#MondayTango) of HEDA Resource Centre, Mr Lardner, founder of West African NGO Network (WANGONET), defined corruption as “a process that corrodes, debases and destroys personal, collective material and moral values in a society.” He said that corruption is becoming rampant in Nigeria due to the lack of accountability, transparency and a deliberate attempt to lessen the gravity as a criminal case by the ruling class.
Lardner, who was interviewed on the topic ‘Corruption in Nigeria’ to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day, blamed the contemporary security challenges in the country on “systemic corruption of the Nigerian Army.” He said the country has spent over $6 billion per annum on its military sector for four years without recording any remarkable success in dealing with its security challenges. And that the military equipment in Nigeria has not recorded any upgrade in the last 30 years, despite the huge investments and yearly allocations.
Lardner described the anti-corruption agency set up by the Nigerian government, as ineffective and, ironically, corrupt-laden. “EFCC is hobbled by systemic political corruption. It is presently not independent and therefore ineffective.”
He rates the Nigerian government poorly in its fight against corruption, asserting that the government is not transparent and sincere in the fight against corruption. His words: “There is presently no political, institutional and, perhaps, public will to FIGHT corruption. Nigerian leaders are most guilty of the pervasive state of corruption rampaging the country.” He regretted that the ruling elite lack good examples for emulation by the citizens.
For Nigeria to record any remarkable impact in the fight against corruption, Mr Lardner recommended “total reform of the judicial sector, massive civic education campaign, and holding the elite accountable for their misdeeds.”
•Photo shows Tunji Lardner.
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