How Nigerians Should Fight Corruption

How Nigerians Should Fight Corruption

By Kurtis Adigba 

We, Nigerians, Christians, Muslims, or adherents of other religions, members of the PDP, APC, SDP, and others, or non-aligned, Hausas, Ibos, Yorubas, Ijaws, Jukuns, Idomas, Tivs, Kanuris, and others, agree that Corruption, is bad. Is this okay?

We also agree that for us to build a country of our collective dreams and aspirations, a country that will promote inclusive prosperity, and guarantee all a fair shake and shot playing by the same rules, we must fight and kill Corruption. Is this correct?

We are unanimous that corruption, in every and any form, breeds inequality, inefficiency, promotes mediocrity, and devalues our moral and ethical codes.
What we disagree on majorly, is how the fight on corruption, should be conducted. Many are of the views that only members of the opposition are being targeted in the war. They argued that for the fight to be credible, real, and seen to be impartial, all people alleged to be corrupt should be arrested and put on trial at the same time. This position, lacks merit on several grounds.

1. It is based on the erroneous assumption that the crimes were committed at the same time. The crimes, were committed at different times, and over a long period of time. It is practically impossible to investigate all at the same time and prosecute all that are involved at the same time.

2. It is a recipe for no action against corruption at all. Is it right to say that until we can arrest and prosecute all armed robbers, we shouldn’t arrest anyone for armed robberies? Should we release the arrested Offa Robbers until we can arrest every other robbers?

3. The fact that the members of the opposition, were in power for 16 years meant that they more than any others, had the opportunity, time, and access to corruptly enrich themselves more than others. Trials for corruption is not national cake that should be distributing on Zonal basis. It’s based on evidence, not suspicion. And,

4. That once a member of the PDP, who is alleged to be corrupt leaves the party, and joins the APC, all his or her sins, are forgiven, and the person becomes a saint. Whilst this a popular sentiment, there are no evidence to support this claim. All the people facing trials for corruption in the PDP before joining the APC, are still facing trials. The truth of the matter is: all outstanding trials for corruption are moving at snail speed. The only exceptions are the trials of some Judges accused of corruption. The politicians and their lawyers are skillful in delaying these trials.

Friends, for us to move forward, we must unite in rejecting corruption, and stop making excuses for it. No one on trial for corruption stole for his or her party, community, religion, or ethnic group. They stole for themselves and their families. They are ruthless, wicked, and evil minded. They are responsible for the poverty and misery in the country. When next they tell you that they are victims of a witch hunt, ask them” if you are a witch, what is wrong with hunting you down”?

Kurtis Adigba is the Principal Partner at Kurtis Adigba and Company. 

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