Buhari once again has shown not just to me but to all Nigerians and the world at large how matured he is democratically. Many African leaders (especially Grandpa Mugabe) would have jumped on the “fantastically corrupt” statement by the British Prime Minister and throw shades at him.
But my ‘presido’ won’t have any of that. Ok, at least others will say “oya, Cameron, apologies for your statements” still Buhari won’t have any of that. He just went straight to an issue bothering millions of Nigerians back at home, “our stolen assets, please bring them back” brilliant one Mr. President, ‘abi’ don’t you think?
Anyway, the president just gave his speech and I want us to look at five important points he made during his speech. Please oh!! There fall in no pecking order or whatsoever. All points the president made are important, but here is our picks:
- I am not unaware of the challenges of fighting corruption in a manner consistent with respect for human rights and the rule of law. As a country that came out of prolonged military rule only sixteen years ago, it will clearly take time to change the mentality and psychology of law enforcement officers. I am committed to applying the rule of law and to respecting human rights. I also require our security agencies to do the same.
- I admit that there are a few cases where apparently stringent rules have been applied as a result of threats to national security and the likelihood that certain persons may escape from the country or seek to undermine the stability of Nigeria. It is for this reason that we are seeking the support of many countries for the prosecution of certain individuals residing in their jurisdictions. Of course we will provide the necessary legal documents and whatever mutual assistance is required to secure conviction of such individuals, as well as facilitate the repatriation of our stolen assets.
- Our starting point as an Administration was to amply demonstrate zero tolerance for corrupt practices as this vice is largely responsible for the social and economic problems our country faces today. The endemic and systemic nature of corruption in our country demanded our strong resolve to fight it. We are demonstrating our commitment to this effort by bringing integrity to governance and showing leadership by example.
- Corruption is a hydra-headed monster and a cankerworm that undermines the fabric of all societies. It does not differentiate between developed and developing countries. It constitutes a serious threat to good governance, rule of law, peace and security, as well as development programmes aimed at tackling poverty and economic backwardness. These considerations informed my decision to attend this event as well as the Anti-Corruption Summit organized by Prime Minister Rt. Hon. David Cameron that will be held tomorrow. I expect that today’s event would feed into the discussions that will be held tomorrow at Lancaster House.
- It is clear therefore, that the menace of oil theft, put at over 150,000 barrels per day, is a criminal enterprise involving internal and external perpetrators. Illicit oil cargoes and their proceeds move across international borders. Opaque and murky as these illegal transactions may be, they are certainly traceable and can be acted upon, if all governments show the required political will. This will has been the missing link in the international efforts hitherto. Now in London, we can turn a new page by creating a multi-state and multi-stakeholder partnership to address this menace.
Do you think that these points made by Mr. President best explains and provides possible panacea to the ‘cankerworm’ called corruption?
Do share your thoughts in the comment session with us.