NEW TACTIC TO CONFRONT THE NIGERIA UGLY MONSTER, “CORRUPTION and INSECURITY”
In tough times like this, Nigerians must make a deliberate effort to support the President to control Corruption and Insecurity epidemic that has held the development of beloved nation hostage. General Owoye Azazi (RTD) argued in This Day Live Issue of November 20, 2010 that “corruption and lack of accountability in governance, as the greatest enemy of peace and security in Nigeria” http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/azazi-blames-corruption-for-nation-s-insecurity/74424/. The epidemic of corruption cannot be ignored by any promising leader because such lapses will help to erode the effectiveness of the government, where the future of the nation will be jeopardized. Ultimately, uncontrolled corruption in a nation will give birth to a larger monster, which is insecurity that will affect the poor and rich in society.
Recently, President Jonathan tends to hold the bull by the horn, when he made the speech that was focused on the nation most important problems, “CORRUPTION and INSECURITY.” The fact remains that the success of his administration will be measured globally, based on these two key issues, and determined whether Nigeria is really a failed nation or a successful and prosperous nation in the years ahead. According to the President in Daily Champion Issue of July 15, 2011, "The war against corruption in this dispensation will start at the centre. The anti-corruption agencies have been directed to beam their searchlights on the ministries, departments, and agencies of the Federal Government and focus on the states and local government areas, in order to send out a clear signal, that no form of abuse will be tolerated. We will carry out a comprehensive audit of all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of the Federal Government beginning from June 2007. You must observe due process in all that you do. I expect you to be above board. You must observe due process in all that you do. I expect you to be above board,” (http://allafrica.com/stories/201107150135.html).
Unquestionably, over the years, the Federal Government of Nigeria has established various agencies that enforce anti-corruption laws and legislations. According to the latest Transparency International Worldwide, Nigeria is still ranked 134th position out of the 178th countries of the world, but ranked 28th in the continent of Africa. The President declared in his speech, Nigeria position in the Corruption Index Worldwide is a disgrace and cannot be tolerated. He further added, “Corruption is therefore, the monster that we need to confront and defeat, in order to raise the country’s integrity profile.” Based on this reformative speech, Massoud of the Global Corporate Fraud and compliance professional deemed the speech as excellent, a “ political Will for Nigeria: Fight Public Section Corruption”. The Certified Fraud Examiner further stresses that " good intents, at the minimum, do not do any good" for the fight against corruption.
Furthermore, the fight of corruption is not all about the President but for the well-being of the NATION. Therefore, citizens and non-profit organizations should be actively involved for the fight against corruption through a due process. To enhance the fight against corruption, government should also encourage citizens and organizations to join the fight against corruption, which should be a new wave of national call for ethical reformation. For instance, we all are witnessing the escalating transformation across the globe, especially the coalition against corruption in government. The problem of corruption is worldwide, but each leader is responsible for his\her country. In recent times, President Jonathan's illustration stresses the need for individuals to re-examine the true meaning of “public servant,” and relate it to its tradition that appointed agents of government are always accountable to the people, and responsible for their action while serving the people.
The problem most leaders face in fighting corruption has always pointed to the maxims of equity, which stipulates, “He that must come to justice must have a clean hand.” However, we must always understand that change will begin with only one determined person, and it is believed that change is the exclusive permanent force to bring about regeneration, and reformation in a nation. Therefore, our beloved President Jonathan should endeavor to stick to his word and uphold integrity. It is deemed necessary to understand that in such a fight against Corruption, quitting is not an option when confronting the monster, and never reject the idea because it looks impracticable at the beginning.
Academia and practitioners in various disciplines argued that corruption is the single most destructive force to both democratic system and economic development of any given nation. It is presumably true that no key development can be achieved, if the leadership is not willing to confront this monster, “Corruption.” Assessing the nations fight against corruption, I will suggest that long institutionalized practice of corruption in the nation is making it difficult to achieve a notable success for the fight against corruption over the years. This is due to the lack of enduring mechanism apart from laws and legislations to facilitate such changes that would have helped to develop rule-based oriented culture, especially among government agencies, appointed agents and government affiliated organizations.
However, I am suggesting an added alternative tactic, “Non-Law Anti-Corruption and Ethical Cultural Orientation Program” to strengthen / reinforce the fight against corruption that will facilitate a grass root campaign against unethical and corrupt practices, gross mismanagement, and other social dysfunctions, including women and child abuse, and poverty at diverse levels of government with various community-based orientation programs. The Non-Law Anti-Corruption and Ethical Cultural Orientation program should be systematically designed in an all-encompassing manner to dispose the long existing corrupt orientation in organizations, and geared toward reinvigorating the country’s work ethics, where citizens should be rule-based oriented, which will promote the overall sense of accountability, responsibility, transparency, and efficiency. To be continued.
By Mannixs Paul, PhD, MPA, Bsc (Legal Studies), ND (law)
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