Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
For the ongoing fight against graft to yield the desired results, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational Associated Institutions (NASU) yesterday asked the federal government to immediately establish special courts in the country with specific assignment of handling the trial of corrupt persons.
The body insisted that allowing conventional courts to handle such cases would not achieve much before the end of the present administration, stressing that defence counsels would always explore loopholes in the rules books to frustrate efforts of government in that direction.
In his address during the Regular meeting of the Research and Projects Trade Group Council of the union which took place at the Scientific Equipment Development Institute (SEDI), Enugu, the NASU Deputy National President, Comrade Wakili Tijani pledged the association’s total support for the anti-corruption program of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
While urging the government not to be discouraged by the avalanche of attacks from different quarters apparently to frighten the government to abandon the initiative, Tijani said there was the need to sustain the war, expressing dismay that corruption remains the major problem facing the nation.
He expressed dismay that over the years, the resources meant for the country’s development have been stolen by a few people entrusted with positions of authority, stressing that it required the president’s political will to effectively tackle the problem.
He noted that corruption has negatively affected the nation’s economy, one of which was the ongoing trail of the former National security Adviser, colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) over alleged mismanagement of $2.1b meant for purchase of arms to fight insurgency in the North-East of the country.
“The hard earned resources of this nation, a massive sum $2.1bn was shared in the secret deal which is now being investigated by the Economic and financial crimes commission (EFCC). Another was the recent arrest of two supreme court judges and some High court judges over allegations of corruption and financial inducement in the course of their duties.
“The lack of convictions for those who have stolen our commonwealth should give every Nigerians cause for concern. This is the major reason why special courts should be established to tackle corruption in the country. Corruption is our major problem and if tackled, the country will emerge stronger and viable.
“Almost all the roads across the country are in very bad state and all these persist as the government is battling with the blowing up of the petroleum pipelines by the Niger Delta militants. It is worrisome to note that the social, political and economic indices speak volume of the critical situation that the county finds itself now. Insurgency is worse than it was in the history of the country since the civil war, with insurgency in the North-East, kidnapping and Fulani herdsmen clashes in other parts of country; unemployment also remains staggering.
“After 56 years of independence and despite our vast wealth, abundant natural and human resources, we as a people, continue to struggle with the most basic needs such as food, shelter, water, electricity among others,” he noted.
State Chairman of NASU, Comrade Kenneth Amuka, in his address commended the union’s national leadership for ensuring that the activities of the association continued despite the economic crunch facing the nation. Ends