• Says Ambode’s achievement signifies hope for Nigeria
Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, yesterday lamented that an era whereby somebody spent the first three year under the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration and turned many public corporation to his personal properties had gone forever.
The monarch therefore, vowed to work against any corrupt individual from emerging the President of Nigeria, thereby canvassing support for the present leadership of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He stated this yesterday at the inauguration of Nigerian Women Against Corruption Initiative at the Haven Event Centre, Ikeja, calling mass action against corrupt leaders.
The initiative is a project of the EFCC in collaboration with the office of Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari.
At the inauguration, Akiolu urged parents to inculcate godly virtues in their children and teach them to shun any corrupt practices, pledging “to work against any corrupt individual from leading the country. Never again would a corrupt man become Nigerian President.
“I insist that this is not era for somebody who spent the first three years under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo making money and turning public corporations to his own.
“He is planning to come back to be the President of this country again. I work against his ambition. I mean it and I mean it. By God’s grace, it shall not be so,” the monarch said.
Akiolu canvassed support for the EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, noting that it was absolutely necessary for all to support the fight against graft and stop corrupt leaders from emerging Nigerian president.
The monarch attributed the reasons for corruption to some government policies such as lack of security of tenure and non-adequate mobilisation of contractors for public projects.
He explained that the policy of government in allocating funds for projects “is encouraging corruption. Thank God for the Senate and House of Representatives who are now trying to put things in order.
“You will see a situation whereby N20 billion will be earmarked for a project and N4 billion will be released and that will be the end and the contractor will proceed to bank to borrow money. That is not good for development and it should be revisited.”
Also speaking at the inauguration, Magu linked the socio-economic problems plaguing the country to long years of the unbroken chain of corruption, but stressed that it was now time for action, saying: “We cannot continue to sit and watch our country drift into intolerable poverty.”
Magu also commended Ambode for the immense support she had so far given to the EFCC, saying it was gratifying to note that the Wife of the Governor viewed herself as a stakeholder in the anti-graft war.
He, however, commended Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, for his achievements in office in less than two years, saying the development was a pointer to the fact that there is still clear hope for Nigeria.
Akiolu said Ambode not only initiated many projects, which he said, were either completed or ongoing but also ensured that quality was not compromised, noting that the governor deserved “to be commended for ensuring prompt payment for capital projects.
“That is why I am very proud of the Lagos State Government. No contractor can say that Governor Ambode has not paid him before asking him to move to site and we can all see the development going on in the State.
“We heard the comments of a retired Chief of Army Staff and even a PDP chieftain, Chief Bode George on Ambode’s performance. A former Chief of Army Staff told me that he saw the quality of work being done in Epe axis. He said he had no doubt that Ambode was doing a lot and the quality of job done was also commendable.
“If a man can achieve that much in office under two years, it shows clearly that there is still hope for this country and whether we like it or note, we should thank God and commend Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
“If I did not put down my foot from 1999 to 2003 to ensure that nobody pushed the government of Lagos State aside, they would whave taken government from us that time.
“We will not be saying what we are saying today. That is why I am praying that God will let President Muhammadu Buhari completes his tenure,” the monarch explained.