Ndubuisi Francis and Udora Orizu in Abuja
The senator representing Kano State, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso, has advised the government and all strata of the public to take a broader approach in tackling corruption in order to reduce the menace to the barest minimum.
Kwankwaso, who spoke in Abuja yesterday at a seminar and award presentation with the theme: â€˜The monster called corruption,â€™ said it was important to institutionalise the required check and balances and sanctions given accordingly to offenders.
The former Governor of Kano State, who was represented by Aminu Abdulssalam at the event organised by a non-governmental group, Fight Against Corruption Organisation said: â€œIn fighting corruption, we have to give it a broader approach than just arresting criminals or corrupt officials and prosecuting them. That is one out of one hundred ways or means of tackling corruption, and that maybe the last option. You have to start somewhere; when you start punishing those that are caught to pay dearly for their crime against humanity and the nation.
â€œI think itâ€™s only when we are able to appreciate the fact that we need to look at it in a broader sense, we will not be able to make substantial headway in fighting corruption. We have to start from primary schools, secondary, tertiary institutions, media and so on.
â€œAll hands must be on deck in this issue of fighting corruption. Itâ€™s just the issue for EFCC, you have to start somewhere.
â€œCorruption is a living thing, if you allow it to grow it will continue growing by the day. If you curtail it, you can contain it to the barest minimum. What is needed is concerted effort from all and sundry. The political class, the military, the religious leaders generally and the citizenry. And you can only achieve that when the government is determined to reduce corruption to the barest minimum, and applying the correct methodology in fight against corruption,â€ Kwankwaso said
He, however, added that we should not be too negative about ourselves, certainly Nigeria is not the worst country in terms of corruption in Africa or the world.
Also the Chairman of the organisation, Dr. Francis Shopekan, in his remarks revealed that corruption is Nigeriaâ€™s biggest challenge. It is clear to every citizen that the level of corruption in the country is alarming and disastrous, itâ€™s found in every sector of society, be it a small or big sector, thereâ€™s every possibility of observing corrupt practices when critically examined.
According to him, Nigeria, which is the most populous country in Africa has been ranked high in corruption by Transparency International and other notable organisations that monitor corrupt practices around the world.
â€œThey do not have anything good to say about Nigeria at all. High corruption rankings affects almost all Nigerians who migrate to foreign countries, as foreigners have the perception that since Nigeria is corrupt so are Nigerians.
â€œWith the emergence of a new government in the year 2015, many Nigerians were having great faith that corruption in the country would be minimised. One of the campaign promises made by the President Muhammadu Buhari was massive eradication of corruption in the country.
â€œIrrespective of campaign promises, Nigeria ranked low in transparency and high in corruption in that year. Out of 168 countries surveyed, Nigeria was seen at the bottom of the table in the category of number 136, this implies that Nigeria was the 32nd most corrupt country in the world in 2015,â€ he regretted
He further explained that corruption in Nigeria wears different kinds of toga, adding that the situation had made so many people feel a lot of pains as the money which would have been used to reduce poverty in the country are being channeled into the pockets of a small group of persons.
Shopekan lamented that corruption has eaten deep into the fabrics of the country and urged all citizens, NGOs, religious leaders, politicians to join hands together to fight the ill.